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Femforce 160

Femforce #160 Eduardo Barreto cover aret

Femforce #160 Eduardo Barreto cover aretPrice: $9.95




Solo adventures are the order of the day in the latest big, 80-page issue of FEMFORCE; #160. In a period of rare calm between universe-shattering emergencies, the various members of the FF are following their own interests and fending for themselves- in this era and others!! In the present, SHE-CAT heads to New Orleans for a few days of revelry, but is soon pulled into a macabre murder mystery in “Trail of the Velvet Ghost”, written by Frank Tra, with art by Eric Coile and Scott Shriver. Check out this spooky new villainess! Then, STARDUST is up in Earth orbit, doing a favor for her NASA co-workers when she ends up fighting for her life on the “Satellite of Hate”. Written by Eric Johnson, with art by Chris Allen and Scott Shriver. SYNN ends up in a impossible adventure (with tons of guest-stars and the “return” of an old flame? ) in “Perfect Gentleman”, written by Frank Tra, with art by Rock Baker, Scott Shriver and Jeff Austin; and NIGHTVEIL continues to fret about the possible threat of the evil Wampyr in “Palindrome”, written by Mark Heike- with art by Anthony Conversano, Mark Sheppe, Scott Shriver and Mark Heike. Has another strange visitor given NV a clue to Wampyr’s next move? Then, in a previously-untold story from 1941 (actually BEFORE the formation of the FF), young government research director Joan Wayne dons the red, white and blue costume of “MISS” Victory to face the threat of “The Master of the Lightning”, in one of her earliest cases; as written by David Watkins, with art by Rock Baker and Jeff Austin. Next, it’s the Post-War year of 1947, as BLUE BULLETEER finds herself tangled up in gangland murder in “Trophy Wife Scorned”, written by Maura Grundmeyer, with art by Scott Larson and Jeff Austin. (This tale is actually a reprint, having appeared some years ago as a back-up in GREEN LAMA #2. It’s some excellent work by Maura, Scott and Jeff; not seen by many FF readers previously, and establishes some back-story for an all-new sequel that is currently being drawn for an upcoming issue.) Then, back in the present; that goofy, gorgeous giantess Marla Allison returns as HUMONGA in “Growing For The Gold”. Peeved that her Hollywood career never rated an Academy Award, Marla and her staff concoct a plan to try to manipulate the Tinsel Town system to get an Oscar-night victory. Written by Eric Johnson, with art by Dan Gorman and Jeff Austin. Finally, an encore STARDUST story, relating back to her Rurian birthing day ceremony, last seen back in FF #26. Dusty THINKS she’s all alone on Earth’s moon, but troublemakers (with a cellphone camera) abound in “Stardust Memories: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly”, plotted by John Gotschall and Rock Baker; penciled by Rock Baker, with script (yes, that’s right- SCRIPT) and inks by Jolly Jeff Austin. Never before have we had as many pages of actual FEMFORCE story and art in a regular issue of the ongoing FF series as in THIS one!! No ads, no editorials- just 100% great “good girl” art comics!Standard comic book size; 80 pages, black & white interiors with color cover by the late, great Eduardo Barreto. Saddle- stitched. Released in 2012.

18 thoughts on “Femforce 160

  1. This issue looks great. Lots of FemForce stories, with sections focusing on individual characters. I think I’m going to like this one , even setting aside that I’ve got 2 scripts in there.

    And wow, jammed packed. 80 pages, no ads or editorials? That’s a lot of comic product!

  2. Another FF available already? Life is good. I can’t wait to see it .

    1. Yeah, it came up fast didn’t it?

      Mark and Steph and the AC gang must be working their butts off to maintain this year’s pace so far!

      1. I agree .We are in for a lot of great stories and excellent art.

  3. The cover is simply stunning. It will only get better in print. A true talent has passed on. R.I.P. Eduardo Barreto

    1. Yes, indeed. Mr. Barreto was doing a Saint episode for Moonstone when he passed on. I got the assignment of finishing the story’s pencils. Barreto was such a superior talent, I feel so out-of-place trying to follow him. He really was a terrific cartoonist!

  4. I know AC Comics are some of the hardest working comics company in the US and if something goes wrong I know AC would want to know about to prevent it from happening again. I received my issue of #160 the other day and someone was probably a little eager when stapling the book together because three of the stories were printed twice in my book. The She-Cat story about the Velvet Ghost, the Stardust story about Admiral Warmongerand the second Stardust story where she gets peeped apron by Atoman and the Carbonator. I’m not asking for my money back or a free issue. This is just a heads up. Otherwise AC does a great job!

    1. Actually, this sort of thing happens more than you might think. Any time you or any reader gets a defective copy of an AC book, PLEASE contact me directly at and I will immediately send you a replacement. At $9.95 per copy, every reader deserves a perfect copy. A make-good on the “bad” copy is hardly a freebie- you’ve already PAID for it!!

  5. Just got a hold of my copies yesterday.

    I think this was one of the strongest issues of FemForce in a long time. There was a nice subtle theme, solo stories that really focused on each character’s unique role and characteristics.

    She-cat using her catlike senses, Stardust using her scientific knowledge in space, Synn living in her own reality, Nightveil dealing with self-doubt in mystical visions, Miss Victory in a WWII-era tale, Blue Bulleteer in a noir-style tale, and Humonga engaged in shady Hollywood politics while exploiting her size and sexuality.

    Each character was in a solo story that could only feature that character. I’m reminded of a quote from a DC editor that was something like when a Superman script was submitted, he’d tell the writer to go over it, and see if the story would be unchanged if you swapped Captain Marvel in for Superman. If so, it wasn’t a good Superman story yet, and needed a rewrite. Each of these stories fit the character and highlighted their uniqueness. I can only assume Mark as editor saw a chance to do an issue of strong solo stories and put it together this way on purpose.

  6. Some quick comments on individual stories:

    Trail of the Velvet Ghost – This may be one of my all time favorite She-Cat stories. Love the captions showing her catlike senses informing her of details we mere humans aren’t privy to. Her various catlike attributes are on display: senses, reflexes, the rage of Sekhmet when she loses control, and even her cat-like approach to sexuality. Very well done by Frank Tra on writing the character. And, of course, I loved seeing Eric Coile art.

    Satellite of Hate – I recuse myself on the story, but Chris Allen and Scott Shriver did a great job of making the outer space scenes work with the art.

    Perfect Gentleman – Synn making herself a boyfriend seems a very interesting idea to explore.

    Palindrome – Noticing the name of the story, it’s an interesting hint to the idea that much of Nightveil’s current problems may be self-fulfilling prophecy seeded by her own anxieties and insecurities.

    Master of Lightning – This Miss V tale has a very appropriate Golden Age feel to the story structure and plot.

    Trophy Wife Scorned – Very appropriate noir feel to this Blue Bulleeter story.

    Growing for the Gold – Again, I can’t comment objectively on the story. But I really like the Dan Gorman and Jeff Austin art here. Just a couple panels where the scale of Marla is a bit off (such as Page 9, panel 1, the size of the cars relative to Marla). The size comparison moments at the convention scene were great. And a real stand out for me was the expressions on Marla’s face throughout, expressing a pretty wide range of emotions at key moments (her “taking charage” face on Page 2, the “smile for the public” faces on Page 3, conspiratorial smile on Page 5, panel 2, and several emotions on final page).

    Stardust Memories: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – a quick bit of sex comedy. A nice lighthearted way to end the issue.

  7. I get a chuckle every time I read the title, “Satellite of Hate.” The Miss Victory and Blue Bulleteer retro stories were a lot of fun. You guys are teasing us with this Wampyr story line. Something big is going to happen here!

    1. Glad the title was chuckle-worthy. I was amused by the title, and I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  8. I would like to make a few brief comments regarding the “Satellite of Hate” story.
    Speaking Generally.
    This one was particularly impressive.I found it to be an effective straight-up adventure story, which also provided some interesting insights into the “character” of the lead character(Stardust) and quietly made( I thought) an noteworthy point Also I found the art to be very impressive.
    Commenting Specifically
    Regarding the art.
    The story is set in “outer space”, both inside and outside a spacecraft.I note that those scenes that take place “outside”effectively caught/portrayed the vastness of space.The “splash page ( page 1) and most of page 2 plus the top horizontal panel on page 3 as well as the middle left and right panels on page 6 and the first 2 panels on page 7 are excellent examples .
    Also , in viewing those pages which depicted Stardust easily operating in the vacuum of the void I was put in mind of a “space ballet” and was reminded of early scenes from the old “2001: a Space Odyssey movie and was impressed by how effectively this concept was rendered in the splash page ,as well as in the top right and left and middle right and bottom horizontal panel on page 2 as well as the top horizontal panel on page 3
    Also , in the later part of the story which took place inside the villain’s space ship-there was a lot of technology on display – all of which appeared to be logical and functional and plausible and well placed. Everything looked like it all belonged there and each piece had a purpose.
    I thought that the small middle right and bottom horizontal panel on page 3 were excellent examples of this, as was the the top horizontal panel on page 5 which depicts the bridge of the villain’s(” Captain Warmonger”) space ship, which had a classic look about it, which I really enjoyed.As an aside I thought that the small inset panel within that larger top panel was really effective in focusing the action for the next part of the story.( captive Dusty and how she prevails)
    I must also specifically note that “high-tech” device which restrains Dusty and draws off her stellar energy to fuel Captain Warmonger’s scheme, as depicted on page 5 – upper middle horizontal panel and on page 7 – middle left panel was rather clever , both in it’s concept and it’s presentation /appearance.
    I really appreciate that the artists took all that time and effort to incorporate this level of detail into the story.
    I also really like that Dusty is depicted in her new shorter hair-style with her trade-mark pointed Rurian ears on display.
    Regarding the story.
    I like that the story begins showing Dusty out in space voluntarily performing satellite repairs, gratis( for free). To my mind that is exactly the sort of thing the character would do (and it quietly demonstrates the kind of individual she is ( -namely one who is happy to be useful and is pleased to make a contribution to her community / world that does not involve violence).
    Also , in the later part of the story, when she is a captive of Captain Warmonger and she learns of his plot and her own unwilling role in it , Dusty stays calm ,exhibiting “grace under pressure ” (I really like that quality in a character). And she maintains that demeanor/ does not panic or “fall to pieces” even after her first attempt to free herself fails and the villains tortures her to force her comply with his scheme. In stead she finds the inner strength to remain focused and in control.and find a way to prevail.
    This is not to say that the character comes off as as automaton or a bloodless “Mr Spock” kind of character. When she learns the villains plan and sees his callous indifferent attitude to pain and suffering it will cause if it succeeds she resolutely(angrily) vows to stop him (page 6 – top left panel). And when Captain Warmonger tortures her , it is uncomfortably (though never gratuitously or graphically-which I liked))obvious that she feels the pain (page 4- middle horizontal panel and the bottom three panels and Page 6 Middle right panel). But Stardust does not give in to the pain -rather she keeps it together and finds a way to prevail.
    She frees herself and foils their schemes and in doing so , demonstrates that she has a complete and through control of her powers. I really like that the character does not simply rely on the “brute strength ” application of her “stellar bolt” powers, but can deploy them lightly and with finesse. This implies that she has worked hard to acquire the skill and discipline to achieve the level of control . I really like what that quietly says about the character.
    And what I especially liked and want to draw attention was the fact that, at end of the story , when Dusty has triumphed and is in control she does not seek any “pay back ” /vengeance on her former captors , nor does she simply abandon them to their fate / to die in space. instead, like a wise and compassionate teacher in charge of a class of slow witted students she patiently outlines their options and guides them into making the right decision.- namely to officially request the Fem Force heroine escort them back to American territory ( where they will answer to their crimes in a court of law.
    To my eyes , in acting this way the character demonstrates an appreciation and a true understanding of the importance of the rule of law and the (American) principles of justice and fair play . That was a part of the story that I really enjoy.
    If I can get philosophical for moment here for a minute-in previous writings about Stardust I have put forth the idea of Dusty as being an “Ultimate Immigrant” ( she comes from another planet- there is nothing here that is like her former home ).
    It has been my experience that immigrants very often make very good citizens because they truly believe and take to heart the principals and concepts of their new country and put them into practice in their every day lives.
    I am very much impressed that Dusty has done just that in this story.
    I would like to add that in our current “real” immigrants are sometimes seen or presented as a danger or a threat or a cause for concern . With that in mind I am very grateful to see a story in which an immigrant demonstrates by her actions that she embraces all the best principles of her new home.
    Finally I hope I am not too far off base or “off the wall” in my observations and conclusions.

    1. Jim,

      Thanks for your really well thought out comments.

      No, you aren’t “off base”. I really wanted to do right by Stardust’s characterization for this story. My goal was to make this a story which fit Stardust’s personality, background, and abilities. With Stardust playing a role that no one else could.

      Your comment about Stardust being an “Ultimate Immigrant” is well taken. I take it as similar to a comment Joss Whedon once said about a theme in his works: “The family you choose is more important than the family you happen to be born into.”

      I do see Stardust as being very loyal to Earth and the United States as she’s chose that as being a better place to live. But she does keep very much to her own Rurian ideals, like an immigrant that chooses a new home, but keep their old traditions. Or applies the “work ethic” of her old home to impress the native locals. Bringing their unique outlook and skillset to the “melting pot”, if you will.

      Thinking about it, I think the theme of “immigrants make good citizens because they consciously chose to embrace the ideals of their new home” also shows up in another story I wrote. One of the future Gammazon Housewife stories I submitted has some dialogue about how Kar’ri Conquest, another alien immigrant, has chose the Earth way as a better way to live. I HOPE it’s a moving moment, but I’m biased, of course. 🙂

      1. Pleased to learn that my comments and conclusions were on the mark . As I said in my review your story was excellent and really caught the “character “of the character . I hope you are able to more such stories , featuring some of the other Fem Force characters and heroines.
        Must mention that I really enjoy all of the Glamazon Housewife stories, and look forward to seeing more of them . To my mind they tell a very human and engaging story that very hard to find( out side of A C comics)
        Thank you for all the great stories.

  9. I would like to make a few brief comments and observations regarding the “Growing for the Gold” story.
    This a fun story with some excellent art which also provides an interesting look at how the desire for fame and recognition can make a fool out of any one .Even some one as sharp and calculating as Marla Alison.
    Commenting specifically -Up till now the lead character Marla Allison(aka “Humonga” )has been ” all business”,focusing on increasing her cash flow and “growing her business” ( no pun intended). She still hates the the Fem Force and is determined to bring the down but making money(lots of it) is her primary goal( As an aside I rather enjoyed this ” real world” aspect of the character.)
    -This attitude is reflected in the first 4 pages of this story.The splash page depicts Marla in her GTS. mode ,”front and center” at “Humonga – con 1 ” (a very good image). She is posing for pictures with fans .Large signs list the various rates for the different choices(Held in hand, perched on shoulder,held with no hands) ,the price ascending as the level of intimacy increases( the last option was really expensive),confirming that this event is basically designed to separate the attendees from their money as quickly and efficiently as possible .This “open for business attitude is reflected/presented very effectively on page #3, which depicts the various activities at this get – together.Most of them are simply “sales events’ (memorabilia auction , autograph signing).Also the middle right panel which depicts a screening of her movie at which she provides commentary( taking every opportunity to slag her co- star Garganta / Dr. Carol Hiesler- a Fem Force associate)
    Marla’s mercenary “money comes first” attitude is very effectively illustrated on page 2 where she deals- in a fun and effective way- with an over eager fan who is disrupting the line -up and interfering with her “cash flow” ( I thought the art in the middle left panel was especially good)
    .The action on this page also depicts how single minded the GTS.can be in getting want she wants.
    A sharp and angry response to a desperate obsessive fan on page #4 sets up the action for the rest of the story namely Marla deciding to try and win herself an Academy Award.
    The last 2 panels on that page depicting Marla in conference with Vivian -her personal assistant- were fun and well detailed images that were very well rendered. She is suspended in a complicated harness so she she can talk to her boss “face to face”. I got a kick out of the artist’s depiction of that practical solution to one of the challenges of working for a Giantess.
    On page five Marla states that she wants something that says “how great I am as an actress, some recognition , some respect”. This is some what out of character for her since as demonstrated on the previous pages she is mostly concerned about making money. But she does state that she is willing to spend money and cheat a to achieve her goal,so we see that she has not really changed .
    The art in the top middle left panel in which Marla makes that statement was particularly effective.And the final panel on that page ,depicting the staff discussing this weeks “size pun” office pool and who won it was a wonderfully fun and realistic little touch
    Vivian ,the amoral and awesomely efficient personal assissstant puts together an under handed action plan, including paying movie reviewers and websites to create a” positive buzz”(That would NEVER happen in real life.)
    On Page 5 we get a look at just how far Marla is willing to go and how much she is willing to invest to get what she wants. Namely deploying technology designed to defeat Syn to hypnotize her fellow academy members into liking her movie. (as an aside we see that this device is built and operated by Dr Macabre who appeared in an earlier Humonga adventure . I really appreciate this kind of attention to continuity and as another aside she identifies that device as an- Subliminal Hypnotic Euphoria Projector Affirmative Reaction Device or “S.H.E.P.A.R.D.” Given that Marls refers to her fellow academy members upon whom the device was being used, as ‘sheep” I thought this acronym was a clever little touch or what I call a “fun bit” which I found to be a hallmark of Ac/FF stories. I am glad to to see that tradition being carried on here.)
    On page 7 we see Marla really pulling out all the stops ,doing favors for influential Holly wood friends cashing in on favors making big donations to charitable causes , and blatantly politicking for votes,using her beauty and her body ( as seen in the top horizontal panel) When it is suggested to her that she start spending less money she angrily rejects those arguments,similar to her reaction back on page 6 (bottom panel) I note in theses 2 instances she is behaving just as foolishly as those fans seen back in the first 3 pages spending large amounts of money on over priced DVDs and junky “memorabilia”. I thought this was a clever piece of story construction.
    Then on page 8 it all falls apart . The actions of the crazed stalker first seen back on page three and whose comments inspired Marla to go after the academy award in the first place has caused all the support she has worked so hard for and paid so much for, to evaporate and put her bid off the rails. I thought that having the person who inspired the bid be one who destroyed it was another clever bit of story construction
    On page 9 we see Marla go on a petulant Giantess rampage which was kind of fun to see and gave the viewer a look at the kind of immature person she really is.
    Finally on page 10 while she soaks in a huge tub and sucks up “Cheap Booze”for a tanker truck( another fun bit ) Marla finds that she has won an award after all (basically on a technicality and mostly through the efforts of Vivian) so there is a happy ending of sorts.The final image depicting Marla channeling Sally Field’s Academy Award acceptance is one more “fun
    I hope I hope I am not been to far off base in by observations and conclusions

  10. Jim,

    Thanks much for your extensive comments and thoughts on the story.

    I’m very glad that you enjoyed many of the little touches I put into the story (Vivian’s harness for looking Marla in the face, the S.H.E.P.A.R.D. / Sheep pun, the size-pun office pool, the callback to the stalker-fan, the Sally Field homage, and other things you mentioned). It makes me feel it’s worthwhile putting things like those in, knowing that someone besides me and the editor spots them.

    I’m especially glad and impressed that you noticed the parallel between the fans at Humonga-con “overpaying” for things and Marla “overpaying” for the award.

    To continue the theme, the stalker also “overpays”, going to jail in order to make an impact on Marla’s life (even if negative) and try to be noticed. And arguably, Vivian “overpays” too, by doing more than she is ordered to, so she can make Marla happy.

    In the end, Marla could have been happy spending a lot less money, if she had been a little more self-aware and a little less shallow. But a commonality between Marla and her fans at the con is that it’s rarely things in-and-of themselves that bring us happiness or satisfaction, but rather the meanings we attach to those things. (something that a comic book / comic art collector like myself should acknowledge too)

  11. Your welcome.
    I am pleased that my comments were on the mark
    I really did enjoy those “fun bits” /small touches you included . I hope you will be able to include similar touches in further Fem Force stories you do.
    I did enjoy the ” money buying happiness” / overpaying parallel between Marla and her fans and I appreciate that you worked it into the story.And I agree with your comments about things and the happiness they bring us because of the meaning we attach to them.
    Thank you again for this story . I hope you will be able to do more like it.

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