When you think of Marvel’s greatest superhero teams, the X-Men, Avengers, and possibly the Guardians of the Galaxy come to mind. Each group has their own personality, their own narrative, their own collection of fantastic superpowers, but most of all, their own moments that — for better or worse — make them, well, them.
A-Force, by writers Kelly Thompson and G. WIllow Wilson and artist Jorge Molina, tells the story of Marvel’s all-female squad of heroes — a brawler (She-Hulk), a magician (Nico Minoru), a cosmic powerhouse (Captain Marvel), a renegade mutant (Dazzler), and an inhuman queen (Medusa),who set out to save the universe, specifically one universe named Singularity that has recently become sentient. Yes, it’s totally weird, and I’m not sure how the science all works, but just go with it.
The comic is a loose continuation of a miniseries (of the same name) that premiered during Marvel’s Secret Wars event but thanks to some nifty world-building and reality warping, you don’t need to have read that series to make sense of the story Thompson, Wilson, and Molina are weaving.
I wasn’t super fond of A-Force’s debut issue — Singularity’s narration, which is a bit like baby-speak, was inconsistent and felt a little off to me — but in the two issues that followed, it slowly improved to become one of Marvel’s more exciting books.
Thompson and Wilson shine in the A-Force’s quieter moments, when various members are bickering amongst themselves. With the introduction of each super heroine, the creative team reveals new wrinkles and dynamics we haven’t seen before. And it’s fun to see conflicts arise where they’re not expected (like the clashes between Medusa and Nico) , and some where they are (like Dazzler’s dissonance). Medusa’s portrayal as the team’s haughty queen and general sour sport is perfection.
The A-Force is also brighter and sunnier than your typical Marvel superhero group (though their story is still more Buffy than Broad City). There’s a sly self-awareness and playfulness to the comic’s sequences — from its snappy dialogue to its art.
A-Force wouldn’t be as successful without Molina’s deft style. The detail he puts into each hero’s expressions gives the book life and emotional momentum — the stuff that makes the A-Force, A-Force — on each page.