Listen: I by rights should want this book to fail more than anyone. My own beloved failure of a DEFENDERS book wrapped up the day this was announced, for god’s sake. Like an ex you hear is with some great new person and is totally happy, I should’ve been spitting nails and mad and hurt. Or at least I think you could say I could get away with feeling that way for a second or two.
And yet? I am nothing but fired up for the book.
I will read anything Cullen Bunn writes, anywhere, anytime, forever, based on his name alone and the tremendous talent and voice he has in him. I knew him when I lived in MO; I love his THE SIXTH GUN from Oni; I got to work with him a little, breaking THE FEARLESS and I’ll tell you this — the guy’s the real deal, at least as far as I’m concern. It could be drawn by a drunk dog and I’d read it. The guy’s the real deal.
That said? Here’s a bit of a peek behind my neurotic curtain maybe, but — but those previews are murder. Especially on a first issue. Slivers of notions, hints of the hardest parts of a book you’ll ever do, half-promotional but wholly-condemnational. It’s a couple steps better than having your book judged by its cover (which happens to us all monthly, when those fucking PREVIEWS solicits hit) but only just.
I can wholly respect that what you saw wasn’t your cup of tea and can only beg of you, as somebody who’s been eaten alive before based on these teases, to, if the *idea* of the book is your jam, to let the book do the speaking — not the ads, the promo material, the interviews — all of them fail to accurately speak to the heart and guts of one of these things.
There was that book Roberto did - Divas, maybe? Can’t recall — that was far better than its promo material but was condemned sight-unseen BECAUSE of that promo material by the very audience it most needed to be vocal and visual in their love of the thing.
What’s more concerning, but wholly unsurprising, is that nobody agreed with you that it’s fucked up (I’ve not seen it, myself) even as a concept. How hard is that to say? “Yeah, wow, I see your point. Still excited for the book — hope it’s the exception and not the rule.” BAM! done.
I promise you the artist is struggling to learn the world of FEARLESS DEFENDERS as much as Cullen is and… well, hope what you saw is an aberration and as more pages and panels get laid down, the visual world of the book becomes more palatable to you.
Trust in Cullen. Go read THE SIXTH GUN. I guarantee you, you’ll not regret it.