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Friday, October 3, 2008

Defenders Dialogue: Dragonfang

In this two-page fight scene from Defenders #25, Valkyrie's opponent seemed to fall backward in battle instead of getting cut by her magical blade. In other issues, Valkyrie held out the sword Dragonfang, only to punch enemies with her fist. A letter from #25 pointed out the complications of Valkyerie's weapon.

Dear Marvel,

I've just finished reading Defenders 22. Not bad. It's good to "see" Valkyrie out of costume, even if it's still there. Valkyrie is a good character and fits well in the Defenders. Still, there's one thing about her that bugs me. It's that sword. What is it good for, anyway? In this issue she stabs a rat on page 7, then on page 30 chops a gun, apparently knocking another guy down with the wind. I'm not trying to put the writers down, but the sword stinks. All it's good for in a fight is cutting people in half, and that's in poor taste. Every time there's a fight you see her waving the thing around, but usually not connecting. So why a sword? Why not something else? A mace, maybe. At least she could hit somebody without taking his arm off. What might make a better weapon for her, in my opinion at least, would be some type of quarterstaff. Thing about it. It's a versatile weapon, capable of striking and deflecting more blows than you're liable to use in one story. And best of all, it doesn't dismember the opposition! Molenna and Firelord have similar weapons, but as long as you don't build any gimmicks into Valkyrie's staff (you know, keep it a plain striking instrument) it should be fairly unique. So let's leave the swords in Asgard. They just don't make it in New York.

Brian Murphy
Cleveland, Ohio

Here's how the Marvel staff repsonded:

Truth to tell, Brian, the same thought has occurred to us from time to time about Val's sword, but we've been hesitant to make any change because Dragonfang seems to have become a sort of trademark for the warrior-woman. But how 'bout it, people? Do you agree? Should Val take up a slightly more blunted bit of armament? Should she use any weapon at all besides her physical strength (which is considerable)? Again, we're very interested in your opinions. The dialogue resumes in thirty days.

Defenders. Vol. 1. No. 25. "The Serpect Sheds Its Skin." Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (artist), Jack Abel (inker), Ray Holloway (letterer), Petra G. (colorist), Len Wein (editor).

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