Alpha Flight #2 - A Canadian Perspective

While I know it's the not case, sometimes it's like the creators of a comic have read the blog and reacted to these modest words of mine. Alpha Flight #2 is just such a wish fulfillment issue - and not just because certain Alphans are subjected to ideal visions by the Unity Party. No, we also have the return of Puck, a personal favorite and sorely missing from the resurrected cast in their Chaos War mini-series. I wonder why. Was he always planned as a surprise rescuer in this series, or did fan support win him a place after all? Because Pak and Van Lente seem to know what to do with him. He's been to Hell and back, or at least THINKS he has, which makes for a fun new iteration of the character. But it doesn't stop there! Alpha Flight #2, cleverly entitled "Born of the First of July", also dispels some of my criticisms of past issues. So let's just how well they did with their depiction of Canada this time...

Enfin! French-Canadian French!
This is, without a doubt, the greatest improvement on the series, and apparently all thanks to Mrs. Eaglesham. While Northstar is still dropping a "Sapristi" here and there (but by now, it's his own personal patois and part of his character), Aurora speaks in the French-Canadian vernacular for the first time and it's awesome!
I don't think I've ever even READ an American comic with Québécois in it - not Alpha Flight, not Plastique's appearances in DC Comics - but hell, I'm happy when it doesn't look like they used Babel Fish! Here, Aurora says "Allumez les lumières" ("Turn on the lights"), the correct French for the occasion, whatever country you're from, but then she drops a "Mautadit" in there. That is uniquely French-Canadian. Its closest English translation is "darn", but with more frustration thrown in (the longer the curse word, the more frustration it carries - FACT!). It is derived from "Maudit" which is literally "Damn", but as with every curse word in the French-Canadian language (and there are MANY, most of them deformed Catholicism-related words), it has a softer form you can say in front of the children. "Mautadit" is such a form, though "Maudit" is no more offensive than "Damn" today, and makes sense for a girl who was brought up by nuns. Weird to see it inserted in English like that, and because "lights"' French equivalent is a feminine word, I personally would have feminized the epithet to "Mautadites", but it's a minor point. For the first time hearing Aurora's Quebec accent filled me with joy.

It's the LAW!
Last time we spoke, I questioned Prime Minister Cody's use of the Emergencies Act to suspend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, since that document explicitly states it cannot do so. Well, my interpretation is the same as that of the Leader of the Opposition, so I wasn't out in left field!
I should have realized Cody wasn't following the Emergencies Act to the letter. Nice fix, Pak&Van Lente! At least I didn't get a rifle butt in the face like the Opposition Leader did. Ouch! Other legal matters in the book, like the Hudsons' appearance before the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice are generally well handled, though the lawyers should be wearing black robes and white neck tabs when appearing in a Superior Court. The judge's red sash is correct, however.

Our Home and Native Land
The writers once again use the size of the country to their advantage. We see such locations as Ottawa (Alpha HQ and the Residence of the Leader of the Opposition - not a look-alike for any real party leader by the way), Vancouver (still recovering from Attuma's attack), Calgary (a Natural Resources Canada building - a real Department), and the Hôptital Général de Montréal, an early teaching hospital connected to McGill University (which makes it an English-language hospital), and currently designated as a level one trauma center, which certainly fits with Northstar's boyfriend being there for injuries sustained last issue.

So aside from one minor hiccup, things are looking wonderfully Canadian from where I'm sitting! But if your patch of the Mosaic wasn't so well represented (or was, and you want to share in the love), don't be afraid to use the comments section!

1 comments:

Colin Smith said...

Well, after such an enthusiastic write-up, I'm just going to HAVE to check this out. It looks like it'll be far more up my street in terms of Canadian Studies 101 - :) - and Puck too?

Splendid.

 

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