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Author Topic: Johnny Alpha  (Read 922 times)

Tjm86

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Johnny Alpha
« on: 03 April, 2018, 08:44:19 pm »
One of my biggest problems post revival with Alpha has been the coldness of the character.  To me there was always a warmth at the depth of him.  He may well have been a cold and calculating killer but the calculation was often in terms of the impact of not following through on his actions.  The Doc Quince case is probably the strongest example of his morality, something that seems lacking following his return to the land of the living.

Except, re-reading rage and Incident on Mayger Minor, I wonder if I've missed something.  There is a coldness to him even here.  Tempered granted, but even so he seems to lack that something that he had previously.  So now I find myself re-evaluating some of the more recent stories.  I wonder if I forgot how much of an impact Wulf's death had on him in those final years and how much of that has carried through to now.  Certainly it would explain his attitude towards Wulf's son.

Lots to ponder.

abelardsnazz

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Re: Johnny Alpha
« Reply #1 on: 04 April, 2018, 12:16:30 am »
What an intriguing thread starter. As a starter for ten, I'd like to put up Portrait of a Mutant and Rage up there as my favourite Tooth stories of all time, along with the best of Dredd. They show all aspects of Johnny's character, his troubled nature, his desire for righteousness, his human-ness. He's one of the all-time greats, and while his death was a mis-step, I think that was learned from. Maybe though, in the style of Dredd, we need to see to an aging Johnny....

AlexF

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Re: Johnny Alpha
« Reply #2 on: 04 April, 2018, 04:05:19 pm »
I definitely think current-Prog Johnny is colder than he used to be way back in the early days. I had been thinking of it as mostly the result of being dead then resurrected as in 'Life & Death of', but now you mention it, you can trace a coldness back to Rage that has lingered on. Reading it this way makes the light tone of 'The Rammy' (one of my faves) suddenly a seriously dark piece of sociopathy...

I'm intrigued by his current antipathy towards Kenton Sternhammer - hopefully Wagner has something to reveal beyond a more simple 'Bounty hunting is horrible and dangerous, I don't want someone I love to do that'.

Dash Decent

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Re: Johnny Alpha
« Reply #3 on: 08 April, 2018, 06:53:39 am »
I wish he'd get his nose fixed too.

Reading the recent "Repo Men" trade, I finally realised who the Stix brothers remind me of - Native Americans.  It was also good seeing super strength confirmed as their mutation.  I'd seen it mentioned in one of the Black Flame SD novels but I can't remember it actually being shown/mentioned in any of the original tales when Wulf was around.

Though Tharg, if you're going to remove footnotes then you also have to remove the related asterisk in the main text (see Kid Knee's "recent", third panel p.68).

TordelBack

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Re: Johnny Alpha
« Reply #4 on: 08 April, 2018, 08:58:08 am »
...I can't remember it actually being shown/mentioned in any of the original tales when Wulf was around.

Is it not mentioned in The Shicklegruber Grab, when Stix is climbing a building?  I suspect the Stix's real mutation is looking like Stix - very few SD mutations are actually abilities, in the Marvel sense. And arguably the fact that their distinctive appearance (and Kid's, and the Fuzzes, for that matter) is heritable means that mutation-from-radiation has kicked off a speciation event, rather than them all being 'mutants'.

As to Johnny's recent grim and murderous demeanour, it surely dates back as far as Wulf's death - his post-resurrection personality was alternately distracted and listless, whereas in the flashback tales (as evidence that this is an intentional distinction, rather than the target audience at the time) he's much more easy-going, except when flaying himself with guilt (which is often).

Tjm86

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Re: Johnny Alpha
« Reply #5 on: 21 April, 2018, 05:20:24 pm »
Perhaps it's because of the cover to this week's prog and Colin's remark about Ezquerra's artwork but it suddenly occurred to me that we are very close to the 40th anniversary of his first appearance.  Issue 1 of Starlord dated 13th May 1978.

sheridan

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Re: Johnny Alpha
« Reply #6 on: 21 April, 2018, 05:43:56 pm »
Perhaps it's because of the cover to this week's prog and Colin's remark about Ezquerra's artwork but it suddenly occurred to me that we are very close to the 40th anniversary of his first appearance.  Issue 1 of Starlord dated 13th May 1978.

We're also thirty years on from the first appearance of the Judda (and very close to the anniversary of Summer Magic, though I doubt Alan McKenzie will be returning to the prog any time soon).

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Johnny Alpha
« Reply #7 on: 21 April, 2018, 06:56:46 pm »
I think Johnny's all too aware of his own tendency to brood - that's exactly why he kept around a larger-than-life Norse warrior and a gentle, loyal little Gronk. There's no doubt that it's in Rage that he's pushed over a precipice that he never entirely comes back from - giving himself totally over to the coldness that Nelson Kreelman beat into him. Middenface and others slowly pull him back from the brink, but I don't think we ever really get back to pre-Rage Johnny. And that's before the Final Solution fiasco, his own death, rebirth and being just a whisker too late to stop the sterilisation of all Britain's mutants!

Boy's carrying a lot of baggage.