The Fearless Defenders - issue 3.
Writer - Cullen Bunn.
Artist - Will Sliney.
Colours - Veronica Gandini.
Publisher - Marvel Comics.
I have always been a fan of the Defenders and have been reading them since the Bronze Age. It just seems that they can't get any traction these days. With the likes of Eric Larsen, Matt Fraction and others they have always struggled and hopped to a cancellation line. They have nearly always had an outsider/quirky edge to them and I think that is what attracts me to them. they are almost a genre on their own. Elf with a Gun and Foolkiller are considered classics at NIA Towers.
So I threw my coin down and accepted willingly their booty. And what booty they flaunted. Not only are they a little strange, but they are all (lets me honest here) pretty fit to boot!
Issue 3 throws us straight in at the deep again and the action is kicking off on the first page after the intro stuff. Valkyrie has tried and failed to gather a team of new Valkyries. Due to her failure the Death Maidens have risen (see issue 1). Along with Misty Knight (still one of the best names in all comics) and a civilian / love interest Annabelle Riggs have set about to sort it out. Hela appears along with the All Mother (wife of Odin - keep up please) and the three heroines with cuckoo in the nest Hippolyta (daughter of Ares) head off on a quest. (Sadly no Dani Moonstar in this issue).
The four are transported to Harrowpoint Island, Washington which appears to be a Crystal Skull style fake town for nuclear testing - except with the twist of having super-hero mannequins. Whilst being watched from afar by a creepy old lady and a Hawkeye rip off they head into a cave. There they find the Death Maidens and we get a kick off again.
I like Sliney's line and really loved the work he did in the couple of opening pages in issue 1. This issue is a bit too packed? And I would like to see his artwork more room to breath. But I enjoyed the art and found it very much in line with other Marvel Now books like Winter Soldier and X-Factor. I have a feeling that it will only grow and inevitably when this book ends he should get snapped up onto another Marvel book straightaway. Certainly an artist that I intend to keep an eye out for.
Bunn writes this well and I found the dialogue especially satisfying later into the book. The opening five or so pages are a little too explanation heavy but perhaps that was needed. He handles the different egos well and I look forward to the next issue.
The book has had some hype recently but I worry that it will get lost in the flurry of press around X-Men and Avengers titles. However a book like this that is probably mid level sales wise for Marvel is a whole lot better than the books that the Distinguished Competition are putting out and I know where the bulk of my money goes every month.
This book will hopefully be given a chance to settle and introduce more members of the team along the way. I am sticking with it. It will be worth a look in trade soon if you didn't pick up the first couple.