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Alpha Flight #18 (1985, January)

December 9, 2014

I work tomorrow. So no reviews. But I’ll post my pull list. For today, by Byrne, “How Long Will A Man Lie In the Earth ‘Ere He Rot?”

How Long Will A Man Lie In the Earth 'Ere He Rot?

The bottom-right panel is the most exciting.

Puck walks into the apartment to see Heather holding up the Guardian suit. Puck asks about it, and she says that it’s not the power suit, just a spare of the costume Mac wore over it. She was just remembering. He tells her to avoid those kinds of memories, and that her role as leader isn’t going to be on the front lines. He asks what the plan is, and she says the team needs to be more centralized. So she starts making calls.

She starts with Northstar, swimming in his pool. There’s a guy and a girl there. I get the feeling the girl’s there to keep quiet and stay out of the way. Anyway, Northstar wants nothing to do with Alpha Flight. Next, Heather calls Shaman, who’s out of the office.

He’s at Fort Calgary, with his daughter. He’s checking out the area for mystical stuff. He senses something definitely escaped. He tells Elizabeth that something about her acted as a trigger on the spirit. Meanwhile, in an old house, an old man is arguing with his nurse. The man’s great-granddaughter wants him to stay alive, but he doesn’t feel like putting any effort into it. His great-granddaughter only learned about him recently, and she wants to be able to spend time with him. She knows he did something bad in his youth, but she also feels he’s a good man. As she cooks, something weird starts happening. Shaman gets notified at the police station about the woman calling to report being attacked by her eggs. He prepares to head to the mansion, and Elizabeth demands to go with him.

Up north, Snowbird meets with Doug. She tells him she can’t return his love. She wants to, but she can’t. Doug sees no reason why she can’t, and he kisses her, which does have an effect on her. She leans against a rock, and says she does love him, but she lets her true face show to Doug, and tells him to say he still loves her.

Back at the Stang household, Shaman and Elizabeth have arrived, and go inside. The house is cold, and the energies are still there. So Shaman heads into the kitchen. The scrambled eggs attack, but Shaman manages to defeat them. He feels it was too easy, almost like it was a diversion. The girl becomes worried for her great-grandfather. They all rush upstairs to his room, and he says he’s been waiting for the day for a hundred years, and knowing that he’d be struck at through those he loves. Shaman tries to stop what’s going on, but Strang blasts him down. The great-granddaughter is turning into a monster, and starts blasting Elizabeth, who’s in pain, but is getting stronger. She manages to grab control of the power.

Shaman is amazed at Elizabeth’s power. He also realizes the girl has been possessed by Ranaq, the Great Devourer. Elizabeth might be able to defeat him, but not without killing the girl. He waits his chance, then throws some baubles, which drive Ranaq out. The day is saved! But there’s a lot of questions left to be answered. And to do that, they’ll need to travel back in time.

Neat issue. The Snowbird romance subplot is blah. I never much care for it. Doug is a bland character whose only real role is love interest for Snowbird. He has no particular traits beyond “seems like a decent guy.”And it’s a little disappointing that Snowbird, who’s a fascinating character, wound up being weighed down with this bland romantic subplot.

The scene between Heather and Puck is good. We see her continuing to grieve, but also continue to move on with her life.

But the real meat of the story is the Shaman and Elizabeth stuff. And it’s really cool. The mystical stuff is neat, but the relationship between Shaman and Elizabeth is the best part. There’s a real tension, though we also see hints of Elizabeth maybe being able to forgive her dad. Elizabeth herself is great. She’s feisty and strong-willed. I’m a big fan of her.

The art is as great as always. I would’ve liked a little more stuff during the mystical battle between Elizabeth and Ranaq. Maybe some fancy colours or something. As it is, it was really just a lot of whiteness. Which I suppose has its own weirdness. It’s a minor enough complaint.

So, really cool issue.

Song of the day: Oh Yeah by the Cliks.

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