The "Defenders" title has always been kind of a strange and non team team book from its beginnings back in the seventies with Doctor Strange, The Hulk, Namor and the Silver Surfer. That is a lot of potential power and it never really fell into the Superman trap of having to come up witha reason as to why the hero(s) might fail. In the eighties the team got bigger and more team like with the group that included Valkyrie, Xmens Angel, the Gargoyle and odd new characters like Cloud many of which are now sadly absent. I did not read the most recent incarnation because of its cost but I think I will have to remidee that mistake somehow since I'm really enjoying Red She Hulk right now and Iron Fist is one of my all time favorites. That brings me to one of the leads in this new era Misty Knight was Danny Rand, Iron Fist's, girlfriend who was kind of a mix of a blackspoiltation private eye and the bionic woman which was was cool but mostly just a background character in the Powerman and Iron Fist book. I know she's been a bigger player in the last few years but its great to see her as a lead character in this book as a PI and Adventurer in her own right.
I also liked seeing one of my old favorites from the good old Defender days in the character of Valkyrie, the comic opens with her and a one page narration that kind of makes me wish I had read the Fear itself storyline that leads into her current situation, being the lone shield maiden of Asgard. The ominous tone of that page contrasts well with the otherwise fast pulp adventure tone of the reast of the issue. The interplay between Ms. Knight and the Teutonic warrioress defys their male counterparts, they meet, trade quips rather then fisticuffs and get on with business, that being fighting the undead around them. We don't get the testosterone melee that made my laugh out loud in the Avengers film mainly because of the predictability of the buddy fight thrown down. The beats between the lead characters here are much less brawn though its still a great melee. Along with Journey into Mystery and Captain Marvel this is another female centric title that breaks with many of the problems that some other heroine comics have, ones that will remain un-named here.
I for one am was hooked by this one; Cullen Bunn writes women characters that don't just act like men with breasts and female pluming. Sure it is a very pretty comic to look at that I will admit but its more the that. It's a return to fun in storytelling and hat I welcome over the relentless grimness of some books.