Monday, May 21, 2012

Alpha Flight 12, Page 27

(click for larger image or click HERE for triptych)

SOLD!! 2013

Back in the 1980's, I became a full-fledged comic book addict. I just loved the stuff and couldn't get enough. I would buy any title that caught my interest, in hopes that it would be worth my while. Some stuff was great, and some stuff not so great. I soon found that the current monthly books were not enough, and began backtracking to find previously published issues of things I liked, or other titles that I'd never heard of. If memory serves, the first John Byrne comic book I purchased off the newsstand was Fantastic Four 272. I was instantly smitten. I loved both the writing, and especially, the artwork (Byrne was doing both). It wasn't long before I was tracking down back-issues to get up to speed on what I'd missed (he began his run with issue 232). I was also happy to discover another title that Byrne was writing and drawing at the same time - his own creation, the Canadian super-team, Alpha Flight.

Alpha Flight wasn't as "cosmic" as the Fantastic Four, and it certainly didn't have the history (having been created in 1961 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby). It was also not a favorite of Byrne himself as he has stated repeatedly in interviews. Nonetheless, I loved it simply because it was Byrne. The book may not have been Byrne's personal favorite, but it did have a strong fan following. Byrne only ended up doing the first 28 issues, but some might argue that his initial run climaxed with issue 12 - the death of Guardian. Fans were shocked and devastated. If most fans were like me, they were probably thinking "he'll be back". Surely it was just some stunt or trick to boost sales? But, unlike today's superhero comics, he was dead. Really dead. Forever.

When I got introduced to the world of original comic art, my first thought was to obtain some nice Byrne Fantastic Four art. It turned out that that wouldn't be so easy (as chronicled in my CFA-APA article for issue 62 link HERE). So in conjunction with my search for Fantastic Four pages, I happily added Alpha Flight pages to my collection. And not just any Alpha Flight pages, but pages from the famed issue 12! Here is the first one I obtained. I've posted it on this blog before, but always in a group with the other two pages in the sequence (see them together HERE). I thought these pages deserved their own post, so here is the second. (Pencils and inks by John Byrne. Click for larger image.)

No comments: