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on May 7, 2007
So reads the beginning caption to issue #3 in Byrne's unique, 28-issue stint with a distinctly Canadian team...

Quick: how many Canadian super-teams can you currently name off the top of your head? My guess is: not many. Credit Byrne with bringing Canada back into the mainstream in 1983 with Alpha Flight #1- the biggest selling comic of its day- 500,000 copies! While Byrne was born in England, he lived in Canada between the ages of 8 and 30 before moving to the States in 1980. Who better, then, to write & draw a distinctly Canadian team?

His most popular works may be X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Superman, but I *equally* love his lesser-known efforts: his 6+1-issue run on the Incredible Hulk (in '85-'86... a personal favorite!); his great '80s covers for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition; his distinctly Canadian Alpha Flight; and even his quirky & fun run on She-Hulk (which is also deserving of its new TPB!). And today, it's Alpha Flight that gets the spotlight again in this new & high-quality collection. It really contains: Issues 1-8; an '80s Marvel Age preview article; and even a few '80s entries from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe(!). Thankfully, Marvel treats Byrne's paperbacks right with a decent grade of paper, something the Distinguished Competition (Man of Steel maybe?) could learn a little something about.

While Byrne has gone on record as saying Alpha Flight never really gelled for him artistically or story-wise, I still think quite highly of it. Maybe the writing is at times a little stiff & forced, but this series still strikes me as being one of the most original *feeling* of all time. Even today, few titles manage to capture the overall grandeur of Canada while staying distinctly & wonderfully contemporary. John Byrne pulls it off!

It's no wonder Walt Simonson has called Byrne the 1st modern super-star of mainstream American comics (see his intro to Modern Masters, Vol. 7: John Byrne (Modern Masters interview series)). Few artists/writers in the industry have had such a popular & long-lasting appeal! 5 Stars!

P.S. And check out The Art of John Byrne (Marvel Masters), an interesting career collection. It's also available here on Amazon.
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on August 21, 2007
John Byrne has gone on record saying that his heart was never really into "Alpha Flight", that they were basically created as a team that could successfully battle the X-Men. Despite all this, Byrne's run on AF (he did 28 issues total) are an example of his mastery of the form and yet another look at how much the comics medium has fallen since the 80s. There's never been another book like "Alpha Flight." The team had been created four years before the book came out, but Byrne was faced with the task of instilling each character with a personality and origin, which he painstakingly did, bit by bit.

Included here are the first 8 issues of the book presented in a nice new format. Some people have said the new format is a little too bright, but I think it works well and doesn't take away from the stories at all. We get the classic battle with Tundra, Snowbird's battle in a blizzard which has to be "seen" to get the full effect, the troubled twins - split-personality Aurora and gay Northstar - as well as the development of James Hudson's cyber helmet that started the whole mess. My only complaint is that there should have been more issues included because it will take us that much longer to get to my favorite part of Byrne's run: issues 18-28.

It's so much fun to revisit these characters and adventures again but those discovering them for the first time will have just as much fun. Thanks to all who finally put this book together.
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on February 26, 2008
I've never read any Alpha Flight comics before, so I figured this was a good place to start. The way John Byrne writes and draws the series makes me wanna go to Canada. I think my favorite stories were the ones with Northstar and Aurora.

It seems like Marvel's Classic series is like the Essentials but in color and on a smaller scale. I'm looking forward to the second volume that comes out in a few months and will get it not long after. My guess is it'll include #9-15 and their first annual.
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on June 29, 2011
One of the greatest ever Marvel Comics teams, and series. This is an amazing trade, not to be missed. In fact, BOTH volumes are mandatory for fans of John Byrne in specific, and the comic book medium in general. Vol. 1, released 2007, covers issues 1-8, and Vol. 2, released 2011, covers issues 9-19 and X-Men # 109.
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VINE VOICEon October 1, 2010
As a kid/teen in the 1980s, I used to love to read Alpha Flight by John Byrne. Byrne had the most creative ideas and could take minor characters and turn them into the most interesting people with distinct personalities. He did so with the Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four, and then Alpha Flight.

Guardian? Puck? Snowbird? Northstar? Aurora? Sasquatch? Marina? "Who are these characters?" you might have asked yourself back then. Suddenly, they're starring in their own comic book, though, and you oddly get to know (and love) each and every one of them. That's the work of a great writer.
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on January 27, 2012
AF #1 was one of the first comics that I purchased with my own money.
This volume zapped me back to 1983.
The stories have the trademark Byrne 'depth' to them - little details that were over my head then, but were funny and interesting now.
The line work in these stories represent a favorite Byrne period of mine. His inking work was 'chunky' and 'thick' during this phase.
Re-reading the stories in order is a lot of fun.
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on January 14, 2013
I had only read a few of John Byrne's Alpha Flight as a kid so I was not totally in tune with the groups early adventures or individual character origins so this book totally took me by surprise, but that is not a bad thing.

I never looked at AF as Canadian X-Men rip offs and I think the fact that their rogues gallery consisted more of Gods instead of superpowered thugs or maniacal mutants made their adventures more interesting than the X-Men.

Bill Mantlo's run on AF pretty much dominated my early teenage years and was basically a good run, but John Byrne created the team, so I had to go back and discover the origin of the magic of Alpha Flight and Marvel made all possible by creating the Alpha Flight Classic Series. The format of this book is great. The coloring is good and although they were originally published in the 80's, the dialogue is not cheezy, which made this book a great read.

I also own volumes 2 and 3 and if Marvel decides to republish the stories beyond John Byrne's phenomenal run I will be there.
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on June 14, 2007
Alpha Flight has been through many iterations since it premiered years ago, but the orginal series (at least Byrne's run) is still the best. This volume collects the 1st 8 issues of the series, and what's good about it is that it isn't like many other comics that you'll read that bring together groups of superheroes. Basically, everyone on the team has some sort of issue, and Byrne crafts great back stories for each character.

The artwork is dead on, and it's a great read.
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on August 10, 2011
I will never get tired of a good, old-fashioned John Byrne story. He is always able to take and insignificant book/character and give it cosmic importance. Where many writers and/or artists have failed to craft an interesting story--John Byrne consistently SUCCEEDS! When you read a John Byrne story, you never want it to end. Thank you, Mr. Byrne for all the years you put into the industry elevating your craft.
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on February 1, 2016
I loved this series growing up. It was right up there with my must reads. I have tried to fill in gaps in my collection. This digital comic was a first. Reading older comics you get the fading and damage from being 30 years old. This was amazing. Highly recommend this book and digital comics. Looking forward to the rest of the Byrne run.
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