Caliburn24 here with the Asgardian bionic might of the Fearless Defenders #1.
Writer Colleen Bunn has sidetracked all of the convoluted back stories of Marvel Now to produce a series that you can come in cold. There are several covers, but the one I found was by Mark Brooks where Valkyrie and Misty Knight are facing red garbed ninjas on one side and the Viking dead on the other. The art by Will Sliney captures the action and beauty of the lead characters. The issue has an almost surreal opening where Valkyrie is standing on a clifftop in the rain which turns into drops of what looks like blood. This pools into swirls. Then, it shifts to the North Atlantic Ocean, with a ship braving the storm tossed sea. The crew is readying some cargo with Misty in her stealth outfit and drawing her gun. One of the crewman has her covered with a rifle as the others close on them. A half page has Misty in a martial arts pose.
She offers them a surrender and when they start attacking she makes short work of them. Misty bashes a crewman into a crate and when she checks on it, she sees a skeleton in a Viking helmet. She has picked up a small statue and is hit by a spotlight from a helicopter. Its crew includes a shadowy Ms. LeFay, which may be the Arthurian sorceress Morgan LeFay, and she orders the crew to shoot Misty. Her response is to throw a shield that blocks the machine gun fire. One of the gunmen pulls out an rpg, Misty runs, and it blows up the ship. Misty takes to the water. The helicopter flies away as Misty surfaces. The scene moves to White Mountain National Forest which though not mentioned is in New Hampshire. Dr. Annabelle Riggs, which the caption notes watched Indiana Jones movies, is examining the statue that Misty retrieved from the ship. She identifies it as some kind of Asgardian design and Misty notes that some of Asgard is in Oklahoma. Riggs manages to activate the statue which sends out a musical tune. Misty asks about the dig and Riggs replies that it was a mass Viking grave.
The Viking dead begin to rise from the dig and attack the workers. Misty runs towards them and activates her Satan Claw. Bunn adds that it is “Fashion plus function.” She starts to bash the walking dead when she hears a sound behind her. A full page has Valkyrie arriving on her winged horse named Aragorn with Misty in the foreground fighting the Viking dead. Valkyrie leaps from Aragorn and slams her sword down scattering the dead. Valkyrie and Misty throw threats to the dead and then both say, “Why do you talk like that?” Riggs is more concerned with looking at the statue than the approaching dead. Valkyrie rushes in with axe and sword to save her. Riggs is impressed by Valkryie and kisses her. Bunn adds, “Dr. Annabelle Riggs. Likes girls.” Valkyrie shrugs her off to use her sword and destroy the statue.
Valkyrie explains that she collects the souls of warriors. The dead that they fought were thieves and dishonorable men. She goes off to consult with the All-Mother and Riggs tries to hitch a ride. Misty offers to be a bodyguard for Riggs. Valkyrie explains that the song from the idol said that the doommaidens are rising and that she is responsible. Green mist rises from a skeleton in some ceremonial platform as the trio face the next issue. The Defenders premise is interesting especially to have an all female group like the Lady Liberators from Avengers #83 which also had Valkyrie. The Defenders were a quirky group made up of powerful, but not group oriented members about a year after the Lady Liberators. Bunn has made a reader friendly comic book, you don’t have read twenty issues of ten different titles for three years to read one issue, you can pick this one up and enjoy the fun.
Comic Book provided by:
12345 Mountain Ave. Unit #J
Chino, CA 91710
Booth #821 at Frank & Son Collectible Show