The Fearless picks up in the aftermath of Fear Itself, with Captain America searching for the recently-escaped Sin and trying to contain the power of the hammers previously wielded by the Serpent’s “Worthy.” The focus, however, is not on Captain America or any of the core Avengers, but on Valkyrie, an Asgardian warrior who has been seeing more action these days thanks to her addition to the Secret Avengers. Valkyrie is often an underutilized character, and she’s a good fit for this comic, with her ties to both Asgard and the Avengers. By the end of the comic, however, Valkyrie has decided to go it alone, asserting, against Captain America’s stance, that it is “not the responsibility of man to stand vigilant over” the weapons of Asgard. She asserts herself as a warrior of Asgard and takes on herself the burden of keeping something from her world from again bringing destruction to Midgard.
Much of the comic is devoted to establishing Valkyrie’s motivation for setting out on her own, beginning with the opening scene where the valkyries are called to Midgard in 1945 because of the misuse of Asgardian magic by the Thule Society. We’re offered a look into Valkyrie’s past and the mindset that would drive her to separate herself from Captain America and the other Avengers. Where Captain America is unable to trust the Asgardians, Valkyrie is an Asgardian, and unwilling to pass off on the people of Midgard what she sees as the responsibility of her people.
On the other side of the coin is Sin, who has recently lost the god-like power she was granted by her hammer. With the help of Crossbones, she’s also in search of the hammers, but not to protect Earth like Valkyrie, but to finish what she started in the events of Fear Itself. Like Valkyrie, Sin is a fierce warrior in her own right, and a strong adversary for the Asgardian. They’re a good match-up for this series, and it’s an intriguing premise that has a lot of potential for later issues.
For the most part, it’s a good opening for the followup to the uneven Fear Itself. It offers strong, competent female leads on both the heroic and villainous side, which is a refreshing thing to see in the world of super hero comics. It’s hard to tell from here exactly where The Fearless will be going or if it’s a plot that will stay engaging for 12 issues, but it’s a promising start.
Sara McDonald started reading comics in the third grade, and now puts her English degree to good use talking about them on the Internet. She currently resides in Western Massachusetts with a roommate, three cats, and an action figure collection and spends the time she isn’t reading comics working for a non-profit. You can visit her blog at Ms. Snarky’s Awesometastic Comics Blog.