Everyone who collects comics has their favorite character. For those who have read my precious columns, follow me on Twitter, FB, or on the Talking Comics forums, you’ll probably ascertain mine is Thor. So that will be where my first collecting fetish goes, correct? Nope. That is considered one of the “premiere” collections. Batman, Detective Comics, Action Comics, Justice League, Spiderman, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men, Thor, the creme de la creme for collectors. Know what those collections take? Money, and lots of it. Something most of us don’t have.
So what was MY first completed collection???..Alpha Flight!!! What??Alpha Flight? Snicker, yea, yea, I know. Not a prestige book, but you know what, it was my first one. If you don’t know, Alpha Flight is Canada’s superhero team. Originally seen in X-Men 120 and used as a plot device about Wolverine’s back story, they were made up originally of Guardian (Maple Leaf on his outfit & all), the twins Northstar & Aurora, Sasquatch, Shaman, and Snowbird. But shortly thereafter were joined by Marrina, Puck, and Guardian’s wife, Vindicator.
With any collection, I’m not sure if I chose it or it chose me. I was an X-Men mark, but couldn’t afford that collection. So I lucked into an Alpha Flight #1, and the hunt was on. My hoarding complex took over and I had to have them all. The ironic thing is, it wasn’t a bad run. Created by John Byrne (reluctantly), the book focused more on individuals than the team, which was different. And the individuals were unique. With a multiple personality, an alien, an urban legend, a dwarf, a delusional goddess, an egomaniac, a gay speedster, and an Inuit spiritualist, I don’t know if you can find a more diverse group.
Most of the group have disappeared or are dead. Northstar made a buzz as a member of X-Men a couple of years ago by being the first gay character to marry, Puck makes an occasional Wolverine cameo, and the whole crew is resurrected everyone once in awhile (most recently in Fear Itself).
This isn’t the most flattering of a start to a collection, but you know what, I have it, it’s not ground breaking, it’s not world shattering, my kids won’t retire on it, but it’s mine, and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. All 130 issues, and I’m proud of it. Be proud of your first run, no matter what it is. Like what you like and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Be you and continue collecting.
NEXT TIME:The Good, the Bad, and the Weird??