Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Jacopo Camagni
Colorist: by Guru-eFX
Letterer: by VS’s Joe Sabino
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: 1/8/2020
Reviewed by: Clay Hinojosa
As I’m newer to Marvel, I’m quickly finding out that jumping into certain titles in the midst of an arc is almost impossible even with a recap page. Strikeforce sounds great as an elevator pitch, but with just a small dive into this issue I can see that it’s just not hitting it’s mark. Having an all-star cast like Blade the Vampire Slayer, Angela from Asgard, Bucky the Winter Soldier, and Spider-Woman got me excited to pick up this issue, unfortunately, it seems Tini Howard may have veered off the path of her original goal at the wrong time, or just didn’t write a clear connection in this issue from what I read in the recap.
Tini Howard makes it clear through the recap and Blade vocally that the “Strikeforce” is infected in some way, shape, or form, but never shows it. How is this infection affecting the team or individual members? Everyone other than Spectrum and Count Ophidian seems perfectly fine. In regards to Count Ophidian and his unconsciousness, Wiccan accuses Hellstrom being the one keeping him comatose. Which leads Hellstrom down memory lane, telling Wiccan some important information, or at least I think he will tell him important information becuase we never see the ending of that conversation. Which almost leaves me thinking the two page flashback was basically pointless.
The team encounters Ghost, a villain I’ve only seen in the MCU to be completely honest, but in this particular issue, Ghost is experimenting on the “ghosts” of patience in a hospital. This is where the clunky back and forth repetitive dialogue took place. Angela just really wants to kill something, whether they are already dead or not. This leaves Spectrum as the key to both her own plan and Moonstone’s plan, another villain that just roles on into this issue. Who is by the way the evil genius of this whole hospital ghost plan apparently.
Should I have jumped onto this book without reading at least issue four? Probably not. Would it had helped if I did? Only in regards to Ophidian’s story plot, which in this issue was very lackluster and was not a driving force in this issue. In regards to new arcs in a new series, as early as issue five, Tini Howard should have written something that surrounded the characters a little more to get readers drawn in. Jacopo Camagni’s art looked great in a handful of panels, but just didn’t stick the landing. Proportions of characters were always changing . Angela and Spider-Woman the two with the most consistent proportions and look throughout the issue.
As unfortunate as it is, if this is the first time you picked up Strikeforce it might as well be the last time. There was not enough context from the previous story to invest in the book, and not enough character development to get invested in these fan favorite characters.