Every Monday is FUNday! In this ongoing series, we take a look at the lighter side of Alpha Flight and this week’s issue is:
Marvel Age #26
Marvel Age was a monthly series featuring previews of upcoming comics, news articles about various subjects, advertisements, humorous pieces, and the occasional interview with creators and Marvel staff. Long removed from the Internet age, it was a great way (sometimes the ONLY way) to get news about what was going on in the world of Marvel Comics. In this issue, many team members appear throughout the book.
Solicits didn’t go three or four months out back then. We were lucky to get one month’s warning! Published concurrent with Alpha Flight #22, it contains the following solicit in the section, “Coming Attractions”:
ALPHA FLIGHT #23 – The Tragedy Alpha Flight never dreamed would happen! So soon after the death of their first leader, Canada’s greatest super heroes must now face. . . the death of Sasquatch! “Night of the Beast” written and penciled by John Byrne, and inked by Bob Wiacek. 65¢.
In the section “Titles shipping in April”, pencils from Iron Man #196 appear, but are incorrectly solicited as being from #197. Here are the pencils from Rich Buckler featuring Shaman:
For your viewing pleasure, here is the published version, which was not shown in this issue:
This issue of Marvel Age also announced the creative team switch after Alpha Flight #28. In the section, “NEWSWATCH”, part of the team appear as floating heads, including Shaman, Snowbird, Puck, Aurora and Heather. The text reads:
ITEM! Get ready for a shock! Prepared? Okay, here goes: Starting soon, John Byrne will be writing and drawing THE INCREDIBLE HULK, and Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola become the regular creative team on ALPHA FLIGHT! The switch-over will happen in HULK #314 and ALPHA FLIGHT #29, in a special story that’ll bring the Green Goliath and the Northern Stars together – only when they part, they’ll take each other’s creative teams with them! All three creative talents are excited about the switch, and are bubbling over with plans for their new books. John tells us that he’s going to get to the core of the Hulk, as he did with the Fantastic Four, and tell some really primal stories – bringing out the raw power longtime readers remember from the very early days of the series. Meanwhile, Bill and Mike promise us a dramatic development that’ll bring Alpha Flight closer as a team, along with a greater sense of the international nature of the book. Stay tuned to MARVEL AGE MAGAZINE for more news on this switcheroo as it develops!
Note that Heather had not yet donned the EM suit so her floating head is without the cowl or wraparound prescription goggles. Needless to say, this was one of the biggest news pieces ever in the history of the Northern Stars, errr, I mean Alpha Flight.
Finally, the part you’ve been waiting for, the FUN of today’s FUNday post: the calendars! The back pages of many Marvel Age issues featured a comical calendar with staff birthdays, one-liner jokes and parodies of various Marvel characters. The inside back cover of this issue had a calendar for January 1985 featuring cartoon Sasquatch on the 30th.
The back cover had a calendar for February 1985, featuring cartoon Puck on the 1st. Both calendars were written by Jim Salicrup with art by Ron Zalme.