In the previous issue, it was predicted by Ulysses that Nico would kill someone named Alice. Refusing to believe some random prophet that she could be a killer, Nico runs away from the rest of A-Force, and ends up in a town infested with mutant bug people. It turns out that in this town, a girl named Alice is missing.
Written by Kelly Thompson, the story is somewhat predictable in how it turns out, but that doesn’t make this any less good. There’s a very strong balance between character drama, humour and a creepy story. Most of the humour comes from guest star Elsa Bloodstone, who should seriously get a regular role somewhere. Meanwhile, there’s a very well written scene between Dazzler and Medusa, where even Medusa shows a bit of doubt concerning the terrigen mists and that she wishes she could help mutants, even if a lot of the other Inhumans don’t seem to care. Apart from Nico being prophesized to kill Alice, this comic doesn’t have much to do with Civil War II besides Nico and Captain Marvel debating over her side of the conflict. It’s a very well-written conversation that mostly shows Nico’s point of view as she’s asking very good questions, but it’s still a balanced scene.
Without spoilers, the ending isn’t all that surprising, but it seems to be leading to an emotionally intense finale to this story arc. Instead, let’s just say that this story could easily work just as well without the Civil War II tie-in, but at the same time, the tie-in aspect doesn’t hurt the story in any way. It rounds out this issue to a well-balanced story where each character gets some sort of great moment.
The art by Paulo Siqueira is great. There’s a clean look to everything, and there’s a fair amount of background detail. The outside shot of the infected town and some of the action shots in the mine stand out as particularly great visual moments. Nico’s magic is also handled in visually interesting ways, whether it’s a bunch of glowing butterflies at one point or sparkles around her body when she’s flying. And finally, the bug creatures look appropriately creepy and gross, especially when they’re in mid-transformation. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colouring is also fantastic. Everything’s bright and colourful when it needs to be, but there’s also great use of darkness in the mine while still making everything easy to see.
A-Force continues to be a delightful read. It’s basically an all-star female superhero team in the Marvel Universe, with a cast full of diverse personalities that makes for great character drama in addition to a wide set of powers. Also, you don’t really need to be reading Civil War II to understand what’s going on in this story. If any of that sounds interesting, you should check this series out.