Sunday, November 8, 2015
Comic Book review: A-Force
The island of Arcadia is nothing short of a paradise, a peaceful city that has largely managed to avoid the chaos of other Battleworld realms like those seen in Age of Apocalypse or Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies. Thanks to the watchful protectors of the all-female A-Force team, the residents of Arcadia have long felt safe, as any threats to their home have quickly been subdued by Medusa, Dazzler, Loki, Captain Marvel, America, Nico, and Baroness She-Hulk.
When a giant shark appears in the waters of Arcadia’s bay and threatens the populous, the A-Force springs into action, but the overly energetic America throws the beast too far beyond the borders of Arcadia, and past the giant wall that divides the monstrosities of the Deadlands from the rest of Battleworld. This act is a direct violation of Doom’s laws, and the Thors descend upon Arcadia to take America away, to have her answer for this crime. She-Hulk attempts to plea with the Thors, but they warn her that any attempt to interfere will be viewed as a movement against Doom. She-Hulk tells America to be strong, but as America is taken away by the Thors, the other members of the A-Force are clearly shaken, and some begin to question She-Hulk’s right to lead as baroness of Arcadia.
A-Force provides a wonderful blend of a few different genres. Of course there is plenty of action from this troupe of butt-kicking ladies, but there is also a vivid sense of adventure and self-exploration for Nico, who has lost her friend America to the technicalities of Doom’s laws, yet just as soon gains a friend in the form a mysterious visitor from the stars. This newcomer to Arcadia will leave a significant impact on all of the A-Force members, and is as much a curious, endearing character as she is pivotal plot device, despite only having a few lines of dialogue for the entirety of this limited series.
The older A-Force members, on the other hand, have vastly differing outlooks on the situation at hand, and some suspect that America’s forcible removal from Arcadia may be the result of foul play from somewhere within Arcadia. She-Hulk may be baroness of the realm, but her comrades are not afraid to challenge her authority if they believe she is not appropriately grasping the situation at hand. The blend of personalities within the A-Force is fresh and makes for some very compelling interactions – Dazzler always has some pep in her step, She-Hulk is the tough-as-nails leader, and though she may butt heads with Medusa on occasion, both present reasonable arguments for their actions, and are equally strong-willed individuals.
The single major setback in A-Force is one that seems to be a common hindrance among many of the other Secret Wars tie-ins, in that it is merely a five-issue run. One particular subplot feels like its endgame is somewhat rushed in the final chapter. That said, the handful of conflicts that the A-Force does face are paced quite well, and the series’ length does allow for the rest of its story to be resolved with reasonable satisfaction by the time the last pages are reached. If anything, A-Force is one such limited series that I wanted to see carry on, as there is plenty of opportunity for more fun, exciting adventures to be had with this female fighting force. And as luck would have it, A-Force is now among the series Marvel has announced will be continuing as part of the post-Secret Wars relaunch.
My rating: 8.5 (out of 10)