RECAP/REVIEW: A-Force #3 – “Do Your Duty”
Get ready to hold onto something, because this issue is a rollercoaster! (Missed Issue 2? Check out the recap here!: A-Force #2. The below is a full recap so if you don’t want spoilers stop reading now!)
In the latest issue of A-Force, She-Hulk arrived on the other side of the portal. Standing in an apocalyptic Manhattan, She-Hulk reflects on the mess Arcadia has become. A-Force has lost a sister, they’ve been attacked by a giant robot and now a portal’s appeared. Despite things falling down all around her She-Hulk is still able to stay calm and stand strong, ready to keep the rest of the team together. The superhero pose was never more fitting.
A sudden explosion occurs forcing her to jump out of its way. Three giant robots are ready to destroy She-Hulk because she’s wandered out of the bounds of Battleworld. Someone (cough *Doom* cough) doesn’t want anyone knowing what the world was like before Battleworld was created. She-Hulk and the robots begin their fight, though doesn’t last long though she swiftly takes them down with her bare hands.
Just when she thinks she’s safe, three members of the Thor police appear, ready to arrest her. She tries to reason with them but they won’t hear it, and so she has to deal with them the hard way. It’s great to finally see some female members of the Thor police front and centre; most of the ones we see in the main Secret Wars comic are male. One of the Thors looks like She-Hulk, but I’m torn as to whether it’s another version of her or just another person (there’s also a ‘green on green violence’ pun that made me chuckle/cringe.)
Flying through the portal again, she finds herself surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colours. The shots of various older comics meshing in and out of reality really emphasizes the tone of the whole Secret Wars arc; the old Marvel universes breaking down and coming together to form a new universe. It’s also fun trying to pick out any characters I recognise.
While rushing through the portal, She-Hulk realises that the magic used to make the portal is from Arcadia. There’s a traitor in their mist! Once she lands safely on the other side she has just enough time to alert her team that she’s being chased before the Thors follow her through. As the members of A-force get ready for battle they all find themselves entangled in Medusa’s hair! Is she the traitor? Remember her comment to She-Hulk in the first issue: “If I were baroness-”. I’m sitting here thinking ‘well this is the not-really plot twist of the century.’
A-Force is upset, the Thors are happy, and I’m getting ready to gloat—but wait. Medusa drops the members of A-Force and picks up the Thors giving her teammates time to escape.
Well, the ‘Medusa not being a traitor’ plot twist really threw me off. I think Medusa as the most obvious traitor worked because her shadiness was kept to a minimum. The creators didn’t have to have a stack of moments to try and point the reader in her direction; all they needed was one (maybe two?) and the reader guessed everything for themselves. Kudos to the creators and kudos to those who believed in Medusa all along.
Medusa turns for a second to give She-Hulk a piece of advice. It’s in that moment that she’s hit by the lightning from one of the Thors and is killed. These Secret Wars arcs are cutting me deep; first we lost America and now Medusa? Medusa’s death hits even harder because she sacrificed herself to protect her sisters. She was one of my least favourite characters and now I’m mourning her death. I know I love a comic when a character death leaves me reeling, especially when it comes to characters I used to hate. I’m a sucker for the feels.
Now newly minted fugitives, the A-Force crew have no choice but to escape Arcadia. She-Hulk gives her final order as the leader of A-Force: “Alert Arcadia. We are no longer safe.” The last pages of the issue completely contrast our first look at Arcadia. The heroes that wake up have troubled looks on their faces. The sound of the warning bell lines the panels of the comic, reminding us of the impending danger to Arcadia as we read. The issue ends with A-Force making their escape through the body of the galaxy girl, who says her first word: “Hide.”
Wow. Talk about things going from bad to worse. Next time: …I can’t even guess. Medusa’s death as the queen of the Inhumans—how will that affect the playing field? Until next time!