REVIEW: A-Force #9 – “Torn Together”

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A-FORCE #9

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Penciller: Paulo Siqueira

Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Release Date: 9/14/16

Price Tag: $3.99

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A-Force has been one of the strongest tie-ins to the Civil War 2 event. Let’s see if A-Force #9 continues to be as strong as its predecessors!

Plot

Captain Marvel comes face-to-face with her teammate, Nico. The former Runaway is destined to kill a girl named Alice. Carol thinks she can prevent this future by arresting Nico.

Story

A-Force #9 still proves that this series is one of the strongest tie-ins to Civil War 2. Where other titles have portrayed Carol as bossy and unreasonable this series better showcases Carol’s personality. She still stands strong with her ideologies, but explains herself better in this issue compared to other tie-ins.

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The strongest aspect of this Civil War 2 tie-in is how it turns the event on its head. Most of the other tie-ins to the event shows the clashing of ideologies putting a rift onto the superhero community, but this issue shows that talking about disagreements can actually make a team stronger. This is best showcased between the scene with Dazzler and Medusa. These two have been butting heads for a couple of issues, and are on different sides of the Civil War 2 argument. Medusa believes in Captain Marvel, and Dazzler questions the ethics of Ulysses’ visions. But even though these two characters feel differently on this ethical argument they are still able to patch up their friendship.

This issue not only focuses on relationships (an important theme to the Civil War 2 event as a whole), but also the misinterpretation of Ulysses’s visions. Ulysses saw Nico killing a girl named Alice, which is the main plot of this A-Force story arc, and because of this vision Captain Marvel wants to arrest Nico to keep herself “safe” from her future actions. Nico thinks this is an “Ends Justifies the Means” type of philosophy. At the end of the issue it’s revealed that Ulysses perceived the vision of Nico wrongly. Proving that even if Ulysses’ visions are always right that doesn’t mean that he perceives the vision correctly. People all perceive events differently, especially if you can only see a glimmer of an event. Isn’t that the point of Civil War 2 in the first place? Tony Stark and Captain Marvel have the same ethical question, but have different answers on how to tackle the situation. No hero or person will look at an event the same. So you can’t lock up people on the judgement of one person’s perspective of a future event.

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It’s revealed in the end of the issue that Alice is the bug person that has been infecting the town. She asks Nico to kill her because it’s the only way to save the townspeople, and now it looks like bug Elsa is going to kill Captain Marvel. This brings a whole new layer of ethical questions to the already complicated ethics brought up in the Civil War 2 main event. It’s a great cliffhanger because it doesn’t just make the ethical question personal to Nico, but to Captain Marvel herself.

My only negative towards the story is Elsa Bloodstone’s role in this issue. She had interesting banter with the A-Force team, but her character wasn’t necessary in this issue. She’s only used as comedic relief until she is turned into a bug at the end of the issue.

Art

The art has improved over the past couple of issues. I like this art style more than the cartoony style we had with the Dazzler-Thor arc. The team is fighting insect monsters. You want the book to look a bit grittier for this type of storytelling.

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Even though I like the grittier look for this book, I didn’t enjoy the inking. The issue looked very blotty, and it made it hard to focus on the great facial expressions. This was especially evident when the characters were farther away in a panel.

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Siqueira has great character detail with his close up scenes, but needs to work on the scenes where there are many people and panels on a page. An example of this is on the page where Nico and Carol have a long conversation with each other about ethics. I liked the beats between the two characters, but it was hard to see their expressions during the conversation. They looked blurry.

Verdict

I’ve read a lot of Civil War 2 tie-ins that haven’t added anything to the event and have felt repetitive, but A-Force #9 is story that feels necessary to the event. The artwork needs a little work, but is a good fit for the tone of the story. A-Force #9 is an original take on a very long winded event.

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