I really want to love this comic, but so far it is only OK. (It does sport one of my favorite covers ever, though!)
Cullen Bunn is on new ground here, populating an all-female team book one heroine at a time. For me, that’s not the right call because I’m not a huge fan of either of the leads. Valkyrie is a bit of a cipher and I liked Misty Knight best as “Control” in Heroes for Hire. They just don’t draw me into the book. I am a fan of Mirage, but she actually gets taken out in the opening pages of this issue. I was bummed that she was taken out by normal dudes! This is the leader of the New Mutants!
I’m leaving out the other supporting player, Dr. Annabelle Riggs. I like her doting on Valkyrie and Val’s obliviousness to her affections, but again, she’s just not a riveting enough character to bring me back.
The first issue was missing a real foil for the team, and Bunn starts to resolve that problem here. Mr. Raven is the contractor who succeeds in dropping Mirage and with a name like that he could end up as a good villain. Caroline Le Fey has a good name and I appreciate her businesslike approach to villainy. But the only way we know these people’s names is because they are called out in descriptive text boxes. No one knows enough about what is going on to use anyone’s name in conversation. It’s a tad frustrating.
The book is coming together, I’m intrigued by Marvel’s Hippolyta joining next issue, and if Bunn really does fill the team with more lady heroes, I will have to stick around. Wasp, Tigra, or She-Hulk would all keep me coming back for more. But I can’t help but think the book would be moving a bit quicker if the team was already formed.
Will Sliney’s art is still a bit raw, but he’s getting better. Too often it looks like heads are pasted on over necks, not attached. Characters are often contorted around in unnatural ways. His body language is the strongest part of his art; you can tell characters apart by how they hold themselves. I also like the Hippolyta design.