Story: Marguerite Bennett, G. Willow Wilson
Art: Jorge Molina
What They Say:
She-Hulk has violated the most sacred rule of Battleworld, and now A-Force is on the run from the planet’s protectors: The Thor Corps! And while trying to prove her innocence, She-Hulk discovers that one of her own may have engineered her downfall!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The premise of A-Force had a lot of appeal in bringing together a solid cast of female characters, with a few male and female supporting characters, that gave us a place unlike elsewhere in the Battleworld. With it being one of the few areas in a really true state of peace for the most part, it was the segment that felt bright, colorful and full of life. Arcadia was a place that you could really grasp why they were so determined to do what was needed, even at the cost of their souls to some degree, which we got with what happened to America. The arrival of the unnamed mystery person was just part of the change that was going to happen since nothing can stay the same here – as interesting as that story might be. Imagine a four or five issue series with just digging into how Arcadia works, the dynamic between the team and some slice of life material.
This installment mostly moves us towards everything falling apart, partially because those that police the various configurations of Battleworld only exist to serve Doom’s will. Which is all well and fine but it means they miss the nuance as they’re hammers looking for things to nail. She-Hulk’s portal tripping is something that breaks a whole lot of rules they’re discovery of that has her at the top of their list for punishment. It’s not a surprise though it is fun watching how she tries to reason with them for a bit since she does have a bit more perspective on what’s going on. But like the readers, it’s a limited perspective and the scale of events in Arcadia doesn’t feel clear. We could get away with that for an issue or two with our learning about the area and starting to see things coming apart, but with our mystery character starting to help more and the arrival of Sentinels on top of everything else, it just becomes more about the action and less about the characters.
That’s not to say there aren’t good character moments to be had. Medusa has long been a favorite of mine and she was growing in her role in the Inhumans series prior to this, so getting her a bit more involved here and being a bit royal in a sense is a lot of fun to watch as she reminds Jennifer of her true duty. That factors into shifting the tide in general to rally behind Jennifer since they all believe in the end they’re protecting Arcadia. And as simple as it seems, the whole calling together of the powerful women that exist in Arcadia to deal with the Thors after what happens to Medusa works well, even as just a brief montage piece, because it ups the ante in terms of the scale of who is involved and how committed they are. But the story itself just feels lacking in terms of overall motivation, since there are gaps in our knowledge still. Big gaps.
Though I’m still enjoying A-Force a good deal I’m also at that stage where it’s feeling like this part of the act is weak as there are so few answers still. The action component of it is good and there’s some good emotional moments as well as it hits the right beats but there’s too many unknowns. The series opened strong even with the way we had to re-learn the cast to a degree but it introduced new things that are still unexplained – which are now key to everyone surviving. I’m all in for it as the book is strong overall but this installment left me a bit cooler overall. Though the story hasn’t wowed me I’m definitely in love with the artwork story as Jorge Molina captures the team well and does some really good things with his establishing shots throughout and some of the reactions. The montage sequence towards the end was also a really great sequence in that regard as it pulls together numerous things in a very smooth and exciting way, all while providing for plenty of detail. It’ll be curious to see how this miniseries ends and to see what kind of establishment it has when the main universe returns in its new form. I’m definitely curious but still a bit wary.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: August 12th, 2015