A-Force or A-Farce?


A-Force #1

In the world created after the Marvel multiverse has been destroyed, the nation of Arcadia is a paradise, patrolled by scads of heroes, nearly all of whom are women, including She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Dazzler, Medusa, America Chavez, Pixie, Spider-Woman, Nico Minoru, Lady Loki, Storm, and more. But all is not perfect in Arcadia, after an unexpected attack from a flying megalodon shark, Ms. America gets honked off and throws it over the horizon — and breaking one of Victor von Doom’s laws — nothing passes the borders between the nations. The law is enforced by the Thors, and not even Sheriff Stephen Strange or Baroness She-Hulk herself can win her any leniency. The Thors take her away to an eternal prison, and She-Hulk decides to find out who’s hiding out in the ocean throwing giant sharks at everyone.

Verdict: I hate to say it, but thumbs down. The major problem is that this is built around a summer crossover with a lot of weird, un-superheroey rules built into it. When you’ve got a world ruled by Dr. Doom, who has the powers of a god, and everyone’s fine with that, that’s a problem. When there’s a whole enforcement arm of the global Doom-worshiping government that’s composed of a whole bunch of different versions of Thor, and they’re really nothing more than Doom’s puppets, that’s a problem. When you’ve got that many awesome characters on the cover, but most of them don’t appear inside the issue, and the one character who does something really unquestionably awesome is banished before the last page, that’s a problem. This book can be turned around, but it’ll have to break free from the summer crossover prison it’s trapped in.


Sensation Comics #10

In our first story, Wonder Woman helps defend a pop star from a deranged fan who’s angry that the innocent teenybopper he obsessed over in his youth has dared to grow up. But who’s the stalker, and who’s sabotaging the star’s tour? In our second story, Diana fights a dragon with a personal connection to the Amazons and to Wonder Woman’s mother.

Verdict: Thumbs down. In the first story, the bad guy was telegraphed way too early on, and like some of the in-story media commenters, I questioned why on earth one of the most powerful people on the planet was going to all this trouble to babysit a pop star. In the second story, I wasn’t real happy with the extremely high civilian casualties. That may be okay for DC’s grimdark New 52, but a lot of the stories in this series have been more all-ages-friendly.


Lumberjanes #14

The Lumberjanes are trying to earn a badge for basic wilderness survival — but they’re just no good at basic things like setting up tents or remembering to pack the can opener. How will they ever survive the snowstorm? Wait, why is there a snowstorm in the middle of the summer?! What are the monsters that attack everyone? Can the campers find Jen after she’s separated from the group? And who is the mysterious and vaguely ominous Abigail who rescues her?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic art and writing. We get a story that’s simultaneously hilarious and genuinely frightening and unnerving. If you aren’t reading this, you really need to get with the program.

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