For the second largest country in the world, Canada doesn’t seem to get any love from the superhro genre. Sure, during the Second World War, Canadian publishers came up with their own heroes, such as Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Commander Steel (no, not that one) and Ironman (not that one either). After the war, however, when the ban on importing magazines was lifted, the American publishers put the smaller Canadian ones out of business. It wasn’t until the 1970’s with the rise of independent, smaller publishers, did we see any Canadain comics, but with the exception of Captain Canuck and a few others like him, we did not see many superheros defending the True North.
Even the big two publishers, Marvel and DC rarely set any stories in Canada, let alone create a character from there. When Canada was featured, it was as a snowy wilderness, devoid of civilization. But when Marvel had the Hulk rampage his way through the forests of Northern Quebec, it introduced its first Canadian hero, Wolverine. Little was known about the character, only that he was a mutant and worked for the Canadian government. It wasn’t until he joined the X-Men the following year that his back story began to be filled in. Under writer John Byrne, Wolvie’s past with the Canadian government was explained and it introduced Marvel’s Canadian superhero team, Alpha Flight.
Lead by James Macdonald Hudson, who goes by Guardian, Alpha Flight is a government sponsored superhero team. Originally one of three team, Alpha Flight was the top tier team, with Beta and Gamma Flight serving below them. Guardian’s costume, a battle suit with a red and white design with a maple leaf on it, leave no doubt that he is a Canadian superhero.. The rest of the team’s code names, costumes or power sets also heavily reference the Canadian origins.
The Marvel Legends Series Alpha Flight box set draws its characters from the classic mid 80’s/early 90’s line up. With Guardian being released in stores earlier this year and Sasquatch being a recent Build a Figure, Hasbro chose other iconic members that haven’t had a figure released in the Legends format and one that needed a bit of an adjustment.
First, we have Heather Hudson, a.k.a. Vindicator, Guardian’s wife and sometimes leader of Alpha Flight whenever Guardian is busy being dead (it happens.) The figure is in her classic red and white outfit with the stylized maple leaf (she has a green, yellow and white one as well) The figure is well proportioned, using the standard adult female buck. The paintwork on my figure is good and overall, the red is better on her than on the Guardian figure. Just as a side note; at different points in their publication history, Vindicator has been called Guardian and Guardian called Vindicator. I believe the figures follow the current naming convention.
Next is Narya, code named Snowbird, and not because she likes to vacation in Florida during the winter. The daughter of a Northern god, Snowbird is a shapeshifter and can change into most animals found in the North as well as fly. Her figure is done well, with the shiny blue of her costume really popping ou. Her face is also well done, with the character’s signature black eyes captured well. The cape is soft plastic and does not hinder articulation.
Next is Shaman, born Michael Twoyoungmen. A mystic, he can call upon the magic of his First Nation ancestors and draws items from his medicine bag to aid those in need. The figure is in the classic green and yellow costume with his medicine bag molded onto his belt. His hands are open, posed as if he was casting a spell. The sculpt is done well, with good articulation for possibility. He is a plainest character of the set, but still well done.
Now we get to Aurora and NorthStar. Born Jeanne-Marie and Jean-Paul Beaubier, respectively, these twins are mutants, born with the ability to flight as high speed and generate burst of light, which are more powerful if they are holding hands. Their figures are in their matching black and white outfit with the star motif, which hare on opposite sides for each figure. They both use the standard buck for the sex of the character and have no hinderance to their articulation, which the exception of Aurora hair getting in the way of the neck. It is a shame they did not do something which the hands to allow them to hold each other’s.
Lastly we have Puck, one of the few characters that Wolverine can call “shorty.” Eugene Judd was cursed by a sorcerer in an ill conceived heist over 100 years ago, The curse shrink him form 6’6″ to about 3’9″ but increased his strength, durability and extended his life. His skills as a fighter are what got him into Alpha Flight. The figure is the only reissue in this pack, and barely qualifies as a figure. Puck was originally a Build a Figure a few years back. The one in the Alpha Flight set is the same figure but with a less shiny paint job and a newer head sculpt. For a smaller figure, his articulation is still good, only missing the wrist articulation of the larger figures.
Overall, I really liked this set and all the figures. I was a Fan Expo Canada at the Hasbro Marvel Legends panel when they announced this set (they have been pretty good announcing Canada-themed releases at Fan Expo, with Guardian and Weapon X Wolverine being the reveal in 2018). I preorder it the day it went up for sale at Amazon. $179.99CDN is a bit steep for about 5 and a half figures (and half is generous for Puck). but since it is an exclusive, the figures are great and the box art was well done, it was worth it. It is nice when companies like Hasbro give us characters that might not jump off of shelves in a normal wave a chance in these sets. It makes be wonder what Hasbro will announce at next year’s Fan Expo as this would be tough to beat.
This Review is for entertainment purposes only. I have not received anything from Hasbro, Marvel, Amazon or anyone else for this review. The item was purchased by myself with my own money. All opinions are mine and any pictures were taken by me and are for review purposes only.