cherrybomb: (Default)
[personal profile] cherrybomb posting in [community profile] scans_daily
So yeah, tis the season for hokey Christmas specials and horrible comics. Or, at the least, poorly drawn comics. And horrible 90s art. Oh the horrible 90s art. It's not a Christmas classic like the Harley/Ivy Christmas story or the Joker & Tim one and...honestly, the Alpha Flight Christmas issue really shouldn't be a Christmas classic. Still, it's an entertaining read.

We start our story off with the male members of Alpha Flight getting punch drunk. Through some expository dialogue, we learn that Lilian Crawley (Diamond Lil) and Madison Jeffries (Box) are getting married in a week! And it's Christmas! And the guy Alphans and girl Alphans are at the Bachelor Party and Bachelorette Party, respectively. The Bachelor Party? The guy Alphans getting reeeeeally drunk. And then, drama happens.

OH SNAP. We skip forward to the girls for a bit (who really aren't all that interesting when compared to the guys). Lil, Heather and Jeanne-Marie (not Aurora) are meeting up for the Bachlorette Party.

Don't you hate it when your other personality does that? And back to the guys...

They disarm Random Gunman and confront him about just why he decided to rob the bar.

Oh don't tell me you believe that sob story. It's more cliche than a Lifetime movie.

SON OF A BITCH. In their defense, they're all drunk out of their minds. The Alphans decide to make Random Gunman Woobie's Christmas a Christmas That He Will Always Remember and they decide to help him out.

We now flash forward to the girls, who have the more boring storyline. Jeanne-Marie is scandalized by the strip club, Lil and Heather dance around the 'first sex when you're married' topic, the Aurora personality takes over and starts to make out with a dancer. And then this happens:

I would say that it makes sense in context, but honestly? It doesn't. Pink Pearl, a character who we last saw around 80 issues ago, just randomly shows up. There's a fight scene and some fat jokes and it's really boring, so I won't subject you to scans of it. Back to the guys!

Again, I would say that it makes sense in context but it doesn't either. We also don't see the results of the 'scare him straight' campaign that seems to be going on. I'd like to think that the landlord called the cops on them or pulled out some mace, but I doubt that happens.

"Make the biggest aluminum Christmas tree you can find, Madison Jefferies. Maybe make it pink!"
"Yeah, do something right for a change, Madison Jefferies."

Keep in mind that Northstar's had 100+ issues of characterization from 'bitchy French-Canadian', so this smiling and saying Merry Christmas kinda makes sense. Also, he's probably still drunk as a skunk. We end on this lovely image.

Aww, look at him all smiley. Oh Northstar. If you only knew that next issue was your Awful Coming Out Issue, you wouldn't be smiling that much.

So yeah, that's the Alpha Flight Christmas issue! It's...alright, but it's no masterpiece. In fact, it's kind of mediocre. And suffers from bad 90s art and even worse dialogue. And I still don't see why they put Pink Pearl in there. But yeah. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Date: 2010-12-25 05:52 am (UTC)
cleome45: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
TBH, this is far from the worst Nineties stuff I've seen here. I mean, I stopped reading superhero comics after 1987 or so (until starting up again two years ago), but these characters are still recognizably themselves to me.

So that has to count for something.

I wonder if anyone has that Marvel Team-Up where the Watcher talks Spider Man into rescuing a small-time coke dealer at Xmas. Man, they don't write 'em like that anymore. [sigh]

Date: 2010-12-25 06:02 am (UTC)
cleome45: (michael1)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
I'll have to remember to request that one* next year. Or fly across the country and try and rescue the book from my kid brother's garage. Whichever.

*The Watcher, post-dealer rescue: I am humbled, and I know joy.

Date: 2010-12-25 06:08 am (UTC)
cleome45: (violet1*)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
Sorry about the flooding. Ugh. :(

But just tell him it's worth it for the magic portrait globe/magic deluxe healer gizmo-throwing scene.

That Frank Capra was nothin' but a freakin' amateur, Maaaaaaan!

Date: 2010-12-25 08:20 am (UTC)
suzene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] suzene
Heh. I just spammed this issue elsewhere. Obviously, 'tis the season for giving the gift of Alpha Flight! ;)

Keep in mind that Northstar's had 100+ issues of characterization from 'bitchy French-Canadian', so this smiling and saying Merry Christmas kinda makes sense.

A very generous estimate, considering that most of the team didn't appear in all of the Byrne run and the twins got written out for about thirty issues under Mantlo (and most of what Mantlo did actually write concerning the twins I try very hard to forget). Definitely easier just to blame it on the booze.

Lobdell's take on Northstar is just kind of frustrating -- he seemed to want to show that Jean-Paul was a good guy under all of that snark, but it always seemed to come out of left field. About the only time it worked for me was in AF #106, and even then only if I forget that the last half of that issue exists.

Date: 2010-12-26 04:46 am (UTC)
suzene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] suzene
There was a more to Northstar's characterization than that under Byrne, but going forward since then had pretty much been a half-step forward, three strides back matter. I'm kind of torn on Northstar's time with the X-Men under Austen's run -- on the one hand, there was a lot of insulting, badly-thought out, OOC crap, but Austen also presented, IMO, a good in-character reason for him to come to and stay at the school, and DeFillipis and Weir managed to build on that somewhat, despite being reduced to using the kind of hinting around Anole and JP's mentor/student relationship in 2005 that Byrne had to use for Northstar's sexuality back in the 80's. (The more things change, eh?) And then Millar, Young, and Fraction managed to piss even that advancement away.

The problem I had with that interview was that Lobdell seemed to think that the root of Jean-Paul's snarkiness was that he was a closeted gay man, reasoning that I disagree with on two counts. One, I don't agree with the idea that Northstar was closeted -- it was pretty obvious that Alpha Flight and those who knew him at all knew that he was gay, we have no evidence that he ever denied being homosexual if questioned on the matter, and the idea that you have to hold a literal press conference on the matter of your sexuality to count as out, even as public figure, is idiotic. Two, had this guy actually read Northstar's published history up to this point? Yes, I can buy that being counted as a second-class citizen due to who he loved would definitely contribute in part to Northstar's attitude, but trying to play it as central to his make-up in a way that made all of his other past traumas, regrets and mistakes secondary just kicked off the long, nearly-unbroken stretch of writers forgetting that Northstar has more to his character than being The Gay One, no matter how well-intentioned.

Date: 2010-12-25 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
It's a shame that Jean-Paul's first joke ever is such a terrible one. What does that even MEAN?
And never, ever get superheroes drunk. They're not a pretty sight.

Date: 2010-12-26 07:05 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
I THINK it's a reference to 'always a bridesmaid, never a bride', but it's a damn poor one if so.

Date: 2010-12-25 04:39 pm (UTC)
jlroberson: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jlroberson
Doesn't she mean "respectable?" Although of course in the end, no she doesn't.

Date: 2010-12-25 08:46 pm (UTC)
ext_79087: robin-thighs (robin thighs)
From: [identity profile]
The only think I enjoyed about this run was Northstar's hair and that he started working out. Who in Montreal wouldn't be tapping that?

Date: 2010-12-25 09:37 pm (UTC)
badficwriter: Flying saucer-I WANT TO BELIEVE (Default)
From: [personal profile] badficwriter
Man, when you started talking about the 90s I thought you were going to post that infamous Warrior comic scene.

Jean Paul's hair looks awful (sideburns are cute tho). He looks like he's about to kiss Madison. ::sigh!::

Date: 2010-12-26 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Waaaaait just a minute here.

This is a week before the wedding, they say, right, and the next issue is that horrible coming out issue (which, don't let me wrong, I love JP and I love that he's gay, but that issue sucks) -- doesn't JP refuse to leave the hospital while Joanne is in there? Doesn't that take more than a week? Did we not see the wedding? *puzzles*

(Meanwhile, thank you OP for posting this! I always loved the drunken goodwill and shenaniganry of this issue.)

Date: 2010-12-27 01:33 am (UTC)
suzene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] suzene
You're right about JP staying at Joanne's bedside, but Lil and Madison announce that they're getting married and leaving the team in #104, then they're gone by #106. We don't ever see Lil and Madison's wedding, but presumably it happens between issues.

Date: 2010-12-27 01:52 am (UTC)
eliyes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eliyes
Man. It's too bad badly written drama had to eclipse their big day. I'm a sucker for couples where the woman is taller, too, so I would have liked to see a wedding pic. X3

Date: 2010-12-27 02:18 am (UTC)
suzene: (Default)
From: [personal profile] suzene
I think Lobdell was just looking for an excuse to get them off of the team, hence the lack of a wedding issue -- the whole "we're leaving/getting married!" thing happened awfully fast. But I'll still take it a thousand times over something like Kyle and Yost killing Lil to make way for Danger.

Date: 2010-12-27 10:19 am (UTC)
eliyes: (Allen eyeroll)
From: [personal profile] eliyes
I always liked Madison. And, well, I can't say I always liked Lil, but I usually found her interesting.

...I honestly haven't been following the X-books since before they went to San Fran, so until you mentioned it (and I looke dit up), I didn't know Lil was dead. *beats head on wall* Aaaauuuuugh.

Date: 2010-12-28 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] wonderwomanhero
Reading that this is Lil's wedding makes me cringe....after reading Necrosha.

Date: 2011-01-03 06:26 pm (UTC)
grazzt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grazzt
My favourite part of that issue is when Northstar ties a bunch of hecklers to a ceiling fan so fast that no one actually sees him move.


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