The Fearless Defenders: Gone Too Soon

Over the past few days, Twitter has been the virtual host to a pre-memorial for The Fearless Defenders, one of my favorite comics that has been sent to the chopping block by Marvel. I say “pre” because there are two issues left. The month of December is going to be bittersweet. My birthday is the 22nd (feel free to email, tweet or Facebook birthday wishes) but also during that month I will be reading issue #12, the final issue of this astounding series.

I can only imagine how this series will end. A new character was introduced in the last issue. Is Marvel really ending Fearless Defenders in the middle of a story arc? Will they let the creators give its’ fans a proper goodbye to characters we have come to know and love, but may never see again?

I know the sales were low on this title, but exactly why is what I don’t know. There is always someone out there complaining about something, so who knows. The power of persuasion takes over a lot of people. If a notable blog or website gives a negative preview or review, then a lot, if not most, of its’ readers will march in that direction instead of reading the comic for themselves.

You can’t always tell by the first issue whether you will like a comic or not. Since I got back into reading comics about three years ago, I have read a few titles where I immediately knew I wouldn’t continue reading beyond its’ debut issue. But there have been a few titles where I needed to read the second issue to see if my indecisiveness had changed. And most of those second issues became the reason for those titles getting on my pulls.

I loved Fearless Defenders debut issue. But I didn’t like Annabelle Riggs, the lesbian archaeologist. After reading it, I thought, “Oh no. Another story that’s giving in to the not enough gays and lesbians in comics.” But that’s not why she was placed in the series. That’s just who Annabelle is. She became a person of great importance and I grew more fond of her with each issue. Actually, I would have kept reading the series even if my speculation was correct. A book with Valkyrie, Misty Knight, and Hippolyta written by Cullen Bunn. I knew this title would be in good hands.

Not only am I sad and disappointed, but I am ANGRY that Fearless Defenders was canceled. And right now I am in sista mode. Not sister, but SISTA. One hand on my hip, the other waving in the air with the index finger sticking out, head swinging side-to-side, and mouth running like a leaky faucet.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t blog just to be blogging. My blog consists of HONEST reviews and HONEST tantrums.

I don’t know all the reasons for the low sales of this title, so I decided to compile (or make up) my own list.

WOMEN FOCUSED

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MALE WRITER

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BLACK FEMALE LEAD

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LESBIAN CHARACTER WITH A SIGNIFICANT ROLE

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JEALOUS BECAUSE MARK BROOKS IS THE COVER ARTIST (I mentioned in my issue #10 review that you need therapy if you’re not reeled in by his covers)

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SONGBIRD AND DIAMONDBACK’S CAMEO APPEARANCE IN ISSUE 6. (S/D on Twitter is the most vocal fan about the book. I started following S/D a couple months ago because of all the engaging tweets about the book. This reward was well deserved (I just learned of it a few days ago). If that was me, I’d brag everyday for the rest of my life, especially to my comic bashing co-workers who “think it’s funny” that I read comics, and that, “You don’t look like you read comics.” Pre-orders for that issue would have been shockingly high because I would have bought each and every last one of them a copy.

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CULLEN BUNN HATED ON FOR NO APPARENT REASON

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WHINING JUST TO BE WHINING

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The condolences were pouring in so heavily on Twitter, that I had to hold an umbrella over my head whenever I read the feeds of Bunn, Will Sliney and Fearless Defenders hastag.

But there’s always people who have to go and mess with the mood. Twitter, blogs, websites. I read so many apologies and job well done to the creative team. But to say that you’re happy the series is ending is harsh. Everyone has feelings, and to trash talk like that is low. If I am upset over the book’s cancellation, then I can imagine how deeply saddened the creative team is right now. Every book has its’ own fan base, so what you don’t like, someone else love.

There were complaints the book should have been written by a woman. Well just because a book is all-female doesn’t mean it has to be written by one. Bunn gave the characters strong, distinctive personalities and writing styles. And VC’s Clayton Cowles brought the dialogue to life with his lettering. Valkyrie’s font was set apart from the other characters. When she speaks, I feel nothing but serenity. When Hippolyta speaks, I can hear an arrogant, but strong and powerful voice that would cause me to tremble if I was to meet her face-to-face. Cowles proved to be a great asset to this book.

I read there should have been a different creative team. Cullen Bunn, Will Sliney, Veronica Gandini, Mark Brooks, and Clayton Cowles. I didn’t even have to look in the book for their names. Enough said.

Of course I couldn’t leave the above sentence hanging. This team is truly amazing. Excellent scripts and visual storytelling at its’ finest.

Now it’s time for me to preach about one of my pet peeves in comics. I read a few comments where people said they were waiting for a trade. STOP WAITING FOR TRADES. BUY SINGLE ISSUES. THERE WON’T BE A COMIC IF YOU CONTINUE TO SIT BACK AND WAIT FOR A TRADE. Sales are determined by pre-ordered singles, not trades.

I know everyone don’t always have the money to buy comics every week. I read comics in the two digits on a monthly basis, and this number does not include comics for my husband and kids. About 15-17 books are purchased on our heaviest week. I rush to the comic shop every Wednesday before going to work, sometimes before checking to see if I have enough money. If I fall short, or don’t want to spend over a certain amount, the store owners/employees will let me buy whatever I want and put the rest back into the pulls for the next week.

So again, STOP WAITING FOR TRADES. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN A COMIC CONTINUE IF YOU BUY TRADES AND NOT THE SINGLES?

The Fearless Defenders. I wonder what sales would have been like if the first word in the title was replaced with X-Men.

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