REVIEW: America #9 – “Exterminatrix”

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AMERICA #9
Writer: Gabby Rivera
Penciller: Flaviano
Colorists: Jordan Gibson
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Price: $3.99

Release Date: 11/29/17

At the start of America #9, Chavez has been arrested by the new Sotomayor dean’s security force for breaking the no portal rule. And to make matters worse, her friend X’Andria is on the wrong side of history and teaming up with the F.I.S.T. goons!

Plot: Chains can’t hold a girl down for long in America #9, and soon enough Chavez breaks free to her cuffs and starts attacking her captors. The Dean agrees to give America more information on her professor’s whereabouts before back-up arrives, but of course it winds up being a hostile takeover. At least the Chavez Guerrillas on Planet Maltixa got the SOS and are ready to mount a rescue.

Turns out they’re searching for Kologoth, who is reunited with his beloved Augor on the ship. But as they blast off back to their home world, they wind up taking Kitty and Kurt with them…

Story: More of humor in this issue lands, such as a particularly funny quip about America being mistaken for Rosario Dawson. The woman has aged gracefully, but that is a bit of a stretch. Blessedly, X’Andria’s motivations are clearer now and she makes for an excellent team up with Prodigy as they try to save their friend on their own. The only problem is that the different beats are not given much room to breathe, and America #9 jumps from one plot point to the next when it could give each moment just a little more room to breathe.

Unfortunately, as the battle between Exterminatrix and America rages on, the story gets more confusing and hard to follow. It’s nice to see that the friends she’s made along the way have banded together to save her, which would make a good story in and of itself. But America #9 splits its time between their apparently failed attempt to help Professor Douglas and Chavez’s apparently failed attempts at beating Exterminatrix. Overall, it can make for a pretty disappointing climax – but there’s still time to make it work in future issues.

Art: Flaviano seems to be the perfect fit for the tone of America #9, and his talented pencil work leads to expressive characters that convey the humor of various situations. Jordan Gibson’s coloring complements his style as well, with a rich and bright palette that makes every panel engaging. Moments like the panel above benefit from the art team’s collaboration, adding depth and dimension to a plot that might otherwise come off a bit rote.

America #9 looks gorgeous throughout, and the fight sequences pop as much as Exterminatrix’s moves do. I hope to see these artists stick around for more than a few issues, because they’ve really found a balance between the lighter moments of friendship and fun and the hard-hitting battles.

Verdict: America #9 suffers from a bit too much plottiness without the required setup, but it has some lovely moments for the supporting cast. And the art is on point!

Star Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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