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Alpha Flight

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Take off! To the Great White North! It's a beauty way to go.

Alpha Flight was never meant to be a real team: they were just going to cause two issues of trouble for Wolverine, then disappear. So they're all just broad stereotypes, which is why the inside of this packaging's front flap just lists their name and where they're from.

Narya, Resolute Bay, Northwest Territories

Snowbird is half-goddess - mortal father, immortal mother. In addition to the usual superhero combo platter of increased strength, speed, and endurance, her main power is the ability to change into any Canadian animal. She's worn the same costume since she was first designed, a white suit with blue accents. She also wears a large blue cape, which in the art blends seamlessly into the stripe running down her chest; but since that wouldn't really work for a plastic figure, it's a new, separate piece, molded blowing slightly to the side and with the appropriately jagged edges. Her head is also new, with its wing-like headdress and black eyes and long blonde hair. The white paint on the forearms and shins doesn't quite match the color on the upper limbs, but it's close.

Dr. Michael Twoyoungmen, Calgary, Alberta

Unlike many comic characters who go by "Doctor" something, Shaman actually has the training and medical license - he was one of the country's best surgeons before accepting his ancestral role as a Tsuut'ina mystic. This is Shaman's classic costume, but it's done in green and yellow, when it should really be green and... more orangey. He ends up looking like Loki. The mold is the common body, with folded-over boots and the bracelets from another mystic. His belt/loincloth combo is a new piece, molded with his magical medicine pouch hanging on the left hip. The head is also new, and has a distinctive face with what are often thought of as typically "native" features: stong, high cheekbones and an Aquiline nose. His black hair falls down his shoulders, and he's wearing a simple headband.

Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, Montreal, Quebec

Aurora is a rare comic character: she has mental health issues, but remains a hero regardless. Often when pop culture shows someone with dissociative identity disorder, their alternate personality is "eeeeeviiiiiil," but Jeanne-Marie isn't; she's prissy and reserved, but she's still a good person and doesn't get in the way of Aurora's heroics. Mental health is something that can be treated and lived with, just like any other health concern, and it won't stop you from being a hero. Like Snowbird above, Aurora has an interesting body construction: she uses the "teen" body's torso, with longer adult legs. Hasbro, always finding interesting ways to squeeze money out of existing molds! The top of her head seems slightly flat, but they did remember to sculpt her one visible ear with an elfen point at the tip.

Heather McNeill Hudson, Calgary, Alberta

After her dumbass husband James got himself exploded, Heather did the smartest thing imaginable: put on the same suit that exploded him and started using it herself with no training. Surprisingly, this did not turn out like a dog driving a car, so she began leading the team as Vindicator. This figure uses a standard body, but the paint here is even worse than it was on Guardian, with the red on her side looking more like random spikes than a Maple Leaf. Also, the red is darker. Her head is new, with her ponytail sticking out the back of the mask, and her red goggles sculpted over her eyes - she's got terrible eyesight, but couldn't wear her glasses into battle, so her friends designed these for her. (They were originally blue, but these are red.) The elbow hinges on all the women are really stiff, like worryingly so. So be careful moving them.

Eugene Judd, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

This Puck is the same mold as the Wolverine Legends Build-A-Figure. Of course it is; why wouldn't it be? Why would a company waste the resources sculpting two 6"-scale versions of Puck, of all characters? So I'm personally annoyed, because I paid eBay money to complete that BAF, but I recognize how nice it is that Hasbro's getting the mold back out for the many people who missed it. The giant letter logo on his suit is gold rather than yellow, this time, so it's not a total copy if you're double-dipping. Joking aside, the head is new: larger, with a better sculpt.

Jean-Paul Beaubier, Montreal, Quebec

Northstar is something of a landmark character in mainstream comics: he is, quite famously, comics' first open Quebec separatist. Also, he bears the distinction of once being killed off in three separate continuities in a single month, but that's more of a trivia footnote than anything else. Like Aurora, Northstar was part of a 2007 fan poll, where he would have been based on the Bullseye body. This one still uses an existing mold, but it's much much better. He has the same powers as his sister - speed and flight - and his costume mirrors hers: black and white, with a star burst on one hip. He gets the pointed ears (at one point, the official canon was that their mom was an elf - aka, he was "half fairy"), but this set could really have used a new set of joined hands, like the Minimates had.

This set is an impressive offering, giving us five out of six characters who have never had Marvel Legends, and even that sixth one was one of the rarest around. Simply the fact that the set doesn't require us to re-buy the Guardian or Sasquatch that just came out is a win. But the set isn't perfect. There's no Marrina, for one thing, but more importantly, there's no Madison Jeffries - you know, Box. This is a a Boxless box set. Granted, he'd have to be BAF-sized (the Kree Sentry would be a good starting point), and Amazon is already asking us to spend more than $100 on a freaking set of Alpha Flight figures, so asking even more would probably be the action of a madman. Good set, though. If it does well, maybe we'll see more "instant team-builders" like this in the future.

-- 11/25/19

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