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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 1:09pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

“At one point in his career, Guardian was sucked into a spatial rift. He was found by an alien race who save his life but, knowing nothing of human biology, they believed his suit was a part of his body and transformed him into Cyborg.”

I mean, I knew they’d done this, transforming an OBVIOUS LIE into true history, but when I find it cited like this, it still bugs the crap out of me.

Truth to tell, it’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if I ever really could go “back” to Marvel.

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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 1:29pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

All of this due to a writer with a track record of not doing his homework (see Psylocke).
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

All these years later, since age 13, I have been trying to pronounce the name of that fictional (in more ways than one) alien race even though Delphine said it took a long time to learn to pronounce correctly. 
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 2:46pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

A story I’ve told before:


Many years ago, when I first began collecting ALPHA FLIGHT out of back issue bins, I found the (non-JB) issue which explained how Mac had been resurrected. I thought it was awful.

Some time later, I finished collecting JB’s run, finally read the Courtney-posing-as-Mac storyline, and thought the that absurd story of Mac’s “return” (the very same story which was later revealed to be genuine) was genius.

JUST crazy enough to be vaguely plausible in a comic book-y way, especially for devastated fans who wanted Mac back, but also JUST crazy enough (and inconsistent enough with what we’d seen) to clearly be totally bogus for readers who were paying attention.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Didn't there used to be editors to limit such excesses? Or are they back to being executive coffee boys?
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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 6:03pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

If you did go back to Marvel JB, it's safe to say you'd have a mandate to simply bin this sort of nonsense and pick up the story from wherever you wished.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 6:09pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Doubt it.
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 04 February 2019 at 8:24pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I remember reading that issue where she saw him in the crowd and felt
creeped out, as I imagine she did.

My dad died when I was 14, I would often have dreams where he is still
alive and sometimes it had that same disturbing vibe.
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Leigh DJ Hunt
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 3:38am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

As a 15 year old or whatever, I was quite happy to believe JB's tale about how Mac survived as I had really missed the character and felt sad for Heather. 

When it was revealed as a hoax, my heart broke again and JB made me realise that life isn't fair!
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Paul Go
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 7:45am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

As I mentioned in my "favorite Byrne stories" post, this is among my favorite stories.  The excellent set up.  The "plausible" (in comic book terms) explanation for the return of Guardian. The depth of the deceit, playing with both Heather's emotions and the readers like a fiddle.  The beauty of the reveal. Love it through and through.

Saddens me that others with limited imagination turn this on its head.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 7:52am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I don't know about anyone else here, but I dropped ALPHA FLIGHT as soon as JB left the book, so anything that occurred after means nothing to me.

In my head, only JB can do justice to those characters.

-C!
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I remember reading that issue where she saw him in the crowd and felt
creeped out, as I imagine she did.

***

That single scene from AF #22 is my favourite of all JB's output. Beautifully paced and a great set-up for what was to follow.
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 05 February 2019 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

The bringing back Guardian fake out was the most upset I'd been reading Alpha Flight since his death. I was SO excited he was back, but honestly as a story it worked much better to have it be a fake out than to actually belittle the original death story by bringing him back so this was a great example of not giving fans what they think they want but doing what worked better to tell a great story. The fact that some writer took that story and actually brought Guardian back with it is deeply upsetting and belittles the fact that Heather became a capable leader in her own right, even without having super powers or a super suit (another thing Mantlo screwed up during his run as well). These things and many others are why Alpha Flight has never worked or been a success by any other writer and artist that isn't John Byrne. No one else seems to get these characters and what made the original issues great and beloved by fans (if not by their creator :D).
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Ted Pugliese
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 8:15am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Ina very short time, Mac became one of my favorite
characters (I had only discovered him in Alpha Flight
#1). His death was crushing to me, and I was so
excited about his possible return, but I was BLOWN
AWAY by the reveal. Wow! This book was fantastic!

However, in light of what happened to Puck and the
twins, I was not at all surprised by what they did to
bring back Guardian. I mean, they totally changed
those three, so using JB's own 'story' to really bring
back Mac made sense, since it was already there.

Ultimately though, and no matter how much I loved him,
I feel that Mac should never have been brought back to
life. His creator 'killed' him to tell a very
specific story and dead he should remain.

I feel the same way about Frank Miller's Electra.
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Vinny Valenti
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

On the bright side, all that's needed to undo Guardian's return is to redisplay the panels of his burning body clearly speaking.

I did notice the discrepancy when I was a kid. But I actually let it go because I was just glad to see him back. That also provides an explanation of why Heather didn't question it, either!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 10:14am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I wonder if I could have pulled off Mac’s “resurrection” in the age of the Internet. Aside from moles having leaked the details months before publication*, the whole thing would have been subjected to microscopic dissection. The Obvious and Deliberate Flaw would, of course, have been assumed to be a mistake, and the Big Reveal a last minute fix.

All of which would be still being reported today as fact.

———————

* Which actually happened with his death.

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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 10:40am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

That whole using the Courtney story as the basis of the resurrection was weak writing.

Then it seemed to undo the character development of Heather. It forced her out of her role that she had built up (although I am against putting her in the suit), and set her back. It was pointless as Mac was "killed" again in AF # 100.

In hindsight, I am amazed AF lasted as long as it did after JB's departure. It was a real roller coaster of quality in every department after that.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 10:43am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

All of this due to a writer with a track record of not doing his homework (see Psylocke).

=======================================================

And because the writer was writing 7 books a month at some points. That is stretching yourself thin. Stan Lee might have made it work, but not everyone has that talent.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 10:47am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Greg - And I believe Stan was relying quite heavily on the Marvel Method to get out as many books as he did. He plotted them, and let the artists contribute to the story so that it was done by many hands.

Or so I assume. Obviously I wasn't there, and maybe Stan COULD write eight stories a month!
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David Schmidt
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 11:02am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I already posted about Guardian resurrection and how the lie worked with me despite the unbelievable story...
I still can't believe the lie  turned eventually true even if Marvel found worse way of bringing back dead characters...


Edited by David Schmidt on 06 February 2019 at 11:03am
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 11:04am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Eric -- I assume the same with Stan. It was also the fact he could plot a number of stories a month.
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Jeffrey Rice
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 5:43pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Reading these posts reminds me of a conversation with house builders about their past works. "What did they add THAT for??"

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Jim Lynch
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 8:31pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

wait, wait, wait, I'm very obtuse here, but...

when 'Mac' returned in AF 25, 'he' told Heather a BS story about how 'he' survived, which was later learned to be false. 

BUT
Later, that BS story turned out to be true?

Seriously...
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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 February 2019 at 9:33pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Yup.
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 07 February 2019 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

What's galling is that you need only look at AF 12 to see that it's impossible. Mac is consumed by the immolation of his power cell; he dies whispering Heather's name. IT'S RIGHT THERE. And yet, readers are supposed to believe that the flash-fried corpse was whisked away to a distant planet where IT JUST SO HAPPENS an alien race rebuilds him as a cyborg and helps him get back to Earth?

I let Heather slide because she really wants to believe the impossible. But the readers shouldn't be so gullible-- or so forgiving as to allow Marvel to use this explanation as the "real" story. It's insulting, especially when JB took pains to show us all the ways it could never have happened that way.
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