When we last left our heroes of A-Force, it was in a much-celebrated Secret Wars tie-in that could have been almost a happily-ever-after if it weren’t for the sacrifice of our main character and, of course, the whole Batteworld reality thing. And for the fact that most of the celebration came from the sheer number of cameos that made for a better Easter egg hunt than a well-crafted and satisifying comicbook. So how will the continuation of the series, now in the proper Marvel universe, fare?
Thankfully, the story so far makes for a much improved reading experience, although there remain some questionable plot points that still don’t feel satisfying the more you think about them.
The first couple of pages resurrects Singularity (who, in this series, wastes no time in giving a name for herself) and she tries to reconnect with her friends and displaying feats of power like absorbing spilled coffee. The trouble is, something else has been resurrected too, and this mysterious energy that gets a name Antimatter did … something … that requires Captain Marvel to … punch it?
And that’s just the start of where things start to fall apart. Like hearing a funny story from a crazy uncle, you follow along and enjoy the whimsical nature of what’s happening, until you really start to think about what your uncle is saying and how it doesn’t really add it up and you remember why he’s the crazy uncle after all.
I appreciate that Singularity is our point of view character here. She’s so likeable and charming, after all. And there’s a lot that’s new, so to experience it with her is an easy buy-in for the reader. But it’s never really *explained* as she experiences it, so it’s not exactly a buy-in when you think about it. Captain Marvel is part of Alpha Flight now? There’s an Antimatter thing for some reason? Singularity can’t form full sentences but can somehow pilot a life support pod from a space station? Which she uses to … hit Antimatter or something? And even when a giant glowing Antimatter monster is in the middle of New York, Medusa takes the time to snap manacles on Singluarity? I mean, the monster is STILL RIGHT THERE.
Some of the confusion comes from the art, which takes time to focus on things like Medusa and Singularity’s reunion even when, logically, there’s a lot more going on with the scene that we can’t see. Other things are similarly sequential in nature but fail to read, like way the dropped coffee is lost in the bottom of a panel as Captain Marvel’s head from the next panel blocks our attention. I really don’t know what happened between Antimatter and Captain Marvel and how Singularity interrupts it, thanks to just two panels, although Singularity’s race to the life pod took up one and quarter page. How does the wall of She-Hulk’s office explode ten feet away and yet rip She-Hulk’s suit? How does Antimatter grip She-Hulk with his right hand, but She-Hulk bursts out of his left hand in the very next panel?
The designs of the character and the posing within the panels is great. Medusa is appropriately regal, and She-Hulk and Captain Marvel are epitomes of strength. The design for Singularity matches so well her innocence and charm. The colors are brilliant and the glowing starfield that composes her body intrigues and delights. One of her superpowers must be for everyone to like her, and that extends to include the readership as well.
I’m looking forward to the second issue and the “A-Force, Assemble[d]” but the most frustrating thing is that the book seems to have more potential than what’s actually being realized.
If this were a done-in-one issue, it would be hilarious— Singularity comes to Earth, but her friends don’t recognize her and give her up to some Antimatter entity. The end. But of course there’s more to it than that, and we get to join Singularity as she discovers this new world. The problem with a limited narrator is that our experience is also limited, and with some not-so-logical art sequences and plot contrivances, the book has to stand on the charm of its character design and not much more.