Marvel Announces The Fearless Defenders by Bunn and Sliney in February 2013A comics news article
by Josef Fleming
The Marvel NOW! Initiative has come under a bit of fire recently for its avengers relaunch. New Avengers, a book about the most powerful people in the Marvel Universe, is a complete sausage party. I am supposed to want to read about Black Bolt the mute, while his glorious vixen wife sits on the moon baking star pancakes? I don't think so. It's not just in New that we get the familiar feeling of male domination, in Avengers, we were promised change. Instead, we have the same limited pool of female characters, but with a whole lot more boys surrounding them. It's not as if the Avengers do not have a strong female base they can choose from, they do. They're also a lot more interesting than Sunspot.
So, there were complaints, outcries even. Where is Firebird, we said. Well, I said. Where is Sersi, Moondragon, Valkyrie, Misty Knight, Tigra, She Hulk and more?!
Well, never say that Marvel do not listen to you. They do. Just announced is the phenomenal-sounding Fearless Defenders. Written by Cullen Bunn with art provided by Will Sliney, this looks set to be your new favorite book.
So let's try a little bit of context. In Fear Itself: The Fearless, Valkyrie cleaned up the mess left by Fear Itself, with a selection of other female heroes, her Valkyrie. Her charge was to restock the ranks of Valkyrior for Asgard.
Unfortunately, Valkyrie was a picky bugger and decided nobody on earth was good enough. Not even Jessica Jones! So there are no Valkyrior. This means in laymen's terms, the world is doomed. DOOMED. So Valkyrie now has to hitch up her giant warrior boots and assemble a team. Fun stuff.
But it gets funner. Her first revealed team mate, is everybody's favourite character, Misty Knight. The wise cracking, no-nonsense Pam Grier lookalike herself, Misty Knight. You heard me; the best thing about Iron Fist, the best thing about Shadowland, the best thing about Heroes for Hire is back, children. And she looks phenomenal.
Will Sliney has yet to be interviewed, but I have it good authority that he's a fan of Misty Knight's afro. So basically, he's cool with us.
As of yet, we do not know how these girls got together, but Bunn promised great things in his Newsarama interview;
"They're our co-leads, and the rest of the team will build around them. I think it'll be interesting to see how the two of them see things differently. You've got Misty, who's a very street-level character. And you've got Valkyrie, who's a goddess. So you've got very different backgrounds, and I think they will see their potential teammates very differently, and I think you'll see that the two of them have some differences of opinion on who would be the right team for what they're going to be facing."
Fearless defenders will be a female only title, also promised to feature the Darling of the new mutants, Dani Moonstar! She did make a wonderful Valkyrie before, it's a no brainer she'll do it again. Bunn had this to say about everyone's favourite Cherokee;
Dani Moonstar. She's an awesome character. She has a fan base. There are a lot of people who really like Dani Moonstar -- I'm one of them. Even better, she has such a connection to the Valkyrie. She was on the top of my list when I started putting together who I thought would be the core roster.
I think she also represents what I'm talking about -- she has a fanbase, she gets a lot of attention in New Mutants, but New Mutants just came to an end. I think she's a character who deserves some time in the spotlight, and this will be a different capacity for her as a character. I think you'll see Dani in a different light, and for so many reasons, she's a character who deserves that moment to shine.
Bunn seems to be taking a refreshing stance on this book. He is not cramming it full of A-List stars that cannot develop. Fearless Defenders seems to be full of characters that will exist in Fearless Defenders, not be in 17 books and be immune to character development. Who knows who's going to pop up next? I heard a lot of people asking for Firebird? Pretty sure I heard that.
Personally, I'm on board. A smart writer, a stylish artist, a female team -- without some ridiculous name like Avengerettes or Avenger Divas or something terrible -- and an interesting premise. He had me at Misty Knight.
BONUS: Who do you think should be a Defender? No points for anybody who says Silver Surfer, that guy's terrible.
Josef Fleming is a playwright/researcher/columnist based in Birmingham (England, not Alabama). He will mainly be shouting to you about comic books, why they're wonderful and why you should be reading more of them. He exists on Twitter @JosefFleming, but as it is a social media invented by Satan himself, don't expect anything either coherent or pleasant. Actually, that's a good motto for most of Josef's work. Take heed.
He can be bribed with hand-drawn pictures of obscure X-Men from the '90s. If you're into that sort of thing. He is into that sort of thing.