A-Force (2nd series) #10

Issue Date: 
December 2016
Story Title: 

Kelly Thompson (writer), Paulo Siqueira & Joe Bennett (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Manny Mederos (production design), Paulo Siqueira & Rachelle Rosenberg (cover artists), Cosplay by Corrine Vitek & Photo by Judith Stephens (cosplay variant cover artists), Alanna Smith (assistant editor), Katie Kubert (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Dazzler, Medusa and Singularity are overwhelmed by the locals of Ouray who have been transformed into bug monsters. When Singularity checks on the remaining civilians who are sheltering in a basement, she discovers that they have begun to transform, too, so Singularity teleports the three of them away to the abandoned mine outside of town, where Nico has discovered Elsa Bloodstone has transformed into a bug monster and has captured Captain Marvel. Nico knocks Elsa back, but soon finds that Captain Marvel has begun to transform, too. When Medusa and the others arrive, Nico updates them on what has been going on – but it doesn't take long before Dazzler and Medusa start to transform, as well. Nico traps the four of them in a suspension spell while Alice once again begs Nico to kill her. Nico thinks there is a better way, and uses a de-metamorphosis spell, which reverts Alice back to her human form. The spell didn't work on Captain Marvel and the others, and Nico wonders if her suspension spell interferred with it. But when she releases her friends from that spell, they are still the same. Singularity holds them back, while Nico and Alice discuss what Nico must do – she must kill Alice. Nico uses the grim reaper spell, and Alice seemingly passes away. Dazzler and the others revert to their true forms, as do the townspeople of Ouray. Nico grieves for Alice Michaels, and tells Captain Marvel that she didn't have a choice. Suddenly, Alice is revealed to be alive, her appearance transformed yet again into a green fish-llike humanoid. The women discuss that Alice might be an Inhuman, mutant or otherwise. Captain Marvel wants Alice to go with them, for assessment, but Alice refuses. She leaves the mine shaft, and when Captain Marvel chases after her, she simply fades away. Medusa suggests to Carol that she just let Alice go, as what she did was quite noble. Nico takes Elsa to the Ouray hot springs, but Nico refuses to get into the water. Nico thanks Elsa for her help, and they part, possibly as friends. Nico and Carol reunite in the middle of town, and Carol hopes that Nico understands she only did what she thought was right. Nico tells Carol that she was wrong, and that they will never know if there was another way. Carol asks Nico where this leaves them, and they return to check in on their fallen teammate, She-Hulk.

Full Summary: 

Ouray, Colorado, where a wide-eyed Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans, gasps 'What happened? The insects are everywhere!' 'What the hell?' Dazzler a.k.a. Alison Blaire mutters as she fires some beams of light at the invading insects, while the mysterious Singularity does the same. The three women are in what is formerly the home of Janine, Albert and Alice Michaels, currently housing bug versions of Janine, Albert and half the town, courtesy of Alice Michaels's uncontrollable powers infecting the population.

'Close your eyes!' Dazzler tells the others, before creating a blinding light, directed at the monster bugs. She tells Medusa that she can't tell who they are, and asks if it matters. 'They are still people underneath, Alison. Be careful' Medusa warns her. Medusa then points out that they need to get the people in the basement out of here, and asks Singularity if she can get to them. 'Um... no?' Singularity replies as she stands at the top of the stairs to the basement, where the civilians below have now been turned into bug monsters.

Singularity slams the basement door closed and exclaims 'Must go! Must go now!' Dazzler fires some more blasts of light and asks Singularity if there are no people left. 'No! All bugs! Must go now!' Singularity declares. Medusa asks Singularity if she can find Nico and Carol and take them all to them. 'Yes, they are close enough!' Singularity replies as Medusa and Dazzler start to struggle against the transformed civilians. 'Then what are you waiting for? Get us out of here!' Medusa instructs her. 'you give me the permission for teleport of your bodies? You said -' Singularity asks, confused. 'Just do it!' Dazzler shouts. 'You have permission!' Medusa declares. 'Oh-kay!' Singularity replies, as she reaches out around the heroines and they vanish with a POP, as Medusa mutters 'She picks now to be a stickler about permissions'.

Meanwhile, at an abandoned silver mine outside of town, Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel lies between the pincers of Elsa Bloodstone who has been transformed into one of the bug monsters. Nico Minoru watches in horror, and casts a spell at Elsa: 'Gimme space' she exclaims, which knocks Elsa backwards. Alice Michaels, who has been transformed into the monster bug queen, moves in and tells Nico to check Carol's eyes, as that is where it starts. 'Oh God, oh God' Nico gasps. Alice created this nightmare and wants out at any price. 'No. What have I done?' Nico asks as she opens Carol's eyes, and discovers they have turned red and bug-like. 'It's not too late, Nico. We can get them back We can get them all back' Alice tells Nico, as Singularity, Dazzler and Medusa POP into the mine shaft.

'Who are these people?' Alice asks. 'Reinforcements... I hope' Nico replies, before Medusa asks her what is going on, and Dazzler notices a bloody scratch on her arm. 'Carol!' Medusa exclaims as she sees Captain Marvel lying motionless on the ground. Medusa responds by using her tresses to smack Alice the bug monster back against the tunnel wall. 'Nico, behind you!' Medusa declares, but Nico tells Medusa to put her down, as it is Alice, and she is helping. 'Then why is Carol unconscious?' Medusa asks. Nico explains to her that it was Elsa, that she got infected and attacked Carol. Nico then asks what happened at the house. Medusa reveals that it went to hell, that everyone in the house transformed, and suggests someone in the basement must have been infected. Alice speaks to Nico, which to Medusa, comes across as a God-awful noise. Medusa covers her ears, grimaces and asks what is going on. Nico explains that Alice is asking about her parents. 'Are they all right?' she enquires. Surprised, Medusa asks Nico if she can communicate with it.

'Answer the question, Medusa. Are her parents okay?' Nico declares. 'No. Nobody there is remotely “okay”' Medusa announces. Nico throws her hands up to her head and exclaims that this is all going so wrong. Suddenly, the transformed Elsa Bloodstone leaps towards them. 'Ugh. Not again' Nico mutters, before telling Medusa that the Elsa bugis one she can imprison with her “hair cuffs”. 'You mind?' she asks. 'Not at all' Medusa replies, slamming her hair into Elsa, shoving her against the mine wall. Alice says something to Nico, who tells her that they are not doing that. 'What does she want?' Medusa asks. 'She wants me to kill her, of course' Nico replies, adding that Carol was right – this whole nightmare, Ulysses' vision is coming true. Medusa asks Nico what she wants to do, but Nico tells Medusa that she doesn't know. 'We are running out of time' Medusa points out, when suddenly, a large pincer strikes Medusa across her back, pushing the Queen of the Inhumans to the ground screaming. Medusa looks around at her attacker and sees that it is a transformed Dazzler. 'Ah, damn' Medusa declares.

Elsa and Dazzler, along with the now-transformed Carol and the slowly-transforming Medusa close in on Nico. 'Oh, God, not you too. I...have to stop this' Nico declares, before casting a spell: 'Suspend' she declares, trapping the four transformed women in pink energy stasis. Nico turns back to Alice, who tells her that she has to kill her, that it is the only way. 'You don't know that' Nico replies. But Alice claims that she does, that she knows it in her bones, or whatever giant bugs have instead of bones. 'Everyone I've ever known, people I used to love, it's all gone. We can get it all back, but only by killing the queen. The queen is me' Alice explains. Nico hangs her head and announces that she won't do, adding that there must be another way. She looks up, and reports that she has a better idea: 'We can get them all back...and you too, Alice'. Suddenly, 'De-metamorphosis' Nico exclaims, casting her spell, Alice the bug monster then reverts back into the young blonde human woman she was before her transformation.

'This form... it feels so foreign' Alice remarks, looking at her hands. Nico tells her that she has been through a lot and suggests she give it some time. Looking up at the other woman still suspended thanks to Nico's spell, Alice tells Nico that it is still not over. 'What... why?' Nico asks. 'Look at your friends' Alice exclaims. Singularity looks up at them, too, as Nico suggests that it could be her spell that is keeping them from reverting, but Alice tells her that it is not. 'Reanimate' Nico exclaims, casting another spell. The pink suspension spell around Carol, Medusa, Dazzler and Elsa disappears, and the bug-versions of the women stare down at Nico, Singularity and Alice. Nico declares that she doesn't understand. 'Why didn't it work? You're human...why wouldn't they be?' Weary, Nico leans over and asks Singularity to hold them back. 'Stop, bugs!' Singularity instructs the approaching women. Alice tells Nico that she appreciates what she is trying to do, but that she must kill her now before it is too late – before one of them infects her. 'No... there has to be another way' Nico states again.

'You know as well as I do that there's no other way. Everything I've ever known is in this town. My family, friends, what once was my whole world. The only way to save it – and to save your friends with it – is to kill me' Alice explains to Nico, who asks how Alice can even know that will work. 'Why will killing you work when turning you human didn't?' Nico asks. Alice tells Nico that she can't explain it, but that she just knows it all came from her, and that it will end with her. 'I think maybe what changed is just the surface. I still feel the same...inside' Alice adds. 'Nico?' Singularity asks. 'It's...possible' Nico admits, resigned. Alice shakes Nico by her shoulders and tells her that she will be doing the right thing. 'I promise you. It's the only way. And it's what I want' Alice declares. Nico looks away from Alice: 'I...I just can't' she replies. Alice takes Nico's hands and tells her that she knows she can. 'Please' Alice begs.

Nico looks up at Alice and tells her that she is sorry. 'I know' Alice replies, as Nico casts a spell: 'Grim Reaper' Nico utters, and an image of death appears over Alice, draining her of her life-force. Alice, gasps as she collapses to the ground. 'Alice? I'm so sorry' Nico whispers, standing over Alice's body. Captain Marvel, Medusa, Dazzler and Elsa all groan, as suddenly, their bodies shift and contort, reverting from the various bug-monster forms that they had mutated into back into their regular selves, and, outside, down in the city, the civilians all start to revert to their true appearances, as well. 'Oh, thank God' one of them utters. 'Well, that was unpleasant' Carol declares. 'Is it always %$&# like this on this bloody team?' Elsa enquires. 'Shockingly, yes' Dazzler tells her, as Singularity wraps her arms around her. 'It is true. We may be cursed' Medusa announces. 'But sometimes there are hugs!' Singulatity exclaims. 'I stand by my assessment' Medusa declares.

Nico is crouched over the body of Alice Michaels, as Elsa walks over to her. 'I... I...' Nico utters. 'It's what she wanted, Minoru. As one of those things, I was connected to her, I could feel her. It's what she really did want, I promise you'. Crying, Nico declares that she wishes she could have done better for Alice. Carol moves over Alice's body, and Elsa leads Nico away, as Nico tells Carol that she didn't have a choice. 'I know' Carol replies, before Nico asks 'What happens now?' Carol puts her arms around Nico and tells her that she doesn't know, but they will figure it out. Dazzler tells Nico that she is sorry, and Nico thanks her, before pointing out that everyone looks like they could use some new clothes. 'You guys want me to...?' Nico begins. 'That would be much appreciated, thank you' Dazzler tells her, before Nico casts her spell: 'Threads regenerate' and the heroines' torn costumes are repaired. Singularity is hugging Nico, then suddenly pulls away and motions behind her: 'Nico, look...'. Everyone turns around in awe, and Carol warns them to be ready. 'Nico, she's... alive!' Singularity declares, as Alice stands before them.

However, Alice now appears as a strange, humanoid creature with green skin and an almost fish-like appearance. Nico asks Alice if she is okay, to which she replies that she is, but doesn't think she is Alice any more. 'At least you can talk' Nico points out, and Alice agrees that is something. Captain Marvel introduces herself to Alice and tells her that she needs to go with her. 'Where?' Alice asks. Carol explains that they have doctors that can examine her, help her figure out what she is. 'I'm me' Alice replies. 'You know what I mean' Carol declares. 'You might be an Inhuman' Medusa smiles. 'Or a mutant' Dazzler grins. 'Or other things!' Singularity exclaims happily. Medusa adds that there are people that can help her, to which Alice tells the women that what they really mean is that they can't let what happened here happen again. '...yes' Carol confirms. 'Carol. No' Nico remarks.

Alice starts to walk to the mine shaft entrance and announces that it won't happen again, at least not with this form – she can feel it. 'I'm afraid that's not going to be good enough' Carol calls out behind her. 'So you're going to stop me then?' Alice asks. 'Does it have to come to that?' Carol replies. 'It won't' Alice tells her, as she looks back from the edge of the mine shaft, then, suddenly, fades from view. 'No!' Carol calls out. She rushes out of the mine shaft, followed by the others, and reaches the edge of the cliff. 'Oh, you have got to be kidding me' Carol mutters. Medusa suggests to Carol that she let it go, and reminds her that Alice did not mean to hurt anyone, that she sacrificed herself to stop it all – quite noble, actually. 'It was' Carol agrees, before Medusa points out that they have more important things awaiting them, and they need to get home. Carol looks over to the others, and sees that Nico is missing. 'Oh, for the love of God' Carol mutters.

The Ouray hot springs. 'You're in my bloody sun, Minoru' Elsa Bloodstone declares as she lies in the warm water. 'And that's not a swimsuit' Elsa adds, referring to Nico's costume. Nico crouches down beside the water and informs Elsa that she has to go – the day may be saved, but that she still hjas lots of stuff to deal with – the figurative paperwork. 'I was always $#%& at paperwork' Elsa replies. 'Shocking' Nico responds. Elsa tells her that it is a shame to come here and not even get a toe in. 'I could splash you, if you like' Elsa smiles. 'I do not like' Nico exclaims. 'Might be even more fun that way' Elsa points out. 'Only if you want the hot springs to become cold springs real damn fast'. Elsa supposes that she will pass, before asking Nico if she is just going  to sit there and watch her. 'Perv' Elsa adds. 'You wish' Nico replies. 'I just came to -' Nico begins, but Elsa interrupts her: 'I don't do “thanks,” darling'. 'Yeah, well. I do' Nico declares. 'If you must' Elsa tells her. 'I must. Thanks, Elsa. I'll see you around' Nico tells her. 'You too, Minoru' Elsa calls out as Nico walks away.

Carol and Nico meet in the center of Ouray, and Carol asks Nico what the next move is, telling her that it is her call. Nico pauses, before replying that she doesn't know. 'I was only doing what I thought was best. You see that, right?' Carol asks. 'I know. But you were wrong' Nico replies. 'Was I, though?' Carol asks. 'Yes. What would have happened to this town...to Alice, if I'd never come here? If I'd been locked up somewhere?' Nico asks. Carol explains that they would have found another way, a way that didn't rely on the luck of Alice's power saving her life – and Nico wouldn't have had to go through the trauma of killing someone. Nico points out that maybe they will never know. 'No, we won't' Carol agrees, before telling Nico that she is asking what is next – where do they go from here? Nico hangs her head and closes her eyes, announcing that she wants to see Jen. 'We've never agreed on anything more, Nico' Carol tells her.

And soon: 'Come back to us, Jen' Nico utters as she, Medusa, Carol, Dazzler and Singularity stand at the bedside of their fallen friend.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI, Dazzler, Medusa, Nico Minoru, She-Hulk, Singularity (all A-Force)
Elsa Bloodstone

Janine & Albert Michaels
Alice Michaels the monster
Civilians / Bug monsters

Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the Civil War II event.

Apparently, this is the final issue of A-Force (2nd series).

Written By: