Comic books have long been one of my preferred methods of escapism.
Three-plus decades ago I was a rather avid collector, and today I still read my fair share. In fact, on a recent two week stay-home vacation I read through more than 30 graphic novels and comics.
While my tastes are pretty varied, as the recent binge reading pile would attest, one of my favourite genres is that of superheroes.
It also so happens I am fiercely Canadian, so I would prefer my superheroes reflect my Canadian roots. Those are of course far harder to find.
And that brings me to Alpha Flight, a fictional team of Canadian superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The characters premiered in The Uncanny X-Men #120 (April 1979). Marvel published an Alpha Flight comic book series from 1983 to 1994.
The group has occasionally shown up since then as well, with a varying line-up of Canadian heroes, most notably Sasquatch, Guardian, Northstar, Aurora and Snowbird.
And that brings me to The Flight Stuff – Episode 1: Oh! Canada by Adrianna Gober at http://www.cinepunx.com/Podcasts/the-flight-stuff-episode-one-oh-canada/
The Flight Stuff is a podcast about Canada’s premiere superhero team!
“In 1983, comic book writer and artist John Byrne lifted his original team, Alpha Flight, from the pages of Uncanny X-Men and dropped them into their own, eponymous series. Over the course of 11 years, the Canadian super team — Guardian, Sasquatch, Puck, Snowbird, Shaman, Aurora, Northstar, and others along the way — battled foes large and small, with adventures steeped in social commentary and uniquely Canadian issues and themes,” details the webpage.
“Join comic book enthusiasts Liam, Adrianna and Doug as they make their way through the original series issue by issue, character by character, Byrnism by Byrnism, with occasional detours through Canadian cultural history. So sit back, listen up and get right with the Flight!”
There is a chunk of Canadian comic history here, plus some just plain interesting insights into a comic that given its time of creation, and the company behind it, is a surprise it came to be.
The comics as I fondly recall were fun to read and it is good to spend some time thinking back on the characters and stories.