Written By: Kelly Thompson
Art By: Ben Caldwell
Colors By: Ian Herring
Letters By: VC’s Corey Petit
Release Date: 05/04/16
Rating: Rated T+
During the Secret World Doom created Battleworld comprised of different realms one of which was Arcadia a peaceful island and home to the all female team of A-Force. When a mysterious being known as Singularity arrives in the main Marvel Universe she unites A-Force, with the Arcadia’s team counterparts on this world to take on her opposite, Antimatter, a battle they won at a cost as his defeat left rips in reality, but A-Force is ready to take on anything that comes out of them.
Plot: Following Singularity’s feeling the team takes on a giant dragon named Countess, who is more than she seems.The team is aided by a female Thor who has a connection with a member of A-Force. Countess sets her sight on a member of the team to help her with her goal.
Story: When A-Force was first announced during Secret Wars I was excited because the premise was that of a team of Avengers made up of the premiere women in the Marvel Universe, but I was disappointed when the final product did not live up to my hopes. Post Secret Wars A-Force was once again to happen with the same creative team, and the same team of female Avengers. Again, I was not thrilled with the title, it wasn’t bad, just never broke my top 5, with the art being the best part of the series. This issue brings in a new creative team, new writer, new artist, but what it does have in common is that it still doesn’t deliver my original expectations for the series.
The story was pretty much on par with what we have been given, nothing mindblowing, but I was entertained. The character chemistry still fits with the previous two volume and the first four issues of this one. She-Hulk and Medusa are both the Alpha Females who often clash on their views and direction of the team. Captain Marvel is the third part in that dynamic she seems to be the one who calms them both down. Nico and Dazzler have a quirky spin on what is going on around them and have bonded, and Singularity is still the innocent naive one. While I really do like the friendship of Dazzler and Nico, I felt like they got their too fast, I would have liked to have seen that friendship actually come to fruition.
The humor here was really nice but, it felt off at times. While I did like the exchanges between Nico and the rest of the team had the same humor beats and it didn’t really connect as well because of who was delivering them. Something I think was missing with the previous issues as well. The team compromised of characters like Captain Marvel,She-Hulk, and Medusa, but they seem to be written as almost more juvenile versions of themselves. That is not saying that these characters can’t be fun, but I think there is a certain level of humor that I expect from them, than I do from Nico.
I do like that we are getting more into the fact that the Secret Wars did happen, and bringing in an alternate version of Dazzler as a Thor was a nice touch. I loved that she confided in her doppelganger that she was dying from the Terrigen mist. True she is someone that Dazzler just met, and is unsettled by her appearance, but she is still Dazzler, I felt like it was also symbolic of the internal struggle she is facing right now, not knowing who she is being torn.
Art: The art here was the big change. Ben Caldwell previously did Prez, which was a book about a young girl and I think this energy and art style fit that book but not this one. The art did mirror the story, but not in a positive way. Like the story the art seemed to almost lump the older cast into Nico’s generation giving them a youthful energy that felt off. The art isn’t bad, it lack details but would fit a teen book more than a book with most of the team are adults.
The panels here were inventive, but they didn’t really aid the story, and actually lent a more youthful energy to the book. The colors did pop out at you though and brought my attention to the highlights of the book, like the Countess in dragon form and the nice color balance of She-Hulk’s skin tone to her costume.
Verdict: Overall the ending has me intrigued with Nico being put under the Countess’ thrall. I am not sure where it is going but I am interested in where it may go. I just want more from this series, it has so much potential but seems to fall short of it somehow for me.