Just a reminder–I’m not reading Secret Wars at large, so the greater context and ramifications that might be reverberating off of other comic series throughout the cross-over event are going to be entirely lost on me. However, when our toddler asked to go to the comic store on Wednesday of this week, I asked for A-Force #2 to be brought home.
Ignoring all else, this issue was worth the cover price for one panel depicting Nico’s girlfriends from her time in Runaways, especially Arsenic (may she rest in peace). I miss that young lady.
Okay, but moving away from my Runaways nostalgia, the issue opened up new questions about how this Battleworld runs, developed the relationships between the A-Force women, and gave us a better look at our sky-clad mystery lady.
Marvel’s marketing blurb:
With monsters appearing on the utopian island of Arcadia and threatening its inhabitants, She-Hulk and her team of Avengers set out to discover the source. But when they stumble upon a conspiracy that reaches far beyond Arcadia, She-Hulk may just find herself on the wrong side of the law!
With the help of their Sub-Mariner pals, the team figures out what must have caused a prehistoric shark to attack Arcadia. However, the A-Force is still shaken by America Chavez’s imprisonment. Some, like long-locked Medusa, start openly questioning She-Hulk’s leadership. Meanwhile, Nico brings the sky-lady home to hide her from She-Hulk, afraid that she’ll be turned over to Doom or imprisoned like America was.
As with the first issue, this installment nicely weaves from action to character development. This is no small feat. In a comic like Iron Man or Spider-Man, or even Captain Marvel, the characters frequently interact with heavy sarcasm. That keeps the deep feels at bay. But A-Force’s characters are absolutely earnest. It takes a deft hand to move from girl-bonding character moments to out-and-out ass-kickery without making it feel campy, trite, or melodramatic. The title’s authors, Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson, totally pull it off in the writing.
Jorge Molina’s art is the other half of this success. His depictions of facial reactions build the fitting emotional tone. The sincerity stays true to the characters’ feelings and motivations without ever becoming over-the-top or ham-fisted.