Asked * if I like an early look at the first issue of Fearless Defenders #1, the new all female-team book from Marvel starring Misty Knight and Valkyrie, how could I say no? Misty Knight is one of my favorite female superhero characters of all time and, as you might know, I’m a tad interested in female characters as leads in superhero comics. So I gladly, albeit nervously, took the opportunity. So how was it?
For a first issue it was pretty damn good. Writer Cullen Bunn gives the book a fast and purposeful pace. The set-up features an ass kicking Misty Knight on a ship. We then move to a archaelogy dig headed up by Misty’s client Dr. Annabelle Riggs. I like who Bunn name checked for her influence avoiding the easy Lara Croft comparison.
In fact, like her influence, Riggs quickly sees the impact of artifacts gone wrong. Which delivers to the book in all her glory Valkyrie. The interaction between the three women, and in particular Misty and Valkyrie, is a delight with at least one page seemingly ready to be posted and discussed repeatedly on Tumblr.
If you aren’t familiar with the characters you may feel a tad lost but Bunn gives you enough to enjoy them and get a sense of their personality while still pleasing current fans of the characters. The team will be expanded issue by issue and that’s smart, a larger team in this issue would be much more difficult for a new reader.
So what’s the downside? I’d like to see Bunn ease back on telling us these women are kick ass; just show us. I can understand it for the first issue but I hope it eases up. But that’s just a nit. A bigger nit is the art. There’s a little too much boob and ass shots although it isn’t nearly as bad as the preview pages made it seem. I hope to see less of Misty twisted into a ass first pose in future issues. Aside from that Will Sliney is fine. He matches Bunn’s pace and the splash page when Valkyrie enters is great.
This was a fun issue. I’ll definitely be back for more. Marvel has smartly priced this at $2.99 making it easy for new readers to take a chance. If you want a female led superhero book, especially one with a diverse cast, buy this. Marvel’s committing to the requests for female led books but they aren’t going to be around long unless the sales are there.
*not from Marvel