Marvel has once again launched a Defenders title, now named Fearless Defenders. The first issue was quite enjoyable, introducing Misty Knight and Valkyrie. A new female protagonist is introduced this issue, Dani Moonstar. Does it come together as well as the first? Major Spoilers takes a look!
Previously in Fearless Defenders: After retrieving an Asgardian “trinket” for her friend Annabelle, Misty Knight fights off some resurrected Asgardians with the help of Valkyrie. Turns out that trinket summoned the dead and now the three women head off to find out how to stop a Doommaiden.
GOTTA LOVE METAL BREASTS
We’re introduced to Dani Moonstar who is attacked and captured by Caroline Le Fey’s soldiers. Seems Caroline wants to become a Valkyrie just like Moonstar. Meanwhile Annabelle, Misty Knight and Valkyrie head to a piece of Asgardia floating over Oklahoma. There they talk to the All-Mother and learn that Valkyrie’s inability to assemble the host of the Valyrior may have allowed the Doommaidens to return. Hela, Queen of the Underworld, shows up for a fight along with Hippolyta the “Warrior Woman.”
My familiarity with this title and its characters is extremely limited. The only Defenders comics I’ve read were the twelve issues Matt Fraction wrote a year or two ago, which were, in a word, fantastic. As far as the characters, I recognize Misty as Iron Fist’s sometimes girlfriend and I know that Valkyrie is basically the female Thor. And she wears a costume with Madonna like breast coverings. That’s it. Dani Moonstar I’ve never heard of before this book and all things Asgardia I’m completely ignorant about. After the first issue, I found myself liking these characters quite a lot and this issue continues that trend. They are tough female leads, including Annabelle but they’re also vulnerable. Annabelle is confused about her feelings toward Valkyrie and Valkyrie is must face the fact that she ignored warning signs of trouble. Cullen Bunn does a great job writing these characters, giving them their own voice and making them strong. I appreciate the fact that he’s taking his time to build the team, making it a natural progression rather than “Hey we need a team, lets pick them!” I’m also hoping that this iteration remains all female, something that comics in general could use more of. The Defenders have always been a little out of place in the Marvel Universe and this title looks to carry on that tradition. This is one of the few Marvel books with original ideas and I’m having a blast with it. I hope Fearless Defenders lasts more than twelve issues because this is a just plain great comic.
WOMEN WHO KICK BUTT
Will Sliney does a great job on the art, although it’s nothing earth shattering. He draws details well and many of the panels have backgrounds, something that I appreciate. He sure knows how to draw a woman who can kick butt. Action is handled wonderfully, with energy and strong composition throughout. His rendering of Asgardia and the Doommaidens is fantastic, the latter looking appropriately scary. Some of the faces look a little off at times but it’s nothing distracting. I did have a problem with some of the heavy shadows used on faces. The shading on Caroline Le Fey’s face, for example, was so dark that it was difficult to grasp what she looked like. I don’t know if this is intentional as she is somewhat of a mysterious character for the time being, but it was enough to give me pause. Overall, Sliney’s work suits the story and, while it didn’t wow me, it’s not bad by any means.
BOTTOM LINE: KEEP THIS BOOK ALIVE!
Fearless Defenders has earned a place on my very slim pull list. It has a lot going for it: Strong female leads, the use of (for lack of a better term) “C-list” characters, and a general uniqueness that sets it apart from most other Marvel titles. Unfortunately, those very things also work against it. This is a solid book and needs to be read by many, so I beg you…BUY THIS BOOK. Support quality like this from the big publishers. This issue continues the joy that the first issue brought and earns 4 out of 5 stars. I really hope this book doesn’t get cancelled.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!