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 #5
Geoff Arbuckle Writer, reviewer, Geek Life & editor
While Thor faces the twisted versions of the Thing and Hulk, Cap goes straight to Sin. Cap is a little over-matched, but you might have also believed Thor would be too. Cap does everything he can to stand his ground against Sin, but Thor quickly proves that he isn’t just a warrior, but he’s an Asgardian. Despite Sin believing the thunder heard in the distance and the lightning that is striking is the Odinson being ripped apart by Thing and Hulk, it’s actually Mjolnir wreaking havoc on the unlucky Worthy. While the battle rages in New York, Tony Stark convinces Odin to grant him access to a “workshop” so humanity’s greatest weapon builder can use creation’s greatest tools so the Earth can at least fight back against the Serpent. In New York, Thor strikes a deathblow against the Thing and sends Hulk into orbit before collapsing. Cap witnesses the Serpent rising to take the Earth, but is surprised to see a collection of Avengers arrive to battle the big bad. Cap launches his shield at the Serpent who breaks it like it was made from peanut brittle. The Serpent escapes after creating a gigantic explosion. This leaves Rogers realizing that this battle is most likely a lost cause. But one has to wonder, does he know that Ben Grimm is about to re-enter the fray?
Holy cow… What an issue. Thor’s battle with the Thing and Hulk is top-level awesomeness. This is everything that you’d want in a big event. You have Steve Rogers unwilling to give up without a fight and really serving (if not as directly seen in the book itself) as the emotional anchor for the heroes. Tony giving Odin a piece of his mind and letting him know that he can build some pretty kick ass weaponry if given the proper tools. While not all of this issue is entirely original with the set up primarily being bad stuff happens, the big bad appearing triumphant, the heroes banding together, and then the tide turns… T0 me, the whole event feels much more fresh than what we’ve seen from Marvel in a very long time. The whole thing feels like we’re marching toward something. What I like most of all, is that I have no idea what that something is. Is this even a battle that can be won without some sort of godly intervention? What is the state of the heroes after it’s all said and done? I love asking these questions. I don’t want to have strong inclinations about the conclusion like I did with Civil War and Secret Invasion. I want to question the outcome right up to the ultimate climax. I want to feel like I did after seeing “No more Mutants”. I want to be blown away because I see something happen that goes outside my predictions.
Thankfully, Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen’s been doing a pretty damn good job at that very thing up to this point.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Thor vs. Thing vs. Hulk. Cap vs. Sin. Tony vs. Odin. A lot happens in this issue without feeling rushed or neglecting situations that are, in fact, quite important. Spectacular art and pace.||None.|
Victor Kutsenok Writer, reviewer & Fantasy Battle Tournament
So let’s talk about the book. Thor goes one on two with both the Worthy Hulk and Thing. The battle is fast and intense but Thor manages to skewer Thing with his hammer. Then he faces down the Hulk. After some vicious blows, Hulk is still standing. Thor knows he can’t win and uses his hammer’s warping ability to send the Hulk into space. Too bad the Hulk begins descending back to Earth as Thor falls to the ground from the exhaustion of battle. While this is happening, the Thing is dying. Good thing he landed in the Baxter Building as Franklin and Valeria are there. With their uncle at death’s door, Franklin finally uses his omnipotent reality controlling powers to save Thing and cleanse the Worthy influence from him. Meanwhile, Iron Man demands that Odin lets him use his Asgardian workshop to create weapons capable of defeating the Worthy as the rest of the Avengers attack Sin/Skadi. She easily fights them off as the Serpent finally makes his appearance. The Avengers attack him but they are blasted into unconsciousness by one massive hammer strike. When they wake up, the Serpent is gone and Cap is resigned that this might be one battle that the Avengers just can’t win. And that’s the book.
So let’s talk opinions. Finally. FINALLY. FINALLY!!!!!! This issue was incredible. From the first page to the last one, I was riveted. Finally we have an issue worthy of being part of an “event”. After four months of teasing and hinting, we are finally blessed with superior action. What an amazing battle between Thor and the Worthy Hulk and Thing. We have all been waiting for a proper battle between the Worthy and our heroes for some time and this issue made the wait worth it. I love the huge panels and massive devastation images. This was a battle of Titans and Immonen captured it all perfectly. I love how Thor knew his limitations and did what he had to do to win. Ben’s return to humanity was very touching. After losing the Human Torch, I’m glad we didn’t have to lose the Thing as well. I also really enjoyed the Franklin resolution. As an avid X-Men reader, I have always known what Franklin is capable of and this was a nice use of his powers. Hopefully, we won’t be going to Franklin again or every threat will be ended with just a thought. Other than the Thor fight, what great action between the Avengers and the Serpent. (Is it just me or does the Serpent have a REALLY big axe? Overcompensating for something, maybe??) Now this is a god in action. He swats away his enemies and does the impossible. (Sorry Cap. It seems that you’re getting the ass end of the stick this “event”. Kiss Bucky and your shield goodbye) Then he moves on to his ultimate goal, treating the Avengers like ants that are beneath his notice. Speaking of the Avengers, it was nice to actually have them make appearances. Having Spider-Man declare the war over also added some humanity to the struggle. Peter has always been the everyman Super Hero with a life and a family and having him choose to go to his family instead of stay and fight really shows how desperate the situation is. Another thing I loved about this issue was that it was finally a cohesive story. One long thread of panels that tied into each other. No slide show of random images from around the globe breaking the flow of the story. Immonen and Fraction hit the nail on the head this issue on all levels. I can’t wait to see what kind of weapons Iron Man will create for a massive final battle. I expect next issue to be another set-up issue, but if we can end this “event” on an incredible high note similar to this issue, I feel that Fear Itself will have redeemed itself and truly be a great “event”. That’s my opinion folks. Take it or leave it.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|incredible non stop action. great plot movement. awesome art||None|