Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fearless Defenders # 3 & # 4 Review

Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Will Sliney & Veronica Gandini
Marvel Comics


            Wow. Been a while since I went into Marvel. And what do I start with … freakin’ Doom Maidens! Yep. We get Caroline Le Fey has taken Dani Moonstar in order to bring about the Doom Maidens. And Caroline succeeds!

            Hela argues that Hippolyta should be dealing with the Doom Maidens to the All-Mother. Valkyrie takes offense against this as Misty and Annabelle just watch. Yet, the All-Mother puts Hela in her place stating that all 4 women must deal with this issue.

            Valkyrie, Warrior Woman (Hippolyta), Annabelle & Misty enter Harrowpoint Island (which seems to be a Ghost Town) and find Dani … and the revived Doom Maidens. And things go from bad to worse as after a brief battle & MAJOR revelation, the ladies retreat. Valkyrie ends up having Hippolyta and Dani go with her while she has Misty and Annabelle stay behind but Misty starts to play her own hand.


            Sliney bring a great energy to the book. His lines are sharp but he knows how to use them as we get some wonderful panel shots from him. Sliney brings out the best attributes of each character in both issues. Hippolyta is strong, arrogant and Sliney draws her as such. Valkyrie is also strong yet conflicted as  you see that in the panels as Sliney brings that out of her during her battle with the Doom Maidens and afterward. Misty has this strong yet agile look to her and Sliney expresses that well. And Annabelle looks out of her depth throughout much of the issue; which works well.

            Sliney conveys emotion well. While some people might be turned off by his attention to detail mixed to classic comic style, I feel that it really puts his stamp on it. Sliney presents dynamic action with few overly out there poses by our female cast. Gandini splashes colors, breathing life into Sliney work. And while the colors, I feel, are a bit subdued in panels where it should be more vibrant, Gandini’s color really give focus and breathes life into Sliney’s pencils and inks. A good job on both issues by this art tandem.

            Bunn is slowly working his way to becoming one of the greatest comic book writers in the industries history and Fearless Defenders # 3 & # 4 are proof of that. We get wonderful characterizations from all the characters. We have epic meeting mundane and Bunn encapsulates that so well with the reactions of Misty and Annabelle throughout both issues. We get a more vulnerable Brunhilde during both issues, which just adds more to this character. Warrior Woman is arrogant, powerful and has an ego the size of Texas … yet she is still fun to read. That is the power of Cullen Bunn.

            The dialogue feels real. The Asgardian “over dramatic talk” actual felt more natural here than I have seen in years during the conversations between the All-Mother, Hela, Warrior Woman & Valkyrie. Bunn seems to pace the dialogue and the events of both issues well. Nothing felt it took too long or too short as the events unfolded. The major twist that Valkyrie instituted also was extremely unexpected and played off well … adding to Valkyrie’s torment we see later.

            Bunn seems to really get these characters and focusing how they come from different worlds (sometimes literally) and being forced together to fight an enemy. Caroline Le Fey is one of the most haunting new foes I have seen from Marvel in a while. She deserves to be up there with Dr. Doom, Thanos and others as a major villain and I want to see more of her as well.  With more questions still needed to be answered and both the world (and other dimensions) in danger … Bunn stacks things against our heroines yet also gives them purpose. The Shieldmaidens HAVE to exist it seems. And that makes the book that much more important. Kudos to Bunn for making Fearless Defenders from just another team into an integral part of the Marvel Universe.


            These issues were epic, engrossing … full of action, emotion and, most importantly, fun. The danger is no less dire but this book is a fun read. Readers will be enthralled by the characters, the plots and action. Good art and superb story make Fearless Defenders a book that really stands out.


            I have so much fun reading these issues and so will you. I give Fearless Defenders # 3 & # 4  a 8.5 out of 10. Pick up  Fearless Defenders today!

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