It is no surprise to anyone that when they announced A-Force earlier in the year my expectations were going to be very high. A team of all my favourite female superheroes with the head of the team being my favourite comic book character of all time, She Hulk. While many would see this as a cash grab to the growing diversity in comic book readership, I see it as a chance to change comics. With the pairing of two of Marvel's best writers G. Willow Wilson (Ms Marvel) and Marguerite Bennett (Angela:Asgard's Assassin) this comic had a lot of hype to live up to.
The Marvel multiverse has been destroyed and all that remains is a place called Battleworld. A patchwork planet made from segments of other planets that no longer exist. Victor Von Doom is the head of Battleworld and works hard to govern its sanctions. Our A-Force team lives on a small island called Arcadia. Baroness She-Hulk rules over the land and together with her team including Dazzler (X-Men), Nico (The Runaways) and Captain Marvel just to name a few, they watch over the island insuring safety for it's inhabitants.
A-Force does something that I wish more superhero books did. It does not presume knowledge. A simple story line with lots of old school superhero battles. Good against evil, or in this case good against giant prehistoric shark. As each main character is introduced we are given a small box of information to help the reader gain knowledge and not feel like they don't know enough to enjoy the comic. A-Force is perfect for those wanting to jump into single issue comics but not sure where to start. It's fun, simple and full of epic fight scenes.
I hate Tie Ins and cross over events, but this didn't feel like I was missing any information. Listed as part of the Secret Wars event but all the information you need is right there in the pages. Writers G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett have done an amazing job familiarising us with the characters while keeping the plot fluid. While the main cast of heros is female focused Wilson and Bennett let us know that Arcadia is a haven for all people regardless of gender. My only complaint, I am hoping to see She-Hulk in amongst the fighting as the comics move forward, rather then just directing other team members through the headset. But all in all the plot of the first issue was fun, unique and engaging.
After the death, destruction and dark nature of the main Secret Wars title Molina and Yeun'gs art is a breath of fresh air. The opening scene of the A-Force team flying over Arcadia is breathtaking. Clear skies, historic architecture and such serene looks on our heroes faces. Colourists Martin and Milla give such life and happiness to the pages, I can smell the fresh air as we fly through the crystal clear sky and feel the light bounce off the page as Dazzler battles the giant prehistoric shark.
A-Force more than lived up to my expectations. As I nervously read from cover to cover I was overcome with happiness. This fun, offbeat and gripping comic is what the readers of Superhero books have been waiting for for a long time. And more importantly is welcoming to all levels of comic book readers.
A-Force #1 is out now through Marvel comics.