The MARVELous Return of Alpha Flight, a Preluding X-Men Tale and an Avengers Moment in Time.

Hello fellow readers. As Joe said earlier, Welcome to the Comic Book section of the Geek New Wave! My name is Justin and while Joe will be handling the DC Universe, I'll be taking care of my fellow Mutants and Heroes over in Marvel.

1) Alpha Flight #1

With the Serpent's forces attacking the Earth, no place is safe. Even Canada is under siege, but thank God for the recently resurrected Canadian Superhero's of Alpha Flight.
This Alpha Flight title is an 8 issue mini series written by Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak with art from Dale Eaglesham. This new take on the classic team of heroes finds them right in the middle of 'Fear Itself' as Vancouver becomes flooded by Nerkkod the Breaker of Oceans (formerly Attuma, see 'Fear Itself' #1). Not only are they in the middle of a worldly threat, but they must also deal with their own government. Sounds like they may have their own civil war to deal with?
Returning members include; Guardian and Vindicator, Northstar and Aurora, Sasquatch, Snowbird, Shaman and Marrina. Yes, the team may have been killed in 'New Avengers' #16 but they were nicely resurrected and reunited in their 'Chaos War' 1-shot.
Van Lente and Pak made the initial title relaunch with last months .1 issue giving the teams return a strong presentation at one of the best times. I hope to see more of the conflicts, both personally and professionally, reach their ultimate point within this limited series. Also, don't be surprised if we see another returning member of the team along the way. I don't want to ruin it, I'll leave it to all you readers as each issue hits the stands.
Grade: 4 out of 5

2) Avengers #14

Right in the heart of this years Marvel event 'Fear Itself', the Avengers have battled both immensely powerful heroes and villians. One such battle is told thru flashbacks from the eyes of all current team members.
By Brian Bendis, this issue shows us what took place following the events of 'Fear Itself' #3. Mainly, what happened after The Thing became one of the Serpent's chosen and the ensuing battle with the Red Hulk. We learn the fate of one of these characters as well as the views and opinions of fellow teammates.
Bendis has always been good at writing events and stories where you feel how invested the characters are, and this issue is no different. With each character comes a different opinion on the matter while they all share the same feeling of loss. For showing us a battle of such magnitude I have to say 'Well Done'.
Grade: 4 out 5

3) X-Men: Prelude to Schism #3

Next month brings us the beginning of the 5 issue Schism event that will both change and end what we know as 'Uncanny X-Men'. But, as we approach this life changing book Prelude allows us to look back at past experiences that have shaped different members of the X-Men.
As an unknown threat looms on the horizon, writer Paul Jenkins has done a phenomenal job of looking to the pasts of key characters. First we follow Professor X as he recollects the journey Cyclops as taken to being the leader of an entire race. And in issue 2 we revisit Magneto's childhood with his father prior to and post his life defining experiences in a Nazi concentration camp.
With issue 3 we peer into Cyclops' mind as he questions why he's leading an entire race and the additional weight he's put on himself for not being in control as a child and losing his parents. I will say that Jenkins definition of these characters has not only added to, but has purified what we already know about them. As each week brings us closer to the actual Schism event, I find myself enjoying looking into the past.
Grade: 5 out of 5