The War of the Realms has officially taken over most Marvel Comics books and with it come the tie-in stories. Out this week is Strikeforce – The Dark Elf Realm #1, where Bryan Hill and Leinil Francis Yu feature a special team of heroes on a mission set forth by Thor’s mother Lady Freyja. Before any team can do their job there’s a little training and testing required. This issue is their test.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This tie-in has top talent with Bryan Hill putting in thoughtful, interesting story after story. Then you have Yu, who has done his fair share of event books and we’re talking main events. Add in the fact that this is a unique team of dark-edged heroes and you have a recipe for some bloody good action.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
In a not so direct way, Hill does a good job establishing why Punisher is the leader of this team. Through a set of tests seemingly of the mind, each hero must prove themselves, but it’s through his words to Lady Freyja that we see a true leader. If he can talk to a god, and maybe even teach them something, he’s right for the job. Hill calls back this leadership aspect come in the final page in a surprising bit of dialogue.
Hill also does a good job exploring each character through their fear and inner thoughts. By the end, you’ll feel certain each character is in a good enough place to take on anything. Since these characters are sharing in a mind-rocking test they all share in something before they head out, too.
The art by Leinil Francis Yu with inks by Gerry Alanguilan and colors by Matt Hollingsworth capture that dark edge this team needs. Each character goes through a different test and the use of color and framing helps set each apart nicely. There’s a hell of a double page splash with all the heroes which should get fans jazzed for more team action. Lady Freyja certainly looks godly as all heck when she’s talking at these heroes, too.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m at a loss for what the stakes are. The stakes in this issue are all centered on each character’s unique struggle, but it’s not clear what they’re fighting for since it’s told and not shown. They’ve yet to come together as a team. Speaking of, it’s mostly bonding over this test that has brought them together, but again, I’m not sure it has proven anything about their ability to work together. Long story short, I understand each character a bit more, but not why this team works.
Is it good?
If you like character studies with your action check this book out. Hill and Yu do a good job pushing each of the heroes and it should be fun to see how they work together as a team.
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