Fearless Defenders Volume 1: Doom Maidens

Monday, December 30, 2013

Fearless Defenders Volume 1: Doom Maidens
Cullen Bunn, Will Sliney, 2013

Premise: Collects Fearless Defenders #1-6. Valkyrie has a problem. Since the troubles that Asgard has been having (it’s super complicated, but you don’t need to know the details to read this title), she was supposed to put together a new cadre of Shield-maidens to replace other vanished valkyries. She hasn’t exactly done that, and now an ancient team of death warriors are rising from their graves to correct the balance. Valkyrie and Misty Knight might need all the ladies of Marvel to get on board to save Earth from the Doom Maidens.

This was really fun to read. The writing is really strong, the dialogue is snappy without being gimmicky, and the art only occasionally strays too far into cheesecake territory. It’s a great showcase book for a bunch of somewhat lesser-known Marvel superheroines. Valkyrie is the one I knew best, from a few issues here and there of various events and team books she appeared in, as well as guest spots on Avengers Academy, etc.

Misty Knight I know was part of a few recent books that I didn’t get into, but I love her here. She’s a bionically enhanced detective. She is also snarky as anything and uber-practical. Misty’s friend the archeologist Annabelle Riggs stands for the unpowered among us, although her knowledge is essential to their mission. Dani Moonstar I think I’d heard of briefly before this, but she seems awesome. A telepathic mutant who can create illusions and whose prior dealings with Asgardians left her with a few extra abilities, she’s a perfect fit here. Hippolyta, a resurrected amazon who has no patience for much outside of battle, rounds out the main cast.

I loved the style and I loved the pacing. The splash pages were epic in more ways than one. The trade collection happily keeps all the entertaining covers before each issue, and reprints a selection of the letter columns too!

The end of the arc manages to both be a bit of a cliffhanger for the next arc and a satisfying resolution to the story as presented. The main characters cover a lovely array of backgrounds, ethnicities and sexualities! I have heard some complaints about the ending or about certain character developments, but I enjoyed it enough to give the creators a little benefit of the doubt, and I look forward to the next volume.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book

1 comment:

ZaK Kauffman said...

Yeah, this was a cool book. It was one of those titles that I was really looking forward to being a great book and so was always dissapointed that I only liked it.

I'm a big Misty Knight fan and it's cool when she gets involved in big picture Marvel.

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