G. Willow Wilson
VC’s Cory Petit
Marvel’s Mightiest Women finally get their own explosive series! In a secluded corner of the Battleworld, an island nation is fiercely protected by a team of Avengers the likes of which has only ever been glimpsed before… Fighting to protect the small sliver of their world that’s left, the Amazing A-FORCE stands shoulder-to-shoulder, ready to take on the horde!
What’s left to be said about Marvel’s A-Force? After The New Yorker author Jill Lepore doused the characters inside with criticism, author G. Willow Wilson came back with a defense that really cemented a reason for the title’s existence. This is the Marvel Universe, and these are the ladies of the Marvel Universe coming together in the middle of Secret Wars. Bringing me back to the first question: what’s left to be said about Marvel’s A-Force? The answer is if the title is actually any good — to which I would respond: yes…yes it is.
Jorge Molina delivers some interiors that are more than worthy of the beautiful Jim Cheung cover gracing this issue. The linework and facial expressions from the various characters are rendered with absolute care. It’s easy to differentiate the various heroine’s lacing the tale as well, thanks in part to the excellent coloring of Laura Martin and Matt Milla. From a presentation perspective, the way that this book introduces itself is breathtaking. The first couple pages hide a double-page spread that dovetails into the nicely introduced recap section. The excellent facial perspectives really bring out another strength of the art in this title: the ambitious layouts allow for some truly dynamic action.
The ladies of the Marvel Universe unite to defend Arcadia — which is the name of the A-Force island contained within Secret Wars. Also, Marvel definitely delivers on that preview promised with Captain Marvel punching a shark — I’ll be forever grateful for that. This title gets some props for giving Dazzler a moment to shine, as well as many supporting cast members featured in this issue. Thanks to the art of Molina even the moments of downtime really do some poignant here (see the opening pages.)
Eventually the larger perspective of Secret Wars begins to shed some light on how the girls ended up in the singular location. The way the narrative is thrust into into the greater conflict seems appropriate — and actually makes the conflict more natural than it would have been if it wasn’t launching during the event. This is actually a pretty good Secret Wars tie-in as well. There’s a few characters in this narrative that are going to surprise readers. We don’t quite know everyone in the cast just from the cover here. Also, many of the relationships have been changed since we are thrust in the middle of Secret Wars. Reading the main title is essential for full reader comprehension to start to get a sense of how the world is actually different. This isn’t just the Battleworld of the Secret Wars from 1984, it’s a new Battleworld that’s much better fleshed out. In fact, new elements of Battleworld are introduced into this issue that should offer even more intrigue to the current status of the event as a whole.
It’s also hard not to appreciate how Wilson and Bennett turn the attention towards a few of the characters in the Marvel Universe that aren’t as well known. Just handing over the screen time to characters like Phoenix or Captain Marvel would have been fun, but the authors go a step further in introducing some old favorites. While there is indeed a lot to love about the issue, the best part of A-Force #1 is how it both retains a plot and functions as an excellent addition to the current Secret Wars crossover. Marvel is changing the direction of the current Universe, and it’s up to the ladies to protect it. Wilson, Bennett, and Molina are destined to help the women of Arcadia defend their region of Battleworld against harm in the pages of A-Force.