Monday, July 8, 2013

Alpha Bits Too

Next up is box set #2 with Northstar’s sister Aurora leading the way. As I mentioned earlier, she possesses similar speed and flight abilities like her brother, unfortunately she also suffers from a bad case of split personally disorder, which ironically makes her character all that more interesting.

The final 3 characters in this set have a unique relation. One of the re-occurring themes in Alpha Flight stories is their connection to the never ending mystical battle between the northern Inuit gods and their enemies, the Great Beasts. First we have Snow Bird, who is a demigod, the daughter of an Inuit god and a human father. She was meant to be a champion in fighting the Great Beasts. Although she has heightened strength flight, her main power is shape shifting.

Shaman is well, shaman or mystic medicine man and he served as the guardian of Snow Bird growing up. He comes with this special bag of tricks that houses an endless void that would cause anyone who would stare into it to lose their mind.

Finally we have Sasquatch. His alter ego, Dr. Walter Langkowski was a close friend of Dr. Bruce Banner, you know….. the Hulk. In an attempt to replicate the process that turned Banner into the Hulk he too bombarded himself with gamma rays. But instead of turning him big and green, he turned into a big furry orange….bigfoot. In reality, his experiment inadvertently opened a dimensional rift that allowed the Great Beast, Taranaq to escape and take residence in his body, slowly corrupting him from within.

Eventually though, after being totally possessed, killed and being resurrected as a woman (another story entirely), Walter finally got his original body back (complete with Sasquatch changing abilities) and so all is good.

Now these 2 box sets pretty much cover all the KEY members of the original team. But somewhere along the way, 2 more important characters were introduced which would make any Alpha Flight line up really complete. Luckily, Minimates supplied these 2 characters in a handy dandy 2 pack.

First is Vindicator. If she looks familiar it’s because she’s wearing a modified Guardian suit. As I mentioned in the prior entry, Mac Hudson or Guardian, their original leader actually died in battle. To fill his void, his wife Heather Hudson stepped up to lead the team as Vindicator. Now for me, her story was more compelling than Mac as she was basically your typical supportive housewife to Mac’s superhero husband (think Cory & Ninoy Aquino). So she basically had to learn to not only be a superhero but a leader, which she eventually managed to do successfully. When I started reading Alpha Flight comics, Mac was already dead and she was the leader of the group. She was a strong positive female role model who wasn't clad in some skimpy costume, a rarity in comics to this day.

And finally we have my personal favourite Alphan, Madison Jeffries or Box. With the power to manipulate metal steel and glass to his will, Madison started out as a background support character but slowly started getting more recognition as more of the original members of the team either left or..died. Eventually he reached his full potential by inheriting the Box armor from his friend and former Alphan Roger Bochs, who went crazy and was lobotomized (ahhhh good times). The box armor is basically like Iron Man, but paired with Madison’s metal shifting abilities , has the added abilities to shift shape into vehicles, weapons and even a tyrannosaurus rex!

So there you have it…a brief rundown on my Minimates Alpha Flight lineup. The mere fact that they were able to complete this team is a wonder in itself. But I think what really won me over with minimates was the amount of accessories these guys came with as well as the attention to detail. All the flying members of the team had their respective flight stands that add levels to your display. Most of the heroes with masks actually have alternate unmasked heads. Heck, Vindicator comes with 2 different colored visors!

Remember that special ability of generating a blinding light that Northstar and Aurora possessed when they would join hands? They thoughtfully included a joint hand sculpt so you could display them doing exactly that. Puck comes with his own clear stand and a uniquely sculpted hand that will allow you to pose him in one of his iconic tumbling poses. And here’s my favourite that I didn’t actually notice until later on…Marrina has webbed fingers! WEBBED FINGERS! They could have easily skipped this minor detail out but chose not to. It’s this attention to detail that totally won me over and now I have to say I have totally been infected with the minimate madness….