A-Force (1st series) #1

Issue Date: 
July 2015
Story Title: 

Marguerite Bennet & G. Willow Wilson (writers), Jorge Molina (penciler), Jorge Molina & Craig Yeung (inkers), Laura Martin & Matt Milla (colorists), Virtual Caligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Jim Cheung & Laura Martin (cover artists), Alanna Smith (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Variant covers by: Skottie Young; Russell Dauterman & Matt Wilson; Shane Davis & Jesus Aburtov; Sia Oum; Stephanie Hans; Adam Hughes; Jorge Molina; Sara Pichelli & Edgar Delgado

Brief Description: 

Within Battleworld there is the peaceful zone called Arcadia, overseen by Baroness She-Hulk and her team, A-Force. The peace is disturbed by the sudden arrival through Arcadia's ocean of a massive megalodon shark. Captain Marvel, Dazzler, Sister Grimm, Pixie and America Chavez are on hand to deal with the monster, resulting in America Chavez tossing it over the border, where it falls into the Deadlands. This is noticed by the Battleworld authorities, and Sam Wilson of the Thor Corps arrives and announces that America Chavez has forsaken the sanctity of Doom's borders. She-Hulk meets with Sheriff Strange, who is not interested in making an exception for the young heroine, she must be punished for violating Battleworld's laws. Some of A-Force are gathered in their Hall of Justice, with Loki and Sister Grimm in particular upset about America's impending fate. Several of the Thor Corps arrive, and take America to the prison of the Shield. She-Hulk tells Sister Grimm that she is sorry, but Sister Grimm is not interested. She-Hulk decides that they must learn how the megalodon infiltrated Arcadia, and requests that the Sub-Mariners are summoned. She-Hulk, Medusa and several other members of A-Force gather on the shores with Namor, Namora and Namorita, who swim into the depths, and make an unexpected discovery. At the lighthouse, Sister Grimm is grieving for America, when a strange woman crashes to the ground from above.

Full Summary: 

She-Hulk a.k.a. Jennifer Walters opens her curtains inside her room within the realm of Arcadia, itself residing in the patchwork reality known as Battleworld. 'Rise and shine ladies' she remarks, while thinking 'In the vast oceans of our planet, isolated from the forbidden domains of Battleworld, there is an island'. The island is red roofs and friendly dogs, green hills and water blue as heartache. It is bells at dawn and bells at dusk, rising towers of stone and silver, clay and chrome. It is its people, the good, the bad, and the rest of them – doctors and lawyers, teachers and thieves, scientists, artists, musicians and mystics, brothers and sisters in arms. Heroes and villains. Family and friends. 'In the shadow of the shield, with the sun on the sea... there is an island. Welcome to Arcadia. It's pretty tight'.

In a dining room, Miss America Chavez yawns as she walks down a staircase. The female Loki tells her that she is going to be late for patrol, and that she would wager her crown to America's coat that she is going to be late. 'You're gonna regret that when you see how sick I look in your pointy bug hat' America replies, while Nico Minoru a.k.a Sister Grimm shoves some cereal into her mouth.

In the marketplace, Alison “Dazzler” Blaire smiles as she passes a food stall, and reports into her communication device that she is coming as fast as she can. 'We starting East or West shore today?' she asks, while nearby, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and their daughter Danielle stroll by. 'Borders won't patrol themselves, doll' Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel points out as she sits atop the fire station, sipping a hot drink while reading her portable device.

Elsewhere, Medusa kisses the face of her motionless husband, Black Bolt, and She-Hulk announces that she is arriving at headquarters.

Up in the sky on patrol, Captain Marvel smiles as she flies high, America Chavez following her, then Megan Gwynn a.k.a. Pixie, Sister Grimm and Dazzler, too, light glittering around her on this glorious sunny day.

She-Hulk descends into the Hall of Justice, where various high-tech monitors are situated amongst the period architecture, 'We know we are blessed. In the wilderness of the world, Arcadia is a garden' she thinks to herself, while Medusa stands nearby, arms crossed, and Jessica Drew a.k.a. Spider-Woman reports that it was a quiet night, with one minor break-in, all handled. She-Hulk thanks her, before communicating with the patrol team and asking them how the patrol goes. For even gardens have serpents. Some a little deadlier than others.

And on a boat off shore, Meggan and Crystal are using their elemental powers to raise fish out of the sea, when suddenly, the waters whirl about. 'Holy -' Dazzler gasps as she and others on patrol fly overhead, a huge shark with spikes around its face and on its back has burst up from the water, creating a wave that knocks the fishing boat Meggan and Crystal are on back across the water.

'A-FORCE assemble!' She-Hulk commands via communicator. She is the leader of A-Force, and the Baroness of Arcadia. 'She-Hulk, what is this thing? Where did it -?' Dazzler calls back as she and other others move towards it. 'Captain Marvel!' America Chavez calls out, as Captain Marvel looks determined and flies towards the large shark, 'Whatever the hell it is... it doesn't belong here!' she points out as she slams her fist into the shark's underside. The shark manages to latch onto America Chavez's jacket with its sharp teeth, and dives back under the water, dragging the young heroine along with it. 'America!' Captain Marvel calls out.

Watching the chaos on monitors, She-Hulk commands Dazzler to get the nearby civilians out of the way, and asks Nico what she has for her. 'My spells are one-shot. I need a word I've never used, I need -' Sister Grimm explains, before exclaiming 'Bioenergy'. The magic runs through her veins, and a bolt strikes the shark, causing the creature to release America Chavez. But the shark thrashes upwards, its massive mouth appearing above the water sending several boats careening backwards and civilians are tossed about with ease. 'Gotcha!' Dazzler calls out as she carries a woman and a boy to the beach, dropping them safely on the sand, where Captain Marvel is tending to another civilian. Dazzler adds that she was starting to think the whole sound-waves-to-laser power wasn't going to come in handy, and the Mutant Queen of Disco spins around on her roller skates, 'That's it, sugar – sing!' she calls out as the shark receives Dazzler's laser power fired towards it, causing the shark to be cast through the air, where the massive creature lands on a nearby street. 'Watch out for the civilians on the coast!' She-Hulk calls out over the communicator, and the civilians scatter to avoid the shark landing on them.

Captain Marvel, Dazzler, Pixie, Sister Grimm and America Chavez fly towards the shark, 'What is that thing?' America asks. 'It's a megalodon! Extinct two million years -' Captain Marvel begins, as Dazzler points out that it might be the only one of its kind. 'Yeah – and so am I' America points out as she drops down beside the megalodon and exclaims 'Sharnado tried to murder me and my friends. I got a strict policy on that'. With that, she raises the creature overhead and tosses it skyward. 'America, no!' Dazzler exclaims. 'America, yes!' America Chavez replies. 'Nobody tell PETA' she whispers, while the shark hits the edge of the barrier surrounding Arcadia, and it drops downwards, landing in the Deadlands, where several skeletal zombies walk towards it.

'America!' someone calls out. America turns to her companions and asks where Captain Marvel has gone, and whether anyone on the shore was hurt. Dazzler reports that there were no injuries, that everyone is fine, and Carol is sweeping the area. 'Oh, America, noooo...' Pixie utters as she looks upwards. 'What? I rescued us, all of us, they're not gonna -' America begins, when suddenly, there is a flash of light, and Sam Wilson of the Thor Corps appears, his wings extending out behind him. 'Sam Wilson? One of the Thors?' someone asks.

'America Chavez. It grieves me that you have violated Battleworld's greatest laws' Sam Wilson announces. He takes America by her arm and announces that she has breached the shield and endangered everyone under its protection. 'And worse, you have forsaken the sanctity of Doom's borders' he adds. 'Take it easy, tall, dark and hawkward' America declares, while Sister Grimm assures her that everything is going to be okay, that they will get her out of this. There is anogther flash of energy and someone exclaims 'America!'

Shortly: 'It's not about the child, whatever her name is. This is about the law and the will of Doom' Doctor Strange, Sheriff of Battleworld declares via holographic projection. 'America Chavez. You should say her name, Sheriff Strange' She-Hulk snaps. But Strange replies that he does not need to know her name to know that she violated the sacred precept of their world – that the borders are never to be crossed. She-Hulk points out that America is young, and she was caught up in the chaos of battle after nearly dying in the defense of their land. Strange remarks that she also damaged the Shield. 'So now she will serve out her life on it, in defense of the many lands of Battleworld' he explains. 'She saved the lives of countless civilians, and -' She-Hulk protests, but Strange declares that Doom's law is absolute, and reminds her that she is the Baroness because she was the lawgiver of Arcadia. 'The child broke that law, which is clear and inviolate. She must be punished. You are meant to be impartial, legal, just' Strange adds. But She-Hulk tells him that she does not believe the laws are just. She-Hulk turns to leave the communications chamber and Strange reminds her that they are God's laws and she cannot bend them to protect her friends from their own guilt. 'Would you have the wrath of Doom fall on you and all the people of your island for defiance? Go, and do as you are honor-bound, the Thors are already on their way' Strange finishes.

She-Hulk goes into another part of the Hall of Justice, 'Ms America, I am truly...' she begins, while America stands with her head hanging next to Sister Grimm, who tells her not to be angry, and that it will be okay, they will find a way. Behind them are Medusa, Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman, Pixie, Ororo Munro a.k.a. Storm and Jean “Phoenix” Grey. America tells Nico that she is not shaking because she is angry. 'This is hard enough, Hermanita. I'll be okay. It's you I'm worried about' she adds.

'America? What has happened here?' Loki demands as she strides into the chamber. 'Did doom grant her -?' Carol asks. She-Hulk reports that he did not. 'Oh, Jennifer... I'm sorry' Carol declares. America smiles as she and Loki embrace. 'Here, you're soaking wet' Loki points out as she places her cloak around America. America informs Loki that the verdict has already come back. Loki pulls America closer to her, and their heads rest against each other, as America tells Loki that she has to feet the stupid cat. 'No listening to any old damn mopey music, or I'll make Dazzler throw all your vinyls into the sea, I swear I'll find a way. I'm not dying, I'm just...' her voice trails off, before she tells Loki not to let Nico blame herself, as this isn't her fault. 'This isn't yours' she adds, when suddenly, there is a blinding light, and several of the Thor Corps appear in the room.

She-Hulk hangs her head as she states 'America Chavez, called Ms America... by the mercy of Doom, for violation of the first law, you are sentenced... for all the days of your life... to the prison of the Shield'.

Loki and America stare at each other, as America Chavez is encased in the light that surrounds the Thor Corps, 'AMERICA!' Sister Grimm screams, while Spider-Woman holds her back. Loki drops to the ground and picks her cloak up, America's sweater is with it. She and Sister Grimm hold hands in silence. She-Hulk approaches Loki and tells her that she is sorry, that she tried to intercede with Doom. 'I pled for America's -' she begins, as Sister Grimm points at She-Hulk and asks 'You couldn't have given us more than a moment with her? Some time to say goodbye?' She-Hulk folds her arms and tells Nico that she couldn't, for once Doom's forces learned what America had done, it was out of her power. “Out of your power” Nico quotes, tears streaming down her face, before Loki puts an arm around Nico, who clutches America's sweater and leads her out of the room, as Nico calls back 'What I wouldn't give to be out of your power'.

'Jennnifer...' Jean Grey calls out, while Medusa reminds the She-Hulk that she is Baroness of Arcadia, the leader of A-Force. 'Is there anyone among us who doesn't know how thin a tightrope you must walk between what's best for our people and the will of Doom?' Medusa adds, while Jean points out that Nico is young, and is grieving, so she can't have meant what she said. 'she and America have been Loki's wards since -' Jean starts to say, but She-Hulk interrupts her, announcing that Arcadia is only strong as long as they are united and A-Force is her defender. Hands on hips, She-Hulk declares that it is their honor and duty to protect this island and her people. 'And that's exactly what I mean to do' she adds, before requesting that the Sub-Mariners are summoned.

Night has fallen. She-Hulk declares that something has trespassed on their borders, something that is a danger to all Arcadia, but she cannot say what it has set in motion. 'I do not know where or why that monster appeared – but it cost us one of our own. And more may be coming. Tonight, we are going to learn the truth'. Civilians gather along the street and watch She-Hulk, Medusa, Storm, Spider-Woman, Phoenix and Pixie stride past, while Dazzler and Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Spectrum fly overhead, and Spider-Gwen watches from a nearby rooftop. A-Force arrive at the shore, where Namor, Namora and the blue-skinned Namorita are waiting. 'Arcadia calls you to aid!' She-Hulk tells them. 'We answer' Namor replies. She-Hulk announces that they are going to learn the source of the apparition that cost them their sister. She adds that she won't allow any others to suffer America's fate. 'We will find this threat. We will root it out. We will know at last – for good – or for evil – what serpents have come into our garden'. The Sub-Mariners dive into the water and swim to the depths of the sea, blackness awaits them. Standing on the shore, Medusa tells She-Hulk that when she spoke of what is best, this folly is not what she meant. 'You govern Arcadia, not the people. Were I Baroness -' Medusa begins, to which She-Hulk quickly reminds her that she is not. And, down below the depths, Namor goes wide-eyed upon discovering something.

Nico sits outside Bishop Lighthouse which stands on a cliff overlooking the ocean. 'I couldn't – I couldn't save – America!' she sobs. She wipes away her tears, and looks upwards, 'America?' she calls out. She grins and gets to her feet, as a female figure can be seen falling from the sky in a streak of blue energy. 'You found a way back, you found – oh, no' Sister Grimm gasps as the energy collides with the beach below the cliff. Sister Grimm shields herself from the sand and dirt that blows upwards upon impact, she coughs, 'Ameri-' she calls out as she looks over the edge of the cliff. She climbs down and picks up the female figure into her arms. Kneeling inside the crater, Sister Grimm holds the female, whose entire body appears to be that of a starlit night, 'Who... are you?' Nico asks.


Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI, Crystal, Dazzler, Loki, Medusa, Meggan, Ms America, Phoenix IV, Pixie III, She-Hulk, Sister Grimm, Spectrum, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman I, Storm (all A-Force)

Singularity (unnamed)

Namor, Namora, Namorita (all Sub-Mariners)

Beta Ray Bill, Red Norvell, King Thor, Thunderstrike, Sam Wilson (all Thor Corps)

Doctor Strange / Sheriff Strange

Black Bolt
Luke Cage & Jessica Jones
Danielle Cage

Story Notes: 

This series ties into the 2015 Secret Wars Event even though it will continue beyond the event.

It is a part of the “Warzones” imprint.

America Chavez calls the megalodon “Sharknado”, referencing the “Sharknado” film from 2013 and its sequel, “Sharknado 2: The Second One” from 2014. Both films were directed by Anthony C Ferrante and star Ian Ziering and Tara Reid.

America’s story continues in the Siege limited series.

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