The Fearless Defenders is quickly becoming an all-star comic series with different female superheroes from the Marvel Universe, mostly with B-listers so far. The first issue brought in Valkyrie and Misty Knight, while this issue brings in Dani Moonstar of New Mutants fame and another character on the very last page. Advertisements and solicitations suggest that many more will pop in here and there. As awesome a concept as that is though, I have mixed feelings about this issue.
The real highlight in this comic is the dialogue. Interactions between characters are very entertaining, from their quips to their … awkward conversations. While I’m no expert on either Valkyrie or Misty Knight, they’re both entertaining enough and simultaneously similar and distinct in personality. There’s a new character who is entertaining in her own right as well. Dani feels in character for the most part. The action is also great as Dani fights off a house attack, at least until the end of the scene (I’ll get to that).
The storytelling isn’t quite as good. While it’s explained a lot more in this issue than the last, and the story is compelling, it jumps around a bit too much. Plot threads are brought up that don’t seem to have much connection to each other, although that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually fall into place.
My main complaint about this issue is the way Dani’s fight scene ended though. She’s attacked at her home by a bunch of armed mercenaries who are obviously communicating with someone on the radio – implying that they have backup. She throws the last one out the front window and casually walks up to him. She stands in place long enough to be tranquilized. That seems incredibly stupid for someone who is supposed to be smart enough to lead the New Mutants, which is no small feat for a human.
The art is fairly good in this issue. The first arguably had way too many cheesecake poses, and while they’re still present here, they’re both more subtle and much less frequent. It’s also a colourful book, and the flashbacks have a neat old painting filter on them. Each scene is at least established with decent background work. While it’s not amazing, the art is more than good enough to help carry the issue.
The best way to sum up this issue is that it’s fun, but flawed. The story has potential, but it needs a bit of cleanup. The action was good up until Dani’s stupid move at the end. There are a lot of neat concepts, and an all-star female book is something that Marvel needs more of. Cullen Bunn can be a very entertaining writer – the second half of his Wolverine run is an excellent example of this. I want to support this book, but it’s not quite good enough to recommend yet. Still, I’ll give it another issue or two – hopefully it will improve on its flaws.