Alpha was basically made to be everything that Spider-Man was if he didn’t use his powers responsibly. This story is a scenario in which we see what happens when “With great power comes great responsibility” is not the case and the person given such powers uses it for all the wrong reasons. It’s an interesting twist, but the character in no way was able to sell to the masses. The series ended, yet was brought back for reasons unknown, and many such as myself don’t know how he got a second chance.
Andy Maguire is a student at Midtown High. Coincidentally being the same high school Peter Parker attended. Yet unlike Peter, he wasn’t a good student, and was completely ignored by everyone including his parents who did not care for him too much. During a demonstration at Horizon Labs, a problem arose during Parker’s demonstration of “Parker Particles”. Despite the attempts of Peter Parker and others to protect the class, Andy is forced to save a girl named Chrissy in the ensuing chaos, causing him to be struck by the energy himself. The blast could have almost killed him, but he surprisingly survived and gained the power to create a hyper-kinetic form of energy that is tied to the forces of the universe. After going though many tests by many scientific superheroes, Andy became the new spokesman to Horizon Labs, while he being trained by Spider-Man. Due to his exposure to the Parker Particles, Andy is now capable of continually recharging massive amounts of cosmic energy, which he can release in the form of energy blasts, super strength, super speed, force fields, and flight.
Skipping ahead, it was after he aided the Avengers in defeating Terminus, that Peter decided that Alpha was too reckless to keep the powers he had. He used Terminus’ energy lance to deflect Alpha’s energy to build an engine which took a huge portion of Andy’s power. Spider-Man tells Andy that he will return to his parents and he will be attending high school once more. His powers are still growing, and maybe, he can be a hero again, just not as Alpha.
Honestly throughout that whole series, not once did I see them really attempt to make the reader care for Andy. Let alone to feel any sympathy for who he was before he was Alpha, and how much worse his life has been since he isn’t anymore. Most fans don’t want to see what would happen if someone in Spider-Man’s position had that power and no control. They want to see a hero that they can respect, and there was nothing to respect about Alpha. You just can’t take him seriously while he is portrayed to be very immature and bratty. Not to mention is design wasn’t appealing as well. If they were trying to set him up as someone we could relate to or like even with his attitude, they surely failed and should have let his history die with it.
Now I would have thought that was it, but they decided to being him back. However, he’s only able to manifest one of his abilities at at time instead of all at once. They had Otto in Peter’s body use Andy to try and study him and eventually use the powers for himself when he understands it. I’m not sure what the point was in thinking that was a good reason to bring him back, but the first issue did not interest me one bit. His first appearance left a bad taste in many readers mouths and they’d have to pull a miracle to make people want to giving him another chance.
And stay tuned!