Never Ending Story – Review Of The Fearless #9

Like some kind of demonic Energizer Bunny, Fear Itself continues to chug along, now in the guise of The Fearless. Sure, The Serpent is gone, Thor is dead and Odin has fucked off for points elsewhere, but Sin, the daughter of the Red Skull, still has daddy issues and she wants them addressed right friggin’ NOW! Damn it, people! Some jerk took her special magically evil hammer that daddy surrogate, The Serpent, gave her and she wants it back. That is her toy and she sure as hell isn’t going to let Valkyrie or anybody else play with it. Nope, not when she can throw a tantrum and have a bevvy of bad guys go do her bidding to go get the hammer back for her.

Hair pulling, slap fights and spoilers, after the jump.

The Fearless #9, written by Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction and Christopher Yost, is a part of a limited series that focuses on the aftermath of Fear Itself, primarily from the points of view of Sin, daughter of the Red Skull, and Valkyrie, handmaiden of Odin. Sin wants the Hammer of Skadi, that was gifted to her by The Serpent back in Fear Itself, back. All the hammers the bad guys were given have all been scattered throughout the world. Sin wants not just her own hammer, but as many as she can get her hands on, so she can power up some kind of mystical armor plated behemoth and continue to rain destruction down upon the planet in the name of The Serpent. Valkyrie, on the other hand, wants to collect all the hammers so that they can be destroyed as her final act of devotion to Odin before she departs this plane of existence. You’d think the other good guys would want to help her out with this, but as it turns out, not so much actually. It seems a large chunk of the good guys don’t trust anyone else to have the hammers, even if the person trying to collect the hammers is from Asgard, where they originated from and who, presumably, knows how to dispose of them.

Oh, snap! She did not just say you weren't a real god after hitting you in the face with a hammer, Storm! Damn!

Can’t we all just get along and not be all bitchy and territorial? No? See, this is why we can’t have nice things.

Let me take a moment to discuss the art. Mark Bagley and Paul Pelletier do a lovely job penciling pretty ladies. All of Bagley’s ladies remind me of Mary Jane Watson from Ultimate Spider-Man, but that probably because he drew that book for years and years and that’s just how his work is fixed in my mind. The team puts together solid panel work on a variety of fantastic creatures, ranging from winged horses to dwarves to Doctor Strange. The action is easy to follow and the characters expressive. The world would be a more pleasant place if it actually looked the way Bagley and Pelletier draw it.

As far as the writing, Bunn, Fraction and Yost have done a fair job of fleshing out the character of Valkyrie, who previously only tended to show up in ensemble books, like Secret Avengers. She’s so old she doesn’t even have the energy to be world weary and, having spent her very long life only in the service of others, she’s all done now. Sometimes, after hundreds of centuries at work, all a girl wants to do is put down her magic sword and enter Valhalla. Meanwhile, there is nothing redeeming about Sin, no additional depth that makes me want to care about her character. Maybe that’s on purpose; she is the bad guy after all. However, rather than being portrayed as a strong, yet evil character, she comes off as a screechy harridan who only seems to have any kind of control over her crew because the enforcer in her team, Crossbones, wants to bang her. I guess he must have a bald burn victim fetish or something. I want something heavy to fall on her and squish her head to shut her up, in a way I haven’t felt so passionately about since the first time I encountered Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby…which is its own rant for some other, more literary Web site than here. Yes, Sin, that suspicion you have deep down that you’re never going to live up to your dad’s expectations and win his love is correct. Now, please go kill yourself.

But, she won’t, and there are three more issues to go in this limited series. Which brings me to my largest quibble with the story – did we really need to drag the whimpering, still twitching remains of Fear Itself out for another 12 issues? How much longer is this going to go on? I half expect to see another series to milk Fear Itself out further when this one wraps up. Maybe The Fearless: Fear Harder, The Fearless: The College Years or, quite possibly, The Fearless: Dark Side Of Fraction’s Taint. Anything is possible, I fear.