Review: Omega Flight: Alpha to Omega

By | February 4th, 2010
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

Article originally written by Jordan Jennings

Omega Flight is the current iteration of the Canadian Marvel superhero team Alpha Flight. This is not to be confused with the villainous Omega Flight, the sworn enemy of the original Alpha Flight. Omega Flight: Alpha to Omega is a miniseries, released under the Initiative banner, that details the rebuilding of the team after The Collective (a villain that contained all the powers of the de-powered mutants) laid waste to Alpha Flight, killing all but two members of the team. So let’s dive right into this comic and see how it stands.

The miniseries focuses on the personal struggle of the survivors as they try to let go of the demons from the past all the while the team battles a demonic powered Wrecking Crew. This essentially the bare bones of the plot. The real meat, though, is the little twists to the plot such as the inclusion of three Americans to the formerly all-Canadian team (One being the former host for the Collective), and the added drama from the fallout of the Civil War and how it affected the Canadian society. Overall, I enjoyed the plot and think it is one of the better Initiative titles. That’s not to say I don’t have complaints with the story. My first complaint is that the story depends on some unlikely plot conveniences to go forward. Especially with the introduction of Beta-Ray Bill to the story. He just happens to be there and it’s never fully explained. The other problem is the ending. I wont spoil it, but I will say it ends somewhat like a Saturday morning cartoon. And that is not a good thing. The reason I think the plot worked so well, despite it’s flaws, is that Oeming’s writing was solid. His action scenes were well scripted, he got the voices for each of the characters right, and the dialogue carries at a snappy pace and, at times, is a little dry and humorous.

To help compliment Oeming’s already strong writing we get a valiant effort from Scott KolinsKolins’ art work conveys the emotions and helps emphasize the characters mood and intents. Kolins also goes one step further than most artist and find ways to include several characters in one panel and blocks  the scenes in ways I haven’t seen in ages. If you are not familiar with theatrical terms, blocking is the placement of characters on set in an efficient way in order to make the delivery of the lines most powerful.  Though if I had to give one complaint that would be, Kolins shouldn’t have inked it. His inking style is murky and just muddles what looks to be great pencils. It saddens me to see good art get ruined by poor inking styles.

Now I am not sure who cast the characters for the team but I enjoyed the casting choices immensely. I am a big fan of Weapon Omega (in this book called Guardian). All previous appearances of Weapon Omega before this comic were as the Collective. This is the series that started his rise to heroics before it was all ruined by Utopia.  This comic also sports US Agent (or is it USAgent, Marvel can we get a set spelling on his name?), Archane(former Spider-woman), and Beta-Ray Bill in the cast. These casting decisions help to breathe life into an old, tired Alpha Flight line-up that has unfortunately grown stale from too many reboots over the past 10 years. Omega Flight is simply the B list team. It may not have Captain America, Thor, or Spider-woman, but it has the next best things with US Agent, Beta-Ray Bill, and Arachne, respectively. I have to admit I love the B list. Usually B list comics have more freedom and are not as tied to events or dictated by the status quo in way that main titles limited.

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Overall I give the miniseries Omega Flight a B+. While it’s entertaining and fun, it has some writing flaws and, at times, murky art. As for the actual collection Omega Flight:  Alpha to Omega I give it a B. The collection is cheap only costing 14 USD for five comics and US Agent: Choosing sides, an eight page story that is from Civil War: Choosing sides. The eight page story serves as a prelude to the events of the story. Problem is that the story is collected at the end of the trade and not the beginning. Without reading the story beforehand one of the endings to the miniseries doesn’t make sense. Also I feel that they could have collected Civil War: The Initiative one shot in the trade. Since, you know, it was the other prequel to the miniseries, but luckily it would be collected in the sequel (of all things): Weapon Omega.

That does it for the review guys. If you are looking for a cheap, fun trade to read one day I highly recommend picking up Omega Flight: Alpha to Omega from your local comic shop.
Thanks for reading.

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