My most hyped book of Marvel NOW!
I feel that it’s time I throw my 2 cents in on what I thought about the issue:
Way back before Avengers and X-Men fought over a space chicken, there was a book that followed a book about hammers that fell out of the sky (Long story). To sum up the confusion, Valkyrie was tasked with the goal of finding 8 women of Midgard (or Earth for you mortal folks) and give them the role of Valkyries. This was stated at the end of the book FEAR ITSELF: THE FEARLESS!
After reading that page back in 2011, I was ecstatic! Who would be chosen? Would they all get power upgrades? Will it feature the popular heroes or the obscure ones? Will Songbird and Diamondback finally team up?! (You’re gonna be hearing that one a lot from me. Personal favorite characters.) I could not WAIT for that book to arrive.
I almost thought it wasn’t going to happen until last November:
It was finally announced! Fearless Defenders very quickly became my most HYPED book of all the Marvel NOW books! Would it live up to the hype?! Will fans love it?!
In my opinion, yes! It delivered what it promised, which was badass heroes being kickass! Though, there are some things I think might need some work.
The book is written by Cullen Bunn, a writer who’s work I’ve enjoyed like Fear Itself: the Deep and the Fearless, as well as Will Sliney, a newcomer artist to Marvel from Ireland.
First of all, I am LOVING all the covers done by Mark Brooks. He’s one of my favorite cover artists since he took over X-Men Legacy. I think this cover pops in a great ying yang. Misty is fighting Val’s villains, and Val is fighting Misty villains. What better way to sum up the feeling that these heroes are on a melting pot team, combining all parts of the Marvel U? Big thumbs up for the Cover!
The story involves only three characters. Misty Knight, a badass street level hero with a bionic arm, Valkyrie, the shield maiden of Asgard who guides the dead, and Annabelle Riggs, a new character who has quickly stolen the hearts of Tumblr people (I ain’t spoiling the plot details about her in this review!)
The first part of the book solely focuses on establishing Misty. She’s on a boat and kicking ass. I think this part of the book was the weaker half due to some issues with some of the poses Misty was in. I know some people have been bothered by what seems to be exploitative poses. There is one panel in particular which looked rather odd as Misty ran from a helicopter. It does establish the bionic heroine well, and the coloring is fantastic, but I feel that some of the poses might be bothersome for a few readers.
Luckily, the later half of the book brings the three stars together with a rumble with the undead! We get to see the powers of both Valkyrie and Misty, as well as a moment that nobody saw coming! (It’s probably many people’s favorite part of the issue). This is where I think the book excels the most: the characters work well off one another. There is this joy of seeing these three personalities clash. Valkyrie smirk just tells you she’s going to enjoy working with Annabelle and Misty. By the time the book ends, you know that the characters are going to be the strongest part of this book.
The next part I want to talk about is Will Sliney’s art. I think for the most part, it is good, but there are some things that do bother me that I think he should try and address. I think he needs to avoid what some may consider to be “ass shots”. I can understand how this might happen with the kung fu poses Misty gets in, but I can see how people might jump the gun and shout “Hawkeye initiative!” I’m very hopeful this gets stops being an issue going onwards.
But Will’s art is pretty great in a lot of places. There is one panel with the skeletons rising out of the dirt that looks especially ghoulish. I think that he also has a pretty good flow of story pace. I also believe the coloring byVeronica Gandini very much helped the art stand out.
I would also like to comment on how well Cullen Bunn has paced this issue. Though I know both Valkyrie from Fearless and Misty Knight from Heroes for Hire, many readers went into this not knowing either. Fortunately, there is enough space to show off both Valkyrie and Misty in this book and why they are awesome heroes. I think that might be the strongest feature of the book.
Though, I will say that some of the dialogue seemed oddly worded here and there.
I think Fearless Defenders was well worth the wait. The book is starting off simple by showing off why these heroes are great and what journey they have ahead of them. There’s this sense of a grand adventure ahead, and you know you’re going to enjoy it cause you enjoy the characters you’re on the ride with. Even though there are some odd postures here and there, this book is full of potential.
Can it be March already? Dani Moonstar is set to join, and those who don’t know her need to realize how badass she is!
ISSUE 1 SCORE: 8/10
PROS: Great character dynamics, Perfect pacing, Great Coloring, Good art.
Cons: Some questionable poses, the First Half is just a tad weaker than the second half. (Just a tad)