Secret Wars & Avengers Review & Spoilers: A-Force #1 By Marguerite Bennett & G. Willow Wilson, Jorge Molina & Craig Yeung, Laura Martin & Matt Milla

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untitled (21 pages)
Written by: Marguerite Bennett & G. Willow Wilson
Art by: Jorge Molina
Inks by: Jorge Molina & Craig Yeung
Colors by: Laura Martin & Matt Milla
Letters by: VC’s Cory Petit

Covers by: Jim Cheung & Laura Martin; Russell Dauterman & Matt Wilson; Shane Davis & Jesus Aburtov; Siya Oum; Stephanie Hans; Adam Hughes; Jorge Molina; Sara Pichelli & Edgar Delgado

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

A-FORCE #1 intro

She-Hulk! Dazzler! Medusa! Nico Minoru! Singularity! Pretty much the entire gamut of heroines gather in Arcadia with this all-star line-up!! Back up a second…who the heck is Singularity? The answer is pending.

Arcadia is an idyllic milieu if ever one existed. Bright skies, bright moods, bright colours. Nary a disturbance. Hence, why the massive peacekeeping force? Answer: because every rose has its thorn or to quote She-Hulk, the narrator, and leader of A-Force “But even gardens have serpents.”

It’s another day in paradise as the women set out to patrol. As already pointed out, She-Hulk is the big boss of this impressive assortment. Everyone is to convene at the Hall of Justice. Good thing that term isn’t copyrighted! The bliss is amiss when an enormous flying shark is launched from a whirlpool.

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The four flyers (Captain Marvel, Dazzler, Ms. America, Nico Minoru) each get a crack at it. Cap Marv tells her teammates that the creature they are combatting is a Megalodon, supposedly extinct two million years back. Ms. America, in a fit of rage, flings the sea-beast so hard that it passes the border of the domain and drops in the Deadlands. Dazzler tried to prevent the mishap but America was determined to eliminate the threat. No sooner has the shark departed, Pixie frets at the arrival of Sam Wilson, one of the Thors. America is in violation of breaching The Shield and breaking one of Doom’s most sacred laws.

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Shulkie is speaking with Sheriff Strange. Being the lawgiver that she is, she’s pleading on behalf of Ms. Chavez. Strange remains inflexible. No one is above the law, more so God (Doom). Jen must remain impartial and just. Despite voicing her discord, Strange tells her to bind by her honour. The verdict is indisputable.

Loki struts in. She’s outraged that her close companion has been condemned. America is visibly shaken but she claims that it is out of worry for all her colleagues. Loki and America hug it out. Ammy tells Loki to look after her cat, avoid maudlin music, and to emphasize that Nico has no blame in the matter. With an extremely heavy heart, Jen delivers the sentence. In a flash, she’s gone.

Nico cries out in anguish. Loki kneels holding on to her coat. Nico then lashes out at Jen. For all her power, it was for naught. Nico didn’t have a chance to give a proper good-bye. Medusa and Jean Grey try to reassure Jen. More than anyone else, Medusa knows the weight of a crown. Jean tries to excuse Nico’s youth and America’s impulsiveness. Jen reminds herself (and everyone else) that unity is what strengthens Arcadia.

She-Hulk calls for the Sub-Mariners [Namor, Namora, Namorita]. She asks their assistance in investigating the sudden appearance of the Megalodon. Something is definitely fishy [natch!] Medusa doesn’t agree with Jen’s decision. A baroness should govern the land, not the people. She-Hulk isn’t listening. She wants to pluck the weed from their evergreen garden.

Nico is sitting outside Bishop Lighthouse still processing the loss. A blue light streaks across the night sky. She thinks it’s America. Upon impact, Nico jumps into the crater and cradles a star-filled lass. It’s Marvel’s latest and greatest new addition: Singularity!!

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Hey, Ladies! From the cover — {top row, L-R}: Captain Marvel II (Monica Rambeau), Hellcat, Firestar, Vindicator, Jubilee, unidentified speedster; {2nd row, L-R}: Aurora, Rescue, Spider-Gwen (Woman), Black Widow, Moondragon, Snowbird; {3rd row, L-R}: Elektra, Captain Marvel VII (Carol Danvers), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Pixie; {4th row, L-R}: Storm, Rogue, Wasp, Medusa, Singularity, Phoenix (Jean Grey), Scarlet Witch; {centre}: She-Hulk; {bottom row, L-R}: Dazzler, Nico Minoru.

“Lovely Lady of Arcadia” snapshots — Enchantress, Crystal. **This is an actual song by Demis Roussos**. Check it out on YouTube.

Blink and you’ll miss ‘em! Luke Cage is pushing the stroller with baby Danielle and most likely Jessica Jones by his side.

Bedazzled: When did Alison Blaire gain the power of flight?!? Is it Nico’s magic??

Gather the menfolk! It’s not all-women all-the-time. Black Bolt or Maximus? Who does Medusa kiss on the forehead?? Sheriff Strange does not tolerate any unlawfulness. Namor is one of the Sub-Mariners. Among the Thors — Sam Wilson, Beta Ray Bill, Odin, Eric Masterson, Red Norvell, and some alternate version of Odinson.

Metaphorically speaking: Arcadia is akin to Eden, n’est-ce pas? That serpent reference really hits you in the head.

Animal-ism? (a.k.a. prejudice against animals) — America is two for two: “Sharknado tried to murder me and my friends.” “Nobody tell P.E.T.A.

Sassafrass: America tells Sam Wilson “Take it easy, tall, dark and hawkward.”

Love knows no bounds: Nico and America are said to be Loki’s wards. The agony of America’s banishment tells me there might be something deeper. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 😉 Obviously not!! #nojudgment

Marguerite Bennett is new to Marvel. Welcome:-) I know of her work from the Distinguished Competition. She did a bang-up job co-writing an annual featuring a certain dark knight as well as a one-shot of a deranged young lady thinking she was some psycho’s daughter. G. Willow Wilson has been helming the breakout, mega-smash MS. MARVEL since its inception. I only read the first issue but I agree with all the accolades it has received. I just remembered!! I own CAIRO, her very first graphic novel. Superb storytelling! Joining forces makes this modern age collaboration a true force to be reckoned with. I’ll call this a ‘soft opening’. I’m not deriding this entry. Not at all. There’s a real sense of sisterhood as all members uphold their tenets: friendship, love, peace, tolerance. The Jade Giantess is a natural doyenne. She’s competent and compassionate, earnest but resolute, encompassing but unwavering. I get the feeling that she is a reflection of Ms. Wilson. America Chavez hasn’t lost any of her spunk. The interdimensional adventurer fights for friendship, literally!! I like how she went from ‘Miss’ to ‘Ms.’ I won’t throw around any disparaging assumptions here but this details a more aggressive personality which seems to suit her just fine. As such, I see the equally vivacious Ms. Bennett as a mirror image of America.

Jorge Molina portrays the women as gentle yet tough, accepting of their roles and livelihoods. In other words, they are non-threatening. Once again, no disrespect here. I like how they are feminine without overcompensating or going the reverse route. There is a real sense of community among them. Nico wears her heart on her sleeve. She experiences all the right emotions with the loss of her trainee-in-arms. My own thumper broke a bit, embracing her pain.

Craig Yeung focuses on the women’s abilities, not their bodies. Not a single one is voluptuous, harkening back to the ‘bad girl’ heyday of the 90’s. One exception though: Loki looks every bit as regal as someone of her station. Her bodice covers the bare essentials but it is not sexualized. The same goes for Alison Blaire’s disco roller outfit. Cleavage is a non-issue.

Laura Martin and Matt Milla embellish the pencils and inks. I especially like America’s skin tone. The fiery Latina really comes out. Plus, Jen’s green hue compliments her namesake as well as her title Baroness of the lush and verdant Arcadia. Dazzler is the best representation, acknowledging her roots of a bygone era.

Cory Petit makes his mark with the A-Force logo when She-Hulk asks all members to assemble. He also expertly accentuates the description boxes for each individual of the main squad.

All in all, a fun read. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a feminist. I have no shame in declaring that. I admire strong, tender, confident, accepting, self-made women. The main cast has been established but it’ll be enjoyable to see who else will be spotlighted or in the background. The fun has just begun!

Females are the superior sex. I give this book 2 X’s (the female chromosome) or 17.25 out of 23 paired DNA markers (75%).

XX female chromosome

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