This is a series I’ve barely thought about before today. Sure, it’s a series that at least starts off as an all-female team book, which is a first for Marvel as far as I know, but it was mostly with characters I know little about. I also know next to nothing about previous Defenders books from Marvel, and I didn’t do any research before reading this. So how was it?
This was a good comic. While Valkyrie and Misty Knight are the only two Defenders in this particular issue, it does a great job at introducing each of them. They’re brought together in a logical fashion – at least in comic terms. While their characterization isn’t necessarily deep, they’re distinctive from each other and they’re both entertaining. The way they interact is often amusing.
The story itself is simple, yet fun. A mysterious artifact was being smuggled, and Misty Knight intercepts it. The artifact later raises a bunch of criminal Asgardian zombies, and chaos ensues. The feel of this book is somewhat similar to Cullen Bunn’s Wolverine run. It’s not necessarily deep, but it’s a fun read with a story that could get interesting fast.
The art isn’t quite as good as the comic itself. At first glance, it’s appealing to the eye. The colour work is good, and the zombies look appropriately menacing. There isn’t a lot of detail, but it’s a simple look that works well. Unfortunately it’s not without problems. There’s an archeologist character whose earrings disappear half-way through the issue for no apparent reason, and there are a couple panels where the shape of Valkyrie’s face seems to change.
The main problem with the art is that both Misty Knight and Valkyrie often stand in awkward poses. They kneel down way too much for a combat situation, with their legs spread so far apart that they couldn’t possibly keep balance if they’re hit. There’s also one panel where Misty Knight is swimming, and the lower part of her back seems to bend at a 90 degree angle – I’m pretty sure spines don’t work that way. There’s another panel where Misty is running with her hip swayed heavily to her left for no apparent reason. Their poses aren’t always awkward but when they are, it ruins what is otherwise decent artwork.
Apart from the art related problems, there’s nothing to complain about here. Fearless Defenders 1 is fun. There’s some good action, funny dialogue and a potentially awesome story. If the art is improved for the future, this could be a great series. If the idea of an all-female team lead by Valkyrie sounds interesting, this is worth looking into.