Posts Tagged ‘Fearless Defenders’

Fearless Defenders #12Alas, another great title ends due to sales figures while certain horribly written team books carry on simply by grace of having so many big names in it the fan base is spread wide.

Seriously, while I understand the mechanics of how these things work and how, as a corporation, the bottom line does matter, it’s moments like these that I just wish change the laws of economics.

In the end, we are left with the final eighth Shieldmaiden/Defender chosen as well as a cold understanding coming between Annabelle and Val. The Amazon’s are still left in limbo, we aren’t sure what’s going to happen to them. Oh, and Morgan LeFay is back from the dead.

That can’t be good.

It’s a real cliffhanger of an ending, leaving so much open like it could have started a new arc. An arc that would have been interesting and exciting no doubt. So it’s not the best ending, but not the worst, and something we’ll just have to live with.

But will we ever know what will happen with these ladies or LeFay?

Even bet is ‘probably not’ which is very unfortunate indeed.

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Fearless Defenders #11Heroes should know better than to take a vacation.

Hippolyta wants to reform the Amazons, making them bigger and better than before, but minus a lot of the bloodshed and general ‘kill all the things’ attitude they are kinda known for. She throws a big party and everyone is invited.

So, of course, in Mean Girls fashion, LeFay crashes the party using some throwaway baddies. She then causes some distrust and discord in the ranks just to get everyone’s hackles up.

It’s a story that is a bit of filler to get things moving to the next story arc, but knowing that this is the second to last issue makes it very bitter-sweet and pale. One more issue, it’s all going to come down to one more issue that is going to have to carry most of the climax by itself.

This kinda makes me worried, but hopefully we’ll have a good ending to a title that ended way too soon.

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Fearless Defenders #10I have to give it to Bunn, he’s doing something that is very hard to do in any franchise: bring in a new original character. keep them in the front, and make it work.

Right now there is a lot of new mutants popping up, especially in Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men you have a whole group of original characters, but they tend to just be more of a story device than actual full characters. The stories still revolve around the core group of mutants, Scott, Wolverine, Kitty, Storm, Emma, etc… characters that have at least been around since the 80s. Even in Wolverine and the X-Men , most of the story revolves around pre-existing characters like Quire and Idie, with of course a heavy dose of Wolvie. It’s like no one is really trying to shake things up and do new things.

Part of the reason is because readers will only spend so much money on the comics, it’s purely economics, there are a lot more titles to choose from and only so much money to spend. Marvel feels safer giving us known characters rather than risking new ones. Granted, that’s probably the best idea when it comes to Solo’s, but for team books, you think they would let the writers experiment more, freshen things up?

That’s what happening here in Fearless, not only do we have some of the B-List characters who are kicking butt, we’ve also been introduced to Annabelle, a brand new character who literally shares the spotlight with Valkyrie and holds her own as a character. Through her life, death, and weird body time-share thing, the reader is made to care about her and see her as a hero even if she doesn’t weld a big sword. She’s not a story device, she’s a main character along with all the others. Even if you’re not a fan of Annabelle, you’re not overwhelmed with her presence any more than, say, Misty.

This is what we should be seeing in all the X-Titles, new characters alongside the characters we already love as equals. Someone give Marvel the memo…

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Fearless Defenders #9This is the issue that you think you’re supposed to love but really it needs a swift kick upside the head.

I had fair warning not to take the characterizations of certain characters as being typical of said characters, but I honestly didn’t think it would be all that bad. Surely it was just an exaggeration by over protective fans? Yeah… no…

The more and more I think of this issue, the more I realize it’s fallen into a very typical failure of both pro and fan fiction where the female counter parts are reduced to nagging, petty, oblivious characters who are only there to further the plot and show how awesome the guys are… only it’s gender swapped… which I guess they thought gender swapping was a brilliant concept, but not when it’s done with completely flawed trope which should never be used regardless the age/sex/gender/race of characters involved. Purposely dragging other characters down just to make your character look good does a complete disservice to all the characters involved, and it’s just plain grating to read.

Venom is moping about his sex life because banging a goddess isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, pity. Nate and Sam are unsure who’s actually dating Dani because each had ‘a thing’ with her which apparently means she’s obligated to be dating them, obviously. The werewolf is feeling left out because his girlfriend, who is a hunter by trade, found something to hunt, go figure. Strange is apparently completely clueless despite being, well, Stephen ‘Ph.D in Badassery’ Strange. Like he really couldn’t have put two and two together? Really?  Then there is Herc who I’m pretty sure is just drunk, so really nothing different there, but apparently women who don’t want to be with him give him a happy, which, when you think about it, is pretty messed up (though about right for classical mythology).  Iron Fist kinda comes out okay, though he should really know better than to worry about ‘undue influence’ on Misty, no one gets that girl to do anything she don’t wanna.

These characters have been reduced to the horrible nagging characters that we so often complain that female characters get reduced it. It doesn’t make it okay because they are male and ‘it’s all fair’ because it should simply never be done to any character. If these characters want to be worried about people they love, then great, all for that, but to sit them around like a bad episode of Sex and the City with extremely empty motivations of relationship woes and ‘can they really handle the role of Defender’? … You know that moment in Emperor’s New Groove where Chicha gets so frustrated she makes some unladylike noises and then has to go clean something? Yeah… that’s me. (I really need that in a gif…)

I know Bunn is capable of much more simply from reading issues 1-8, so I’m really hopping this was just a one-off moment… really hoping…

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Fearless Defenders #8Apparently I can’t count… and am entirely too trusting.

My comic shop skipped pulling issue #8 when it came out and I didn’t notice because I trust him to keep me solid. Then I got #9 last week, read it, was a tad confused how Elsa got there but rolled with it because, hey, it’s a comic book.  Then I went to review #9 and it literally took me five minutes to figure that one out. Good thing I’m a writer cause math is totally not my strong suit.

Anyway this was a nice little jump filler issue. We get the introduction of a new character to the gang and a less in sassiness from Misty. It also opens up the door for some very interesting things in the future regarding the Shield Maidens. If an engineered Brood could be one… definitely some interesting possibilities there. Which means this filler does exactly what it was designed to do, transition to the next story arc.

Speaking of which, LeFay is up to no good again, and that can only mean trouble. Something I would have figured even if I hadn’t read #9.

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Fearless Defenders #7For a story based around Norse Mythology… it’s showing clear signs of Greek influence. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you.

Val, knowing that she has to do something to correct this grievous error, goes to Valhalla to pull Annabelle from ‘paradise’. But it’s not that simple, she has to get Clea to help, thus adding the sorceress to the ranks of the Fearless. The addition of Clea really does make this a rather diverse team, powers wise, and it’s always good to see her back in the pages.

As for Annabelle, props to her, she’s not happy in Valhalla, it’s not her thing, but she’s accepting of her fate. She knew going in she might die, even before approaching Rage, and especially after she decided to do so. She wanted out but she wasn’t going to let Val get into trouble cause of it. Though body-sharing? She didn’t exactly sign up for that… so this should be rather interesting.

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Fearless Defenders #6This is the issue that you absolutely love but at the same time want to kick it in the sweet spot.

The reason to love it is that it took a chance and paid off on a character death. Normally, character deaths, especially of new characters who have only been around five issues, are really annoying and only meant for ‘shock value’ and do nothing to further the story. Here, it’s quite obvious that this was all staged from the beginning and Annabelle made a warriors sacrifice. She went up against Rage knowing full well how squishy she was. This is made even better by the fact that everyone reacts the same way the audience wants to and freaking punches Val in the face. The complete story arch from beginning to end is very organic and that makes it brilliant.

But there is plenty reason to hate it and that’s because they kill off Annabelle, a new character that seems to have existed solely for the purpose of getting killed off. Not cool.

Though somehow I don’t think this is the end of this, Bunn has put too much into the execution of this story arch not to have it pay out with more than this.

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Fearless Defenders #5I’m pretty sure the whole reason for this title was to get all these women together to kick some butt. Not that I’m really complaining because it actually comes together quite well.

Valkyrie leads the Doom Maidens fair away to a remote location and starts to fight, then Misty shows up with twelve potential Shield Maidens including Storm, Danvers, She-Hulk, Black Cat, and Elektra. This could have been really cheesy and bad, but the whole thing is handled quite well. They all have different reasons for being there, from helping a friend to thinking they were going to get paid. This is really important because, well, Shield Maidens are women, it’s a role that is defined by gender. Having them all vary with legitimate and gender neutral reasons keeps this from turning into a groan-worthy trope of ‘I am woman, hear me roar!’.

Instead, it’s just a bunch of heroes wrecking the enemy, they just all happen to be female.

Unfortunately though, Valkyrie has given into her Doom-side… and this might not end well for all involved.

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Fearless Defenders #4This issue is a bit of a breather. The gang gets the hell out of dodge and regroups, adding a little dash of background story to spice things up a bit.

But other than a little introspection and a lovely taste of just how everyone got into this mess in the first place… not a lot happens.

That’s okay, it’s good to have these kinds of way-point issues at number 4, plus we are left off with a nice little cliffhanger which could make things really interesting if they are going the way I think they are going. There is definitely some character progression Valkyrie has to come to grips with what she has done and what she’s remembering, it’s subtle and not overdone.

And might I say that I love the way Valkyrie is drawn on this cover. Sure, she’s thin but not uber-thin and her underwear is actually practical. Dare I say this is actually sexier than some of the stuff the other female characters wear which is supposed to be skimpy and sexy?

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The Fearless Defenders #3Misty is just so sassy, I love her, I really do.

We also get some background of the woman who had Dani kidnapped, it’s, dunno, kinda cliché and tropey. But that’s okay, it doesn’t really take away from the rest of the issue as we learn just who Hippolyta is and what’s going down and just what the Doom Maidens are. Stuff that should feel like filler but it’s very smooth in its presentation.

Speaking of the Doom Maidens… Valkyrie is apparently one of them? They know her at least… even apologized to her for attacking her… so what’s going on with that?

Kinda makes me wish I knew my Norse mythology better… whether or not the real mythology has any bearing on this storyline. Let’s just say someone has a lot of explaining to do…

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