IMO, I think it would have made more sense to put Midnight Son on the team in place of Nova, since he would have been a better fit for this kind of secret/covert team of Avengers. If you're going to add a cosmic powerhouse to a secret/covert team, why not add a silent powerful cyborg ninja (who also happens to be the adopted African brother of Shang-Chi) to the team.
Also, the Val in Defenders had a human persona, as well, Barbara something... even had a husband trailing around after her most of the time.
The Avengers are supposed to be the best of the best. Why would Nova not make the grade, especially after all these years and his experience and growth? I have seen so many people become Avengers during my 30 plus years of reading comics. Nova is a no-brainer compared to many of them.
Also, I like this approach Marvel is taking. It is almost JLA-ish, where they utilize a lot of heroes in the team, whenever they are needed. It gives fans like me, who enjoy lesser read characters, a chance to continue to see his favorite used more often.
Amazing how much more interesting the book is to me simply by sticking Black Widow on the team.
And then they have to go and put Ant Man in there too.
Makes about as much sense as Man-Thing and Crossbones in the Thunderbolts...
I hope they're redesigning the Irredeemable Ant-Man costume with the classic Helmet, and not just completely putting him in the old suit. Bru saying he can fly now too makes me think so. Giving him Pym's suit would suck IMO.
Barbara Norris was killed in an old Defenders issue, I believe, and Brunnhilde lost her alter ego.
The original Valkyrie is pretty easy to bring back, like you said, because all of the other Asgardians came back as well.
If the book is as good as it seems, I'll be fine with imagining Samantha Parrington retired off-panel to make way for the real Valkyrie. :)
Why isn't Deadpool an Avenger? He should be. I mean if Wolverine and Spider-Man are Avengers, Deadpool is a logical choice.
And Red Hulk.