Strikeforce #3 Review

by Jay Hill on November 20, 2019

Written by: Tini Howard
Art by: Germán Peralta
Colors by: Guru-eFX
Flashback Art & Colors by: Marco Rudy
Lettered by: Joe Sabino
Published by: Marvel Comics

It’s the third issue of Strikeforce and Blade and his team are striking… with force. After the abduction of Wiccan in the last issue, the makeshift grouping races to free him from the clutches of the Vridai. The villains' ambiguous relationship with Doctor Doom is explained. And, we’re given some background on them that may suggest things are more complicated than they seem.

After a start that felt slightly aimless, this issue is firmly on an established track. Not only is the rescue mission for Wiccan and the intercepting of his doppelganger the most focused strikeforcing we’ve seen. But, as Tini Howard stated in the backmatter to the first issue, it is being revealed why each member was chosen for this story. In what may have been my favorite point of this story yet, Wiccan is brought face-to-face with the man who was once married to his mother, Doctor Doom. Everything that spawned from these two interacting was gold. And when the rest of the team arrives for the jailbreak, the comic kicks into another gear. This isn’t just another action scene, the addition of Wiccan and Doom, then the one-on-one of Angela and Lady Birgit of the Vridai kept the cohesiveness that the comic had been missing. I must mention Spider-Woman’s hilarious mid-battle revelation, that was a well-placed moment. Daimon Hellstrom tagging along was another element that added to help the tightness of this issue. It seemed like everyone, for the most part, got a character moment to display why they’re so helpful. And, while the end felt a little “to be continued” it was helped by the earlier flashback being brought back around. Now, this new mysterious backstory for the Vridai has me curious about what is behind it all. I am now fully endeared to all the characters and anticipate more of this series. The horror element that's been promised still doesn’t quite feel fulfilled, although the enemy has a skin-crawling nature to them (helped by the art), but with what was set-up at the end, maybe that is about to change.

The atmosphere supplied by the art is still a highlight, especially now that the writing has found its footing. Germán Peralta draws the characters in a coherent way so that no matter how action-packed a scene is, the clarity of the figures isn't lessened. The way the Vridai are creepily illustrated keeps it unnerving and the process of everywhere they inhabit turning sinewy and ruinous is great. The colors, now by Guru-eFX, have a more digital feel but help by painting the Vridai a sickly off-purple that is used to invoke their presence. And the way each member of the strikeforce is given a specific color and aura (especially when in battle or using their powers) pops. One of my favorite artists, Marco Rudy, makes a guest appearance to deliver a dreamy flashback. His signature unique panel layouts and vivid colors give the scene a psychedelic quality that’s very at home with the mind-altering nature of the Vridai.

This is the issue that brings it all together. The team dynamics are great, and the mission is falling into place. The fun action scene is not only a blast to read, but is filled with meaning that was earned and excellently delivered on. It is keeping and building on its dark atmosphere and it leaves us with a hint that it's about to reach a new height. 

Our Score:


A Look Inside