There is a traitor in Arcadia and now she stands revealed!  But why would she betray her comrades-in-arms?  Your Major Spoilers review of A-Force #4 awaits!

A-Force4CoverA-FORCE #4
Writer: Marguerite Bennett & G. Willow Wilson
Penciler: Jorge Molina
Inker: Craig Yeung & Walden Wong
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Daniel Ketchum
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in A-Force:  “She-Hulk rallied A-Force, protectors of Arcadia, to investigate the monster attack that caused Doom to exile America Chavez.  The team traced the disturbance to a portal, which quickly collapsed.  She-Hulk used a second portal to travel to another domain and investigate the cause, but by crossing Doom’s borders and breaking the law, she brought the wrath of the Thors down upon Arcadia.  In the ensuing battle, Medusa gave her life to buy A-Force time to find the traitor who opened the portal.  With Thors raining down from the sky to place Arcadia under martial law, the members of A-Force had no choice but to escape into the starry pocket universe contained inside Nico’s mysterious new friend…”


The heroes of Arcadia, under the leadership of Baroness She-Hulk have been able to protect their island home from all comers, until strange portals started opening, leading to Miss America’s exile to The Shield.  From the very first, it seemed that something was off, and now that the Thors have come to take control of the island, we find that they have been tipped off…

…by Lady Loki.  While it’s not unexpected to see a Loki betraying, it’s the emotional responses that make it worth the wait: Nico Minoru is devastated to think her fellow magic-user has double-crossed them, while She-Hulk is disappointed in herself and Dazzler is ready to take out her frustrations on the Asgardian.  There’s also a very well-written sequence wherein Loki remarks upon what a shame it is that Medusa died, even remarking how much she had in common with the fallen Inhuman queen.  The issue ends with a satisfying confrontation (read: the ol’ fighty-fighty) which in turn causes another betrayal and leaves She-Hulk and her team to defend their home one final time.


Truth be told, the idea that Loki was a turncoat seems obvious in retrospect, but the real meat of the story is in the character interactions, especially when Nico’s mysterious new friend (whom I still think is some aspect of Captain Universe, simply from her celestial motifs) explains the lessons she has learned from each of the heroes.  From the art side of things, this is a truly amazing issue to read, with wonderful facial expressions and body language throughout, and some explosive action sequences (one of which involves She-Hulk, Nico, Dazzler, Captain Marvel and friend literally busting through a wall to bring the pain to turncoat Loki.)  Molina, Yeung and Wong also show visual inventiveness on every page, from a Thor-Nightcrawler to Loki’s throne-room scene, wherein she is surrounded by several Thors and looks both regal and evil at once.  Though I’m not over my Secret-Wars-fatigue, this issue is an example of how to use the massive crossover schmageggi to strengthen and deepen these characters…


I love the cast of characters in play here, I really like the writing and dialogue, and the art is unusual but beautiful throughout, leaving us with a solid overall product, and once again making me happy that this book will be continuing after the Secret Wars finally die down.  A-Force #4 is another winner, and has one of my favorite Dazzler moments in history (you’ll know it when you read it), leaving us with a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.  Now, if only we could get this team in a movie or a cartoon or something, that would be wonderful (and perhaps help to deal with Marvel’s increasing lack of movie diversity?)



The traitor I expected, but with unexpected consequences (and some lovely art.)

User Rating: 3.9 ( 1 votes)
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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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