MINI COMIC REVIEWS: Poe Dameron Vol. 1, Monstress Vol. 1 and A-Force Vol. 0

I couldn’t figure out what book I wanted to read recently (the great thing about the Read the World Project is I’ve got a lot of interesting options but it does sometimes feel like homework) so I went back to my comic shelves and read a few of my unread volumes. I have stuff to say about them but not a lot so here’s some mini reviews.

Poe Dameron Volume 1: Black Squadron by Charles Soule and Phil Noto

I really loved this comic! Poe Dameron stole my heart in The Force Awakens so when I heard he was going to have his own comic series I knew I had to read it. Black Squadron is a prequel to The Force Awakens and Poe, along with his friends in his squadron, are tasked by Leia Organa to find Lor San Tekka (the old guy Poe’s talking to at the start of The Force Awakens – boy I’ve said The Force Awakens a lot in this paragraph!).

So, the comic is all about the mission but also the downtime and you get to see Poe interact with his team which is great. It’s a funny comic, Poe’s charm shines right off the pages and it’s a nice way to learn more about the character. Plus, his relationship with BB-8 is brilliant, there’s a scene where the whole plan depends on BB-8 and some other droids and Poe has complete faith in them.

I also love the art style in Black Squadron. Phil Noto draws some gorgeous stuff (his Black Widow run is also fab) and I love the colours. It is a bit funny seeing Oscar Isaac’s face in a comic, but I soon got used to it. This is such a fun comic with good adversaries for Poe and his team and they kind of go on a heist at one which was wonderful (heists are my favourite thing ever) and I can’t wait till Volume 2 is released. 5/5.

Monstress Volume One: Awakening by Majorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Monstress is set in an alternate world with steampunk elements and Gods and monsters. It’s a bit of a confusing world to be honest and there’s a lot of different creatures including your standard humans, the Ancients (powerful God-like creatures) and Arcanics aka half breeds or half-human/half-Ancient creatures.

You follow Maika Halfwolf and she’s on a mission to learn more about her past and is both the hunter and hunted as her kind, the Arcanics, are often experimented on. It’s a bit hard to follow sometimes as there’s a lot of characters and you don’t really know what Maika’s motivations are, she’s been a slave before but a lot of her memories seem to have gone.

The art style in this is gorgeous. It’s kind of steampunk manga but there is a chibi-esque character that often seems out of place. The colours used in the art often add a sinister tone to the story and the art really is striking, though not the sort of thing I’d usually read.

Monstress has a complicated yet interesting world but I wasn’t pulled in by neither the characters nor the story. 2/5.

A-Force Volume 0: Warzones! by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina

The secluded island of Arcadia is a place of safety and security in Battleworld. There a team of Avengers protect it and its people, but when dangers start arriving in Arcadia it seems like there’s a traitor in their midst. The team led by She-Hulk must stand together, find the traitor and protect their home – even if that means defying the planet’s protectors.

A-Force is a lot of fun. It’s action-packed, like seriously it barely takes a break between the fights which is exciting and allows you to learn about these characters in the heat of battle. The great thing about A-Force it is a female superhero led comic book, it’s got a team of heroines, some more “mainstream” than others and it’s really cool and interesting to see them interact.

The main team is made of She-Hulk, Dazzler, Captain Marvel and Sister Grimm but characters like Loki, America Chavez and Medusa play their part too. Plus, it’s fun to play spot the heroine in the background or during a major battle.

Warzones! is a bit confusing to start with as there’s some exposition to set up why this island is the only safe place (the perils of story-lines running across multiple characters and universes) but it covers it all pretty quickly. A-Force is a fun book and you don’t need to have prior knowledge of every character before you read it. 4/5.


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