A certain group of comic book fans have been holding their breath in hope and anticipation since the end of Fear Itself: The Fearless several months ago. Valkyrie was instructed to reform the Valkyrior but with the caveat that she must recruit proven heroes from Midgard. This seemed like the perfect opening for a team filled with kick ass ladies, but nothing ever came of it. Until now. Our prayers were answered! It’s finally happening.
The latest installment for Marvel NOW! in February will be “Fearless Defenders”: a book by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Will Sliney that will feature an all-female team. Pause while both the classy ladies who run this book shriek with glee and run around and jump around screaming like excited five-year-olds. (No seriously: we couldn’t be happier about this book.)
In an interview with Newsarama, Cullen Bunn, one of the writers of the aforementioned The Fearless, revealed some of what readers can expect from this new book. The first piece of news was that the team would include both of the lovely ladies on the cover image, Valkyrie and Misty Knight, and Dani Moonstar. Let’s just start with how positively THRILLING that combination of leading ladies is, especially since New Mutants just wrapped up. Bunn also went on to say that he will build up the team gradually and not just toss them all together for the sake of putting the team together quickly. He didn’t mention any other future members but, well, let me let him tell you in his own words.
I’m not a writer who’s going to sit back and say, “I want to write a good all-female team,” I just want to write a good team, and approach them as real people, and build some personality into some of these characters, and try to develop a fanbase for a lot of these characters who, in some cases, people may not have been exposed to at all yet.
I think there are a lot of great female characters in the Marvel Universe who have not been given the chance they need, because maybe they can’t support a book all on their own, or maybe they’ve been on a team and they’ve been kind of lost in the shuffle for, in some cases, many, many, many years. This is my opportunity to put them all together, and to give them the spotlight.
If those two paragraphs don’t thrill you and reassure you, then I don’t know what else possibly could. Not only is Marvel listening to its readers and responding with another female led book, but it’s also clearly putting it in the hands of someone capable who is also listening and who’s not going to turn it into something ridiculous like that Marvel Divas book from a few years ago.
On top of that, it will be featuring female characters who don’t usually get put front and center. Marvel certainly isn’t lacking for wonderful female characters, but not all of them are nearly as well known as, say, the Black Widow, Rogue, Storm, or Carol Danvers. Characters who might be C or D List are just as valuable and just as wonderful stories can be told about them as can be told about A List characters. It’s all about how the writer chooses to handle them.
Speculation has already begun about who some of these other ladies joining the team might be. Here at WHR, we’re rooting for some of the other former New Mutants (such as Magma), and Misty’s partner-in-crime Colleen Wing to be tapped for the team. Lin has her fingers crossed for Songbird, and I’m still too excited about Dani returning to her Valkyrie roots to even think up any other possible names.
Bunn recognizes that readers have been asking for a stronger female presence and for new stories. To me, this is an incredibly reassuring thing to hear. I feel like he understands what sort of book we’re looking for and he’s going to do his gosh darn best to deliver it.
In closing, let me strongly urge all of you to pre-order this comic from your local comic book store. This has the potential to be fabulous beyond belief and we, as loyal fans, need to show our support starting now and pre-orders are the way to do it. Until then? I’ll be counting down the days til February.
We’re introducing something new today! Starting this week, we’ll have a weekly feature called Cosplay Tuesday, where we’ll feature one of our costumes and talk about it a bit more in depth.
First up is Bria’s Echo!
I first made this costume for the Avengers vs Villains photoshoot at Dragon*Con 2011. I fell in love with Echo (aka Maya Lopez) the very first minute she appeared on the pages of New Avengers. Of course, she was wearing the costume and codename of Ronin back then, but that didn’t make her any less awesome. Originally, I wanted to try and do the Ronin costume, but wasn’t comfortable trying such an ambitious project at the time. (Don’t worry, I made it for D*C the next year!)
Some costumes are mostly sewing, others are mostly buying. This one was a little bit of both, combined with a fair amount of luck! I found the pants for incredibly cheap months before I started really working on the costume. Where I really lucked out was with the top. I breathed a very loud sigh of relief when the top popped up on the American Apparel website.
What took trial and error were the triangles and the gloves. The triangles are 1″ equilateral triangles of white fabric sewed to the top. I eyeballed where to put them, so sorry that there is no awesomely good tutorial here. (I’ll admit that I made the silly mistake of originally sewing them to the wrong side of the shirt and cursing a lot as I took them out and redid them.) The gloves aren’t really gloves and more like very loooooong strips of grey fabric that I wrapped around my hands and arms. I originally had wanted to try and attach them to gloves somehow but struggled with how to make it work, so I went the route of several yards of fabric strips and lots of double sided body tape. I’m actually rather satisfied with how it worked out because I felt like the boxer-style gloves felt more organic and more like something that Maya would do.
And, of course, the costume isn’t complete unless you find a friend with tiny hands to smack you in the face with white paint.
I’m planning on making some upgrades to the costume, including perhaps adding another triangle to the top, adding feathers to the gloves, and maybe letting Maya level up with the weapons.
You can check out more pictures on the actual Echo costume page here!
As you may have noticed, we’ve been slowly aggregating the various costume efforts of our past years for your viewing pleasure. (And also to document the rise and fall of our wasted free time…) So we’re happy to announce that the Costumes section is up and running! You’ll find our respective galleries nestled within, as well as convention schedules and future cosplay plans.
And of course, there’s our beloved Sailor Hawkeye and Sailor Black Widow, and our shared enthusiasm for Miss Braddock as reflected in our cover pictures — just click either of them to get to our respective galleries!
We’ll also be featuring some of our costumes occasionally, and you’ll see some of our favourites make their way to our tumblr! And stay tuned as we start to get our heads back into the game for Katsucon 2013…