If I was complaining about Fear Itself having too much action, this issue definitely put a stop to all of that. It’s the penultimate chapter to Marvel’s Summer event, and it was quite a build-up to the inevitable knock-down, drag out fight coming with The Serpent and his Worthy against the heroes of the Marvel Universe.
Thor is thankfully back on his feet, with some fancy new armor and the Ragnarok sword to face down the Serpent as the prophecy says he would. Does that mean Thor’s reprieve is only temporary? I sure hope not. But at least his dad was being helpful as he continued being a crotchety old man in this issue.
Tony Stark is just finishing up in Svartalfheim with the weapons Odin has allowed him to forge with the foundry there. So now the Worthy will have met their match with the Stark Weapons imbued with Asgardian magic in the form of the Mighty, made up of the world’s mightiest Avengers shockingly enough.
This makes me very excited for the next issue. Even though I’ve thought that the whole Fear Itself event has just been ok, I think the last issue is going to go out with a bang. The Worthy have been tearing the world up with no one on the same level to stop them except Thor and even he was badly wounded. Once the Mighty take them on it’s going to be with tons of collateral damage.
I give the sixth issue a 3 out of 5 grizzlies. I’ve become more and more accustomed to Immonen’s art, while the story dominated over action in this issue. Before I would have given the issue a higher score due to this fact, but when the last four issues were nothing but action it kind of screws up the pacing a little bit. Stay tuned for the final part 7!
After a hugely disappointing Book 4, Fear Itself picks up the pace a little bit in this issue. It does however still suffer from the lack of character and emotion that makes Flashpoint so much better. Things just move so fast in Fear Itself and there’s really not a whole lot to it. There’s an evil Asgardian named the Serpent who is the anti-thesis of Odin who gives special hammers to his minions. Annnnnd he feeds off fear. Simple, right? Not to say I don’t like it but Fear Itself is lacking plenty of substance. But let’s get to the meat of this steak.
After Thor confronts the Serpent and fails, it’s a knock-em out, no holds barred, slug-fest between Thor and two of the Worthy: Nul (Hulk) and Angrir (Thing). Not good odds. This fight was easily the best part of the book, with Thor proving that he is one of the major powerhouses of the Marvel Universe, comparable to Superman in the DC Universe. His only equal is Bruce Banner in his Hulk form and Thor was even able to withstand an assault against him in this issue, but not without a price. It was awesome to hear Thor telling Hulk what a pain in the ass he always was and how he could never beat him. I think Thor is selling himself short on that one because those two seemed pretty evenly matched and this is Hulk in Worthy mode with a giant effin’ magical hammer!
Aside from the Thor triple brawl, Stark is in the process of trying to convince Odin to let him use Asgard’s workshop to make his own weapons to use against the Serpent and his forces. It makes sense, they need magical weapons to fight back against the Serpents magical weapons. That might be where the Mighty come in, which we have yet to see.
***Spoilers Below! ***
Here’s a little teaser of what Stark’s new weapons will look like. Who do we have in this line up? It looks like Iron Man, Spiderman, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Dr. Strange and Ms. Marvel. Who might the others be? Perhaps that’s Valkyrie with the gigantic sword….
Overall I give this issue a 2 out of 5 bears. Not much happened aside from more build up to the climax of the arc, but the fight with Thor, Thing and Hulk definitely helped. Immonen’s art is still pretty decent throughout the book. At first I thought he was the wrong fit for a story of this caliber and I never was crazy about his art to begin with, but I’ve definitely taken a liking to it in Fear Itself.
This is the fourth Fear Itself tie-in that I’ve bought since the Marvel event started, and I think it was probably my favorite. Now mind you – just because it was my favorite doesn’t mean the tie-ins or the core series of Fear Itself is all that good. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Fear Itself series when it started, but now it seems like it’s getting too impersonal and the heroes are still running around like idiots with no idea what is going on. It seemed at the end of the last issue that they were finally getting mobilized to strike back. And it also seems like the Worthy were just brought into the fray to give the heroes something to do in the tie-in comics. Which is fine in this case, because the Juggernaut is an old acquaintance of theirs.
So of course the Juggernaut, in his ‘Worthy’ form of The Breaker of Stone, picks San Francisco to trash and start raising anti-mutant sentiment. The X-Men decide to intervene and use the basic anti-Juggernaut tactic: Remove that silly ass helmet of his and have a telepath shut his mind down. This works up until the telepath shutting his mind down part, where not even Emma Frost able to accomplish this. After defeating Hope Summers, a helmet-less Juggernaut trudges on… to go wreck some more shit.
I’ll be giving this issue a 4 out of 5 bears. It was exactly what you would expect out a tie-in to a major event. Plenty of action and more action. Greg Land’s always brilliant art helped push the rating up though I have to admit.
I’m actually wanting to get the next issue to see if the X-Men can stop the even more unstoppable Juggernaut. Is it even possible to be more unstoppable?
Another month and Fear Itself keeps on rolling! I have to admit, this story is moving by at break neck speed, with our heroes in disarray and still not fully realizing just what in the hell is going on. The Worthy are wreaking havoc all across the globe filling their ranks in this issue, Thor is still imprisoned (not for long) and it would appear we lose an Avenger by the end of this issue.
The issue starts off with Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon attempting to evacuate all of the innocent bystanders from the capitol which is still under attack from Sin/Skadi and her Nazi Mech Suits. Cap takes on the duty of facing Skadi himself which is a pretty hardcore fight that starts and ends the issue.
As I said above, Thor is still imprisoned, until little Loki frees him and the Warriors Three plan to send him back to Earth. Apparently as the Serpent gains more followers through the use of fear, the more powerful he becomes as Earth is in turmoil. Odin of course has a simple solution: Destroy all life on Earth so the Serpent has no power and then confront him with the full force of Asgard. Thor as you might understand can’t allow that to stand. This time instead of another fight (Or Odin Ass-Whoopin’) Thor convinces his old man to send him back to Earth to stop the Serpent before Asgard burns Earth and it’s inhabitants. Game on!
Also, we are introduced to yet another of the Worthy. But this will be the last one as Ben Grimm aka The Thing attempts to move the hammer that fell on Yancy Street. The hammer transforms him into Angrir: Breaker of Souls, and he promptly unleashes his fury on Yancy Street and the Future Foundation.
Now to the pivotal point of the issue where Skadi/Sin and Captain America (Bucky) continue their fight from earlier. This time our current Cap doesn’t do very well as Skadi rips his bionic arm off and them finishes him with the handle of her hammer by shoving it through his chest. The issue ends with Black Widow holding him and Bucky Barnes telling her to warn everyone about the Serpent while he apparently passes with a gaping chest wound. Powerful stuff.
Overall I give the issue a four out of five bears. It had all the action I could ever want in a comic along with a shocking ending. I assumed that Bucky was going to step aside somehow with Steve Rogers once again taking up the shield before Marvel releases the First Avengers in theaters, but I had no idea it would happen over his dead body. The only thing lacking was the story in a way, because there is still so much “happening elsewhere” stuff going on in the issue. I really want to see more of the Serpent himself and for the heroes to actually know what is going on as the series enters the home stretch. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here and if we’ll be seeing anymore casualties by the end of it.
I remember a little over a year ago talking to my comic guy about the then upcoming Marvel event, the Heroic Age which was about to start up. It was supposed to return the heroes to a more peaceful and manageable existence. He was ready for the heroes to get back to basics and just be superheroes without all the complexities of real life added in. His main reasoning was that there had been too many ‘dark times’ for the Marvel superheroes, and it was time for a mood change.
I couldn’t have disagreed more. I love nothing more than seeing the Marvel heroes collectively fight for their lives and deal with loss as normal people do. I love seeing that heroes from Hawkeye to Captain America are not only vulnerable, but killable. And heroes like Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are mentally vulnerable. The last several years at Marvel had been all about this, dark and depressing. And the story that started it all was of course Avengers Disassembled, where the Avengers were literally – disassembled.
And done so, from the inside by one of their own. We have an unknown force messing with the Avengers, which results in multiple casualties, seeing Ant-Man and Hawkeye both killed in the first wave. Tony Stark is then ousted as the U.S. ‘Secretary of Defense’ and Avengers Mansion is all but destroyed. Numerous Avengers are put out of commission including She-Hulk, Vision, and the Wasp. The big reveal is that it was the Scarlet Witch committing all of these attacks, and it was actually quite heartbreaking to see why she did what she did.
Years earlier the Witch used her magic to become pregnant with twins, using Mephisto‘s essence, but they were suddenly taken from her when that essence returned to Mephisto. Imagine trying to cope with your kids just ceasing to exist, I’m not a mother but that has to be a cause for severe depression. Combined with constant abductions by jobbers such as Chthon and Immortus and manipulations by her loving dad Magneto, and even Agatha Harkness routinely wiping the memory of her children away it’s no wonder she suffered a nervous breakdown. Maybe this all could have been avoided with a nice psychiatrist seeing Wanda a couple times a week. After the heroes confront Wanda and a super throw down ensues…in House of M.
In House of M, the Marvel Universe is transformed by the Scarlet Witch’s reality altering powers into a mutant utopia where humans are the minority, and Magneto is the ruler of the United States. Once the heroes determine what has happened they realize that Magneto didn’t manipulate Wanda into doing this, but that it was her brother, Quicksilver. I mean seriously, who needs villains at this point?
By the end of House of M we are left with the majority of the mutant population de-powered due once again, to the Scarlet Witch .
Civil War begins with the heroes slowly recovering, and the mutants effectively sitting it out due to their kick in the oblongs from the events of House of M/Decimation. A shenanigan involving the New Warriors and an obliterated elementary school eventually culminates in the passing of the superhuman registration act, where all heroes will work under the U.S. government, sans secret identities to keep the public safe. The inevitable then happens, with heroes taking sides on the issue and all hell breaking loose between them. Like I said, who the hell needs villains at this point? The series ends with many heroes going underground and Captain America death.
The next event kind of comes out of left field, but The Secret Invasion storyline was still pretty decent, and was a stepping stone to the next event.
Basically there is a Skrull invasion of Earth. All the heroes unite to defeat the aliens, but in the end it is too late to stop our old, psychotic friend Norman ‘Goblin’ Osborn from stepping up and taking control of SHIELD. Under Osborn’s leadership SHIELD is renamed HAMMER. [Ed. – Reminisant of DC electing Lex Luther President]
This leads us into Dark Reign, where the world is slowly placed in the grip of the world’s villains. Norman Osborn replaces the Avengers with his own team of “superheroes” consisting of :
Iron Patriot – Norman Osborn wearing a suit of Iron Man armor emblazoned with the star of Captain America.
Hawkeye – Bullseye, Killer extraordinaire.
Wolverine – Daken, the son of Wolverine.
Spiderman – Mac Gargan, the Scorpion, wearing the Venom symbiote.
Not much is known about the seven part series except that the superheroes will be facing off against a God of Fear, perhaps from Asgard? The heroes will face their greatest fears, which should be interesting in itself. Just to see what currently haunts big hitters like the Thor, Captain America and the Hulk, sounds good. There is going to be a prologue where a supposed “concealed act” in Marvel history occurs that has ramifications for the story. This prologue involves the Red Skull during World War 2 and it reeks of some sort of change in continuity.
That part may be good or bad. From all of the recent promos for the storyline Asgard must figure in somehow with different trios of characters reaching for what look like different variations of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir.
I don’t need multiple doom and gloom storylines for the next five years, but I hope starting with Fear Itself Marvel gets back into the swing of making the stakes for our heroes high, and the ramifications of said event significant leading into the next one. So far Fear Itself is shaping up to be very interesting.
On the other hand I’m not excited about what Juggernaut appears to be doing in his promo picture. Is that Hercules in the peculiar position in front?