Comic Reviews: The End of Fear Itself!
Fear Itself #7 (of 7)
Well, it’s over. The latest issue of Fear Itself is the last for Marvel’s mega-event of the summer. But was it worth the time and money? I suppose that depends upon what you were expecting from the series. Sure, there are some new changes in the Marvel Universe now, but to be completely honest, many of the “epic” moments in this issue felt glossed over, and weren’t given the time they needed (or deserved).
The issue starts up with Iron Man arriving with his Asgardian weaponry, which is intended to help the heroes in their fight against Sin (Red Skull’s daughter) and The Serpent. After they are charged up, the heroes do battle with The Serpent’s army, and I’ll admit, the battle is pretty cool. Thor squares off against The Serpent, and Captain America faces down his new enemy, albeit with a little help from the God Of Thunder (I’ll avoid spoilers for you). Yes, the action is pretty cool, but it’s not enough. There are many moments in the issue that could have been their own single issues, and instead they’re regulated to splash pages or two page spreads. Plus, the big “surprise” of the issue was nothing that no one didn’t see coming, especially if they’ve been paying attention to the upcoming Marvel solicitations. Not to mention that a similar thing happened in 2004. Fraction’s script goes way too fast, cramming in too much in too little time. It’s almost like he stretched out the first half of the story line, took a breather for too many issues, then crammed everything into this one final issue. Stuart Immonen’s art is as stellar as always, but even that was hampered by the quickness that everything resolved itself.
So who’s to blame for the let down that was Fear Itself? TO be honest, it’s not writer Matt Fraction, who until now was a top writer for Marvel. I honestly think it’s Marvel’s fault. They hyped it up, and even went as far as saying that you wouldn’t have to read any of the multiple tie-ins that would be a part of the event. Well, guess what? You did. The multiple epilogues at the end of the issue discuss things that never happen in this issue, and there are characters that show up in this issue that we haven’t seen at all in the series. Plus, in order to get the full story of Iron Man going to Asgard, you’d have to read Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man series.
Fear Itself promised too much and never delivered, and it’s a shame really, because it ends the great streak that Marvel had with their event books. Let’s hope that when the next one rolls around they take a look at what went wrong with this one and fix it.
Justice League #2
The second issue of Geof Johns’ and Jim Lee’s Justice League has finally hit stands, and man, does it deliver. Picking up from last issue, Batman and Green Lantern confront Superman about the mysterious box that turned up in Gotham, and Supes ain’t in the mood to talk. In fact, this “New 52” Superman is more interested in attacking the two heroes, mistakingly believing them to be enemies because of the box. What follows is some gorgeous Jim Lee art of Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern battling, and more of Geof Johns’ great character work. There were moments in this issue that made me laugh out loud, especially the part where Green Lantern calls Batman a “tool”. We also get an appearance by The Flash, and the beginnings of the origin of Cyborg. Jim Lee and Geof Johns are icons of the comic industry, and Justice League is the prime example of why they are such a big deal. A must buy.