22 Issues Published by MARVEL COMICS
Scripts by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Various Pencilers and Inkers
When I finished “West Coast Avengers” I was immediately ready to pick-up where it left off with the team that formed from it. The West Coast Avengers did not have a place in the new Avengers world after numerous devastations because they were basically looking for someone to hang all of their inabilities on. The West Coast team took the brunt of this and ultimately was forced to disband. This resulted in several characters feeling that they no longer belonged in the Avengers version of the superhero game, especially Scarlet Witch who felt that she had put her heart and soul to the Avengers only to feel them crush her down in this moment. Iron Man decides it is time to form a new team. A team that works on a global level and tries to divert a crisis before it begins. He decides that he will create the team “FORCE WORKS!”
I went in with high expectations for this series because two of my favorite characters, as I mentioned in the previous article (Scarlet Witch and Spider-Woman), were featured in it. I was disappointed in many realms because this book did not do what it could have done. It did not develop, in my opinion, any truly lasting story arcs involving the main characters. There are no standout moments for any particular character. The characters are interchangeable for the most part or just seem to follow a standard comic book team formula of heavy hitter, long-range character, magic user, etc. Unlike West Coast Avenger that added depth and even angst to characters, such as Scarlet Witch, this turns such characters into what appears to be a clear objectification of the female character. The reason I feel this way is because Scarlet Witch, for example, went from a pretty overly conservative outfit to this:
The series must not have been doing that well overall because it did not last that long and reading it I truly understood the reasoning behind this. It seemed that every story involved some huge ALIEN encounter instead of really being about superheroes finding villains and thwarting their plans, which is what I liked about many of the stores in “West Coast Avengers”. I recognize this was a different team, but there was nothing that made me invested in the stories that were being told.
Early on in the title an important character dies off and as a result another character named Century is brought into the folds of the team. This character seemed to have some potential as a character, but as you progress over the 22 issues you start to feel that potential starting to slip away as you get less and less invested in their story. You wonder why you should care about why he has no memories of his home world and the life that he had led before “Force Works” came into his life. During one part of the series this new character actually disappears and gets a one-shot about this part of his past. I did not read that title because I simply was not invested enough in the character to want to spend more time with him in this manner.
There were a LOT and I mean a LOT of potential in other characters as well. There were two supporting role characters in a public relations specialist and a technician for the team, but they were not utilized properly to create any tension or anything extra into the team until near the end of the series. When the series gets into a story arc called “THE CROSSING”, which if you are unfamiliar with this go look it up because it is one crappy story, it felt like it was finally doing the things that it SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN DOING. Spider-Woman has a love triangle, there is leadership tension between Iron Man and Scarlet Witch, Century comes back in enough time to realize something is screwy, Villains are trying to kill them, and the team has to band together to really try to thwart some evil. Ultimately, the team does not succeed though, but it would have been awesome to have this tension, this level of teamwork throughout the entire run. If this had been there the book would have achieved better overall success for what it was trying to do, but it seemed to forgo any character development for quick Alien plots. This was disappointing for a series that spun out of one that showed that you can mix both and create something all together magical. Also something else that was magical was that Scarlet Witch got to have one of my favorite costumes finally!
This was a redesign that paid homage to the original one, but also added more stylized and modern elements of the time. It felt like a natural and organic progression of the character, instead of the other style that was used throughout this run. I wish I could find more positive and happy things to say about this particular series, but it just didn’t “work” for me!