Comic Vine Review

17 Comments

Fearless Defenders #3 Review

4

The unlikely team of ladies team up with a Goddess and embark on a search for a missing Valkyrie.

The Good

The first impressions of Hippolyta (the daughter of Ares in this Universe) is that she is a little bit cocky. Not only is she a little bit full of herself, but she's got two pretty crazy one-liners before the first page is through. As far as first impressions go, she definitely leaves readers under the impression that she is a woman with a warrior spirit, and she will go wherever the fight takes her.

Will Sliney's art is pretty great throughout the issue as a whole, but it stands out the most during the flashbacks where Hela, Queen of the Dead, begins to reveal a brief history of the Doom Maidens: who they are and what their ultimate purpose is. The colors on these pages is far more subtle than the rest of the issue, and the result really gives Sliney's pencils that extra kick. The panels are gorgeous and left me wishing the entire issue could look like these couple of panels.

The thing about this series that is great is the fact that it has this really funny way of taking these very different characters and merging elements of the supernatural and improbable with concepts and characters that are grounded in reality. The series has all the ingredients for a story that probably shouldn't work, but for the most part, it does. Writer Cullen Bunn merges concepts that are definitely impossible with those that are kind of, sort of possible by interjecting moments where the characters are in complete disbelief. The panel where Annabelle Riggs discovers she has become a Shield Maiden is a good example of that. The scene provides humor and a nod at the improbability of something like this actually happening, and it works.

The Bad

Caroline le Fey has the potential to be a more fascinating villain character, but right now she's being written in a way that is really cliche -- sort of like that cliche moustache twirling type evil character, except in this case its minus the moustache. She is usually seated and shrouded in darkness, readers can never actually see her face. The artist and writer use techniques we've seen countless times and that sort of takes away from the potential of le Fey as the story's villain. Because we've seen this all before at one point or another (many, many times), the villain feels a little bit less threatening as a character.

The Verdict

One of the things that makes reading this issue great is Bunn's dialogue. There are some great scenes shared by Hippolyta and Valkyrie where both claim their respective heritages to be the better of the two, and these scenes are fun. The story progresses and feels a bit cliche at moments (particularly the scenes featuring the story's villain), but overall it's a fun issue with a pretty crazy cliff-hanger at the very end. Bunn has put together an interesting team and this issue is considerably better than issue #2. I for one am definitely looking forward to the continuation of this series.

18 Comments
Posted by AlKusanagi

How much of a part does Dani Moonstar play in the book? As a fan of the New Mutants, I've been thinking of picking up this series.

Edited by SolthesunGod

How much of a part does Dani Moonstar play in the book? As a fan of the New Mutants, I've been thinking of picking up this series.

So far Dani hasn't done much but I'd imagine that's due to change soon. I'm actually quite suprised that I like this. I didn't think I would but so far it's been a great book. Also looks like Callisto is coming up having looked at some preview art. Looking forward to that.

Edited by papad1992

@alkusanagi said:

How much of a part does Dani Moonstar play in the book? As a fan of the New Mutants, I've been thinking of picking up this series.

So far Dani hasn't done much but I'd imagine that's due to change soon. I'm actually quite suprised that I like this. I didn't think I would but so far it's been a great book. Also looks like Callisto is coming up having looked at some preview art. Looking forward to that.

Ooh... Callisto!!

Posted by BR_Havoc

Each issue of this series has just been a joy to read. I enjoy that the reader can tell Bunn is having fun writing the characters and how they interact with each other. Plus I love how he writes Misty so cynical and sarcastic

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@br_havoc: I really like how much Bunn and Sliney are interacting with the fans as well. They aren't trying to troll them or make them angry, they genuinely want to deliver what they want to see!

Posted by BR_Havoc

@cafeterialoca: I agree with you there not poking fun at some of the fans like other writers have been doing on both sides lately.

Edited by Cafeterialoca

@br_havoc: I mean, Hickman is joking about killing Songbird just to rile up fans, and then there's Avengers Arena!

Posted by mlevans66

Im loving this book!

Edited by Owie

I'm dropping this, which depresses me as a fan of Val. I think the writing is dull and the art is hack-work. I do like the archaeologist. But the thing that annoys me the most of all is the whole new evil valkyrie group. They're basically evil valkyries whose existence has been a secret, but when remembered they are known for being the scourge of the gods, unstoppable in their fury. They are basically the exact same thing as the Disir. I've actually been wondering if they were the Disir, and maybe the writer just ignored the Disir's most recent story where they were turned good. But no, they're a different group of evil valkyries who scare the gods. Hela even mentions the Disir, just to say she can't use them for a PIS reason. The Disir are great, and it's just cheesy as all get out to reuse their character/plot again so soon.

Hippolyta was also annoying. Characters in the comic have already said a couple times that its ridiculous that Val couldn't choose any new valkyries given that there's a whole world of superheroines--an extremely valid point. But in that same vein, resurrecting Hippolyta, a totally obscure and generic character for no reason, just because they need a non-Asgardian warrior, when there are numerous of excellent, unique, fascinating, formidable, non-Asgardian superheroines around, most of whom don't have their own books right now, is silly.

Posted by SimonM7

@owie: I'm slowly turning into a Valkyrie fan just from some of the imagery in Secret Avengers - specifically issue 14, the Fear Itself one. I've not read any of this series yet, but, like you, I looked forward to reading it primarily because Valkyrie is in it. As a fan, what would you suggest I check out with her?

Posted by Owie

@simonm7 said:

@owie: I'm slowly turning into a Valkyrie fan just from some of the imagery in Secret Avengers - specifically issue 14, the Fear Itself one. I've not read any of this series yet, but, like you, I looked forward to reading it primarily because Valkyrie is in it. As a fan, what would you suggest I check out with her?

In terms of this series, generally I feel like she's been presented out of character--too "human" although there have been a few nice moments. (If I weigh them against the series' overall low quality, that's not enough for me, which is why I'm not going to get it any more.) This may be part of the company's overall evolution of her character though, I think they want her to become more "relatable." I haven't read a lot of the Secret Avengers, but I would maybe recommend that series more. I did not read the "Fearless" miniseries last year, but she was in that a fair amount. I tried the first issue but burned out from reading too much Fear-Itself stuff. As I understand it, the plot of the Fearless mini led up to the plot in the new Fearless Defenders. She was also in the Heralds miniseries a couple years ago. That wasn't so great either, unfortunately. Anyway, out of recent comics, I think the Secret Avengers is probably the way to go.

I am kind of an old-school Valkyrie fan--the original 70s/80s Defenders series. She was in almost every issue of that. Whether you would like that depends on whether you like that era of comics. It had some very interesting writers for the time.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

@owie: I hear you, but I say keep an eye on the book and don't drop completely. Issue 5 and 6 promises a lot of female superhero guest stars, and the second arc is supposedly more one shots and shorter adventures.

Cullen Bunn also said that he wanted to use primarily female characters who aren't appearing in other books right now, which is why Dazzler and Kate Bishop were originally on the team, but taken out. Hippolyta was an obscure choice, but apparently Bunn choose her simply because nobody would expect her at all, and that she would set up future plot points.

I can understand the frustrations with the Doom Maidens, but I think the twist at the end of issue 3 will probably warrant their new creation.

Still, keep an eye out. Loa, Clea, Lyra, are hinted as possible future members!

Edited by Cafeterialoca

@alkusanagi: She kicked butt at the beginning of issue 2, but then got captured. She just got rescued in issue 3.

Posted by SimonM7

@owie: Ah, I see. It seems a little difficult to get anything that focuses on her to any larger degree. I'll check if ComiXology has the old Defenders stuff you mention.

This image especially stuck with me from the Fear Itself issue.

Posted by Owie

@owie: I hear you, but I say keep an eye on the book and don't drop completely. Issue 5 and 6 promises a lot of female superhero guest stars, and the second arc is supposedly more one shots and shorter adventures.

Cullen Bunn also said that he wanted to use primarily female characters who aren't appearing in other books right now, which is why Dazzler and Kate Bishop were originally on the team, but taken out. Hippolyta was an obscure choice, but apparently Bunn choose her simply because nobody would expect her at all, and that she would set up future plot points.

I can understand the frustrations with the Doom Maidens, but I think the twist at the end of issue 3 will probably warrant their new creation.

Still, keep an eye out. Loa, Clea, Lyra, are hinted as possible future members!

I'll keep an eye on it. I do want there to be a successful book on this basic theme, so if they up the quality, I'll be back on.

@simonm7 said:

@owie: Ah, I see. It seems a little difficult to get anything that focuses on her to any larger degree. I'll check if ComiXology has the old Defenders stuff you mention.

This image especially stuck with me from the Fear Itself issue.

I would take a look at the Fearless mini too. I think it was largely about her.

Edited by Cafeterialoca
Edited by Celosbeats1

Really enjoyed the issue. Glad it ending the way it did. Can't wait for the next.