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Alpha Flight #27 (1985, October)

March 26, 2015

The weather right now is a combination of snow and rain. Springtime in Canada. So here, by Byrne, is “Betrayal.”

Betrayal

Way to help your team, Snowbird.

Delphine is celebrating the defeat of Alpha Flight, or at least half of the team. Talisman’s been drugged, to keep her from summoning help, but now Delphine wants her to call Shaman. Talisman refuses, but Delphine didn’t want her to do it voluntarily, anyway. So, torture. Shaman is taking care of Aurora’s cracked ribs. Walter says he’s got some news of his own. He and Bochs have been looking for a new body for him. Bochs was scanning other dimensions, and came across a Cross-Road of Realities, and rather large figure occupying it. Then Shaman feels Talisman’s pain, and says they need to rescue her. Up north, Snowbird senses something wrong, and decides she has to go help her friends.

Shaman, Walter and Aurora teleport to to the West Edmonton Mall, and find Guardian waiting for them. Guardian says Omega Flight’s been defeated, but wonders where Smart Alec is. Shaman says that Smart Alec lost his mind looking into the medicine pouch, so now he’s shrunk down inside the pouch. Guardian finds that horrifying, and grabs the pouch, and tries to find Smart Alec inside. But he can’t see anything, so he tries turning the pouch inside out.

Obviously, this is a Bad Idea. Something weird spreads out from the pouch. Aurora and Walter are caught fast. Omega Flight runs away, leaving Alpha to their fate. Shaman wakes up Talisman, the only one who can help him. She has to go inside the spreading Void, to help contain it. She’s nervous, but Shaman promises to keep her safe. Talisman jumps in, finds Alpha Flight, and gets them out. She’s on her way out, too, but before Shaman can grab her hand, Guardian interrupts. He’s holding Snowbird hostage. Shaman grabs some gunk out of the Void to throw at Guardian, but the momentary distraction keeps him from saving Talisman.

This is another great issue. The Void thing is interesting. There are some nice character moments throughout the issue. Snowbird ends up being worse than useless, which is a shame. Shaman’s grief over failing his daughter again was well done. The art, of course, is excellent all through the issue. Solid comic.

I should also talk about Secret Wars #4, by Shooter and Milgrom. The Beyonder decides to fall in love with someone, and decides on Dazzler. He teleports her out of O.Z.’s truck, and into a living room somewhere in space. They start traveling the galaxy while he explains his deal. Then they pop back to the Earth, starting with the Antarctic, inside an igloo, with him offering to share his bearskin. Sigh. They pop around the Earth a bit more, with Dazzler getting overwhelmed, until they stop on a mountaintop and start kissing. She wakes up the next morning in his French house, and over breakfast, he tells her he’s going to earn her a present, leaving her with a music library, recording studio, band and music instructors, if she feels like using them.

He teleports to the West Edmonton Mall. Alpha Flight has no idea who he is, so naturally, they attack him. He tosses them around a bit, then grabs Shaman’s pouch. He takes Talisman out of it, and then plucks out a little ring. When he gets back, he sees Dazzler trying to leave. She wants to go back to new York, so he takes her there. She says she doesn’t want presents, so he tosses the ring away.  I actually forget if anything was done with it in a tie-in. I don’t feel like looking that up. She says she has a life and dreams, so he gives her a concert. She tells him to put her back where she was, and then the Avengers attack him. They have him on the ropes, and are ready to kill him, but Dazzler jumps to his defence, which lets him catch his breath long enough to escape with her.

Now Alison has a chance to think, and wonders about how the Avengers were acting. He admits they were fake, but that her defending him shows she cares. He gives her half his power, making them equals. They kiss, but then she freaks out. She says she doesn’t love him, and can’t. She sends his power back to him, and falls to her death. He brings her back, and makes her love him, but it bothers him, so he releases her mind and makes her forget about that part.

Meh. Once again, Dazzler starts falling for a guy almost as soon as he shows interest in her. She doesn’t actually fall in love with him, but she makes a go of it. Superhero comics often still struggle with realistic romance, but back when this comic came out, a realistic romance was pretty much unheard of, and this issue certainly doesn’t break the trend. It’s a stupid, shitty comic.

Song of the day: Taste You by Melissa Auf Der Maur.

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