What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Strikeforce #8! This was another books which made me feel like it was ages since the last issue I read of it. In fact, I almost forgot this book was even still ongoing till this week. That was how long this wait had felt. I honestly had to take a bit of a refresher before jumping into this issue. You know, just in case this wasn’t one of those issues where they were going to give a recap before things began again. That said, I was still looking forward to what this new situation had in store for the team.
I say this particularly because the last place anyone who isn’t a dark elf would want to find themselves is in a place like Svartalfheim. It was actually surprising that this was where the story would eventually take us. Bold if you ask me considering depending on how much you know about the events of the ‘War of Ten Realms’, they could easily lose you in this situation creating more questions than answers. Fortunately, that was not the case here. All you really needed to know was how the fae Vridai tied into all of this, because that is a whole different story branching from that event.
The great thing about this chapter was the way that this creative team raised the stakes for Strikeforce. We knew that Birgit wanted to ensure the survival of the fae Vridai through an infestation across the Ten Realms, but the big question was how. There was a solid lead-up to that, and the answer was definitely satisfactory. Though with that said, I think what I found thrilling about this chapter was the way that this team started really working together. I remember at first when they all just wanted to go their own ways. None of them shared the same investment towards seeing this mission to the end, even when knowing what could go wrong if they did not handle this themselves. To fastforward to this point where they are each willing to play to a role and their strengths is the kind of progress we needed to see from them. Anything less, and I wouldn’t have seen any real reason in this book going on for as long as it has.The take charge personality of Blade, compassion from Wiccan, Angela’s care for people other than herself. This and much more made their pursuit of Brigit through Svartalfheim worth seeing to their destination.
What I did enjoy was the focus they placed on Angela. They did not lie, and they did not disappoint either. For Angela, this battle did get personal. The one thing we needed to understand before any of this was the fact that Angela was Queen of Hel at one point, and she did have a love interest who is now lost to her. When you take these two things into account on top of the fact that this involves the aftermath of the ‘War of Ten Realms’, and there is not a lot that Angela can avoid dealing with once more. There was no better time than now to get into these things for her too. What other books is she really a part of that would offer this chance for development and progression? It was an emotional journey that this issue took her on having to confront feelings which hold her back.
One thing that I did miss about this book was the art styling of the interior. The art team of German Peralta and Guru-eFX know how to make this a book which looks like nothing else on shelves from Marvel. Once more Peralta impressed me for his sharp attention to detail in rendering these pages. This is an action-packed book which takes us to a lot of places we never thought we would go. Peralta creates this experience and sacrifices nothing which would take you out of the story. You admire the action, the settings, everything that is terrifying about what the fae Vridai and even dark elves can do. With that said, it took some time for it to sink in, but the colors actually changed from Jordie Bellaire to Guru-eFX. Not a problem for me because you couldn’t really tell the difference. Both colorists are that good that they adjust very well to the book they are working on. So where you might be more used to Guru-eFX being more bold and flashy with the colors, this was instead a different change of pace. A darker ranger of colors, you could even say more pale. There was nothing too over-the-top unless the action demanded it. Which works considering the overall darker themes of this book.
I know that Strikeforce might not be that book everyone is clamoring to pick up compared to some other books out there, but I wouldn’t sleep on this one either. Strikeforce as a team book captures what we should see from most which stick random heroes together. It’s all about what you do to make it genuine, and not just another gimmick.