Fear Itself is big enough to cross over the entire Marvel universe so we decided it was big enough to cross over our two biggest Marvel reviewers; each will be giving their own review, combining their grades for an overall score.
Fear Itself #4
Geoff Arbuckle Writer, reviewer, Geek Life & editor
I would start this off by saying “Spoiler Alert”, but let’s face it… Most of you have seen the previews. You know Steve Rogers is back in the Cap garb. Thor is coming to help humanity fight off the Serpent. It’s time for the tide to turn in favor of Marvel’s heroes!
The Serpent is spreading fear, death, and destruction across the globe. He’s rallying his troops to gain the power he needs and make Earth his domain. Meanwhile, in an eerily similar cadence, Odin is rallying the Asgardian war machine to lay waste to the planet killing everything. Thor arrives to reveal these plans to Nick Fury, Steve Rogers, Iron Man, and Black Widow, who have all gathered around the broken and lifeless body of Bucky. Ready to make their push against the Serpent’s forces, Steve dons the Captain America uniform again and leads Marvel’s Holy Trinity into battle. To try to get Odin to listen to their pleas, Tony sacrifices his sobriety to summon the All Father. Cap lands in the middle of the action to lead what Avengers have collected, and Thor faces the Serpent. Thor’s showdown doesn’t last too long as he’s blasted away and lands right between the twisted versions of The Thing and The Hulk.
This is yet another good issue. Maybe not quite the strongest of the series to this point, but it’s a good middle point of the story. The Serpent has succeeded in his plans to raise his fortress and rule over Earth. The heroes, thanks to Thor, know what’s happening and what they are facing. Some may complain that there may not be enough happening. I think there’s just enough going on. The heroes need to pull back, learn some stuff, and go back out there. Each of the three major heroes, Cap, Iron Man, and Thor, are all facing demons of their own… Cap is facing Bucky’s loss (again) and a war that is seemingly impossible to win. Tony gives up his sobriety and his dignity to beg for help from something he doesn’t even believe in – a God. Thor is facing his own mortality at the hands of “the Serpent” that has been tied to his fate for his whole life. Matt Fraction really does that well. The sacrifice for this type of issue is that you don’t get a great deal of forward movement. If this was a chess game, Fraction has positioned his pieces. He didn’t need to make big moves at this point. All he has to do now is finish the game.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Solid middle point of the story to set up the last three issues. Awesome art from Immonen bringing Cap back into the suit and launching Thor into battle against the Hulk and Thing.||Not much to complain about or rave about. It’s the middle chapter in an arc, so you can’t expect too too much. Unfortunately, that does stall the forward march a tad.|
Victor Kutsenok Writer, reviewer & Fantasy Battle Tournament
So let’s talk about the book. Bucky is dead at the hands of Sin/Skadi. Black Widow calls for action as Thor returns to Earth. Nick Fury calls Steve Rogers back into action as Captain America. Thor goes off to confront the Serpent while Iron Man makes a plea to Odin. Meanwhile, because of the Fear being spread by his Worthy, the Serpent uses all of the Fear power he absorbs to magically raise a castle and a bunch of minions. Cap enters the fray and Sin/Skadi is waiting for him. Thor challenges the Serpent but is swatted away. He arrives back on land just as the Worthy Hulk and Thing show up and leaps into battle against them. And that’s the book.
So let’s talk opinions. First of all, I have decided to stop treating this as an “event”, and just read it as a Thor story, guest starring the Avengers. This made a bunch of the negativity I feel simply vanish instantly. Remove the “event moniker, and instead of being a complete failure on so many levels, it only becomes a very slow Thor arc. Once again, there was little to no actual fighting in the book. The story, however, did finally move itself along. Bucky died. No one cares. We addressed it for about two pages. The X-Men finally got a one panel cameo. So did Spider Man. (This is an event?) Secret Wars was an event. World War Hulk was an event. Hell, even Secret Invasion was an event with epic battles and massive multi character panels. I think we saw about five different heroes actually speak. What about the Worthy? Did they do anything this issue? No? What a surprise. This book waaaaaaasssssss ssssslllllllloooooowwwwww. The art was pretty good though, but once again, nothing spectacular. Except for the last page splash image, I really didn’t get too excited about anything in the book. I personally think that if next issue’s big Thor/Hulk/Thing battle blows, then this will truly be the worst “event” I’ve had to suffer through in the last decade. Not to mention just a bad story arc in general. That’s my opinion folks. Take it or leave it.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|finally some movement on the plot. nice art.||no action. no cohesiveness. should never have been billed as an event. painfully slow.|
All Fear Itself reviews:
New Avengers: #14 |
Hulk: #37 |
Iron Man 2.0: #7 |
Fear Itself: Black Widow: #1 |
Fear Itself: Wolverine: #1 |