If I'm to be perfectly frank (Hi, I'm Frank), it was because of this cover that I started picking up Fearless Defenders. It was partially the awesome Street Fighter riff, with the 18 various selectable Marvel female superheroes, but even more it was the tantalizing fact that She-Hulk was the 2P selection, facing off against player 1's Valkyre (at least on the cover). Now, I'm not a Shulkie fanatic but I do like her a whole hell of a lot, so it doesn't come as a total surprise that her appearance on this cover drove me to pick up the past 5 issues (including the Age of Ultron extra-pricey 4A special), but it is kind of nuts, isn't it? To pick up 5 comics solely based on the promise of seeing a guest appearance of a well-liked character 5 issues down the road, even if she's buried amidst a dozen and a half other guest stars?
I have problems.
One is an inexplicable attraction to potato chips, and uncontrollable consumption thereafter (Cookie Monster-style, nom nom nom). Another is my love for comics, and a desire to read all the good stuff, wile also reading all the stuff featuring characters I like or from creators I like. It's a completist mentality that got me into trouble when I was younger, and now just drowns me in comics on a regular basis.
If I'll be perfectly honest, I don't even know how much I really like the Fearless Defenders. I mean, I really dig a lot of Cullen Bunn's writing, but perhaps it's just all this Asgardian stuff that's just not doing it for me. I've never been a Thor fan, and this is somewhat akin to that, so it stands to reason I'm not really enjoying it to its fullest level. Meanwhile I don't care all that much for Will Sliney's art... his faces, his character poses, his line weight and shadows, they all kind of put me off. Personal preference mind you, he's a solid storyteller otherwise. Really, it's Mark Brooks' covers that are selling me on this, month after month, and I'm finding some surprises along the way (the Age of Ultron 4A tie-in endeared me to Hippolyta rather quickly in a way the previous two issues hadn't). I like the deluge of guest stars here, and I'm kind of wondering what Bunn's post-arc gameplan is, to see if ultimately this series is worth hanging onto or if it's just not going to be enough for me.
It seems to be finding a fan base though, which is great, because Bunn should have the success his talent demands, and there needs to be more female-centric books on the stand. With all the talk lately (because of Michelle Rodriguez's comments recently) about strong female heroes (including Joss Whedon's more educated input) it's cool to have titles on the stand like this (and Wonder Woman, and Batwoman, and Captain Marvel, and
the new X-Men title) that have kick-ass, unobjectified heroins.