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Alpha Flight #20 (1985, March)

January 10, 2015

Today’s story, by Byrne, is “Gold and Love Affairs!”

Gold and Love Affairs!

Spoiler alert: She’s actually not that hard to forget.

Sasquatch is tearing up some trees. He spends several hours rampaging through the BC landscape. Turns out he was helping out some construction workers who needed to clear some land and get running water, in order to build a sanitarium. Then Aurora shows up, in her sexy new costume that’s sexy and new. Here it is:

Alpha Flight #20

She was standing there long enough to speak, and not one of the guys has said anything or whistled? Comic books really are unrealistic.

Not a bad design, actually. I don’t think I like the little flares at the end of the sleeves. It looks a bit odd. But I do like that haircut. Anyway, she tells Sasquatch she was getting bored waiting for him, and then the guys start hitting on her. She loves the attention, and kisses one of the guys. Sasquatch spoils her fun, and she flies off in a huff. He follows her, and thinks about how he didn’t come close to losing control during the five hours he was smashing stuff. He was hoping to find some clue to his recent bouts of rage, and the fact that he wasn’t able to makes him suspect they’re caused by an outside force.

Elsewhere, Snowbird talks about the Talisman, a being who’s been foretold for centuries. Shaman tries to get Snowbird to use different terminology, to avoid confusing Elizabeth. Elizabeth tries to take off the headband, but can’t. The headband is a part of her now, and can’t be removed. While all this is going on, Heather feels awkward about being in her parents’ house. She tells Puck she’s glad he’s hanging around, since his experience gives him some wisdom and makes him a good confidant. She goes to call Sasquatch, and Shaman talks to Puck about his obvious attraction to Heather. Puck says he knows he can’t give Heather what she wants, but Shaman says that when she reaches out to him, he has to not turn away.

The next day, Walter and Aurora are out on a boat, heading towards an island. Tamarind Island, which has been in Walter’s family for years, but which his family never seemed to bother with. He thinks the mansion will make for a good headquarters for Alpha Flight. He says the house was built by a great-aunt who married 8 times and was widowed each time, and then disappeared in 1929.

They go inside, and find the place oddly well-kept. While they explore, Walter thinks about how Aurora’s been changing, with bits of Jeanne-Marie seeming to sneak into her manner of speech. Then he falls through a wall. Aurora wonders where he is, and then the lights go out, leaving her in complete darkness. She freaks out, and her two sides start warring, until Aurora finds a crack of a door. She emerges into a hall filled with golden statues. One of the statues opens its eyes, and she freaks out again, then stumbles into Gilded Lily, who grabs hold of her wrist. She brings Aurora to Walter – also now a golden statue.

This is a good issue. It’s mostly an Aurora-focused issue, which is great, because Aurora’s really cool. The sequence in the darkness is really good, as she struggles to maintain control. Byrne’s dialogue helps to sell it, with the speech patterns changing back and forth. There’s plenty of other subplots being developed, too. There’s Sasquatch’s occasional rages. There’s the Talisman stuff. And there’s the friendship between Heather and Puck. It’s all good stuff. Talisman remains neat.

The art, as ever, is awesome. Gilded Lily does have a pretty cool design. Next issue will tell us more about her, and she actually is pretty cool, but I’ll save that for the next issue.

Song of the day: Combat Baby by Metric.

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