Writer: G. Willow Wilson & Kelly Thompson
Artist: Jorge Molina
Color Artist: Laura Martin (#1-2,4) & Matt Milla (#3)
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Art: Jorge Molina
Assistant Editor: Alanna Smith
Editor: Katie Kubert & Daniel Ketchum
Rating: 7/10 Friends
It’s been an amazing weekend. Lot’s of great announcements from Marvel at Comic-Con. We have our Black Widow movie, and to the surprise of many, not only are we getting another Thor movie but one that features Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor Jane Foster. Powerful female characters are being provided with a much-deserved spotlight so it’s a great thing that the community of Instagram voted for what could be (should be) the MCU’s next team: A-Force. The series follows a team up of female heroes that formed to look after their domain of Arcadia. These events occurred on Battle World and were a tie-ins for the Secret Wars event. After the event, the Marvel Universe went back to the way it was with no memory of what had happened, albeit some minor changes. This volume covers a story in which to save the day once again. Spoilers Ahead!
Our story begins in low-orbit at the Alpha Flight station where in the process of getting situated to her new space job, a being of energy finds itself forming outside the station's front window. Captain Marvel arrives on the scene to find that whatever this thing is, it’s not friendly and her powers don’t seem to affect it. What do they do next? Launch the scientist who has no training in dangerous situations and hasn’t even settled in yet into space to detonate some space tech that “might work.” We are only six pages in and these scientists are already thrust right into the action. Thanks to what I would call a lot of luck, the plan works, and the mysterious entity we will know later as Antimatter disappears and in their place enters a different being named Singularity.
Singularity’s introduction for me and the A-Force was in Battleworld. They are literally a body made-up of stars who also has the physical appearance and qualities of a young girl. They also don't say much. Mostly just one word responses on average. In the story, the groups all refer to them with female-based pronouns but I don’t know if you can technically identify a being made of energy and stars as female After crashing down from the sky, they are taken in by Nico Robin (a member of the Runaways in the main universe) and eventually meet the other members of the A-Force. In this reality, she has met She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Dazzler, Medusa and Nico. When reuniting with Carol turns out to not be as mutually exciting as Singularity was due to Carol having no memories of them. This isn’t the Carol they first. Realizing this, Singularity takes off to find another member of the team.
Her reunion tour takes her to She-Hulk followed by some property damage reuniting them with Medusa. The A-Force continues the assembling with some wedding crashing to pick-up Nico and then stops in at a roller derby rink to pick up a very different Dazzler to Singularity’s surprise. With the A-Force together for the first time (for them it feels like) they join up to take down Singularity’s pursuer, Antimatter and stop him from hurting anyone on Earth.
One of the biggest things I found myself doing while reading this book was relating to Singularity. When Singularity encounters their former teammates, they struggle with differentiating the familiar with the reality of the characters they know. The A-Force was a close-knit team when Singularity met them. The people she encounters in the current universe either don’t know each other or have strained relationships with the others at best. Out of all of them though, Dazzler has changed the most. . Like Singularity, I've known Dazzler for her bright look (and powers), but the Marvel Universe has not been kind to her in recent years resulting in an emotional toll on the character’s behaviors.
From a reader’s standpoint this book has a strong focus on classic characters that many will find familiar from previous Marvel stories These characters look the same and will possess the same powers, but their stories are different from the progenitors from which they arose . What stays constant is that Singularity discoveries that these different versions of her friends are the same at the vores. The lessons Singularity learned from each of them while in Battle World continue to show as the group comes together through this book. As a reader, I also found myself comforted by a potentially unintended message that I interpreted from the story; Even if things change, whether that’s through reboot, elseworld (sometimes) or movie, you can always find the psychic core of what makes that character who they are and what they represent.
I guess it’s time to assemble some sort of review to wrap things up here. The story was a fun ride overall. G. Willow Wilson and Kelly Thompson do a good job of filling the four issues with a solid amount of humor. Almost every introduction is met with some quip to break the ice which I love. They also have plenty of comedic moments in which humor is used to combat an obviously ridiculous situation the characters are caught in. I mean, I’m still laughing at how absurd the first issue is launching some random science person into space. Also, Dazzler punching Singularity in surprise at the roller derby was hilarious.
The biggest grab to me about this book outside of some of my favorite female Marvel characters being here has to be the art. Jorge Molina, along with colorists Laura Martin and Matt Milla have some stand out art here. All the A-Force characters have some of the most detailed facial expressions that effectively compliments the writers efforts provide each character with an individual personality Singularity, for having a very simple but beautiful design, has the best range of emotions displayed. From joy and confusion to fear and worry. It also helps that the colorists make Singularity’s design of stars so interesting to look at; Antimatter also benefits from the colorist’s work counterparts. The colors implemented here are bold and really stand out in this book. It’s bright and beautiful.
The only real problems I have with the series are very small. I felt like the price was not very justified when the actual story is only four issues with an Avengers issue from the 80s and The first A-Force issue from Battleworld. I don’t see that as anything against the writers since there aren’t many issues in the series and you need to split up your story, but the story could have stood to be a couple of bucks cheaper.
All in all, I really enjoyed A-Force. Even more than the first Outside of Captain Marvel, the other ladies don’t have their own series besides acting as supporting characters, so it’s nice to see them come together and have something their own. I am excited to see what the next volume has in store for the team. If you like any of these heroes or just have been like me looking for some stronger presence of a woman in the Marvel Universe, then I would recommend checking this series out!