Fearless is an inspired new series featuring all-female creators across four issues. Seanan McGuire and Claire Roe focused on the main story which was given more pages per issue with two backup issues and interesting interviews of the creators following that. It’s a series I couldn’t get enough of and now that it is collected I can’t help but think it’s even better.
The biggest reason why the collected edition works so well is that McGuire and Roe’s story is collected all in one. It opens the book and allows the story to read a little better. Their story is titled “Campfire Song” and this story features Captain Marvel, Storm, and Invisible Woman, all of which are reflecting on giving a speech to inspire kids at camp Gloriana in Maine. McGuire establishes each character and their worries and thoughts on what they are about to do very well. She has a way with dialogue that makes you pay attention. The story culminates into a big battle smartly involving Ms. Marvel. There are strong characterizations that make each hero feel important and real. The art is by Claire Roe with colors by Rachelle Rosenberg and both do an exceptional job with four very different locations all leading to the camp being the main locale. Roe does a great job with Mr. Fantastic, who is strangely elongating throughout a scene early on. Storm is fierce in her scene and hard to look away from. I also appreciate the various kiddos and how they are depicted. There’s a wide range of people you don’t normally see in superhero books.
Following this story are the shorter tales collected here in the order they came in the four-issue run of the series. I recommend picking this up just to read the eclectic mix of stories. One of my favorites is by Leah Williams, Nina Vakueva, and Rachelle Rosenberg titled “Style High Club.” This story features Millie the Model, a character I had to look up, who hasn’t been around since the ’70s. She’s a Stan Lee creation who helps a newer model named Daisy get the hang of things both literally and figuratively as they model on wires over a high distance. The colors absolutely zing with a watercolor look that’s delightful. The story here — basically two models connecting against a supermodel who is quite awful — is light and fun. You’ll keep your attention on the characters thanks to the art and their realistic feel. The final page is great too and a nice payoff for what we’ve been seeing transpire.
A shorter story that works very well is “Unusual Suspects” by Kelly Thompson with art by Carmen Carnero and colors by Tamra Bonvillain. This is a short (three pages!) but a sweet little story involving Jessica Jones and another character. The final page is seriously poster-worthy stuff and it should have any fan of X-Babies and that sort of style over the moon. I really dig the back and forth between Elsa and Jessica, but at this point, it’s a given Thomspon’s dialogue is going to sing.
Another favorite is Zoe Quinn and Marika Cresta’s Hellcat story which is delightful. If you like puns, you have come to the right place. More than once I reread dialogue because it read so well. It’s sharp as a tack. The character dynamics in play are great too, from Jessica Jones to an ex-husband that makes an appearance. There’s also a great message about finding yourself and discovering your identity that I think a lot of readers will connect to. The art by Cresta is strong, with good layout choices keeping the action and exposition moving. Colored by Irma Kniivila, the texture and tone is spot on for a city-focused story.
The interviews that follow each story are a great touch as it lets us get to know them and it’s also inspiring. I could see a little kid pick this up, read and love the book, and then feel a connection to the creators with the final few pages.
This is a great anthology that’s a little different than most. It’s an empowering read that focuses on female characters written and drawn by female creators. Inspiring, delightful, fun, and endearing, Fearless is enjoyable in the best of ways. It’s hard to put this down and not feel satisfied.
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