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 #6
Geoff Arbuckle Writer, reviewer, Geek Life & editor
And so comes the penultimate issue of Marvel’s major event of 2011. Thor is down. Cap is on the verge of complete meltdown. Odin is readying his troops to raze Earth. The Serpent is closing in on total victory. Things aren’t looking too good for the heroes, but Cap is making his last ditch effort to turn the tide. He, along with other Avengers, take Thor’s beaten body to Asgard. Steve then demands Odin to fix Thor and get him ready for war. Odin, taken aback by Steve’s attitude toward him to the point he actually stutters a bit. Ultimately, Steve and his Avengers draw a line in the sand at Broxton to hold off the Serpent long enough for Thor and Tony to return and help put the stake through the Serpent’s heart once and for all.
I’m not going to lie, I loved this issue. I’m also not going to lie when I say I have no understanding why I’ve read so many jaded and angry comments about this series as a whole. But then again, I used a very important word – “Jaded”. That’s what the typical comic book collector is these days. Or at least, that’s the typical perception. I start my review off this way because, I’m sorry, if you can’t see the actual quality in this event, then I’m not sure what you are doing buying any superhero books. And yes, there are characters acting slightly differently, but if you just saw your city decimated and leveled to nothing, wouldn’t you act at least a tiny bit differently?
Okay, got that rant off my chest. Now, what did I really like and why? Well, first of all, this might just be the first Marvel event that read like a DC event. And I’m not just talking about the run of the mill events that seemed to happen every few months in the 90s. I mean this feels like a Crisis story. There’s a cadence to this issue that feels ominous and full of doom. The Serpent appears triumphant… Odin is ready to kill EVERYTHING… The heroes are so far off kilter that they are doing things and saying things you wouldn’t expect, but to me, it seems to make sense. There’s a feeling to this book that this is big. Bigger than anything the heroes of the Marvel Universe have ever dealt with. Best of all, none of it feels artificial. This has been building and building and building. Now, it comes down to Steve Rogers making his final stand against the Serpent, Thor making good on his destiny, and Tony making some damn good weapons.
And about that nice little thing that was revealed… You know, what Thor’s importance is? Yeah, turns out what we’ve always known about the battle between Thor and “the Serpent”? Turns out that it’s not as bad for our hero as we’ve always thought. That was one of the bigger “Wow” moments for me in this book.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|LOVED the tone of this book. Loved that Fraction has given Marvel some serious DC attitude in an event. This feels more like a Crisis than Final Crisis ever did – and with my favorite characters to boot!||I’m sticking to my guns. NO NEGATIVES FROM ME AT ALL!|
Victor Kutsenok Writer, reviewer & Fantasy Battle Tournament
So let’s talk about the book. Thor is down. The Avengers take him to Asgard in order for Odin to heal him. Cap leads the group and yells at Odin for forcing Earth to fight his battles before Odin banishes them all back to Earth. He takes his son and heals him and gives him one more chance to run to safety while Asgard destroys Earth. Thor refuses, so Odin arms him for a battle against the serpent with ancient armor and the sword Ragnarok. Meanwhile, Iron Man has the weapons he created ready for battle. The only way to enchant them is to throw them into a pit of Uru which he does. Then he jumps in himself, in order to enchant his armor. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Serpent heads for the World Tree with his remaining Worthy by his side. Standing in their way are the Avengers, and Captain America. And that’s the book.
So let’s talk opinions. So after last issue’s incredible non stop action, I was expecting a pretty dull issue. (As is typical of a Marvel “event” second to last issue) I wasn’t too surprised when that was what I got, in the action area. What was really surprising, however, was the richness of emotion that filled the pages. You can feel the passion of Captain America. Sense the sadness of Odin. Bask in the resolve and regality of Thor. It was, as I predicted in my last review, a “set-up” issue, but delivered in an incredible way. Once again, the story was cohesive and strong. No jumping around with images of every random hero just standing there waiting. I loved the Spider Man sequence. The world is coming to an end and Spider Man’s only focus is his aunt. Her focus is on Peter and that steels Spider Man’s resolve to get back into the battle. I like that when the Serpent arrives, he only has six Worthy with him. Maybe now, without Thing and Hulk, the odds are a bit more even. Either way, I really hope that next issue’s battle is as awesome as the one from issue number five. Hopefully we can finally see the other five Worthy get into the action. It’s been kind of annoying not having them fight at all in the main series. There were still some other little issues with the book, for me. No Fantastic Four or X-Men appearances being the biggest. I’m sorry, but this is supposed to be an industry wide “event”. If it was just an Avengers “event”, I wouldn’t have been so pissed. However, when you have Cyclops looking like Magneto in your promo posters, then neglect to use him at all, its kind of like false advertising. One other thing. Cap with a gun? Nope. Sorry. Don’t like it. A gun is not Captain America and it lowers his presence, in my opinion. If he just stood there, weaponless, in open defiance, that would have had a stronger effect on me. The art was good this issue as well. Great colors and images and really good facial expressions. Overall, a pretty solid book. I really, really, REALLY hope that next issue ends on a high note, and not in the usual final issue disappointment of most Marvel “events”. Keep the faith. That’s my opinion folks. Take it or leave it.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|very emotional story. great set up for a possibly incredible last issue||limited action. still too Avengers focused|