Fearless #2 // Review
Marvel continues its anthology showcase of women on and behind the panel, with the second issue of its Fearless mini-series. Three stories include the second part of the ongoing "Campfire Song," series written by Seanan McGuire with art by Claire Roe. The second story in the issue features Night Nurse in a story written by Karla Pacheco with art by Iolanda Zanfardino. The issue closes with a very brief three-page story featuring X-23 written by Eve Ewing with art by Alitha Martinez.
McGuire's distinctive wit and cleverly deft storytelling style manages to juggle a WHOLE lot of characters in a very, very narrow number of pages. Storm, Invisible Woman and Captain Marvel all arrive at a summer camp for girls that is evidently a bit more sinister than it seems on the surface. As Ms. 'Marvel's alter-ego finds herself thrust into investigating things as one of the girls at the camp. McGuire manages to pack what feels like an entire issue into a fraction of the pages of a full installment. Roe's art delivers the mystery in stylish, pensive panels.
Pacheco's 12-page Night Nurse story is great fun. The medical professional who takes care of the super-powered when they are wounded is such a great premise for an ongoing series. 'It's actually kind of surprising that Marvel 'doesn't have her running in her own series. 'She's a very charismatic character delicately drawn into an appealing story about the power of sheer will and knowhow in a world where super-humans walk the earth. Martinez's art matches the style and tone of the script perfectly in an earthbound action that slyly smirks in comic motions around the edges.
The X-23 story is every bit as quick and effective as the hero herself. X-23 has found a secret biotech facility that she and her colleague Gabby have broken into. 'Ewing's script manages to deliver a tremendous amount of story in dialogue without overpowering the action that Martinez brings to the page in swift panels with heavy ink. 'It's fiction, but 'there's a very clear political message here that speaks to appalling current events. The final panels are very heavy-handed in their delivery, but they strike a powerful endnote to the issue nonetheless.
As with the previous issue, Fearless #2 ends with Q&A with some of the women involved in making the comic book. The Q&A at the end of the book was particularly effective for The Unstoppable Wasp. It's a nice way to round-out an issue of this series as well. The behind-the-scenes stuff helps tie-in some of what's being presented in comic book format with a bit of a social discussion at issue's end. It's too bad that Fearless has been designed as a mini-series. Popular in a bygone era, the multi-story anthology comic book still has great appeal in an issue that is over WAY too soon. 'There's no reason why this 'can't be an ongoing series is there?