Interview: Fred Van Lente on Marvel’s Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight

Fred Van Lente is the writer of such books as Power Man & Iron Fist, Taskmaster, and Comic Book Comics. With co-writer Greg Pak, he’s also worked on Herc and Chaos War. He and Pak team-up again on Marvel’s Alpha Flight, which brings back the original team. Westfield’s Roger Ash got in touch with Van Lente to learn more about the book.

Westfield: Why did you decide to bring back the original Alpha Flight?

Fred Van Lente: Because it was long overdue! They’re terrific characters who deserve their own awesome series. And we’ve come up with a hook for this title that will appeal both to hardcore AF fans and people who’ve never heard of them before.

Westfield: For those who may not be familiar with this team, what should they know going into this new series?

Van Lente: Absolutely nothing. This is an in-continuity, ground-level reboot that new readers can enter completely fresh. Many of the members of the original Alpha Flight team were killed in the pages of New Avengers, but were resurrected in Chaos War, but none of that backstory is crucial (or, really, referenced) for this series.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in the story?

Van Lente: Alpha Flight is the government-run superhero team, the idols of an entire nation — but precipitated by the events of Fear Itself, that government falls into the hands of a fascist-minded party. Before they know it, the once-beloved super heroes are branded traitors and have to go on the run from the nation that once adored them — and betrayed by one of their own members. Can Alpha Flight figure out who is behind the conspiracy against them — and lead a fight to overthrow their own government — before they’re caught and destroyed themselves?

Westfield: You’re co-writing the book with Greg Pak. How do you tow work together?

Van Lente: It involves a lot of spooning.

Westfield: What can you say about the artists you’re working with?

Van Lente: What to say about Dale Eaglesham that hasn’t already been said? He’s an amazing artist with incredible runs on Fantastic Four and Greg’s own Incredible Hulks. He’s also a Canadian himself, so he can keep Imperialist Yankees like me and Greg honest. And it’s such a joy working with Phil Jimenez on covers — the amount of detail and love and he puts into each piece is astounding. He has a great love for these characters and it comes through in each cover.

Captain America: First Vengeance

Captain America: First Vengeance

Westfield: Are there other books you’re working on that you’d like to mention?

Van Lente: If people want to learn some of the secrets of this summer’s Captain America: First Avenger film (wasn’t that Super Bowl spot amazing?), head on over to the movie’s official web site at and read for free the first chapter of me and Luke Ross’s tie-in comic, First Vengeance. The series then continues bi-weekly on the Marvel digital app (via iPhone or iPad) for the stupidly low price of $0.99. That’s NINETY-NINE CENTS, people!

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Van Lente: I like soup. Anyone who says otherwise is a filthy liar.


Alpha Flight #0.1

Captain America: First Vengeance #1

Captain America: First Vengeance #2