Fans have been vocal about the lack of female leads in comics in general, but Marvel Comics, recently has been especially under the microscope after they cancelled their only female-starring comics X-23 and Ghost Rider. Since then, they’ve rolled out two new books, Captain Marvel and Red She-Hulk (taking over the Incredible Hulk title). In addition, Sif will be taking over Journey Into Mystery next issue.
Now Marvel has announced another book starring not just one female hero, but an entire team of women! Marvel will reboot its Defenders franchise, with long-time Defender member Valkyrie and pairing her with (my GIRL) Misty Knight! Launching in February, the title will be scripted by Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun, Venom) and illustrated by Will Sliney (MacGyver, Farscape). Cullen, it should be noted, also wrote Fear Itself: The Fearless, which also starred Valkyrie.
As reported by Newsarama: “The basic idea of the book is that Valkyrie is choosing a new team of Valkyrior, and she’s been asked to choose all these women from the heroes of Midgard, instead of from Asgard,” he said. “It is going to be a team book. It’ll be an all-female team. But I didn’t want to go into issue #1 and say, ‘here is the team.’ My goal is to take my time in building this team. I want to build it slowly — even after the first arc, the team will not be formed completely.
Bunn remained tight-lipped about the rest of the team’s roster, explaining that he wanted to roll them out slowly, but he did come clean that the third member was Danielle Moonstar (sometimes known as Mirage, but like half the female heroes in the Marvel Universe, she typically doesn’t use a code name). Dani lost her powers at the end of the House of M storyline, but she continued to lead her team the New Mutants until their current book was cancelled. Longtime fans should recall that Dani herself served as a Valkyrie in Asgard, so her inclusion is logical and Bunn explains, “I think she also represents what I’m talking about — she has a fanbase, she gets a lot of attention in New Mutants, but New Mutants just came to an end. I think she’s a character who deserves some time in the spotlight, and this will be a different capacity for her as a character. I think you’ll see Dani in a different light, and for so many reasons, she’s a character who deserves that moment to shine.”
The two leads, however are an odd pairing. Valkyrie is a goddess, like Thor, from Asgard. As a Defender, she has travelled to different dimensions and worlds and battled demon lords and world-conquering super villains. Misty Knight is a street level, detective type. She recently headlined several short-lived titles such as Heroes For Hire and Villains For Hire, wherein she operated as Marvel’s answer to DC’s character Oracle, dispatching various heroes (and villains) to handle tasks uniquely suited to their abilities. How these two will mesh should prove interesting.
So which other heroes will be stepping in? I could name a million, but I hope fellow former Defender Hellcat, Monica Rambeau and maybe even Firestar are on the list! But the list of potential members is nearly infinite! X-23, Elektra, Black Cat, Clea, various members of their many teams…
What do you think? Are you looking forward to an all-female team? And who would you like to see join their ranks?