Fearless Defenders # 4

Issue Date: 
July 2013
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Will Sliney (artist), Veronica Gandini (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Mark Brooks (cover artist), Stephanie Hans (variant cover artist), Ellie Pyle (editor), Tom Breevort (executive editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Valkyrie, Warrior Woman and Misty Knight confront the Doom-Maidens while Annabelle Riggs looks after the weary Dani Moonstar. When the Doom-Maidens start to overwhelm the heroes, they decide to retreat. The Doom-Maidens follow on horrid flying monsters, so Valkyrie teleports herself and her friends away. Caroline Le Fey and Mr Raven discuss the Doom-Maidens and Caroline is confident they will track Valkyrie down. Valkyrie and her allies take some rest at one of Misty’s safe houses, and discuss their options. Some of them want to call the Avengers for help, but Valkyrie is not keen on that idea, and she fears that it is too late. Misty decides that Valkyrie knows more about the Doom-Maidens than she is letting on, but Valkyrie goes to take some time to herself. Warrior Woman remarks that she must return Moonstar to Hela for safekeeping, but Moonstar switches to her Valkyrie costume and boasts that she will see this through. Valkyrie remembers a time long ago, when she was the Maiden of Rage, confronted by Odin. Annabelle tries to speak with her, but worries that she came across too strong when Valkyrie brushes her off. She holds back for a while, before making her way to the others who have regrouped, as Valkyrie, Moonstar and Warrior Woman depart. Misty is left behind, and sets about calling some heroes.


Full Summary: 

Harrowpoint Island, Washington, ‘Your sister? You’re wrong. Confused’ Brunhilde the Valkyrie, Shieldmaiden of Asgard tells the Doom-Maidens who converge before her. Valkyrie is flanked by her companions Misty Knight, Danielle Moonstar and Dr Annabelle Riggs. ‘I am no sister of yours!’ Valkyrie exclaims at the horrors before her. ‘Can it be?’ one of them asks. ‘She has forgotten. Rage’ another comments. ‘She does not know who she is. Who she was’ a third points out. ‘Remind her!’ one of them shouts as they move towards her. ‘RRRGH!’ Valkyrie exclaims as she raises her sword to block the attacking horrors. She sees images in her mind and one of the Doom-Maidens calls out ‘Yes! That’s her!’ while another exclaims ‘It’s all coming back to her! She’s coming back to us!’ But Valkyrie takes another swipe with her sword, knocking them back.   

Valkyrie looks less than impressed and growls, armed with her sword, when suddenly, Dr Riggs calls out to her, announcing that she has Dani and that they need to go - now. ‘I…’ Valkyrie begins in a strange voice. ‘Yes. You’re right’ she replies, appearing her normal self once more. She fends off two more of the Doom-Maidens that move towards her and starts to ask about Hippolyta. The Queen of the Amazons us currently on her knees, lovesick and helpless thanks to the magic of the Doom-Maidens. ‘I’ve got her!’ Misty Knight announces as she slaps Hippolyta in the face with her bionic arm - she has been waiting for a moment like this. ‘What…was that? I’ve razed entire nations for less!’ Hippolyta declares. ‘Are you back to being yourself? Because I can hit you again if I need to’ Misty warns Warrior Woman.  

‘Over here!’ Valkyrie calls out, as several hideous large spider-like creatures move towards her under the command of one of the Doom-Maidens. ‘This fight has grown unpleasant!’ Valkyrie declares. ‘Aye!’ Hippolyta agrees as she flies towards the Doom-Maidens and slams into two of them, ‘Let’s try this again!’ she suggests. Hippolyta boasts that she did not come back from the dead to be mocked by a bunch of mummies. ‘This - this only shows how truly vexatious Asgardians can be! Unless, of course, you put them in their place!’ Hippolyta calls out as she, Valkyrie and Misty find themselves surrounded by several of the Doom-Maidens. ‘Vexatious?’ Valkyrie asks. ‘She sounds a lot like you, y’know’ Misty remarks, before asking ‘Is it just me…or are these freaks getting their groove back?’ as one of them extends snake-like arms to wrap around Misty, who dodges them. ‘Yes! These are the warriors I -’ Hippolyta begins, screaming as one of the Doom-Maidens strikes her from behind.  

‘They grow stronger by the second! We have to get out of here!’ Valkyrie calls out as she fends off one of them, while a large scorpion crawls towards her. ‘A retreat! Just when out little sparring match was getting interesting?’ Hippolyta asks as she flies past one of the Doom-Maidens, knocking her over. ‘I’m sure you know the difference between a retreat and a strategic withdrawal’ Dani Moonstar tells the Warrior Woman. She suggests that she think of it less like running away, and more like saving their asses. ‘If I must’ Hippolyta mutters as she grabs DanI and Annabelle and bursts through the roof of the cavern, into the church above them, and then through the church roof, into open air. As they look down on the town below them, Annabelle’s Asgardian helmet falls off, and Hippolyta admits that of all the gifts the Gods of Death blessed her with upon her return, flight us one of the most fun.  

‘Misty… Valkyrie… did they -’ Annabelle begins, when suddenly, from the rubble of the church, ‘When do I get a flying horse?’ Misty asks as she and Valkyrie are on Aragorn the, who flies them into the sky to meet up with their companions. ‘Thank God!’ Annabelle exclaims, before asking about the Doom-Maidens. ‘Are they going to come after us?’ Moonstar enquires. ‘Eventually, yes. But I think we’re safe for now. Their strength is growing, but I doubt they can -’ she is interrupted by a rumbling from below, as two giant, horrid, serpent-like creatures with six eyes, tentacles flapping about from its body and an enormous mouth with huge jagged teeth burst forth from below, making a horrendous SKREEEEEE noise. ‘You have got to be $#&% me!’ Misty exclaims. ‘Now that’s a challenge. I’ll wager a flask of Dionysus’ finest wine that I can fetter one of those beasts in under -’ Hippolyta begins, but Valkyrie tells her no, as this is beyond any of them. One of the hideous beasts breathes green fire, but it doesn’t reach the heroines, as Valkyrie announces that they need to regroup. Hippolyta sees Valkyrie raising her sword and tells her that she needs no such thing, as she is just warming up. ‘Put that sword away! Don’t you dare teleport me -’ she begins, but Valkyrie doesn’t listen to her, and they suddenly vanish.  

Back down in the cavern, ‘They’ve escaped. Shall I assemble a squad, Ma’am?’ Mr Raven ask Caroline Le Fay, who tells him that she doesn’t believe that will be necessary. Caroline tells Mr Raven that now the Doom-Maidens are awake, now they are wiping the metaphysical sleep from their eyes, they will find the Valkyrie and her allies soon enough. ‘All things considered, events are unfolding in a perfectly acceptable manner’ she decides. ‘Begging your pardon, Ma’am. These Doom-Maidens are powerful, yes, but they seem unfocused’ Mr Raven remarks, suggesting that it might be smart for his team to get eyes on their enemies, to call out their location. Caroline tells Mr Raven that she likes him, that he is a very special young man to her, but warns him that if he questions her again, she will use his corpse to fertilize her garden come spring. ‘My girls have been dormant for centuries. They just need to have a little fun. They’ll track their wayward sister when they’re good and ready. Until then…let them play’ Caroline remarks, while up above, the huge beasts let loose green fire all over the abandoned town.  

Shortly, at one of Misty Knight’s safe houses in New York City. ‘Okay. I’m just gonna say it. We need help… and I’ve got the Avengers on speed dial’ Misty declares as the five women sit around a table. ‘Bah! I have yet to see the day that I need the help of men!’ Hippolyta declares. Moonstar tells Hippolyta that there are men and women on the Avengers. ‘So they’d have you believe!’ Hippolyta retorts. ‘Who cares? Men, women, or other - they’re the big guns, and we could use them right now’ Misty points out. Valkyrie announces that she is afraid not even the Avengers can repair the damage she has done, as the Doom-Maidens grow stronger by the moment, and soon they will be like gods. She adds that even if they can be cast down, they will simply rise again - unless the Valkyrior - the Shieldmaidens- take their place. ‘The scales are out of whack. The Doom-Maidens have taken the place of the Valkyrie?’ Moonstar asks, wondering if they can’t be put to rest without a counterbalance in place.  

‘Odin saw it, long ago. The All-Mother saw it. And now I see it… but it is too late’ Valkyrie replies. Misty looks suspicious and points out that Valkyrie seems to know a lot about them all of a sudden, remarking that it wasn’t long ago that she was in the dark, just like the rest of them. ‘This wouldn’t have anything to do with that little Hallmark Moment you had back there in the catacombs, would it?’ she asks. Valkyrie doesn’t reply, and there is an awkward silence, before Misty declares ‘Look, whatever. It sounds to me like you need to get off your high horse and choose some Valkyrie’. But Valkyrie turns and walks away from her companions, stating that she needs to think.

‘Well, that was awkward. But no matter. It is time to go’ Warrior Woman declares. ‘Go? What are you talking about?’ Moonstar asks her. Hippolyta informs Moonstar that she was tasked with returning her to Hela.  

‘Hela?’ Dani asks. ‘For safekeeping’ Hippolyta explains. ‘What, like a commemorative plate?’ Dani asks, before telling Hippolyta that she is not taking her anywhere. Hippolyta tells Moonstar that she understand her frustration, but then changes her mind: ‘Actually… I don’t… nor do I care’ she remarks, adding that she is not disinclined to throw Moonstar over her shoulder and drag her back to Hel kicking and screaming. ‘Try it’ Dani warns her. ‘To deny Hela is to deny the gods’ Hippolyta points out. ‘And? Let me ask you - do you always do as you’re told?’ Moonstar asks Hippolyta, when suddenly, magic energy flows around her, and Dani’s civilian clothes are replaced by her spectacular Asgardian armor and headpiece. ‘This is Valkyrie business…  and I’ll be dammed if I’m going to let anyone - even a goddess - put me on the sidelines’. Dani declares that she will see this through, as a Valkyrie.  

In another room, Valkyrie is kneeled on the floor, her sword in front of her, she reminds herself that she was born Brunhilde of Wrlstead Arms. A mortal, a princess, blessed by Odin and chosen as the first of his Shieldmaidens. It was a symbol of valor and honor. She was the promise of paradise. ‘I am not a monster. I am not…’ she thinks to herself as her mind wanders back to long ago.   


Rain pours down as Odin, the All-Father of Asgard stands before Brunhilde, the Maiden of Rage. Bodies are scattered around them. ‘This is not what I wanted for you, girl. This is not what I wanted for any of you. But you most of all’ Odin grieves. Blood splattered across her face, Brunhilde grins and in a horrid voice tells the All-Father that she knows what he wanted from her. ‘Your one eye never leaves this body. You tired old lech’. Brunhilde moves forward, her sword clashes against Odin’s staff as she roars at him.

‘Your words… they are not those of the Valkyrie I created’ Odin states. ‘Whatever you have seen… whatever torments you… it twists your thoughts. Your anger… your fury consumes you’ he points out. ‘DIE’ Brunhilde screeches at him. She prepares to strike him with her sword, but Odin grabs the blade with his bare hands. Odin announces that he will see his mistakes undone, that he will see the memory of his failure scoured from all of Asgard. ‘You’re bleeding, old man’ Brunhilde replies.  

They stare at each other as Brunhilde tells Odin that he made her too strong - strong enough to destroy him. ‘You are strong, yes. But before the might of the Odinforce, you are still but -’ Odin begins, interrupted when Brunhilde spits in his face. ‘A child’ Odin concludes, before he raises his staff, and Brunhilde falls backwards as there is a thundering noise. ‘FATHER!’ Brunhilde screams.  

Annabelle Riggs finds Valkyrie in the other room and asks her if she is all right. Valkyrie gets to her feet and announces that she was wrong. ‘All this time… for all these centuries… I believed… I was lied to’ she states. ‘You’re exhausted. No one’s gonna blame you if you need to rest’ Annabelle points out as she helps Valkyrie to her feet, before quickly pulling her hand away from Valkyrie’s. ‘Uh…sorry’ Annabelle tells her. Valkyrie turns and walks away. ‘Idiot’ Annabelle mutters to herself, hanging her head. After a moment, Annabelle carries on through Misty’s safe house, past some crates, she hears a voice ask ‘Where are you going?’ and Valkyrie replies that she is going far from here, far from anyone who might get hurt. She states that the Doom-Maidens will seek her out, they will track her here, to the city, and destroy everything in their path to get to her. ‘Because I am one of them’ Valkyrie admits.  

Moonstar and Hippolyta stand at Valkyrie’s side as Valkyrie tells Misty that she will need them, that she can slow the Doom-Maidens down, but not for long. ‘They’ll catch up with me, and when they do -’ she begins, to which Misty tells her not to worry, as she knows what to do. Valkyrie raises her sword, and appears to glance back at Annabelle, before the trio vanish. Annabelle goes over to Misty and asks her where they are going. ‘Away’ Misty replies. ‘And they’re just leaving us here?’ Annabelle asks. Misty tells her that she isn’t say it was the right call, but she isn’t saying it was the wrong call, either. ‘It was Val’s decision’ she explains. They walk over to a desk set up with monitors and communications equipment, as Misty tells Annabelle not to freak out on her though, as they are not benched. ‘What is this?’ Annabelle asks, referring to the equipment. ‘This? This is where the magic happens’ Misty declares. She puts an ear-piece microphone on and smiles as she makes a call: ‘Hello, hero. Are you for hire?’

Characters Involved: 

Misty Knight, Dani Moonstar, Valkyrie, Warrior Woman (all Fearless Defenders)

Dr Annabelle Riggs


Caroline Le Fey

Mr Raven

Aldvi / Deceit, Arnleif / Seduction, Balda / Slaughter, Daggaerdh / Torture, Disthora / Insanity, Hermotha / Filth, Nedra / Carrion, Sigotta / Vermin (all Doom-Maidens)  


In flashback:



Written By: