COMIC BOOK REVIEW: A-Force #1 – Girls Run The World
By Jeff Ayers
Writers: Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson
Pencils: Jorge Molina
Inkers: Jorge Molina and Craig Yeung
Colorists: Laura Martin and Matt Milla
Now that the mega event that is Secret Wars has come to fruition, and we have had two of the main issues come out, Marvel has started to release some of the tie-ins to hopefully strengthen the plot and story line of Battleworld. One of these tie-ins, A-Force, has been eagerly awaited because of the premise: an Avengers-like team made up completely of female superheroes.
First of all, the elephant in the room: this issue does not deal with the “why” of the team. The island that they reside on and protect is called Arcadia, and it is not only populated by women. In fact, in the third panel of the issue you see a version of Luke Cage walking with Jessica Jones and their baby. Yet, the entire A-Force is all the who’s who of women superheroes, with a few new faces as well.
Just from this issue alone, we get to see characters that haven’t been in the pages of Marvel comics for a little while now. Pixie shows up, as well as what seems to be a pre dark phoenix Jean Grey, as well as Crystal, Spider woman, Storm and Rogue. Also, later in the issue we see both Namora and Namorita show up with Namor, at the beck-and-call of She-Hulk.
The thing to remember is that even though She-Hulk is considered the de facto leader of the team and the Baroness of Arcadia, they all still have to answer to Doctor Doom, who runs the show in Secret Wars. (Check out the final issues of Avengers and New Avengers for more info on that.) So we get to see She-Hulk take control of her team, having them patrol the borders of Arcadia, and we see some faces we know, like Dazzler, Captain Marvel and Medusa, as well as America Chavez, or Ms. America, female Loki and Sister Grimm. This patrol immediately leads into a problem in the form of a rogue megalodon, which the girls have a little trouble with but eventually dispatch with the help of Ms. America. The way she saves the day leads to her own problems though, as Doom’s police force, the Thors, are summoned to dole out punishment. The end of this book shows the introduction of Captain Universe in this version, which isn’t much of a surprise seeing as she is featured prominently on the cover.
The “Best There Is”: This is an interesting look at another little corner of Battleworld, as I am sure all the tie ins will be, at least their first issues. I was happy that it wasn’t a “wonder woman”-esque Amazon island of women, but I still want to see more of the world of Arcadia. The heroes are all well established, even the new players because they are based on their male counterparts.
The “Isn’t Very Nice”: The biggest hype for this book is the idea of the all women team of Avengers. Now, it’s a tightrope argument either “for” or “against” this central idea, because of the new push in comics, especially Marvel, to feature more women superheroes. (Squirrel Girl has her own comic, as well as Spider-Gwen). Honestly, I think that the hype was too much for this team. Even though it worked well without a full island of only women, it still falls slightly flat because of the non-issue of the team. Seriously, just because it is all women doesn’t drive the book, and it isn’t even the main reason they are successful, or fail. People are already clamoring that this line will have life after Secret Wars, but it needs to have more of a heart to it before it is worth it.
** Two final thoughts. Marvel actually used “The Hall of Justice” in a comic. Epic. Also, the Sub-Mariners are tasked to find out why the megalodon appeared, and I am calling that Sin is behind it, the daughter of the Red Skull. Boom.
FBI Score: 8 out of 10.
A good start, but it really needs to pick up and have heart to be a worthwhile book that can last after this mega event.