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Comic Book / A-Force

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The A probably stands for Action Girl.

A-Force is a Marvel Comics title following an all-female super team spun-out from The Avengers.

Originally conceived as a limited series tying into 2015's Secret Wars, the first volume of A-Force was written by G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel) and Marguerite Bennett (Angela), with Jorge Molina on illustration duties. During this brief run of issues, A-Force was introduced as the peacekeeping squadron of Arcadia, a "feminist paradise" that existed on Battleworld. When one of their own is unfairly banished by God Doom, team leader She-Hulk resolves to make things right, all the while uncovering a conspiracy about the world they inhabit.

With the second volume —this time set in the All-New, All-Different Marvel universe— A-Force has never existed, prompting Singularity (a cosmic being who met them on Battleworld) to reunite with her new friends — despite none of them having any memory or knowledge of the reality she used to know. Kelly Thompson (Jem & The Holograms) and Ben Caldwell assume creative duties, following the original team's departure.

Each member covers unique corners of the Marvel Universe note , including:

This book is considered part of Marvel's initiative to diversify its comics franchises, alongside Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel, Sam Wilson taking over the mantle of Captain America, and Jane Foster taking over the mantle of Thor.

Compare to DC Comics' Bombshells, also written by Bennett.

General tropes:

  • Amazon Brigade: The entire point of the book.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Singularity, who is technically naked, because she has a Celestial Body.
  • Celestial Body: Singularity's body is made of "outer space", including stars.
  • Feminist Fantasy: Flat out stated to be one by the writers. The story is about female superheroes being heroes in their own right, out of the shadows of the male characters they were either spun-off from, introduced as the lover of, or took orders from on a team.
  • The Lancer: Medusa continuously questions She-Hulk's orders by stating what she'd do if she were in charge.
    Medusa: "Do your duty, Jennifer. Before I do it for you."
  • Only Six Faces: The art tries very hard to avert Only One Female Mold with questionable success, but saying that it only has six faces might be an overstatement. Exemplified by this page that probably wanted to suggest unity, but ends up more into interchangeability.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Singularity is typically portrayed with a faint smile, making her seem either oblivious or unconcerned with the events going on around her.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The creators themselves describe the team as a band of differing personalities, ideologies and powersets that come together for a common cause.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Singularity has been compared to Q of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame by the author.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Each member represents a different "corner" of the Marvel Universe. Nico represents not only the Kid Hero, but also the mystic sphere.note 

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    Volume 1: Battleworld 
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Averted Trope in the page image. Deliberately so, according to one of the writers here.
  • Came from the Sky: Singularity literally fell from the sky at the end of issue #1. And in issue #2 when Nico tries to explain this to the others Battle World's Alien Sky gets a nod. From where? It's nothing up there!
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Almost the whole 5th issue.
  • The Chains of Commanding: She-Hulk is forced to make some harsh and unpopular decisions to protect her teammates and subjects.
  • Cute Mute: Singularity in her introduction. She speaks her first word at the end of issue #3.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Unsurprisingly, Loki! She got tired of She-Hulk's rule and conspired to get rid of her. This backfires spectacularly.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: In issue one, Miss America accidentally launches a Megalodon out of Arcadia's borders and into the Deadlands. Thus, she is banished for breaking one of Doom's laws.
  • Genius Loci: Singularity is a pocket universe that has gained sapience.
  • Happily Adopted: Nico and Miss America are "wards" of Loki (female version, who is apparently Mistress of Secrets), and love each other like family.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Singularity. Albeit the last page and the new series solicits show that she survived.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Nico has never bared her midriff before. She has always dressed as a goth, but always covering her whole body, with no room for sexy clothing.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Nico pulls this with Singularity. Loki, being the awesome parent figure she is, at first assumes that Nico summoned the strange girl to feel less lonely.
  • If I Can't Have You…: When Loki's scheme is revealed and she's captured, she decides that if she can't have Arcadia, no one will and brings down the Shield, bringing in an invasion of zombies.
  • Kid with the Leash: Nico Minoru provides an emotional tether for Singularity, and keeps her grounded onto a human perspective.
  • Lady Land: Arcadia, one of the lands within Battleworld, is described by the writers as "a feminist paradise". It is a world where women came to be in control.
  • The Leader: Played with. She-Hulk is the official Baroness of Arcadia, but Medusa, Nico, Storm, Dazzler, and Captain Marvel are all leaders in their own right. The potential for conflict is... fraught.
  • A Mother to Her Men: She-Hulk is shown to be a compassionate and protective leader, doing her best to protect her citizens and teammates from harm.
  • Mission Control: She-Hulk is this in the first issue, directing orders from a command center.
  • Rules Lawyer: Battleworld's Steven Strange chastises Baroness She-Hulk for not upholding the letter of Doom's laws. It's implied that, despite being appointed to do so, She-Hulk has instead used Loophole Abuse and Exact Words to protect her subjects.
  • The Scapegoat: Queen Medusa assumes Singularity is responsible for the portals because one opens when she feels threatened... never mind that the first was apparently already open before she arrived. Not being able to talk she can't even defend herself, but the others stand up for her.
  • Small, Secluded World: Arcadia is this, being an island isolated from the rest of Battleworld. Unlike some examples of the trope, though, they do communicate with the outside world, but usually when there's some serious matter to attend to.
  • Threatening Shark: An attack from a prehistoric, long-extinct species of shark is what leads to Miss America's banishment and the rest of the events of the series.
  • Token Good Teammate: Baroness She-Hulk is shown to be this, in comparison to most of the other barons and rulers that inhabit Battleworld.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Nico lashes out at She-Hulk when her "sister", Miss America, gets banished and Baroness She-Hulk doesn't stop it.

     Volume 2: All-New, All-Different 
  • All-Loving Hero: She-Hulk and Captain Marvel are both Paragons through and through, doing their best to help and do the right thing. Singularity is a mix between this and The Cutie, only wanting to make friends, help people, and have fun. These three are also the ones who want to try and stop Anti-Matter without killing him, if possible.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    • Justified with Medusa after Nico casts a spell that allows her to survive in space without a helmet—since, with one on, Medusa's powers would be useless.
    • Averted with Dazzler, which is then exploited by Anti-Matter. Dazzler was the only member of the team not adapted to surviving in space, so he blasts her first to rupture her suit.
  • Black Sheep: Issue #2 reveals that Nico's family views her as this due to her superpowers and Doom Magnet tendencies.
  • Blunt "Yes": When Dazzler accuses Medusa of disliking giving everyone a vote because a queen has little use for democracy, Medusa just flatly says she's correct.
  • Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Despite the trope being deliberately averted in the cover above, it is played absolutely straight in regards to She-Hulk on this variant.
  • Broken Bird: Both Nico and Dazzler are this prior to joining A-Force, Nico was forced into a Battle Royale situation, lost her arm and actually got killed. Dazzler was kidnapped and was farmed for mutant growth hormone for half a year. This allows the two to bond quickly as kindred spirits.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Allison still obeys the laws of Doom, even separated from her original world. She begins to have doubts about this later on, however.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Nico has tried to retire from superheroics and live a relatively normal and visit her distant family in Japan. That doesn't work out when Singularity and the rest of the team drop on her doorstep, with Anti-Matter in tow.
  • Care-Bear Stare: A-Force ultimately defeats The Countess by turning themselves into copies of Nico and group casting a spell using the lyrics of Love Is All You Need as an incantation to make her feel all the positive emotion she never experienced during her life in Killville on Battleworld. This renders her enlightened and remorseful, but Nico still punches her out for mind controlling her to commit evil.
  • The Cape: She-Hulk resolves to protect Singularity within seconds of meeting her. The other women (aside from Captain Marvel) need a bit more convincing.
  • Characterization Marches On: In-Universe lampshade-hanging. When Singularity meets the canon universe's Dazzler, she is shocked by how different she is and how angry she's become. Battleworld's Dazzler was largely based on her original personality and appearance.
  • Character Development: The old Nico, while not as stridently "Adults Are Useless" as some of the other Runaways, would never have been friends with adult superheroes. After the events of Avengers Arena and Avengers Undercover, she became a lot less judgemental and moralizing. As of this comic, she's happy to be part of group-hugs with the rest of the ladies and has become friends with everyone - especially Dazzler, She-Hulk and Singularity.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Nico has grown weary of being a Doom Magnet and wants to have some semblance of an ordinary life. She also doesn't have complete confidence in her abilities.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: The Countess tries to brainwash Nico to join her side.
  • The Cutie: Singularity tends to smile a lot and only wants to help and make her friends happy.
  • Death Is Cheap: Dazzler is killed by Antimatter, but comes back rather quickly. Alice, whom Nico was forced to kill in order to end the virus that turned people into insect creatures, comes back from the dead within minutes!
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Invoked by She-Hulk and Captain Marvel, since Allison is a By-the-Book Cop and tries to arrest them for "treason", thinking they're the same A-Force from Battleworld.
  • Foil: Medusa and Dazzler. One is a no-nonsense and haughty queen and the other is a snarky and relatively poor entertainer. The difference between the two is best demonstrated when Dazzler accuses Medusa of not valuing a group consensus because she's a queen and thus has no respect for democracy. Medusa agrees.
  • For Your Own Good: Carol wants to have Nico taken into custody for her own good, as it was predicted that Nico would kill someone named Anna in the near-future.
  • A God Am I: When the team tries talking to Anti-Matter to resolve their conflict peacefully, the attempt fails because Anti-Matter sees them as "ants", and views negotiating with them like a farmer negotiating with livestock.
  • It's All My Fault: After Dazzler dies fighting Anti-Matter, Singularity decides to confront him alone because she feels terrible about pulling everyone together.
    • Nico gets her moment when she felt she was the most useless member during the fight with Thanos that led to She-Hulk's coma.
  • Group Hug: After Dazzler reveals she's dying, the team gets together for a big group hug.
  • Gut Feeling: Not said in so many words, but the same idea comes across when She-Hulk attempts to negotiate with Anti-Matter, because every response he gives just sounds more and more like Card-Carrying Villainy.
  • Intimate Hair Brushing: The second issue opens with Nico Minoru brushing Singularity's hair, signifying their closeness.
  • The Juggernaut: In the first two issues, nothing that the ladies throws at Anti-Matter can stop him for long. At best, they can teleport him away or disperse him, but he's always assured to come back and attack them again.
  • The Lad-ette: Both She-Hulk and Allison are Boisterous Bruisers. This allows the two to bond during an after-battle meal.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The series usually goes out of its way to avoid this. Whenever two heroes have strong disagreements, someone on the team will always suggest trying to talk things out first. In fact, they also try this with the villains from time-to-time.
  • No Body Left Behind: Downplayed, when knocked out by Nico the Countess disappears, so does the Dazzler Thor when she succumbs to her M-Pox.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Medusa always opt for the most efficient, decisive solution to a problem, even if it's not particularly nice. She is, however, still trying to do the right thing and has lines that she won't cross. She also keeps her word once given.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Singularity takes it upon herself to reunite Arcadia's A-Force on Earth-616 —- even though none of them remember Battleworld, or Singularity for that matter.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": She-Hulk is positively giddy at the idea of fighting a giant dragon, saying that it was always something on her bucket list.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Dazzler has become this in her current incarnation; she's not happy about being dragged into this mess, but she does want to help.
  • The Lancer: Averted with Captain Marvel. When She-Hulk starts having trouble keeping the team in line, she gives Jennifer encouragement and even advice.
  • The Load: Medusa gets on Dazzler's bad side when she states that Dazzler is useless against Anti-Matter (since her powers have the least effect on him).
  • Morality Pet: Medusa at first decides to turn Singularity over to Anti-Matter to make the monster go away, but after Singularity shows sympathy for one of Medusa's lost men, Medusa decides to save her no matter what.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: In Issue #5, the team meets a Battleworld version of Dazzler who is also a Thor. Dazzler makes it clear that the other version of herself makes her uncomfortable, but the two still begin to bond.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Prime Earth version of this team fits this more than the original Battleworld incarnation. That's because in Battleworld, they were an official combat unit. On this Earth, very few of the women have anything to do with each other and only get together because Singularity wants them all to be together again.
  • Reality Warper: The Countess is one, but she's not a particularly powerful one. That's why one of her first actions was to mindcontrol Nico so that Nico could do all the heavy-lifting for her.
  • "Rediscovering Roots" Trip: In the opening arc, Nico is travelling to Japan to reconnect with her surviving family. Unfortunately for her, a monster attacks her cousin's wedding reception and she is forced to go back into the superhero business.
  • Ret-Gone: Singularity is crushed because only she remembers Battleworld, but she still wants to reconnect with her friends. She keeps trying to reach out, but no one knowing her becomes more and more disheartening.
  • Secretly Dying: Dazzler has contracted M-Pox, but hides it so as not to burden her team-mates. Allison also has M-Pox and does the same thing. Eventually both Allisons come clean with their status.
  • Sixth Ranger: Captain Marvel, but downplayed in that most of her time will be spent with The Ultimates.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Singularity finds that the new "Prime Earth" (Earth-616 after Secret Wars (2015)) is very like Arcadia, where she came from, but different.
  • Team Dad: She-Hulk is forced into this role to keep the team together. She puts her foot down hard and firmly when she needs to.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Much of the team operates this way (only She-Hulk, Singularity and Captain Marvel are friendly and genuinely want to work together). In particular, Medusa and Dazzler really don't like each other.
  • Utopia: Arcadia - a Lady Land that's part of the world replacing Earth-616 after the destruction of the Marvel multiverse in the Secret Wars Crisis Crossover - where women rule the world, is described as a "feminist paradise". However, the first issue suggests it might be a subversion and Arcadia still has to abide to the laws of Battleworld (as in, laws of Doctor Doom) and the comic seems to say that utopia in one place is worthless if the rest of the world is still hell.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: As the team discusses whether or not to try negotiating with, or just kill Anti-Matter, Dazzler states that she thinks killing him is the best option. After Medusa says she agrees, Dazzler says she wants to change her mind, because if she and Medusa are agreeing, that means she made mistake somewhere.