The Doommaidens is a dark moment in the eternal life of Valkyrie. A tragic fall that nearly cost her her soul. They are back and her inability to bring together Shieldmaidens to combat the threat out of fear for their lives has placed the world in danger. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Valkyrie gives in to the dark side of herself she never wanted to relive again. But though she is now more than enough to combat the Doommaidens by herself, how will the army of heroines gathered by Misty Knight be able to stop her if she can’t turn back?
Issue #6 of Fearless Defenders becomes a crossroads of sorts for the series. A dangerous position to be in after two female-driven solo Marvel books have or are coming to an end. It doesn’t help that Cullen Bunn appears at times to be pulling back and then at times pushing too far in this one issue alone. He crams a lot of story into this one issue and present a conclusion that seems conflicted of what the general direction for the series is going to be. I get the feeling that Bunn is planning something special for the next few issues, but I must admit that this issue doesn’t help drive interest in going forward. That’s not to say the book is bad, it’s quite well written. It’s just not spectacular and that could end up being a problem in the long-run.
The same can be said about the artwork by Will Sliney. He hits back on some cheesecake that had been missing a few issues ago, even though he also illustrates some wonderful panels that are beautiful to look at. And I’m not talking about the fact that they are a whole load of beautiful super heroines about. One of my favorite pages is when Annabelle Riggs stands up to the dark-side Valkyrie and how the whole scene plays out is dramatic and fascinating to look at. It helps that the book is colored by Veronica Gandini, who is able to apply the right amount of vibrancy to enhance the drawings. I just think, though, that nothing really spectacular is being shown. There’s not a whole lot happening in the artwork that elevates a story that is starting to lose some steam. I feel Sliney really needs to step it up and push himself beyond his artistic abilities to present something unique.
All in all, Fearless Defenders is not a bad book. It’s just not that much better than I think it should be. Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney are respectively writing and illustrating a decent story that needs to be more. It helps that they have Veronica Gandini doing the colors, the book really should do something in order to maintain reader interest. Which why I can only give it a half-hearted recommendation and not any more.
How do you think Fearless Defenders can be improved? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.