Alpha: Big Time issues 2-5 Review

Alpha: Big Time 2-5

Written by
Joshua Fialkov
Art by
Nuno Plati
Lettered by
Joe Sabino
Cover by
Humberto Ramos

What has gone before:

Peterpus gave Andy back his Alpha powers. Little does Andy realize that Peterpus did this for the purpose of trying to harness the powers for himself. Andy is excited to play superhero again but quickly realizes that there is more to his power than meets the eye when he accidentally uses too much energy on a muggers head.


The story:

Andy is wrecked with guilt over the accident and considers asking Peter to turn his powers off. He changes his mind when he finds out the mugger survived their encounter, but a visit to the hospital reveals that Alpha’s powers have altered the man. Between slipping in and out of his coma, the mugger glows with energy and vows revenge. He eventually turns into an energy being called “Zeta” absorbing the people around him. In the meantime, Andy romances a classmate and becomes the target of the criminal underworld. He ultimately saves the day, but Peterpus reveals that his powers have unintended consequences.

The good:

* Andy is much more interesting here than he was in “Amazing Spider-Man”. We see inside his head and gain empathy for him as he goes through his inner conflict.

* The bits with “The Superior Spider-Man” were interesting. Coming from Andy’s perspective, we don’t know about the body swap aside from an editors note in the first issue. This leads to some fun bits, including Andy almost stumbling across the secret with his powers.

* Some interesting seeds are planted for future storylines. Did Alpha give his mother cancer? What’s the deal with Zeta? Unfortunately this pro is also a con (see below).

The bad:

* As of now, no sequel or ongoing series has been announced. This means that a good part of the series was setting up plotlines and cliffhangers which may never be resolved. This should have been a more self contained story.


What an interesting plot thread…..which will probably never see the resolution of…

* The story had too much going on. The mob targeting Alpha and his family while Zeta was attacking the hospital seemed like two different plots. The story could have been streamlined and told in three issues.

* Andy’s relationship with his family is underplayed. He disowned his parents during the Slott arc. No fallout. His parents are getting a divorce and there is a chance he might possibly blame himself. Not explored. This is where the interesting story could have been. 

* Unrealistic dialogue runs rampant. Ask yourself if people have conversations like this. Why is Andy’s Grandma discussing what to call her if they’ve been living together for months? Sure it’s exposition for the readers to show what kind of a grandmother she is, but there is no need for her to give Andy this information at this stage in their relationship.


Seriously, you’ve been living together months and this hasn’t come up yet?

The bottom line:

Unless you are a diehard Marvel/Spidey reader, this is worth skipping. The only parts of the story that were interesting were the bits which set up future stories. This wasn’t Marvel’s A game.
The grade:  C –   This had the potential to be so more but fell flat. Too much time setting up future stories.

If you’d like to check out a review of issue #1 click here. 



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(6) Comments

  1. Big Al

    For me...I gotta say the fact that this was just pretty skippable, even though it wasn't aweful in a sense makes it much worse, because it does mean they utterly wasted Spider-Man's 50th anniversary on a story and character (who never even fit into Spider-Man's world in the first place, too cosmic for me) which was just there to make a quick buck as a forgettable spin-off. Spider-Man's 50th anniversary won't happen again and it was wasted. They should have just done Alpha at a different point in the year and it'd have been okay, but do something which was actually relevant for Spider-Man himself for the 50th.

  2. Phantom Roxas

    Eh, I think Alpha will rotate alongside Carnage, so that after Superior Carnage is over, we might hear about a sequel to this. Probably going to be called "Superior Alpha".

  3. DadaHyena

    I've never read any Alpha stories, but I have to throw this out there: does the character wear heavy amounts of eyeliner/mascara or is that just a stylistic choice on the inker's part?

  4. Shaun Martineau

    I love pretty much Fialkov writes, so I was in the few that read this too. I would say it's more in the B, B- range for me... Fialkov did a much better job with the character than Slott did, but didn't do quite as well as Wells/Loeb have done with Sam Alexander. You do point out a number of flaws, but I never thought the dialogue was all that unrealistic... I did really dislike the love interest though.

  5. BD

    I'm one of the few that read it and I'd give it a C- or D+ grade. This has some of the lowest direct market numbers I've ever seen for a comic. Check out the numbers. 207. ALPHA: BIG TIME 01/13 Alpha: Big Time #0.1 - 8,534 02/13 Alpha: Big Time #1 of 5 - 22,778 (+166.9%) 03/13 Alpha: Big Time #2 of 5 - 16,305 ( -28.4%) 04/13 Alpha: Big Time #3 of 5 - 12,265 ( -24.8%) 05/13 Alpha: Big Time #4 of 5 - 10,422 ( -15.0%) 06/13 Alpha: Big TIme #5 of 5 - 9,278 ( -11.0%)

  6. Lockdown

    It wasn't a bas series, I read it at the coffee shops but seriously, I feel this was a mini that didn't need to be made. Much like the Jackpot series a few years ago. Sorry, epic fail. C- for me.

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