“Fearless Defenders” #4 from Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney is a fun superhero romp full of over-the-top action mixed with some character moments. Bunn plays with the full spectrum these characters offer while also delivering some four color thrills. The result is a book that’s definitely enjoyable and sure to entertain a wide variety of audiences. This issue continues the fight against the Doom Maidens, which unearths a secret Valkyrie finds difficult to process.
Valkyrie is the lead of this book, so her internal struggle dominates the pages and the minds of these characters. She is coming to grips with a fierce enemy tied closer to her past than she ever knew. This insertion into the history of Valkyrie will ruffle the feathers of some fans, but it’s an interesting direction to take. It should also be noted that not all of the information has come out, so judgment cannot be fully solidified.
The other characters in the book all get moments to shine, but it is Hippolyta who steals the show with a handful of very funny and well-placed lines of dialogue. It feels like Bunn is having fun with this interpretation of the classic goddess. Overall, the dynamic of fearless female roster is one full of sisterhood and conflict, which makes for good character drama. To round these scenes out, Bunn has Will Sliney cook up some mega-moments that bust off the page with opulent glee. There is introspection and worry but there is also a giant toothy monster writhing from the ground and ready to attack.
Sliney does a great job of differentiating the main characters through their facial expressions and their body types. His Valkyrie fits the buxom comic stereotype the most — though isn’t anywhere near the word offensive — but his Misty Knight is the design that pops with the unique vision of a woman wrought real. The colors from Veronica Gandini work well in the book, but it’s during the Asgardian flashbacks that this artistic team really delivers something amazing. Those pages ooze technique and aggressive emotion. Major congratulations should also go to Mark Brooks for a superb cover that’s got design presence on the shelves and (though featuring a scantily dressed woman) doesn’t feel exploitative in the slightest.
“The Fearless Defenders” #4 is an entertaining issue chock full of story and solid moments. Bunn packs the pages with dialogue, which can feel bulky at times, but it means he can chock in quite a lot of narrative for one issue. Attacks are made, plans are hatched, and a hard decision is pondered. This book is an action adventure story of an all female team that delivers the goods.