December’s Graphic Novel of the Month is A-Force Volume 0: Warzones!, an all-new book featuring Marvel’s Mightiest Women!
Since May of this year, Secret Wars has been gripping the Marvel Universe, leaving its future and even its existence hanging in the balance. In the meantime, Marvel’s creators have been exploring the many Warzones that make up Doctor Doom’s Battleworld. One that has received a lot attention is the nation of Arcadia staring some of Marvel’s most popular female heroes. From leading Marvel characters such as She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Medusa and Storm, to cult-favourites such as America Chavez and Nico Minoru, A-Force has more than enough to keep any fan of Marvel’s female cast happy.
Arcadia is an island nation in a secluded corner of Battleworld. Protecting this nation is a group of Avengers like no other previous iteration of the team. However, as part of Battleworld – Arcadia must abide by the rules of Emperor Doom and when America Chavez, whilst fighting a giant shark with the rest of A-Force, throws said shark through the Shield (Battleworld Border wall), she is promptly arrested and put on trial. Despite team leader She-Hulk’s protests, she is sentenced to life on the wall. This creates tension in the group, especially between America’s friend Nico and Inhuman ruler Medusa. However, the team soon has to overcome these issues as they find a conspiracy has been set in motion from their own ranks which could see the end of the group.
Since the start of the Silver Age of comics, Marvel has had no shortage of great female characters. It would take way too long to list all the female members of teams like the X-Men and Avengers as well as those in their own solo adventures. A-Force marks the first time all these characters are together in their own book. Appropriately, the writers put in charge of the series are two of Marvel’s top writers: Marguerite Bennett (author of the fan-favourite Angela series) and the Hugo Award winning and Eisner nominated author of Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson. Both have ample experience with the female members of the Marvel Universe and this series is a perfect example. Whilst all the characters are out of their typical surroundings, they are faithful to their original portrayals in their regular titles. Particular standouts include A-Force leader She-Hulk who flips between source of levity and serious leadership and Runaways favourite Nico Minoru who must cope with the loss of her best friend and possibly losing her newest one.
X-Force and Avengers cover artist Jorge Molina provides dynamic and exciting art depicting not only the leading members of A-Force, but also manages to squeeze in almost every possible female character you can think of into all the panels throughout the story without losing focus on the storytelling.
A-Force is set to return after Secret Wars in the main Marvel Universe along with the same creative team. This volume is a perfect preparation for the relaunch and also a great spotlight of some of Marvel’s greatest characters. Both old-school fans and newcomers will find plenty to enjoy in this all-female outing!
A-Force Volume 0: Warzones! is published by Marvel on 3 December 2015 and costs £12.99 (ISBN: 9780785198611).