A-Force (1st series) #5

Issue Date: 
December 2015
Story Title: 

Marguerite Bennet & G. Willow Wilson (writers), Jorge Molina (artist), Laura Martin (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Jorge Molina (cover artist), Chris Samnee & Matthew Wilson (variant 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)

Brief Description: 

Dazzler, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Nico and Singularity watch as the zombie horde rushes through the broken Shield, spilling into Arcadia. Fortunately, many other heroines within Arcadia, including Snowbird, Angela, Domino, Misty Knight and Tigra have gathered to assist. She-Hulk rallies all of the heroines, and tells them that they are all A-Force. The battle is a large-scale one, with the heroines working together to protect their beloved Arcadia and its citizens from the horde of the living dead. During the battle, Nico learns Singularity's name, and the strange, mysterious being uses her undefined abilities to absorb all of the zombies into some sort of energy stream, towering upwards into the sky, the zombies are purged from Arcadia, and Singularity seemingly explodes into brilliant lights which fall across Arcadia. Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Dazzler and Nico grieve for the loss of their mysterious friend, while the others celebrate the defeat of the zombies. Afterwards, Loki is taken away by the Thors, and the heroines work together to rebuild the damaged Arcadia. She-Hulk gives some comforting words to Nico, while in the stars above, a shimmering blue figure can be made out – and she smiles.

Full Summary: 

She-Hulk a.k.a. Jennifer Walters tells herself that in the vast oceans of their world, isolated from the forbidden nations of Battleworld, there is an island. It is called Arcadia. Red roofs and friendly dogs, green hills and water blue as heartache. There are bells at down and bells at dusk, rising towers of stone and silver, clay and chrome. It is its people – the good, the bad and all the resto f them...heroes and villains. Family and friends. In the shadow of the shield, with the sun on the sea – there is an island. Tonight, Arcadia is going to fall. Under a darkened sky, She-Hulk stands with her close teammates in A-Force – Alison “Dazzler” Blaire, Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel and Nico Minoru a.k.a. Sister Grimm, along with the mysterious being called Singularity. Dazzler motions to the Shield, a barrier that cuts through the ocean, now with a large gaping hole through it, and exclaims 'Loki – Loki broke the Shield! The dead are coming through!' She-Hulk turns as someone else calls out 'Let them come', and she sees Sif, Valkyrie and Gamora of the Thor Corps, flanked by Tigra, the Enchantress, Angela, Domino, Clea, Misty Knight, Sera, Clea, Moonstar and Snowbird, as Gamora raises her sword and shouts 'ARCADIA WILL ANSWER!'

She-Hulk turns to the other heroes, and raises her arms as she addresses them: 'People of the island... we have been given a paradise. This is our home. A beacon amid all the darkness of Battleworld'. She hangs her head and admits that she allowed herself to be misled, and failed to be worthy of Arcadia. She looks back up at the women and announces that she will not fail to be worthy of them. She declares that anyone who rises today will be counted among A-Force, will be known, now and always, as a heroine of Arcadia. 'I ask you now, all who are worthy, all who are willing... A-Force... ASSEMBLE' She-Hulk cries out, as zombies emerge from the Deadlands beyond the Shield. As the first wave of zombies appear, several heroes move forward for the first attack. Captain Marvel leads the way, followed by She-Hulk, Dazzler, Singularity and Nico. With them are Stature, Elektra, the Black Cat, Psylocke, Moondragon, Sif and the Winter Soldier.

Another wave of zombies pushes forward through the city, growling and roaring, while on the water's edge, Crystal and Meggan use their vast elemental abilities to create a large wave which knocks dozens of zombies backwards.

'Sushi, anyone?' Namor asks as he smacks a zombie through the air. 'Gross, Namor. Gross' Namora tells him as she punches a zombie in the face. Nearby, someone cries out to the female Hawkeye and Hulkling for help as a zombie grabs her. 'Is that supposed to scare me, you “Walking Dead” reject?' Hakweye asks as she shoves her bow through a zombie's face, then fires an arrow into the head of the zombie who has grabbed the woman, declaring that in Arcadia, they are better than their weapons. Luke Cage holds his daughter tightly, while Jessica Jones kicks a zombie's head right off its shoulders. Sera and Angela fight side-by-side, as Sera slices a zombie in two and remarks 'The weapons don't hurt, though. Well, they do. Well, not us. Ugh, you know what I mean, Angela'. Angela lashes out with a chain which tears a zombie's head right off, and tells Sera that she knows exactly what she means.

'Get outta here, Boogerface!' Molly Hayes exclaims as Colossus and Kitty Pryde stand on either side of her, and lift her up as she kicks a zombie in the face. Nearby, Mary-Jane screams as a zombie looms close to her, but before she is harmed, Spider-Gwen swings down on a some webbing and pulls her to safety, they swing through the air, 'Didn't doubt your friendly neighborhood Spider-Gwen, did you, MJ?' she asks. 'Oh, my hero' Mary Jane gushes. As Captain Marvel flies up between several zombies, knocking them aside, the young Ms Marvel – Kamala – calls out to her and the original Spider Woman: 'You guys, I just have to say, in case we, you know, die -', while she punches a zombie in the face, 'Eyes front, Kamala!' Spider-Woman exclaims as she wraps her leg around a zombie's neck, '- this is so much better than my fanfiction!' Kamala concludes. 'If we make it out alive, I've got fic recs for you!' Dazzler sings as she casts brilliant light towards her opponents. Lucy with Diamonds in the Sky fights alongside her, as does Jubilee, who blasts some fireworks forward and exclaims 'Y'know, “Night of the Living Dead” looks a lot better in Technicolor!' X-23 shoves her claws into a zombie and tells Jubilee to keep the Romero. 'We'll take the Kurosawa' she declares, as Mariko Yashida slices a zombie's head off nearby.

'Yes, yes, you'll all be incredibly useful at a Trivia Night' Black Widow mutters as she fires her gun at a zombie, blasting it in half. 'If we make it to a trivia night' Mockingbird points out as she fires her guns. 'Last one with an empty clip picks up the bar tab we're gonna need' Sharon Carter declares as she opens fire, too. Nearby, Elektra and Psylocke battle the same zombie, with Elektra slicing off its head and an arm, and Psylocke its torso. 'Get into some arm wrestling with She-Hulk, then a drinking contest with – well, everyone' Elektra comments. 'Vodka. Ouzo. Sake. The tears of our enemies' she declares. 'Sounds like a real double-header, Elektra' Psylocke replies, before a zombie looms over her. Rescue blasts her zombie opponents, while Dusty announces that the zombies are to ofar into the city – they are nearly at the school. On the steps of the school, Storm, Jean Grey, the Scarlet Witch, Emma Frost and Firestar defend the grounds against the ever-approaching horde, while Nightcrawler teleports onto the roof to deposit two students.

The zombie horde continue their savagely relentless attack, several start to tear at Black Bolt, while  Armor extends her force field to protect herself from a swarm that have gathered around here. 'There are too many!' Gertrude York cries out as she rides on the back of Old Lace through the battlezone. A large zombie Hulk rampages towards Spectrum, who stands her ground, raising her hand, she blasts a surge of energy through the zombie's stomach, while Monet looks on behind her. 'Got you covered, girl' Spectrum smiles as she and Monet clasp hands, and nearby, Gambit throws a kinetically-charged card into a horde of zombies.

Near the water's edge, Nico finds herself up against a cliff, with zombies shuffling towards her. She looks back to the water as a huge monstrous shark bursts out of the water. Nico narrows her eyes. 'For Medusa. For America' she exclaims as she uses her staff to cast some energy, 'Nico' Singularity exclaims as she swoops down and gabs Nico, pulling her to safety as the shark chomps down on the zombies. Singularity flies over the city, 'Bad. So bad' she remarks to Nico. They look down to a rooftop and seev Angela and Sera and Jessica Jones and Luke Cage battling more zombies. 'Smile. Fight. Feel. Give', while more zombies climb the wall of the building. 'Forgive' she adds. Nico looks confused, before the mysterious being whispers something into Nico's ear. 'What's that? S...Singularity? Your name is Singularity?' Nico grins, as Singularity kisses Nico on the cheek. Singularity then comes to a stop, dropping Nico down near She-Hulk and Captain Marvel. 'Friends!' she exclaims, while Carol calls out to Nico.

Suddenly, Singularity flies towards the massive zombie horde. 'Singularity! No!' Nico exclaims, while blue energy radiates from Singularity, 'Going. Going' she utters as the zombies and shark are struck by the energy. 'Gone!' Singularity declares as the energy spirals upwards into the darkened sky. 'Singularity!' Nico screams. 'Stop her, stop her, please!' she calls out. She-Hulk holds Nico back, while Dazzler and Captain Marvel rush forward. 'Not her too!' Nico utters, when suddenly, there is a blinding light as the energy explodes in the sky above Arcadia. 'Goodbye' Singularity calls out, as from the explosion, sparkling stars fall from the sky, down towards the damaged city of Arcadia. Carol and She-Hulk both have tears in their eyes as they, Dazzler and nico look upwards. 'Saved... she saved us' Nico utters, as tears well up in her eyes, too. She-Hulk embraces Nico, while nearby, Tigra, Kamala, Spider-Gwen, the Black Cat and several others can be seen rejoicing in the defeat of the zombies.

Later, before the headquarters of A-Force, Loki kneels in front of Sif, Gamora and Valkyrie, while She-Hulk stands nearby and declares 'Here is the one who violated the first law. Here is the one who brought all this madness down on us'. 'Seize the traitor!' Gamora calls out. 'Jennifer...' says to She-Hulk. 'Tell... tell Nico I love her. Tell her I am going to see America again' Loki declares, before she is surrounded by the three female members of the Thor Corps, as a brilliant light washes over them, and Gamora gives She-Hulk a warning: 'Your losses are your punishment. This is the price of your freedom'. Believe me, Gamora' She-Hulk replies. 'No one knows that price so well as Arcadia'.

Two days later, the clean-up has begun. Commander Steve Rogers and Hulkling carry large beams, while Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen swing about picking up debris. Namor, Emma Frost, the Black Widow and Kamala can also be seen assisting.

At Loki's house, She-Hulk arrives and is greeted by Nico, who tells her that she is sorry for not answering her message, but she can't be around people right now. Jennifer follows Nico up into her room, and tells her that there is no need to apologize. Nico holds her cat and remarks that the house is so queit, with America gone, Loki gone and Singularity gone, it is just she and the cat, and all the photos and all the ssad music America wouldn't want her to play. She wipes her tears as she remarks that they got Singularity killed. 'She trusted us. Loved us. And we got her killed'. She-Hulk touches the bow that Singularity had wrapped around her wrist and replies 'I don't believe that'. Eyes wide, Nico swings around: 'You don't believe -' she begins, but She-Hulk explains that she doesn't believe that Singularity is gone. She sits down beside Nico and puts an arm around her, 'Just as Medusa lived on in Singularity...her lesson endured in that girl, even to the very end. She was herself, and what we taught her. What we made her. And what she made us'.

'And what is that?' Nico asks, still crying. 'Better' She-Hulk smiles. She stands up and holds out a hand. Nico stands up and walks alongside She-Hulk as she declares that they will build a better world because of her – a true paradise. 'An A-Force, an Arcadia, worthy of its people. And of its heroines'.

She-Hulk thinks to herself that in the endless tides of space, between galaxies that shine like diamonds and pearls, threaded with twisting nebulas, and shining, bright and burning with falling stars... there is a girl. She is sweetness and courage, defiance and sacrifice, giving and forgiving...the little thing on which all their lives once hinged. A heroine, forever and for always. And wherever, whenever, who and whatever she is, or was, or chooses for herself to be...in the heart of that girl... there is an island.

In the star-filled sky above, purple and blue colors glow, and within them a figure of a starry-blue girl can be seen... and she smiles.

Characters Involved: 

Angela, Armor, Black Cat, Black Widow, Captain Marvel VI, Clea, Crystal, Dazzler, Domino, Dust, Elektra, Enchantress, Emma Frost, Firestar, Jubilee, Kitty Pryde, Lucy in the Sky, Meggan, Misty Knight, Mockingbird, Monet, Moondragon, Moonstar, Ms Marvel V, Phoenix IV, Psylocke, Rescue, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Sera, She-Hulk, Sister Grimm, Snowbird, Spectrum, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman I, Stature, Storm, Tigra, X-23 (all A-Force)


Colossus, Gamora, Hawkeye III, Nightcrawler, Sif, Valkyrie, Sam Wilson (all Thor Corps)
Namor, Namorita (both Sub-Mariners)
Black Bolt
Captain Steve Rogers
Winter Soldier
Molly Hayes
Sharon Carter
Mariko Yashida
Mary-Jane Watson
Luke Cage & Jessica Jones-Cage
Danielle Cage-Jones
Gertrude York & Old Lace


Story Notes: 

Hawkeye III references the “Walking Dead” which is a franchise spawning comic books, video games and television series about zombies.

Jubilee mentions “Night of the Living Dead” and Romero. George A. Romero, a well-known filmmaker directed the 1968 film, several of its sequels, and has been involved in many of the other sequels or spin-offs.

The original “Night of the Living Dead” was filmed in black and white, hence Jubilee's comment about it looking better in Technicolor, thanks to the light powers she, Dazzler and Lucy have.

X-23 refers to Akira Kurosawa, an important Japanese filmmaker.

Possible error: During the clean-up panel, Emma Frost is shown levitating objects. Either this world's Emma Frost has telekinetic power, or she was drawn by mistake.

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