I really enjoyed the idea of an all-female/mostly female cast in Fearless Defenders and hope that we start to see an increase in female heroes as women are slowly being represented more in comics as something other than eye candy. What do you feel were the biggest successes of the series and what would you do differently or improve upon if given another chance at a similar book?
Great question. There were so many things I was proud of with that book… but there were many, many things I might have done differently, too.
For me, the introduction of Annabelle Riggs and Ren Kimura is the thing I’m most proud of with the series as a whole. I thought they were both great characters (but, of course, I would). Hippolyta, too, was a character I was glad to bring back in a bigger way.
I also loved that we were able to tell some of the off-the-wall stories we were able to tell. The boyfirend issue. The dance issue. The issue with Annabelle in Valhalla. These were issues that I don’t think would have worked in any other comic.
When the series started, I planned out a much more in-depth outline for it, hoping it would last at least 18 - 20 issues, maybe more. With a longer outline, I was able to take my time getting to some of the big moments with Dani and Hippolyta (in particular), But when I found out the series would be ending sooner than I liked, I had a lot of time adjusting the outline. So, a lot of moments were skimmed over. That always made me feel like I let folks down.
If I were doing it over again, I would outline a little more tightly, making sure the story felt more “complete” with every 6 issue arc or so.
Do you think Annabelle loved Valkyrie for who she was as a person, or for the fact that she was essentially Annabelle's life's work personified? Was it an infatuation born from being saved and plunged into this world of adventure, or was there something deeper there? (If this is something you want us to ponder ourselves I'll totes understand, I just love talking about these two. They're so interesting!!!!!)
Great question! And I think it is something best left to individual interpretation. My take on Annabelle was always that she acted on her impulses first and dealt with the fallout later. Seeing a Valkyrie (as you note, part of her life’s work)… especially one who had just saved her from zombie Vikings… took her breath away for a moment, so she acted. Some might say too quickly. Any other feelings she had developed pretty quickly from there. Annabelle is self aware enough to know that she always falls hard and fast anyhow. She pretty much admits that to Ren.
Someone told me that if I disagree with you on Tumblr or Twitter, you'll block me. Is that true? And, if so, why would you do that?
I don’t mind people disagreeing with me or not liking my work. What I don’t appreciate (and will block people because of) are insults and general asshole behavior. In my experience, most of those folks aren’t really interested in disagreeing or having a discussion anyhow. They just want to show off their mad douche-baggery skills. There are sad, sad corners of the Internet where they should be welcomed, but not on my feeds.
I’ve also, while doing searches for my name (because I’m self-absorbed like that) found people who were following me who have said things like “Cullen Bunn annoys me”, so I’ve helped them out by blocking them. They must not have realized they were following me all along.
But… please… if you want to talk, agree, disagree, praise me as a old god returned from the black vastness of time and space… hit me up! As long as you’re cool, I’m cool!
I'm really looking forward to your SINESTRO comic. But you are also writing a villain book for Marvel. Will they be similar in tone?
Thanks! I hope you enjoy what I have in store with you in SINESTRO (The first issue comes out tomorrow). I think the two books (MAGNETO and SINESTRO) are quite different in tone and scale. They are both dark books; that’s true. But MAGNETO is a little more “grounded” in terms of story. It’s basically Magneto waging his one-man war. SINESTRO, on the other hand, is cosmic in scope, and Sinestro must learn to navigate his own pride and the politics ingrained in the Sinestro Corps… politics that he is, himself, responsible for to some degree. If nothing else, MAGNETO focuses on a character who knows that he is doing something “bad” for what he sees as the right reasons, while SINESTRO focuses on someone who genuinely believes his way is the “right” way. From that perspective, I think it might be interesting to compare the two stories.
That’s an excellent point… although I still don’t see a human leader working with the team… unless said person has a deep understanding of the mutant plight. Someone else brought up the time Storm led the team when she was without her powers, and I think that’s a great example of when it could work.
Should or could a human lead the x-men? And who could you see doing that in the marvel universe?
I suppose a human COULD lead the X-Men, but it seems to go against the mission statement at the very core of the team. Maybe a human who had once been a mutant? To my way of thinking, the best X-Leaders have been (in order) Xavier, Storm, Magneto, Wolverine, and Cyclops.
Cullen Bunn is a comic book writer (THE SIXTH GUN, HELHEIM, THE DAMNED, FEARLESS DEFENDERS, VENOM, DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED, and others), screenwriter, self-improvement junkie, lucky husband and father, and (formerly) the world's youngest hypnotist.