A-Force 5 marks writer Kelly Thompson’s first credit as sole writer for a Marvel comic, and from this point on, she’ll be the sole writer for A-Force. As someone who enjoyed reading her columns on Comicbookresources from a while back, I’m happy for her. This issue sort-of feels like a one-off story, but at the same time, it begins a new story arc. It’s kind of weird that way, but regardless, it’s a lot of fun.
The comic begins with the all-female team fighting what appears to be a dragon, along with an immigrant from Doom’s Battleworld, Dazzler Thor. From the very first page, the dialogue between the A-Force members is fun. The interactions between the team members continue to show some of the conflicts between them, while they’re still able to be friendly when they need to. Dazzler Thor is very entertaining in this issue, yet her interactions with main Universe Dazzler also brings this issue’s main dramatic moment. Let’s just say it ties into the terrigen mist storyline that’s going on. Up until the end of the comic, save for how Dazzler describes the “dragon”, this issue feels like a one-off. It’s the last few pages where that changes, and promises that things will get much more complicated in the issues to come.
The art by Ben Caldwell is just as fun as the comic itself. The opening page mostly shows the team as they’re looking at the “dragon”, and there’s some great visual storytelling as Dazzler and Nico’s body language show they clearly want to avoid the fight, while She-Hulk excitedly prepares by tearing a tree out of the ground. There are touches of character moments in the art, like Singularity hugging Nico’s head while talking about Dazzler Thor to the others, and Nico adjusting her hat afterward. There are so many of these touches that it would take multiple paragraphs to list them all, but it’s great. The background detail is impressive, especially when the team head to an Asgardian-themed restaurant. That said, the art isn’t perfect. There are some panels where character heads are angled a bit odd, and while most facial expressions do a good job at conveying emotions, not all of thems work. Ian Herring’s colouring is great. Everything is bright, colourful and appealing, and the overall shading in each page perfectly matches its mood.
If the rest of Thompson’s run on this series as the sole writer will be anything like this issue, then we’re in for a treat. This is a very fun comic, with a touch of serious drama to add weight to the story. Although I don’t think Dazzler Thor would make for a good permanent member, she’s a welcome addition to this story arc. Anyone who’s interested in an all-star female team in the Marvel Universe should be reading this series.