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. Be warned now… Spoilers are ahead
Fear Itself #7
Geoff Arbuckle Writer, reviewer, Geek Life & editor
It’s Thor’s day! The final battle for Midgard is in full swing. Tony Stark returns with the weapons he’s made for the other heroes to face the Serpent’s armies. Thor goes face to face with the Serpent which, as stated in the last few issues, promises to be the death of both the Serpent and Thor himself. As Captain America faces the floating Dark Asgard alone, the Avengers arrive and the battle gets up-close and personal. The tide turns as the people of the world slowly begin to shake their fears and begin to stand up for each other and themselves. The mood of the world shifts and weakens the Serpent. Soon, Cap is fighting alongside a man from Broxton he inspired. The Avengers fight back as Thor delivers blow after blow to the Serpent. Finally, Thor delivers the deathblow and all the Serpent’s avatars fall from the sky returned to normal. However, not all is perfect as Thor dies in Odin’s arms. The Avengers build a funeral pyre for their fallen comrade, attend to business with other losses, and prepare to get back to normal. Before Thor is laid to rest completely, Odin returns to Asgard, casts out every Asgardian to live on Earth and locks the door behind them shutting Asgard off from the physical world.
This final issue is packed with so much action that it proves to be more than worth the extra pages and extra buck. Easily the big “Hell Yeah!” moment of the book is Cap picking up Thor’s hammer and assembling the Avengers for the main strike against the Serpent’s avatars. Seeing the battle between what could easily be called the ultimate representations of good and evil was exciting and I’m not certain that I felt everyone could get out of it. I certainly did not expect there to be a lot of death, but I definitely did not expect Thor to die. Obviously, I don’t think he’ll be gone very long. I mean he does have his own book written by Matt Fraction himself, and it’s obvious he wants to deal with the aftermath of all this there, but I figured some kind of last minute intervention of Odin would save Thor. It was a nicely impactful end to the story and gave a bit of a sad spin on a book that deals with emotion to begin with.
Emotion plays very highly in the series with fear and anger and sadness and pride all play out in concert with each other. Seeing people start to band together intermixed with the battle was a great touch. You can see the world rallying behind the heroes even if they didn’t know the heroes were fighting the final battle. Seeing characters change their tune like the guy from Broxton who decides he’s not going to let Cap die alone to protect him or anyone else was some of my favorite parts of the story. Obviously, Cap picking up Mjolnir and yelling, “Avengers Assemble” is a beautiful moment for this Avengers fan. If there is one thing I would have loved to see more of was those emotional moments. They swelled and played out so well only to swell to the next big moment. I would have gladly traded those epilogues for more emotional impact. It was working so well, I can’t help but believe a handful more pages to play on that a bit more would have served the book nicely. We could have gotten those epilogues in a freebie next week at the comic shop. I feel a little cheated that I paid extra money for stuff that touches on Fear Itself, but, ultimately, is setting up all the aftermath stuff that always has to roll out of events. What we got was good, but, man, can you imagine what it could have been with a half dozen more pages?
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great emotion, great fights, all around great event. Absolutely surprised at the person chosen to die, but to Fraction’s credit, I’m not upset at all about it. Immonen’s art still shines and gives us so much to look at on each page.||Would have liked fewer epilogues and more story for those pages, but overall, this has to be one of the finer Marvel events for sometime.|
Victor Kutsenok Writer, reviewer & Fantasy Battle Tournament
So let’s talk about the book. The final battle is upon us. The Avengers are ready as Tony Stark returns from Asgard with the Odin blessed weapons. Thor is armed to the teeth as well. Standing in their way is the Serpent at the rest of his Worthy. The Serpent transforms himself into a giant snake and he and Thor go at it. Meanwhile, the newly powered Avengers battle the Worthy. Cap is knocked aside in the initial confrontation, but is helped up by the local townspeople, who have come out to help. As he rises, he notices Mjolnir, which has fallen to the ground next to him. With pure confidence, Cap takes Thor’s hammer, lifts it to the sky, and sounds the Battle Cry. The Avengers rally to the call and start pushing back the Worthy. As Odin reaches Earth, Thor slays the Serpent. The rest of the Worthy’s hammer abandon them and the battle is over, leaving one casualty. Thor has fallen. Odin takes his brother to Asgard and banishes all of the Asgardians to earth, closing the way back. After the dust settles, a few things happen. First, Cap’s shield is rebuilt by the Dwarves of Asgard. Second, Hulk somehow separates himself from Dr. Banner. Then, he goes to Dr. Strange to ask him for help in vanquishing the spirit of the Worthy that had possessed him. It seems that spirit has been reborn. Lastly, Sin is reborn with the knowledge of the Worthy hammers. And that’s the book.
So let’s talk opinions. Oh well. Another Marvel “event” has come to an end. And just like so many other “events” before it, it ended with a fizzle. I was really expecting a lot more. I was really hoping to see some actual fighting, like we did in Issue #5. (Clearly the best issue in the entire run) The ending was entirely predictable. The action was light, and completely random. Were there some really cool moments? Sure. Cap lifting Thor’s hammer and shouting “Avengers Assemble” was awesome. The big splash with the newly powered Avengers in that sweet action pose was pretty cool. The quick Hulk epilogue was nice. Still, the book as a whole just felt hollow for me. Come on guys. It was a double sized issue and still had nothing happen in it. The action was non sequential. Just random panoramic images like the ones we have been getting throughout the entire mini series. Also, no Fantastic Four or X-Men even showing their face to lend a hand or mourn the fallen. This book should not have been billed as an industry wide “event”. Period. I think a big portion of my distaste for this “event” would have simply vanished if it was just referred to as an Avengers event and that’s it. Do not involve the other Marvel heroes in your promos and advertising if at the end of the day, the only people who are focused on are one specific team. That was a huge misrepresentation and I felt cheated by it. The epilogues were a nice touch and definitely made the book a little bit more interesting. But honestly, I would have much rather not had the epilogues and devoted those dozen pages to more action and fighting. That’s my biggest complaint really. No action. Lots of talking. Lots of posing. No actual fighting. No actual one on one match-ups showing someone getting a beating. I guess I should have expected it. So now we have to get past this moment and look to the future. Will Thor be back? (Of course. Its only a matter of when) What of the other hammers? If Hulk’s evil spirit is free, what about the one that possessed Thing? I guess we’ll see more of that in the new Sin book, the Fearless. (To be reviewed later today by me. Shameless plug) How will the Avengers pick up the pieces, especially with Cable’s return in a few months with the Avengers as his targets? (That’s one I’m actually looking forward to) Lots of questions that need to be addressed. At least that is one good thing that this event created. More stories to be told. (Let’s hope Marvel doesn’t screw them up.) That’s my opinion folks. Take it or leave it.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Some nice splash images. Event is over.||NO ACTION. predictable ending.|