Comic Browser:


Strikeforce #8: Review

Jul 2020
Tini Howard, Germán Peralta

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Strikeforce #8 Review by (July 25, 2020)
The various explanations of the Vridai's past in this series still don't hang together or make complete sense individually.

Sera and Angela had a long relationship in the 10th Asgardian Realm Heven before Angela was pulled into Midgard in Age Of Ultron #10. This relationship was described in flashbacks within the Angela: Asgard's Assassin mini-series and the Angela: Queen Of Hel mini-series. Sera was killed before U#18, and Angela rescued her from Hel in A:QOH. Angela was kidnapped by Badoon (Guardians Of The Galaxy (2015) #6) and while she was gone Sera disappeared. Angela found her again in the Asgardians Of The Galaxy series, but Sera chose to stay with Yondu's Ravagers.

#9 will end the Vridai story. #10 was going to be an Empyre tie-in but it's been cancelled. As has any more of the series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Strikeforce #8 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The team have promised to help young Count Ophidian and his shape-shifting fungi-beings the Vridai from Svartalfheim find a new home. But his domineering advisor Birgit has kidnapped Ophidian from Deadpool's Monster Island and taken him back to Svartalfheim. The team followed them there but found themselves in the middle of a Civil War.

But we open with something completely different - Angela is relaxing with her lover Sera. But then she realises this isn't real, and we see that she's really been captured by some Dark Elves who are using a thoughtfeeder on her (some tentacles emerging from a container held by an Elf). Until Blade arrives on an armoured 6-legged clawed 'horse' and decapitates the holder. Freed from the influence Angela helps him kill her captors.

As they escape on the horse pursued by more Dark Elves on armoured wolves, Angela explains to Eric Brooks (and us) what's going on. Since the death of their leader Malekith (War Of The Realms #6) the Dark Elves have fractured into many rival groups battling for power. This group captured her for the status it might bring. They lead the pursuers into a trap laid by the rest of the team. The Elves are then slaughtered by Winter Soldier's automatic rifle, Daimon Hellstrom's magic blasts and Spider-Woman's electroblasts. Wiccan does a bit too but Spectrum seems to keep out of it.

They take refuge in an abandoned building where Asgardian Angela explains more details of Svartalfheim politics. The fungal Vridai had a hidden kingdom that the rest of Svartalfheim considered a myth. But the War Of The Realms upset all that. Ophidian wants to find somewhere else they can live in peace, but Angela thinks Birgit may be angling for some real power here. And they can't warn the Dark Elves (if they could get any of them to listen) because knowing the Vridai exist gives them power over you.

Spectrum is unable to track Ophidian here on his home turf. Angela reminds them that Birgit is teleporting using shards of the Black Bifrost, the evil version of the Rainbow Bridge between Asgard and Midgard (Earth), that Angela's mother Freyja destroyed in the WOTR. She adds that the then-dormant Vridai had their spores embedded in the Black Bridge, and its destruction scattered them over Earth. And the Vridai awoke and mimicked various humans, including our heroes (in #1).

The Asgardian ends by suggesting they go to the site of the Black Bifrost and use some of its shards to follow Birgit. Hellstorm will teleport them there. Blade says he'll stay behind to fend off any more Dark Elves. Daimon says he'll stay with him, and Wiccan can provide any magic the others might need. So off they go ...

... and wind up in a camp of Elves loyal to Malekith. Angela tries diplomacy to get safe passage. The Dark Elves agree but only if she'll let a thoughtfeeder verify she's not an enemy. But after her earlier experience she refuses, and Winter Soldier destroys it. The Elves now change their price - Bucky Barnes must stay to work off the cost of the weapon he's just destroyed. Spectrum elects to stay with him, leaving Angela, Spider-Woman and Wiccan to continue alone.

They reach the ruined end of the Black Bifrost. Wiccan detects strange magic in an intact wall. But as they near it they are sucked through a magic portal to the Asgardian Hel where they are confronted by its joint Queens Hela and Karnilla (since Thor (2018) #4 in the lead-up to WOTR). Hela is not well disposed towards Angela who once usurped this throne (in the Angela: Queen Of Hel mini-series), but Karnilla is on their side. However she says that they have been asked to 'collect' the souls of any who touch the Bridge. But they don't think the asker would mean *them* harm so they make them an offer. Spider-Woman and Wiccan are to stay here, and if Angela's quest succeeds then she can return to claim them. Angela doesn't want to accept this deal but Wiccan says his magic-user's intuition tells him this is just a mythic test.

So Angela moves on to the last stage alone and finds her mother Freyja waiting for her. Freyja was off on a 'long-delayed honeymoon' with Odin (since Thor #18), but the protective system she set up around the Black Bifrost has called her back. Angela tries to convince her that she has a good reason to be here by explaining Ophidian's situation without ever naming him or the Vridai. But her mother tells her she'll have to do it another way, and sends her (and Jessica Drew and Billy Kaplan) back to the Bridge ...

... where they find Blade, Hellstorm, Spectrum and Winter Soldier pursued by Dark Elves. They defeat the foe but then Angela detects something else about the wall. It bursts open to reveal Birgit in the form of a giant spider and Ophidian wrapped up in spider-web. She and Angela fight and the Asgardian quickly wins. Wiccan grabs the Count and Hellstrom teleports them home ...

... to Monster Island along with several severed tentacles. Deadpool's still cleaning up after their last visit, and isn't happy. But Jessica pulls out Don Buggini's business card (see last issue).

Germán Peralta
Germán Peralta
Juan Jose Ryp (Cover Penciler)
Juan Jose Ryp (Cover Inker)
Matthew Wilson (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Sabino.
Editor: Wil Moss. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Eric Brooks)


(Goddess of Death)
Son of Satan
Son of Satan

(Daimon Hellstrom)

(Jessica Drew)
Winter Soldier
Winter Soldier

(Bucky Barnes)

Plus: Birgit, Karnilla (Norn Queen), Ophidian, Spectrum (Monica Rambeau), Wiccan (Asgardian).

> Strikeforce: Book info and issue index

Share This Page