This issue ties into the events of ‘Infinity’ but unlike some (if not most) forced tie-ins, this one manages to maintain the rhythm and identity of the on-going title. Attilan, home of the Inhumans, has been destroyed and the Terrigen Mist are now mutating ordinary humans, who are encapsulated in cocoons before they emerge evolved. Two factions are going after these cocoons, Thanos’ Wardogs, who are destroying them, and Caroline LeFay, who wants to harvest them. The Fearless Defenders get caught in the crossfire and must battle both the Wardogs and Caroline’s female super villains, led by Titania. (I didn’t recognize any of the other characters.)
But the real focus in this issue is Ren Kimura, a new character (seen in the lower center of the cover), who is one of the humans that transforms into something more. Her hands become razor sharp and hard as steel and she discovers, she can extend her fingers like long ribbons. The entire issue is narrated from her perspective and we learn that the passion in her life is dancing, something her strict parents don’t approve of. She winds up getting caught in the craziness in New York City and winds up allied with the Defenders.
Writer Cullen Bunn manages to provide Ren with a fresh, poetic voice. During some of the story, she’s kind of a deer in the headlights and that part is weaker, but when she discusses dancing and her personal life, that part is pretty refreshing. I’ll be honest, I’m sometimes resistant to brand new characters being created for teams, when the comic universe is cluttered with existing heroes, but they make Ren work and I’m on board.
Outside of that, Bunn manages to make this issue work as a solid installment of ‘The Fearless Defenders’ despite the ‘Infinity’ backdrop. If a reader picks this issue up, strictly because of the ‘Infinity’ tie-in, they’ll actually get a taste of this book’s true tone and style.
Will Sliney’s art continues to grow and evolve and this issue looks excellent. He does a brilliant job, especially on dancer Ren and her acrobatic form. His work is definitely accentuated by Veronica Gandini’s coloring, especially in the sepia tone flashbacks.
I definitely commend the creative team for taking on the challenge of tying into the larger ‘Infinity’ crossover event, but still managing to tell their story their way. This series took a while to find its footing, but now it seems month after month they are knocking it out of the park. This was another excellent installment!
THE FEARLESS DEFENDERS #10
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Will Sliney
Cover by Mark Brooks