Fearless Defenders: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

We, here at Geeks OUT, love our STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS. With that said, it's no secret that Fearless Defenders has been, hands-down, my favorite book of 2013. Not only did the book give readers an interesting twist on a Sapphic love triangle (is it still considered a love triangle if two of the women involved share a single body?) and return long-lost characters Frankie Raye/Frances Hyatt (a.k.a. Nova, the former Herald of Galactus) and sorceress, Morgan Le Fay to the mainstream Marvel Universe, but it also showcased an extremely diverse cast. Queer women and women of color were no strangers among the ranks of the Defenders.

Sadly, the book came to a premature end this week with issue 12 where we see Valkyrie and her team go toe-to-toe with Caroline Le Fay and her band of superpowered Heathers.

Last night, writer Cullen Bunn took to his blog to share the rundown on the book's initial pitch to Marvel, possible team members, and details regarding potential future storylines with fans:

  • Hippolyta was almost Moondragon or Phylla-Vell.
  • One early pitch had Valkyrie using Norn Stones or Shards of Odinforce to empower teammates with Valkyrie-like powers.
  • Everyone always asks if there were characters we weren’t allowed to use. I think the only one we were refused from the beginning was Jean Grey. At one point, Will and I lobbeyed hard for Spider-Girl to join the team, but that didn’t fly. Also, Galacta was the original choice for our cosmic team member, but that was changed at the last minute.
  • At one point, Venus was supposed to be the villain of the first arc. She had been driven mad somewhere along the way. In that same arc, the Defenders were going to square off against all of the Hulks.
  • The first issue was originally going to start with Valkyrie beating the snot out of Namor.
  • Mania was going to join the team. There was going to be a “Young Defenders” group popping up, which would also include Lyra and Loa.
  • All of the following were listed in my pitch at one time as possible future story complications:
    • The Recorder offers numerous opportunities for adventures with its strange prophecies.
    • A secret Brood invasion gives cause for No-Name of Brood to join the ranks of the Valkyrior. (This kinda happened.)
    • A rogue Celestial has gathered its own group of “Valkyrie.” The mission of these Celestial Riders is to usher dying worlds into Oblivion. And they’ve targeted Earth. During the final confrontation, the Defenders will coax Galactus into aiding them. (This served as the early inspiration for our first arc. Note, that I stripped some information out of this one. I’ve gotta keep some secrets!)
    • Agents of A.T.L.A.S. might show up, wanting to remove Venus from protective custody… by force if need be.
    • Dani Moonstar was once a Valkyrie. She may wish to become one once again. (This obviously happened, but what didn’t happen… even though I tilted that windmill from issue 1… was the repowering of Dani.)
    • A story could lead the group into the realm of the Deviants and into an encounter with Blackwulf and his Freedom Fighters. It would be a wild science-fantasy story.
    • While Valkyrie had hoped to keep her mission secret, word gets out and the team becomes the center of a storm of celebrity. Fan mail. Hate mail. Stalkers. Media appearances. Chaos ensues. The media wants to turn them into sex symbols. One or two members of the team might welcome the attention while others rage against it.
    • The Enchantress still has designs for Valkyrie, and she manipulates actions and events from behind the scenes to bring the Shield Maiden under her sway once more.
    • Owen Grant is furious! How dare a group of all-female superheroes form? Why can’t there be a male Valkyrie? Owen gathers a number of like-minded individuals together to protest Valkyrie’s mission and to try to get a man selected for the cause. They’re harmless (but annoying) at first, but they may become more and more dangerous as time goes on.
    • Sin and the newly formed D.O.A. are still at large. Their operations could bring them into conflict with the Valkyrior again and again. Sin may even form an alliance with the Enchantress or some other enemy of the Valkyrior.

Oh, the possibilities of what SHOULD have been.

While the ending of Fearless Defenders is truly bittersweet, we have to thank Marvel for taking a chance on telling a story that shows the world that queer women not only exist, but they can also be heroes.

Stay Fearless!

Shaun N.'s picture
on December 5, 2013

A Marvel fanboy whose super powers include throwing side-eye, drinking whiskey, and re-reading back issues of "Alpha Flight."

Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat: ThatShaun