REVIEW: A-Force #1

STORY BY: G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett
ART BY: Jorge Molina
Publisher: Marvel Comics

With the ongoing debate and focus on women’s roles in comic book, it seems like a good idea for one of the Big Two to show their mettle with an all female book. The current Secret Wars story line allows such a book with no lasting repercussions to worry about.  This is the first of many problems I have with this book.

She-Hulk is Baroness of the fair land of Arcadia, protecting said land is a group of female characters, heroes and villains, from mutants to Avengers and every team in between. With such a powerful roster, I find it hard to understand how the team can so mis-handle nothing more than an actual monster of the week.  There is little bit of politicking, but this only serves to create the sort of mis-conception that is plaguing the issue of female characters. Here it comes across like the men are in power, what they say goes and the women have to go along with it.  I personally find this more than insulting and can only hope that this element of “things are this bad, we have to do something to improve them”  will allow the girls to come to the fore in following issues.

The writing by Marguerite Bennett and G. Willow Wilson, is ok. It serves its purpose well. I  just don’t like the purpose. I am a little behind the curve with Marvel, being DC fan, (yes, even despite DC’s best efforts with Convergence to get me to leave), but I gotta ask, when could Dazzler fly? If I have missed something, leave a comment if I have. But take a look at the panel. Dazzler flying and wearing her trademark roller skates? One more thing, how come Jessica is in her old Spider-Woman costume?

Jorge Molina has done a ton of work for Marvel and it shows. The book looks good. Everyone is clearly who they are. What I mean is that with a large group of characters in one place it’s easy to fall into the trap of people looking the same.  This is made equally hard with the lack of different body types. This isn’t an issue that is exclusive to this book.  For all the times people complain about Power Girl, at least she is recognisable on a page surrounded by characters.  I guess that this style of body image is an element of superhero books, if you are looking for realism, then a book like Bitch Planet serves that particular visual itch.

I have to say I was looking forward to reading this book. I read a couple of Marvel books at the moment, Captain Marvel and a thoroughly enjoyable Spider-Woman. Unfortunately this book has none of the wit or charm of either books. I am not sure it reads like a straight up Avengers book either. The fact that there is no real consequence, as the Marvel universe will no doubt reboot, only adds to the sham of a progressive book, hiding in the mainstream.

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