A-Force #3

"A-Force" #3 feels like a turning point for this ongoing series. With the team fully solidified, Kelly Thompson, G. Willow Wilson and Jorge Molina begin to show readers just how these established characters will work together, even as the relatively new Singularity continues to establish herself. Bit by bit, that early potential we saw in the "Secret Wars" tie-in starts to bear fruit in "A-Force" #3.

The biggest change we've seen thus far is in Singularity, the one character to move wholesale from the alternate-universe miniseries into the ongoing title. Under Thompson and Wilson's guidance, she feels less like an utter clueless child and more like someone who's able to learn and grow based on her experiences. The naivety has been dialed down considerably, with the baby talk almost entirely muted even as she still brings a certain freshness to her interactions. She understands the danger and acts much more like a hero than simply a plot device to reassemble the Marvel Universe versions of the characters she knew in Battleworld. It's a big shift, but definitely one for the better.

As for the rest of the characters, it's nice to see them start to gel. She-Hulk quickly comes across as the natural leader, even as characters like Medusa and Captain Marvel have the room to establish their own commanding personalities. "A-Force" is finally starting to feel less like a random assortment of personalities and more like a real team, even if the characters themselves don't realize it yet. Antimatter also finally comes across as a real threat, thanks in part to his motivation. It's a character who looked creepy but had little else going for him, and it's nice to see him get fleshed out.

Molina's art has been consistent on "A-Force." As with previous issues, I like how he draws the characters, and he's able to give readers a vulnerable She-Hulk that's instantly recognizable at the end of this issue, even as we saw a hard-as-nails version earlier. Even when the characters run around in space suits, they still feel distinct, though it could have just as easily been a homogenous blur. This is a good looking comic, one that moves forward smoothly and effectively, and with a great final page where Singularity's face acts as the hook needed to bring readers back for what happens next.

After a rocky start to the ongoing series, "A-Force" #3 settles in much better now and provides more of a reason to read the comic than just fond feelings for last year's miniseries. When the book debuted, I was less than enthusiastic, but I'm now firmly on board. All in all, a nice recovery.

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