Mild Spoilers Ahead
Wiccan has been captured by the Vridai, and they want his help in controlling Doctor Doom, whom they’ve also taken prisoner. Meanwhile, Strikeforce has restrained and blindfolded Hulkling while they dispose of the Vridai that has replaced Wiccan at home. Blade disposes of the Wiccan-Vridai, and the team, along with Daimon Hellstrom, goes to the Vridai’s stronghold in Indonesia. There, they will rescue Wiccan and shut down the Vridai’s incursion…or die trying.
Strikeforce #3 finds the team trying to save Wiccan and put a permanent stop to the Vridai’s invasion plans.
Much of this issue focuses on Billy and his struggle, as he is sort of the focal point of the Vridai’s plans. Doctor Doom doesn’t have as much to do in this issue as one would expect, but that is explained midway through the issue.
The penchant for gallow’s humor and general witty banter is present in this comic as well, and it does keep the comic from becoming too self-serious.
As for this installment of Bucky-watch: he doesn’t talk quite as much in this issue, and it would be nice to see him breaking out more of his martial arts skills instead of just being the guy with the gun. That said, I’ll always take all the Bucky Barnes I can get.
We do get some backstory on Count Ophidian and Birgit, the leaders of the Vridai. They have an interesting past, and there is a potential for them to become memorable villains before this story is over.
German Peralta once again makes a strong showing in this issue. He gives the book the kind of grit and shadow it needs in the more serious moments, and the visual design of the Vridai is both ghastly and pretty damn cool. The action scenes are solid, and Marco Rudy does a great job with the flashback sequence. Guru-eFX provides color to Peralta’s work, and he gives the book an atmospheric palette.
Strikeforce #3 isn’t quite as good as the blowout second issue, but it’s still a strong installment that improves on the lackluster opening this series had. The characters are starting to gel, the story is growing more intriguing, and the humor doesn’t feel intrusive and doesn’t sidetrack the story. This one still earns a recommendation. Feel free to check it out.
Strikeforce #3 comes to us from writer Tini Howard, artists German Peralta and Marco Rudy, color artist Guru-eFX, letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, cover artist Andrea Sorrentino with Matthew Wilson, and variant cover artists Andrea Sorrentino and Declan Shalvey.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Mild Spoilers Ahead