The Fearless Defenders Volume 1: Doom Maidens Graphic Novel Review.

Writer, Cullen Bunn. Artist, Will Sliney. Colorist, Veronica Gandini. Letterer, VC’s Clayton Cowles. Cover art, Mark Brooks. Published by Marvel Comics.

There are so many good comics coming out, hard decisions have to be made. I can’t buy everything, so every week at my local comic store I know my dollar limit and I get as much as I can within that amount. Some titles look good and I tell myself maybe I’ll come back to it later. The first two volumes of Fearless Defenders came through work lately and looked good. Now I regret every Wednesday I picked something other than this comic and I’ll be seeking out every issue and every cover in the back issue sections.

Misty Knight is helping out her friend, archeologist Dr Annabelle Riggs. They get in trouble with some ancient Norse artifacts and this attracts the attention of the Valkyrie we’ve all known since the 1970’s. Dani Moonstar and Warrior Woman join the adventure. We’ve got an all female Marvel super hero team with a familiar name and I’m never looking back. Sure, a 40 something white cis male isn’t the demographic this title was necessarily looking for but I fell in love with the series.

Let’s get the now it should be obvious part out of the way. Great writing and beautiful art. It has to be. The story is fantastic and I loved how so many of the super women of Marvel work their ways into the story in completely natural and interesting ways. No one feels forced in. Every twist and turn is a surprise yet also makes a ton of sense. There’s a punch in this comic (and for those of you who have read it already, you know which one) that is the most pitch perfect real world reaction to an only in comics situation. Art that makes every woman strong and powerful and interesting but not only there for male attention. Hey, I bought a lot of comics in the 90’s. That is how it used to be.

What I loved and what was different is also something that should have been done for years. By making this an all women’s book it freshens up the story. We’ve seen teams come together to fight an enemy many times over throughout not only Marvel’s history but all of super hero comics. But this team is something I’ve never seen before. To have women that aren’t the one or two crossover A level characters, plus appearances by female characters that make even a decades long comic reader like myself ask, wait who’s that? To see the interactions between a human, an Asgardian, an Amazon, a mutant, and more are interactions we don’t see anymore. Spider-Man and Wolverine have met and teamed with everyone already. Teams get one new character maybe and the rest are all old friends. Every character on this team though is a first time team up/meet up. Which is also the best version of the Defenders. I’m fighting a bad guy, you’re fighting the same bad guy, let’s continue on together until our mutual enemy is defeated. A team of happenstance not planning. This team happening to be all women makes it all the more fun.

I love so many things in comics but lately I’ve been focusing some attention towards strong female characters. Great covers, toys, posters; it’s a good way to not buy everything. It also helps to have books like Fearless Defenders. Which I unfortunately am discovering after it has been cancelled. So now to buy the individual issues, the graphic novels, and other series mentioned within like Fear Itself: The Fearless and Asgardians of the Galaxy.

I now care about these characters. Misty, Valkyrie, Dani, and more to come. Bringing them together creates something that connects with me in ways that their previous titles and teams never did.

Remember, comics are for everyone. While there are amazing new comics every week there are also great series like this in the back issues just waiting to be discovered. Maybe someone like me, or you, will be inspired by a title like this and will create your own team that will bring together people who haven’t been given their fair chance.

Review for volume two coming later.

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