Alpha #1 Review

image04Alpha Big Time issue 1
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Pencils by Nuno Plati
Cover by Humberto Ramos
Hey, remember Alpha? Well he’s back in pog form!
(under the cut)
Thoughts on Alpha
I’m not going to lie; I think Alpha is an interesting character. He’s a teenager who got super famous overnight, was convinced to emancipate from his parents, wanted to do the right thing, was manipulated by parasites around him (like the family lawyer) and ultimately lost everything. Afterwards he had to go back home to his parents and try to lead a life as a has been.
What’s not interesting about that?
Sadly what we got in the books wasn’t quite as fascinating. We rarely got inside Alpha’s head and it was hard for some readers to become emotionally attached to him. I maintain that Alpha could be an interesting character if done right. So did this mini-series do it right?


The Story
Andy and has relocated to Pittsburgh with his mother. His bickering parents have split up and Andy is the subject of ridicule from his classmates due to his embarrassing fifteen minutes of fame. Every few weeks Horizon Labs flies Andy back to New York to run some tests on him. This time around, it’s not Peter Parker who checks on Andy, but it’s Peterpus (Otto Octavius). Peterpus offers Andy 10 percent of his power back. We learn from Otto’s inner expositional monologue that he’s doing this to further his endgame of harnessing the power of “Parker Particles”.
Overexcited, Andy immediately goes around Pittsburgh playing superhero. He conjures up a small domino mask hoping it will hide his identity, but nobody is fooled. While attempting to stop a mugging, Andy uses too much of his powers and winds up killing the mugger.

The Good
Andy is slightly more likeable here. He shows pangs of remorse from the mistakes he’s made and legitimate frustration that he was only trying to do the right thing. We get inside his head which is something we barely scratched the surface of during his initial “Amazing Spider-Man” arc.
The cliffhanger actually had me worried for Andy and curious about how he’ll get out of this.
image07The Bad
Andy’s relationship with his parents goes unexplored in this issue. It’s such a missed opportunity that it’s almost a crime. When we last saw him, he had returned home to his parents after emancipating himself. How did they repair their relationship? What did that feel like for Andy. We never find out. His parents have also gotten divorced. How does Andy feel about this? How is it affecting him? Does he blame himself? These questions are never answered. As I said before, Alpha is an interesting character with lots of potential, but none of that potential is ever mined.
The Bottom Line
This was a quick read. Nothing too bad but nothing ultra-enjoyable either. If you’re a completest, curious about Alpha and really love Spidey spin-offs, then get this book. Otherwise I’d skip it.
image05Plati’s art is going to take some getting used to. His Peter Parker may as well be a smug Ryan Seacrest.

The Grade
C +. Show Me more insight into Alpha and hopefully this series will turn around.

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(9) Comments

  1. Cape Town Winter Specials

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  2. Nick MB

    @4 Considering it's the cliffhanger (based on the TO BE CONTINUED caption on the panel above), I think it's obviously intended as a major story point, so no worries.

  3. Eddie

    @#5 - and there, ladies and gentlemen, is the correct use of comedic irony. Well played, counselor.

  4. CrazyChris

    "his only reaction to letting a planet be consumed by a Phoenix is "Epic fail.'" Dear God that's bad writing. Come on, Marvel, this stuff isn't funny. It's--it's crazy town banana pants!

  5. Enigma_2099

    ... and are they gonna just ignore that he killed a guy, despite the stupid comment he made about it?

  6. Enigma_2099

    Nice to see how everyone just forgot about the alpha-level threat once his mini series was over with. And they HAVE to explore the situation with his parents. You're right, that will make for interesting storytelling in the book.

  7. Phantom Roxas

    ^And THAT is why I absolutely hate Sam Alexander based on his appearance in the first Point One one-shot, where his only reaction to letting a planet be consumed by a Phoenix is "Epic fail."

  8. CrazyChris

    The thing that persuades me that I will not like this is the scan of Alpha saying "I'm in so much trouble right now" after killing the mugger. It tells me everything I need to know about the tone of this series. That's something a teenager in a sitcom says when he crashes his dad's sport's car after being peer-pressured into a drag race. It is NOT someone's reaction to committing manslaughter.

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