Published August 18, 2023
In the wake of an explosive Hellfire Gala and mutantkind’s stunning defeat at the hands of Orchis, the world needs its heroes now more than ever. Fortunately for those in the Great White North, her greatest champions stand ready to answer the call in ALPHA FLIGHT by Ed Brisson, Scott Godlewski, Matt Milla, and VC’s Travis Lanham.
This time around, a mix of former members have reunited to protect their country. However, as seen in the first issue, loyalties have become divided during this trying time—and it’s possible not everything is what it seems.
MARVEL.COM: Ed, what’s your personal history with Alpha Flight as a fan and writer?
ED BRISSON: ALPHA FLIGHT was among the first books I had on my pull list when I began reading comics and it stayed there right up until it was canceled at #130. I’ve always been a fan and have read every incarnation of the book since then.
When I first got into writing comics and started to get work with Marvel, I was always upfront about wanting to take a crack at Alpha Flight—I’m sure every other Canadian writer has done the same.
When I was writing OLD MAN LOGAN, I brought Alpha Flight in to guest star for a couple issues, assuming that I’d never have a chance to write an actual ALPHA FLIGHT title. Then, in 2019, I had the opportunity to write a short Alpha Flight tale in ALPHA FLIGHT: TRUE NORTH, along with writers Jed MacKay and Jim Zub and artists Scott Hepburn, Max Dunbar, and Djibril Morissette-Phan. I even lettered the entire thing so that we could keep the creative lineup on the book 100% Canadian, which may be the only time that the team has been handled by an entirely Canadian creative lineup.
MARVEL.COM: What do people need to know about Alpha Flight and their recent history going into this first issue?
ED BRISSON: Honestly, not too much. We really tried to make this as new reader friendly as possible. If you’re a long time Alpha Flight fan, then there’ll be plenty of little nods throughout the series that you’ll appreciate.
Even if you’re not aware of what’s happening with mutantkind as a whole, I think we do a pretty good job of catching you up through the first half of the story.
MARVEL.COM: How does Alpha Flight’s unique positioning as a team that has included both human and mutant members give them a different perspective for FALL OF X?
ED BRISSON: FALL OF X once again sees human vs. mutant, and given that Alpha Flight is almost evenly split between human and mutant members, it felt like we were in a unique position to turn inward and focus on what this does to the team—especially given that one half decides to defend country, while the other opts to defend mutantkind. Unfortunately, that puts them at odds and at war.
MARVEL.COM: Why use the core classic lineup for this book? How did you select the mutant alumni to feature?
ED BRISSON: Alpha Flight has had a lot of different lineups over the years, but the classic [roster] is the one that always comes to mind when thinking about them and the one that I thought would work best. Obviously, we have a couple of missing faces here, but they’re generally missing for reasons that will become clear as the series progresses.
As to the non-classic members, Fang felt like a good fit not only because of his connection to Aurora, but also because his father has a history with the team. It felt right to have him step in to fill that role for these five issues. And the other, Nemesis, is a character I’ve always really liked and have wanted to use somewhere. Fortunately for us, her power set was a perfect fit for what we needed to do within the series.
MARVEL.COM: Erika Doiron is clearly going to be a major factor in this book. What’s her deal?
ED BRISSON: Erika Doiron is the head of Department H. In the past, Department H has mostly been a sort of shadow organization. They haven’t really had many public facing heads and so, given this new era within the books and Department H’s role within that, I wanted to give them a leader who’d step out of the shadows and be there to address the Canadian public directly.
MARVEL.COM: How does ALPHA FLIGHT allow you to comment on the larger state of affairs in the Marvel Universe due to FALL OF X?
ED BRISSON: It allows us to take the larger event and focus on it in a more contained fashion. This isn’t how FALL OF X impacts the world; it’s how it impacts Canada. We get a microcosm of the larger issue, which I think helps us keep the stakes more personal.
MARVEL.COM: How has your collaboration with artist Scott Godlewski been?
ED BRISSON: I’ve been following Scott’s work since Copperhead. It was apparent back then that Scott Godlewski was an artist to watch. I’ve put his name forward for a couple projects in the past, but the timing never seemed to work. When [editor] Mark Basso suggested him for ALPHA FLIGHT, I couldn’t have been happier.
The collaborative process has been really smooth. Pretty much every morning when I open my email, there’s art from Scott and it’s better than a cup of coffee to get me pumped up. His action scenes are incredible, big and splashy and perfectly staged. He’s equally adept at the small moments in the book, the human moments, where we’re left to linger on a look or a gesture that’s ripe with meaning.
MARVEL.COM: What can we look forward to in ALPHA FLIGHT #2?
ED BRISSON: More surprises!
Pick up ALPHA FLIGHT #1, available now, and be ready for the next issue, coming September 20!
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In this article: Alpha Flight