Last week Marvel tried their best to announce a new book from the creative team of G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina, in the form of ‘A-Force’, a split-the-difference Avengers/X-Men mashup title with Dazzler in the lead. Although foiled by, it appears, Kim Cattrall’s refusal to cede TV time for Marvel to run the announcement, it’s a new week and we can finally get round to it now.
The book, obviously riffing off “X-Force” but with an Avengers-centric header, will see the team of Dazzler, She-Hulk, Nico Minoru and Medusa teaming up with new character and “sentient event” Singularity to fight something or other. The media has immediately gone in to note that this is an all-female lineup of characters, although I can’t see anything from Marvel themselves which makes that a headline, other than the Jim Cheung cover you see above. Unlike the previous launch of Fearless Defenders and then adjectiveless X-Men, A-Force doesn’t seem to be about “female” characters all being together so much as it is “good” characters being all together.
That Cheung image seems like it may have been put together a few months back, seeing as it has older designs for characters like Spider-Woman and Dazzler on there, along with a de-vampired Jubilee. So little is known about the book right now that this could be a cover establishing all the characters they want in the team, or it could just be a “draw all the female characters you know, Jim!” sort of deal.
Is this more proof that the X-Men are being taken over by the Avengers? Well, the line-up of creators on the book, especially Bennett, does lean towards this being an X-Office title with an Avengers lean. Mike Marts, editor for the Batman books last year but now editor for the X-Men line, has spent his time bringing in writers like Bennett from Batman to Marvel, and the press release establishes that the team are Avengers, rather than X-Men. Much like Uncanny Avengers, this seems like a book tying in bankable franchise keywords to an Avengers concept.
But then again, this is a team with Medusa, Dazzler, She-Hulk and Nico from Runaways in it. I like all those characters, and I like the creative team. So this likely being a good book trumps any paranoid nonsense we might think up.