A-Force (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
June 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), Alanna Smith (assistant editor), Katie Kubert (editor), Tom Brevoort (executive editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

While Singularity battles Antimatter in the Blue Area of the moon, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Medusa, Nico Mironu and Dr Tempest Bell continue to deliberate on the best way to stop Antimatter. Dr Bell thinks she has a way, but it will also result in the death of Singularity, as the device she was working on that might protect Singularity is not ready yet. The heroes are alerted to the battle in the Blue Area, and decide to join in. Dr Bell gives Captain Marvel the bomb to destroy Antimatter and explains that the one which will protect Singularity creates a pocket dimension in which Singularity can slip into to protect herself. Captain Marvel tells Dr Bell to work on it as fast as she can. The heroes suit up and take the bomb into battle, where Singularity is at the mercy of Antimatter. The heroes engage Antimatter, and prepare to use the bomb on him – when suddenly, Dazzler, mysteriously alive, joins in the battle, with the device that will protect Singularity. She grabs Singularity and they vanish. Medusa hurls the bomb into Antimatter, and he explodes in spectacular display. Dazzler and Singularity then return from the pocket dimension, with all of the heroes safe. Afterwards, the heroes go to a diner in Virginia to get some food. Dazzler seems despondent, so She-Hulk asks her if she knows how this resurrection thing works. She tells her that she doesn't have to go through this alone. Dazzler goes outside and Singularity joins her. Dazzler explains to Singularity about how Mystique took over her life. Singularity tries to offer some comforting words. The others go outside, and Singularity tells She-Hulk that when Antimatter went away, she felt the things come, like a tear in the world and some things got through. She-Hulk supposes that they are responsible for finding these things, and the others agree. She-Hulk and Medusa argue about which direction to track these things in, while Dazzler asks Nico to help her out with something personal – she is wanting a new look. While She-Hulk and Medusa still argue about which way to go, Singularity makes the decision for them, and teleports them all West, during which Nico gives herself and Dazzler a super magic makeover. Arriving in Oregon, the heroes are confronted by something very large, while elsewhere, red energy similar to Antimatter falls from the sky, and finds it way into the bodies of some civilians – and voices utter 'I live' throughout the city.

Full Summary: 

Battles are waged every day – large and small. Sometimes on the moon. And sometimes, in places less grand, more intimate, in hearts and minds. But not today. Today is one of those moon battles. For here, on the Blue Area of the moon, Singularity goes solo against Antimatter.

In the conference room of the low-orbit Alpha Flight Space Station, Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel, Medusa, Jennifer Walters a.k.a. She-Hulk and Nico Minoru meet once again with Dr Tempest Bell. Carol asks Dr Bell what is next – as they are out of time and options. 'We're beyond out of options. Dazzler is gone and we're not losing anyone else to this thing' She-Hulk declares. Dr Belle reports that after an exhaustive analysis of the data they have gathered in their experiment, she began building this molecular destabilizer, for lack of a better word, housed inside a small bomb. She holds the small device in her hand, and reminds everyone that Antimatter told Captain Marvel that “light cannot destroy light”, which gave her the idea to corrupt Antimatter with its opposite - “matter”. She explains that they will embed the bomb within Antimatter and detonate, the resulting explosion releasing positively charged matter inside Antimatter. The two opposing particles then collide and annihilate one another, ultimately destroying Antimatter.

'How are we to get that thing inside Antimatter?' Medusa asks. 'Um... that's up to super heroes, not scientists… right?' Dr Bell replies. She-Hulk announces that they can work with this, before pointing out that Dr Bell is hesitant. 'What aren't you saying?' She-Hulk asks. Dr Bell reports that there are two big problems. 'For starters, if it works, the resulting explosion is going to give off a lot of radiation...' she begins. -' which will melt our faces off' Medusa points out. '...yes' Dr Bell confirms. She-Hulk looks over at Nico and asks her if she thinks she can handle that. 'Non-melting faces. Check' Nico replies. 'Oh, I hate this plan' Medusa mutters.

Dr Bell continues that problem number two is the quantum entanglement of Singularity and Antimatter that she mentioned before. 'Doctor, you're losing me. Imagine I have never seen an episode of Star Trek' She-Hulk tells Dr Bell, who apologizes, and looks down as she reports that all her research continues to suggest that destroying Antimatter in this way will take Singularity with it. 'When you say “take Singularity with it” you mean kill her' Nico exclaims. 'Yes' Dr Bell replies. 'If you're going to kill someone you should at least be able to say it' Nico tells her.

'I'm sorry, I... I was working on a device that I hoped would shield Singularity, protect her from being destroyed at the same time as Antimatter' Dr Bell announces. 'Buuuuut?' Nico asks. 'But it's not finished' Dr Bell reports. A voice is heard over the communications system, informing Captain Marvel that they have a disturbance coming from the surface of the moon, and that she is needed on the bridge. '... and we seem to have run out of time' Dr Bell points out.

Medusa, She-Hulk and Nico join Captain Marvel on the bridge, where one of the Alpha Flight Space Station crew members reports that they were tracing the re-formation of the antimatter well, and that it was almost complete, when it suddenly teleported to the Blue Area of the moon. The crew member announces that Singularity is out there, with it. 'WHAT?' Nico shouts. 'I thought it couldn't find her' Captain Marvel remarks, while She-Hulk asks Nico if the spell wore off. Nico replies that it is possible, but that she thinks Singularity went after it on purpose – that she let Antimatter find her. 'Why would she do that?' She-Hulk wonders. 'I think she feels -' Nico begins. 'Responsible for Alison. Damn' She-Hulk replies, and Nico agrees with her. She-Hulk tells the others that they should get out there, and that they have one shot at this. Captain Marvel suggests that they take a shuttle and land in the oxygenated Blue Area without suits, as it will be faster that way, though riskier. She-Hulk tells Nico that she could ofer them some added protection. 'Sure, no problem. I'm not busy with, like, five spells' Nico mutters.

'So just... point and click' Captain Marvel remarks as Dr Bell hands her the weapon. 'Basically' Dr Bell replies. Carol asks her about the other device – the one that is not ready – the one that might shield Singularity. Dr Bell explains that it is a subspace dimensional coil, and theoretically it will create a temporary subspace displacement field. Captain Marvel scowls. 'That face means “in English”, doesn't it?' Dr Bell asks. 'Yes' Carol tells her. Dr Bell informs her that it is like a pocket dimension that Singularity can slip into so that she would be protected from what is happening in their own dimension. 'Sounds a bit like science fiction' Carol replies. 'Yes, well, you're about to go into space and fly around without any protective gear, so, y'know...' her voice trails off. 'Fair point' Carol tells her, before asking Dr Bell how long she needs to finish this “pocket dimension”. Dr Bell tells her that she doesn't know, but that she is close. Carol tells her to work fast, and that they will buy her as much time as they can. Dr Bell salutes Carol as she turns and hands the weapon to Medusa. 'Oh, so I can carry the bomb?' Medusa asks. 'Medusa, do you or do you not have badass prehensile hair that could place the bomb in Antimatter from a great distance?' Carol asks. Medusa pauses, before confirming that she does. 'And there you go' Carol remarks.

Soon, inside the shuttle: 'Nico, non-melting face shields on, please' She-Hulk calls out as she straps herself into her seat. 'Done' Nico replies, suggesting that perhaps what she does to shield them from the radiation will protect Singularity from the blast that will destroy Antimatter. 'Do you think that will work?' She-Hulk asks her. Nico tells her 'Not really' and explains that one spell will have trouble serving multiple functions, sometimes that matters. 'I guess I'm just desperate'.

The Blue Area of the moon, Antimatter has grown to a large size and tells Singularity that he admires her spirit, but that he simply desires this life more. Singularity is speechless as Antimatter starts to absorb her, boasting that nothing will ever threaten him again. 'You got that last part right, Antimatter, but not for the right reasons!' She-Hulk shouts as she and Medusa rush forward, while Captain Marvel and Nico, wearing a flight-pack, fly above them. 'I do not understand' Antimatter responds, while Singularity hangs limp before him. 'Yeah, I don't get it either. That was not your best trash talk' Nico calls out to She-Hulk. 'They can't all be winners' She-Hulk replies, before ordering Antimatter to release Singularity. Grabbing Singularity by her feet, Antimatter fires a blast of energy that knocks She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Medusa and Nico backwards. 'I have what I want now. You will get out of my way or die. Or both. I do not care' Antimatter announces. The heroines all groan as they recover. Antimatter rushes towards them, and She-Hulk shouts 'Carol, now!' Captain Marvel takes flight, moving towards Antimatter, dodging the energy blasts he fires at her. 'You're off your game. I think our girl may have worn you out' Carol tells him. 'It matters not!' Antimatter replies, as Carol smashes him in the face, causing him to recoil backwards, he drops Singularity. 'Handing off, Jen!' Carol calls out.

She-Hulk leaps upwards and punches a hole in Antimatter's chest. Holding the hole open, she calls out to Medusa, who, using a flight pack, moves up and uses her hair to place the bomb inside Antimatter's chest. 'What is this nonsense?' Antimatter calls out, while She-Hulk tells Nico to close it up. 'Sew!' Nico calls out, casting a spell which sews up the hole in Antimatter's chest.

Most of the heroines move away from Antimatter, and Medusa tells She-Hulk that they are out of time, so she needs to get out of there so she can detonate this things. But She-Hulk remains on Antimatter's shoulder, declaring that she can't – that there has to be another way – one that does not kill Singularity. 'Give me five seconds, Jen!' a voice exclaims, as Singularity floats motionless nearby. 'Who...?' She-Hulk looks up, to see Dazzler in a flight suit, holding some type of lantern device. 'That's right, bitches! Not dead yet!' Alison “Dazzler” Blaire calls out, adding that this all-new Dazzler comes with shiny accessories like a state-of-the-art pocket dimension device.

'C'mon you, we're going on a little trip!' Dazzler tells Singularity as she uses her space suit to fly down and grab Singularity, moving her away from Antimatter, she calls out 'Detonate it now!' Dazzler and Singularity then vanishes a blue light surrounds them. 'Medusa, light it up!' She-Hulk shouts as she flies away using her flight pack. 'Everyone, clear!' Medusa responds, before turning to Nico, who casts the spell: 'Keep-our-faces shields'. Energy starts to glow and pour out of Antimatter. There is a mighty explosion, as the energy radiates outwards until Antimatter is no more. Nico shouts something, but cannot be heard. Captain Marvel and Medusa shield themselves from the glow, while She-Hulk's cries also go unheard. The women go over to the crater where some flecks of energy start to fade. 'Captain Marvel? Are you there?' a voice calls out via communicator. 'Affirmative, Dr Bell' Carol replies, asking if the instruments show any sign of Antimatter re-forming. 'Negative, Captain. There is some trade residue, but it's scattered and making no move to re-materialize' Dr Bell responds, before asking if everyone is accounted for. 'Negative. We have no sign of Dazzler or Singularity' Carol replies.

The women look up to the stars, 'C'mon... c'mon...' She-Hulk utters, and an instant later, Dazzler and Singularity pop back into space over the Blue Area of the moon. 'Singularity? Hey. Are you still with us, Blue?' Dazzler asks. 'Hi!' Singularity smiles as she opens her eyes. Singularity and Nico embrace, while Captain Marvel smiles and reports to Dr Bell that she can confirm six alive and accounted for.

Soon, in the shuttlecraft, 'I'm starving' She-Hulk remarks. 'I could eat' someone calls out. 'EAAAAAT!!!!' another shouts.

Forty-six minutes later, somewhere in Virginia: 'My God, how did you find this place, Carol?' Jennifer asks as she munches a large burger. 'Extensive research' Carol replies as she and the others sit at a booth in a busy diner. 'Time well spent' Jennifer declares, before Carol admits that it was really more Jessica Drew. 'Her commitment to food is awe-inspiring' Carol adds, before remarking that she once suggested Jess change her name from Spider-Woman to Ham-Sandwich-Woman'. “Does whatever a ham sandwich can!” Carol sings.

Jennifer that as Alison leaves the booth and goes over to a juke box. 'Not hungry, Alison?' Jen asks. Alison ignores the question and declares that the music is tragic, and as a musician, it is a wrong she must right – a moral imperative, even. 'Reasonable' Jen decides, before telling Alison 'So... that was quite an encore up there'. 'Yes, well, the show must go on and all that' Alison points out. 'So is dying / not dying something you do a lot?' Jennifer asks. 'It's a new thing I do. Apparently' Dazzler replies. Jen asks her if she knows how it works. Alison remains silent, while remembering waking on the table, gasping for air. 'No idea' Alison replies, before asking Jen if she thinks she is like a cat now – has a certain number of lives.

Jen asks Alison how often this has happened, and Alison replies 'Four...I think? Wait, maybe five? I dunno'. Jen suggests to Alison that if there is going to be a cap at nine, then she should probably get sure. 'Good point' Alison agrees. 'Alison...I know it's not really my business' Jen begins. 'It's not' Alison confirms. 'I know. But I'm saying something anyway. I don't know the specifics, but I know you've been through a lot'. Jen tells Alison that she won't pretend to know how she feels – 'You don't' Alison interrupts, turning slightly to look at Jennifer, who declares that from where she is standing, whatever she is doing to get through it doesn't seem to be working. Jennifer tells Alison that they are here to help her, right in this moment, she is surrounded by women like her, women who have been through things. Maybe not the same things, but a whole lot of traumatic crap. Jen suggests that maybe being around those who have weathered similar experiences would be a good path towards healing. 'I guess what I'm saying is... you don't have to do this alone. We're with you, Ali, if you want us'. Jen puts a hand on Alison's shoulder, and Alison gives a smile.

Dazzler goes outside, 'Hey, Blue. Where you come from... your old world, I was different, huh?' Dazzler asks. 'Yes' Singularity replies. Dazzler turns to her and explains that she wasn't always like this. 'I was different here, too' she declares, adding that someone hurt her, a shapeshifter named Mystique took over her life, impersonated her and even her closest friends couldn't tell. 'She kept me prisoner, used my body as a Mutant Growth Hormone factory...' Alison's voice trails off as she looks up at the stars.

'You are oh-kay, Alison?' Singularity asks. Alison tells her that she doesn't know, and informs her that she has had a weird life, sometimes beautiful and exciting, sometimes creepy and strange – often violent, but nothing has ever cut her as deep as this has. 'I don't think I'll ever be the same again' Alison adds. 'Nobody is. Nothing stays the same. It is what is beautiful, right?' Singularity asks. '...right' Alison replies, hanging her head. 'Alison?' Singularity asks as they both turn their heads to the sky. 'Yeah?' Alison responds. 'What are you looking at?' Singularity enquires. 'Nothing. And everything' Dazzler tells her. 'It is beautiful' Singularity exclaims, and Dazzler agrees.

Jen, Carol, Nico and Medusa exit the diner, and Jen asks Alison and Singularity if they are all right. 'Yes. We are looking at stars' Singularity replies, before asking Jen 'What will happen to A-Force now?' 'A-Force?' Jen replies. 'That is what our team is called' Singularity explains. 'Oh, is it now?' Jen asks. 'Yes... and Jennifer... when Antimatter went away... I felt some other things come' Concerned, Jen asks Singularity what she means. 'Like little tears in the world... and some things got through' Singularity explains. 'You're kidding. And things? Like Antimatter?' Jen asks. 'Not like Antimatter. But maybe bad' Singularity replies, before asking 'Do you want to meet them?' Jen announces that she doesn't think they have a choice. 'If our actions really brought these things through... then we're responsible right?' Carol and Medusa look at each other, while Nico rubs the back of her head, and Alison looks to the stars again. 'All right' Medusa, Nico and Carol reply in unison. Singularity puts her fingers to her head and announces that she can find them – there is one north and one south. 'Okay, so then, next we head...' Jen begins, before announcing 'North' – at the same time, Medusa announces 'South.  Jennifer, I am sorry,  but I am in charge. We go south'. But Jen declares that there is no way Medusa is in charge, and states that they go north.

'I think you're both pretty boss' Alison remarks, while Nico asks Carol why she doesn't want to be the boss. 'I'm the boss of space. That's plenty' Carol replies. 'You're the boss of space?' Nico replies. 'Pretty much' Carol tells her, before Alison turns to Nico and asks her if she can help her out with something sorta personal. 'Probably. What's up?' Nico replies.

'You need to back off!' Jen tells Medusa, pointing at her. 'You barely got us out of that last mission alive, Jennifer. I am trying to save us all!' Medusa retorts.

Alison quietly tells Nico that she needs a new look, and asks her if that is something she can help her with. 'Are you kidding? A makeover would be a treat compared to the usual stuff I have to do' Nico replies. 'Thanks. I'm feeling the need for something a bit... lighter' Alison explains. 'Of course. In fact, I could use a change myself. This'll be fun' Nico remarks, while Singularity announces that, right now, one glow is very bright in her mind-head – too bright. 'Oh, yeah? Which way?' Jennifer asks. 'North?' Medusa calls out. 'South?' Jennifer enquires. 'West' Singularity reports. 'Well said' Carol smiles, and suddenly, Singularity starts to teleport them all away.

Near Astoria, Oregon, the six women re-materialize, and Medusa remarks that they must teach Singularity about the etiquette of teleportation. 'For once, we're agreed!' Jen declares. 'Super magic makeover!' Nico suddenly shouts, as she and Alison are bathed in a magic spell. The others look around, and Carol remarks 'Yikes, too bright is one way to put it. Jen, look at that'. They go wide-eyed as a shadow looms over them, 'Not eto self... never trust the mind-head' Jennifer declares.

Somewhere that is not west, streaks of red energy fall across a dark night sky down though a city with many tall buildings. A scattering of energy flits through an open apargment window, into the bed of a sleeping man, who suddenly wakes, eyes glowing red, 'I am Antimatter. I live' he announces, and all over the city, red glows can be seen in other buildings, and voices call out 'I live', 'I live', 'I live'....


Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI, Dazzler, Medusa, She-Hulk, Singularity, Sister Grimm (all A-Force)


Dr Tempest Bell

Alpha Flight Space Station Crew




Staff and patrons in diner

Story Notes: 

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

Mystique impersonated Dazzler from Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #9 to #22.

Dazzler adopted her current punk look in Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #23.

Written By: