Published on May 21st, 2015 | by Noel Thorne0
A-Force #1 Review
“If women ruled the world…” – we’ve all heard variations of that sentence, right? There’d be no war, no pollution, everything would make more sense, etc. Well, Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson give us the Marvel version of what a female-led society would look like – and it’s not bad!
HOWEVER: are you reading Secret Wars? If the answer is no (and, cards on the table, I’m one of those people as well because event comics always suuuuuck) then you might be a little lost with A-Force.
So, a brief update: Marvel are in the midst of a big reboot of their universe. The main 616 universe and the Ultimate universe have been blowed up. Fragments of different, now extinct, worlds have been stuck together to form Battle World, ruled over by Doctor Doom. Each region is a separate country of sorts; Arcadia is the home of A-Force, led by Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk.
Basically all of the female Marvel superheroes are in this comic: She Hulk, Medusa, Captain Marvel, Ms America, Spider-Woman, Scarlet Witch, Dazzler, Rogue, Storm, and on and on. Together they keep Arcadia safe – but someone is threatening their peace…
I have a lot of questions after reading this comic that of course it’s not this issue’s job to answer but still: everyone’s just accepting this bizarre situation? Everyone’s ok with Doom as their, essentially, GOD? Sam Wilson is a Thor? Thor is now a title or something and the Thors are Doom’s policemen? And, most important of all, where’s Ms Marvel/Kamala Khan?
But getting back to this issue specifically – that name. A-Force. Ugh! So naff, so ‘90s! Did Rob Liefeld have a hand in this? Must everything be Avengers related? Alright, yeah, the movies make mountains of money. But A-Force?! Dear me. There are scores of cool Roller Derby team names, all Bennett and Wilson had to do was mimic them – even Arcadian Avengers would’ve been preferable!
There’s not a whole lot to the issue. Besides introducing us to A-Force, the team fights Sharknado and this causes a problem because Ms America throws the shark across Arcadia’s borders and, as Sheriff Strange (I know!) says, “Borders are never to be crossed!” Ms America faces a penalty which makes Jen look like a weak leader.
I liked seeing some of my favourite Marvel characters again: Jen, Nico from the Runaways, Ms America from Young Avengers, and female Loki. Even Dazzler’s prominently placed within the team.
Jorge Molina’s art – fantastic, really enjoyed the pages here. Arcadia’s design is an interesting blend of Renaissance Italy and modern day, even futuristic, styles. It does look quite paradisiacal too, as you’d expect from the name. The action is great and all the characters look fantastic.
As for the writing, it was a bit of a let down. I was expecting more of the same magic I saw from Wilson on her Ms Marvel title to rub off here and, unfortunately, the effect is not quite as brilliant. Maybe it’s sharing the scripting duties with Bennett, maybe it’s the large ensemble cast but her usual high quality writing felt quite diluted here.
It does feel like things are moving much too quickly. Ms America is punished and right away Nico begins talking about Jen stepping down as leader and going away for a cry. I get that Jen having to prove her leadership is going to be one of the plot points of this series though it felt like it was dealt with a little clumsily.
Even without reading Secret Wars, you could still enjoy A-Force #1 which is a decent superhero comic that happens to feature an all-female cast. That said, maybe readers who’re all caught up on the main events will appreciate this more because, even though this is a #1, it does feel like you’re stepping into the middle of a story than at the beginning. For me, along with the rest of this Secret Wars stuff, this is an easy trade wait.
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Jorge Molina
Colourists: Laura Martin and Matt Milla