Previously in A-Force #3
A-Force has been an amazing experience. The story was always exciting, at times heartbreaking, and while the mystery surrounding the traitor might have been a tad obvious, the payoff has been extremely satisfying.
Nico realizes the mystery girl has been adapting characteristics from the members of A-Force. Using a bit of their kindness, spirit, fierceness, and empathy, she selflessly offers up the pocket universe that makes up her body as a safe haven for the team.
While there, the others question She-Hulk on what she experienced when she went through the portal. She believes the magic responsible for opening the portals came from someone with ties to Asgard and the magic the Thors use. That leaves only one person.
I felt so proud that I called this last issue, but in hindsight, I’m not sure we were meant to think anything else. Of course, this revelation leaves Nico devastated.
Back in Arcadia, the Thors (led by Gamora Thor) thank Loki for her assistance and promise she’ll be made Baroness of Arcadia once the others are caught. Her grand plans are interrupted when the others return – and what an entrance! – to make Loki pay for her crimes.
As they fight, Loki claims she did what she had to in order to save Arcadia from She-Hulk’s weak rule. She still blames her for America being sent to The Shield. Nico is the only one who can get Loki to stop fighting, and as her surrogate mother pleads for forgiveness and understanding, Nico realizes that Loki is still lying. The portals were opening before America was taken. In fact, they were the reason she was exiled.
Hearing this, the Thors turn on Loki (You can’t expect it to end well when you make a fool of a Thor). But she doesn’t go quietly. If she can’t have Arcadia, no one can. She unleashes a power which tears a hole in The Shield and unleashes the undead upon Arcadia.
- I can’t stress enough how gorgeous this book is. Every page is a marvel; the splash pages are particularly beautiful and the action panels are exciting. The design of the mystery girl (her body is a universe!) has always been stunning, but it’s at its best here as we see just what she’s capable of.
- It may have been obvious from the beginning that Loki was the traitor, but so many aspects of the story were compelling (America’s exile, the discovery of the portals, She-Hulk’s journey, etc.) and I was completely swept up in them. As mentioned above, the payoff was satisfying because even if you guessed it was Loki, as you’re watching her gloat you know the real drama will come when she’s reunited with Nico.
- And that did not disappoint. I love that Nico was able to show just how hurt and betrayed she was, yet still remain strong enough to help bring Loki to justice.
- This conclusion can’t come soon enough, but I’m thrilled this series will continue beyond Secret Wars.