A-Force (2nd series) #3

Issue Date: 
May 2016
Story Title: 

Kelly Thompson with G. Willow Wilson (writers), Jorge Molina (artist), Laura Martin (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), Manny Mederos (production design), Jorge Molina (cover artist), Joelle Jones & Rachelle Rosenberg (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 has exhausted her light energy, so She-Hulk slams her fists into Antimatter, and Medusa helps restrain him as Captain Marvel prepares the device Dr. Bell devised to trap Antimatter. It initially pulls him in, but the cosmic being overloads it, and starts to attack the women once more. Singularity convinces Nico to cast a spell on her to “un-lo-jack” her so that Antimatter can no longer track her. Nico does so, before Singularity transforms herself into a ball, trapping the women inside her, and vanishes. She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Medusa, Dazzler and Nico float in a strangely colored starry space, which they decide must be inside Singularity. They argue for a time, particularly Dazzler and Medusa, until She-Hulk takes control of the situation, informing the women that they will go back to the Alpha Flight Space Station and come up with a solution to stopping Antimatter once and for all. Captain Marvel is able to use her communicator to reach Dr. Bell on the Alpha Flight Space Station, who discovers that Captain Marvel's call is coming from inside the AFSS. She looks up and sees Singularity, and moments later, the women are restored to this plane of existence. They meet with Dr. Bell and Lt Kawasaki in the conference room. Dr. Bell reports that they have been working on a device to dismantle Antimatter for good, but the women start to debate whether or not that is too extreme. Medusa and Dazzler surprisingly agree the creature should be destroyed, but the others aren't so sure, so Captain Marvel tells them she will try talking to Antimatter first. Dr. Bell also reports on the possible connection between Singulariity and Antimatter, meaning that destroying Antimatter will likely result in Singularity's death, too. The heroes suit up for space flight, except Nico casts a spell around Medusa to enable her to breath and fly space. They confront Antimatter without Singularity, and they ask Antimatter to help them understand what it wants. He tells them that he wants to live, learn and see all this world has to offer. Medusa asks him why that means he has to disassemble living beings, and declares that this is a waste of time. Antimatter tells them that they are ants to him, but that ants could have their use, given time. Dazzler doesn't like the sound of that, so the team agree to commence with the destruction of Antimatter. They attack him, but he blasts Dazzler, who is carrying the new weapon to destroy him. She-Hulk retaliates by flying through Antimatter, cutting his head off. In the med-bay minutes later, the heroes watch as a medical team work on Dazzler – with no success, and she passes away. Singularity contemplates life and herself, and visits Dazzer's body, before teleporting to the Blue Area of the moon, where she confronts Antimatter, warning him that no one else will be killed because of either of them, and she is here to make sure of that.

Full Summary: 

Miami, Florida:
'I hope you guys got what you needed from that light show. 'Cause I'm tapped' Alison “Dazzler” Blaire declares as she falls to the ground outside the warehouse where she was recently playing roller derby.

'That was pretty' the mysterious cosmic being called Antimatter remarks as he hovers over Dazzler and the other super women around her – Medusa, Jennifer Walters a.k.a. She-Hulk, Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel, Nico “Sister Grimm” Minoru and Singularity. Antimatter remarks that as he yold the other, light cannot destroy light. 'So you – with your pretty light show – you matter less than any of your friends' he tells Dazzler. 'Yeah, that wasn't supposed to hurt you, dummy' She-Hulk exclaims as she leaps up at Antimatter and punches his face. 'That's what we're for' She-Hulk declares she lands back alongside her allies, and Antimatter falls before them.

But Antimatter gets to his feet again, and warns the heroines that their efforts to stop him are both misguided and worthless, and boasts that he will destroy the dark one that burns. He announces that he will carve a path to what he seeks at any cost.

She-Hulk lunges at him again and lands on his shoulder. He glances at her and remarks that her all too vulnerable flesh is but a temporary and irritating obstacle. Antimatter attempts to take flight again, with She-Hulk on his shoulder, while Medusa wraps her hair around him to keep him down.

'Carol. You got that science-y-trap-thing set up yet?' She-Hulk shouts down to Carol. 'Power up!' comes the Captain's response as she taps her wristband, which connects to a small device on the ground, which suddenly sets loose a stream of energy that starts to pull Antimatter inwards. 'It's working! It's pulling him inside!' Dazzler calls out as Antimatter screams 'Noooooo' as he is sucked into the energy, which pulls back into the device – and then combusts. The women shield their eyes, as Antimatter stands over them, 'Your silly tricks mean nothing to me' he declares, while Carol realizes that he overloaded it. 'So much for science' Medusa remarks.

Antimatter tells the women that they cannot stop him. 'You will hand over the dark one or I will destroy everything you are' he warns them, firing a blast of energy that strikes Nico and knocks her backwards. Singularity rushes over to Nico and holds her. 'Nico. Antimatter is too strong' she exclaims. 'Yeah – I noticed' Nico replies. Singularity points out that she is hurt, and suggests she use one of her healing words. Nico coughs, and tells Singularity that she is trying to remember one, before uttering 'Pagalingin'.

Nico appears fine, and Singularity tells her 'You must un-lo-jack me'. 'Huh?' Nico asks, confused. 'Jennifer said I have lo-jack. Take lo-jack off. Make so it cannot find me. Can you?' Nico looks at Singularity and replies that she probably can. 'But so what? What does that solve? You want us to run again? I don't want to run' Nico replies, before She-Hulk is knocked to the ground, breaking up the concrete. 'Annnnd running it is' Nico mutters. 'No. Now. Do it. Now!' Singularity exclaims. Energy glows around Nico and Singularity, as the young sorceress utters 'De-lo-jack Singularity'.

Antimatter shouts 'Enough!' and tells the heroines that they are all useless and no longer will they and their tedious punching keep him from the dark one that burns. 'I will have it and then you will all die' he declares.

Singularity steps in front of the other women. 'Protect friends. Always protect' she thinks to herself, as her starry form begins to rise up, and expand, engulfing Carol, Jennifer, Medusa, Dazzler and Nico. The surprised heroines are completely covered by Singularity's form, then the bubble bursts open, and Singularity is all that can be seen. 'Bye' she waves in front of the annoyed Antimatter, before Singularity also vanishes.

'Um... anyone know what just happened?' Nico asks as she and the others find themselves floating, with colorful space and stars all around them. 'I've got a better question, Nico... anyone know where we are?' She-Hulk remarks. Captain Marvel tells the others that she thinks they are inside Singularity. 'Gross. Sort of cool...but also  azzler mutters. 'Not cool' Medusa declares, pointing out that they are now inside the one thing that they know Antimatter can – for some reason – track. 'What happens if it obliterates her while we're inside?' Medusa asks. 'All good questions' She-Hulk tells the others as they continue to float about. But Nico reports that she thinks they are okay, and explains that she did a spell to remove Antimatter's ability to “find” Singularity, so they should be safe. 'Yes. Because your spells always work as intended' Medusa mocks. 'Hey!' Nico calls out, before Captain Marvel asks how they can get out. 'You want to get out? Let that thing kick us around again?' Nico asks her. Dazzler reminds her that her fancy science trap didn't work – it blew up. 'I'm well aware. Still' Carol replies. She-Hulk announces that she is with Carol, and adds that she is grateful for the save, but not entirely okay with being swept God knows where against their will.

'What a mess you've gotten us into' Medusa complains. 'You're talking about me?' Nico asks, as the women all face each other. 'I'm talking about all of you -' Medusa begins. 'Except you of course' Dazzler mutters. 'If you'd let me finish, I was going to say, “but She-Hulk led us here”!' Medusa concludes. 'And you'd have done better?' Dazzler snaps. Medusa points out that Dazzler is not only new to this group but that her powers are arguably the least effective against Antimatter. 'So perhaps you should not weigh in here' Medusa suggests. Dazzler faces Medusa and exclaims 'Yes, I suppose as a queen you're not terribly interested in a democratic process... say like, letting everyone have a voice'. 'No. No, I am not' Medusa admits. 'I didn't think you'd actually admit it. You're like a nightmare, huh?' Dazzler replies. 'I can be, Alison. If you continue to push, I will be' Medusa warns her.

'EVERYONE SHUT UP!' She-Hulk suddenly screams. Unimpressed, She-Hulk tells the others that they are done running, that they are going to get out of here, then head back to the Alpha Flight Space Station to aid Dr. Bell, that they will come up with a solution to stop this thing once and for all – together. '...all right' the others reply in unison.

'Good job' Carol quietly tells Jennifer. 'It was that or I just murder all of you' She-Hulk replies. 'Dance around on your corpses. Wear your rib cages as hats'. 'Fancy' Carol replies, before asking Jennifer how exactly they are going to get out of here. 'I have no idea. But don't rile them up again' She-Hulk responds. Carol touches her earpiece and reports that she is contacting Dr. Bell. 'Good' She-Hulk remarks. 'If I can get a signal from... inside someone's body' Carol points out.

Aboard the low-orbit Alpha Flight space Station, Dr. Tempest Bell is in the science lab, looking at a monitor on the console before her, she asks herself 'Third time's the charm?', but slumps into a chair when she gets the same result. There is a small ping and a voice can be heard over the communications system: 'Dr. Bell?' Tempest turns on a monitor and sees Captain Marvel on screen. She asks her if the device worked, but Carol reports that it didn't, and that Antimatter seemed to overwhelm it and it blew up. 'Damn. Well, I think -' Tempest begins, but Carol interrupts her and asks if she can use comms to locate her. 'Aren't you in Miami?' Tempest replies. 'Not so much' Carol responds. 'My God... are you...' Tempest utters as she sees the colorful background behind her. 'Inside Singularity. We think' Carol explains. 'Incredible' Tempest utters. 'It is, but... we also don't know how to get out or where Singularity is currently located' Carol remarks.

Tempest looks up when she hears a popping sound. 'Um...' she begins. 'What?' Carol asks. 'Captain, your call is coming from... inside the station' Tempest reveals. 'Excuse me?' Carol replies. 'Friend Tempest!' Singularity exclaims as she hugs the surprised Dr. Bell, who informs Carol that Singularity is here, which means all of them are here, too. 'This is seriously tripping me out' Tempest mutters.

'Dr. Bell, report!' a voice exclaims over the communications system. 'We're showing a power surge in your sector, and six new bodies' the voice adds. Dr. Bell assures the Bridge that everything is okay, that it was just Singularity returning the team. 'We have to talk about doing that to people without permission, okay?' Carol tells Singularity. 'Oh. Kay' Singularity replies, while the others examine their surroundings. Carol then touches the communications system and informs the bridge to instruct Lieutenant Kawasaki meet them in the conference room. 'Affirmative. Good to have you back, Captain' the bridge replies.

Soon, in the Alpha Flight Space Station's conference room, Carol, Jennifer, Medusa, Alison and Nico sit around a long table, while Singularity stands to one side and looks out at the stars. Dr. Tempest Bell and Lieutenant Wendy Kawasaki stand before the table, as Carol tells them to keep it “science-light”. 'Of course' Wendy responds, before reporting that they have been tracking Antimatter's energy signature, and that after the women left for Miami, it briefly returned to Tokyo, and is now hovering somewhere over Manhattan. She adds that thry think perhaps in an effort to locate Singularity it is retracing its steps, so it is a fair bet that the space station here is its next stop. Wendy reports that no significant damage has been reported anywhere at this time, and SHIELD, Stark and the Ultimates are all apprised of the situation, but they are letting them take the lead – for now. Dr. Bell then motions to some monitors and announces that the data they did receive was extremely fruitful, and she has been analyzing it and working on a device that theoretically will dismantle Antimatter for good – assuming they can get close enough.

'Dismantle? So that's science for destroy?' Nico asks. '...yes' Dr. Bell replies. Nico asks if that is their only option – destroying it. 'You wish to serve it tea?' Medusa enquires. 'No, I just... we don't even know what it is. Seems like we may be rushing to judgment here' Nico points out.

Jennifer announces that she tends to agree, and tells the others that destroying it has to be their absolute last resort. 'Hasn't it kicked your guys' assess like half a dozen times?' Dazzler points out. 'I think it's only like three times... maybe four' Nico tells her. 'Fine. Three, four, whatever' Dazzler mutters. 'And “you guys” - really? Try “us” on for size' Nico suggests to Dazzler, who leans back in her chair and puts her feet on the conference table, 'Sure. Okay. Nothing we've thrown at it has done squat, right? Yeah, I vote we blow it the hell up. Or whatever'. Medusa folds her arms and points out that while she and Alison seem to have nothing else in common, they agree on this. 'Huh. Now I'm rethinking my position' Dazzler mutters. Jennifer stands up and turns to Carol. Carol pauses, before remarking that it looks like they are coming up on last resorts, adding that she would like to at least have a conversation with it first – to be sure, and Jennifer states that she agrees. Jennifer turns to Dr. Bell and asks her how long until she can finish the device. 'Not long... but...' Dr. Bell starts to reply. 'But what, Doctor?' Carol asks.

Dr. Bell and Lieutenant Kawasaki both turn to Singularity, who continues to look out the window, as Dr. Bell explains that all the data suggests a connection between Singularity and Antimatter – some kind of quantum entanglement. 'English?' She-Hulk tells the scientist. 'I'm not sure...yet' Dr. Bell replies. Carol tells her that they are running out of time, to which Dr. Bell announces that it likely means destroying Antimatter will destroy Singularity, too. Singularity cocks her head to one side upon hearing this, and without turning to the women she tells them that she is sorry she caused this mess, that it is not what she wanted. 'None of this is what I wanted' she adds. Suddenly, a member of the Alpha Flight Space Station Crew rushes into the conference room, apologizing to Captain Marvel for the intrusion, he reports that Antimatter is en route and approaching the space station at high speed. 'Dr. Bell' Captain Marvel calls out. 'I know...I'm out of time' Dr. Bell realizes. 'I'm afraid so' Carol confirms, instructing Dr. Bell to prepare her device.

Shortly, the heroines are in another room, and those who require them are getting into space suits. She-Hulk informs Singularity that she is to stay here this time. 'But. I help' Singularity replies. 'Yes, you do. In fact, you're the only thing that's managed to do real damage' She-Hulk points out. She goes over to Singularity and explains that if Antimatter sees her, and it can't focus on anything but her, iif she is not there, perhaps they can reason with it, discern its purpose, something – anything. 'Okay?' she asks, smiling. 'Oh. Kay' Singularity replies. 'Besides, you're out plan B' She-Hulk adds. 'Plan bee?' Singularity enquires. 'Always have a plan B, Blue' She-Hulk suggests. 'Jennifer, if I must put this on I will be all but useless to you out there' Medusa announces, holding up the space suit helmet. 'Aw, crap' She-Hulk mutters, before Nico offers to do a spell. 'did you not tell me that these spells do not always go as planned?' Medusa asks. 'Yes?' Nico replies. 'And you know that we are in space' Medusa points out. 'Yes?' Nico responds. 'And I could do if this fails' Medusa adds. 'Yes?' Nico tells her. 'Your body, your choice, Medusa' She-Hulk announces. 'Everyone is so helpful' Medusa mutters, before turning back to Nico and asking her if she can really do this. 'Yes' Nico assures her.

Moments later, the five heroines hover in open space before Antimatter. She-Hulk, Nico and Dazzler in their space suits, while a glow surrounds Medusa, and Captain Marvel flies freely, needing no space-flight assistance. Antimatter looks down at them and asks where the dark one that burns is. 'I can no longer sense its presence. What have you done?' it enquires. She-Hulk tells Antimatter that he can't get to her anymore, so he will have to deal with them. 'Fine' Antimatter replies as he raises a hand, energy glows around it, but She-Hulk urgently tells him to wait, 'I meant talk!' she exclaims. 'You arrive out of nowhere, you're confused. We can relate. But communication...it's important on this planet' She-Hulk explains, asking Antimatter to tell them what he wants. 'Your words are pretty but they are a distraction. I will not talk with you when you possess a weapon that can hurt me' Antimatter responds. 'She's not a weapon. Please. Just talk to us. Help us understand' She-Hulk asks. Antimatter announces that he wants to live, to learn and to see all this world has to ffer. 'Does that include disassembling living beings?' Medusa asks. 'Yes. How else would I learn?' Antimatter responds. 'Jennifer, this is a waste of time' Medusa declares.

Antimatter agrees with Medusa's sentiments and tells the women that they are like ants to him – tiny things to crush without even thinking. Things so far below him that he cannot even comprehend them – not because he does not understand, but just because it is a waste of his time. 'I thought you wanted to learn' Carol tells the cosmic being. 'Yes. But only how to use you. I am already so far beyond you -' Antimatter starts to reply, but Nico interrupts: 'Yeah, yeah. The ants. We got it'.

Antimatter grits his teeth and announces that ants can be valuable to him. 'I am certain I can find a use for you. Your species, your planet, given time'. Dazzler remarks that she is not loving the sound of that, and She-Hulk agrees. 'Ladies, let's do this' she tells the others. 'Be still' Nico calls out as she casts a spell towards Antimatter, who finds himself pulled towards Medusa who wraps her long hair around his face, enabling Carol to fly forward, she slams a fist into Antimatter's face, while She-Hulk grabs the back of Antimatter's head and calls out to Dazzler: 'The flash-bang!' she exclaims. Holding the device, 'Here' Dazzler responds, before Antimatter remarks that some of them, for all their fancy powers, should not be here. He then fires a blast of energy which strikes Dazzler. 'Alison!' Nico exclaims. She-Hulk orders Nico to get Dazzler inside, before she flies through Antimatter, severing his head, causing him to scream.

Minutes later, in the med bay aboard the Alpha Flight Space Station, crew members stand over Dazzler's body in an operating theater, while standing outside and watching through a window, Singularity remarks that she should have gone, that this was all her fault. Nico tells Singularity not to blame herself. 'If she... can you do spell? Bring Alison back?' Singularity asks. Nico replies that it doesn't work like that – she has tried it before. Carol, Medusa and Jennifer approach the window, and Carol asks 'How is she?' to which Nico announces that it is bad. She then asks what happened out there, too which Medusa reports that Jennifer ripped its head off. 'That's...great. Does that mean it's over?' Nico asks. Carol reveals that sensors indicate the Antimatter well is already reforming. Suddenly, the medical team stop working on Dazzler. 'No. No, she can't be...' Nico utters. Singularity walks away, while a wide-eyed She-Hulk covers her mouth. 'A-Alison...' she utters. 'We should have just destroyed it. I was wrong. I... I should have just... I'm sorry' Jennifer utters, before declaring 'Get the device. This thing isn't killing anyone else'.

Singularity stops at a window and looks out to space, she decides that she is selfish, and that she cannot pretend she does not want it – all of it. To experience everything, slowly and also all at once. She touches the window: 'Live, learn, laugh, love... loss' Singularity thinks to herself, realizing that the price for her to have those things is far too high. She vanishes and re-materializes in the med lab. She takes Dazzler's hand, and thinks that it is strange – the things that make you want to give it all up are the same things that make you want to keep it.  She tells herself that you gather these moments to you like plucked flowers, before pulling the sheet back off Dazzler's face, and thinks 'An enigma, for these moments are already dead, long gone, and yet they live in your memory they live bright and shiny forever'. Singularity decides that you take everything with you and yet there is nothing to take – it is all one and the same, and yet it is comforting – somehow. 'I am sorry, Alison' Singularity thinks as she kisses Dazzler's forehead.

The Blue Area of the Moon, where suddenly, Singularity pops into sight. Antimatter is there also, and Singularity stares him in the face, warning him that no one else will be killed because of either of them. 'And I am here to make sure of it!'

Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI, Dazzler, Medusa, She-Hulk, Sister Grimm
Dr. Tempest Bell
Lt. Wendy Kawasaki
Alpha Flight Space Station Crew


Story Notes: 

Dazzler has previously been killed and yet resurrected herself on several occasions during the New Excalibur series.

Written By: