So SM and I were talking after my first day of comic book buying – we were wondering if there were any good Female-Lead superhero comics, and if they had already been released. I was busy reading as we were having this conversation, but SM (through her crazy internet searching powers) managed to find Fearless Defenders and Katana. We looked at both of them, and thought they both looked promising, at least in giving us a female lead for a superhero comic. Both had just been released, but neither of us had picked them up, so we said, the next person who got to the store to pick them up would have to tell the other if they were any good.
Two days later, I went back to the comic book store, armed with more titles that I wanted to read, wanting to pick up the rest of the titles I already owned…and ended up with a pile so big that the cashier’s eyes bugged out when I walked over to check out. Include in that huge pile were Fearless Defenders #1 and Katana #1.
I wanted to like Fearless Defenders #1. And I mean I REALLY wanted to like this issue. I almost had myself convinced that it was a good issue. And then I went back and read through it again. Yeah, it didn’t hold water a second time.
There were a lot of things that were started, but then just dropped – and not in a way that made you wonder and want to know more. Just in a way that was annoying. Like, what was with the blood rain on Valkyrie at the very beginning? Never explained, never showed up again. Ms. Lefay, who I assume is the leader of whatever group was trying to steal the Asguardian artifacts, was only really shown once, and we only heard from her once or twice more. Nothing to really make her interesting or make us want to know more.
Misty Knight held my attention for a bit – I liked her as a character, though we weren’t given much information about her. But some of her poses…I seriously wanted to submit them to the Hawkeye Initiative (and if you have no idea what that is, seriously check it out…it’ll have you laughing for days)
The general premise (that these ancient relics are being used to bring back the dead vikings to essentially cause a massacre) is an interesting premise, but I feel like it wasn’t presented well and it didn’t end up coming across well.
And seriously, the kiss between Annabelle and Valkyrie…really? Was that really necessary? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having a lesbian couple in a comic book – but that just felt forced. It did nothing for the story, nor for either character. It was thrown in just to have it. And maybe that’s just a product of not knowing anything about these characters really – it seems like the action was being pushed at the expense of character building, like you’re supposed to already know these characters. And since this is under “Marvel Now!” you would think that wouldn’t be the case. We’re not supposed to know anything, or at least very little.
Yeah, at the end of the day, I’m not a huge fan. I’m debating whether or not I’ll give this a second chance when the next issue comes out…we’ll see.
Katana was an interesting comic. I really liked the tone and the artwork, which surprised me. The drawing is was more….sketchy, I think is the right word? There are fewer clean lines but it’s still a very pretty style. The colors are more muted, which fit really well. I kind of brings me back to the old Manga that I used to read in terms of some of the mannerisms and other things that are going on, which I really enjoyed. I also really like the idea of her sword, the SoulTaker, that keeps the soul of who have been killed by it. A morbid concept, but fascinating none-the-less.
Outside of that, I was really just underwhelmed or getting confused. The main character seemed kind of flat to me. I feel like I barely learned anything about her except she’s a master at her sword, and her dead husband lives inside of it (which was slightly creepy when it came to the bedroom scene…). I did not understand the main enemy of the issue – the Coil sword? Where did the guy that wields that come from? A rival clan? How did he find her? He just kind of popped out from nowhere and there was little to no explanation.
Finally, what was up with creepy tattoo girl? I did not understand her role in the story at all. She was just…there. I felt like there was nothing driving this story, like it was going nowhere and had no point. I mean, I know they showed part of the battle at the beginning and that was supposed to be what you were driving toward, but there was no urgency, no need to keep going. It just…happened.
All-in-all, a less than stellar performance from our two female driven comics. It was disappointing Anyone out there have any good recommendations for female-led superhero comics? I’d love to hear them!