With the overflowing amount of crossover events from various comic companies flooding the shelves, the people have cried out for help in keeping up with the many-issued madness! Well, that call has been answered by two guys who have answered a call or two in their lives! Infinite Man and Aron Fist are here to save your sanity, and hopefully save you from picking up that really crappy tie-in book that has absolutely NO REASON to exist! So sit back and check us out as we give you SCARED S#!@LESS: THE FEAR ITSELF EDITION, on just about everything pertaining to this event, while we also try to figure out what the hell everyone is so afraid of!
“Pride of a Nation”: Well, it looks like Hammer Time isn’t just infecting the United States. It has also spread to Canada, where Attuma (Nerkkod) has invaded. Wait, isn’t he currently concentrating his energies on the Defenders over in Cullen Bunn’s Fear Itself: The Deep? Yeah, I thought so, too. But if Deadpool, Wolverine, and Spider-Man can be all over the place, a loser villain with a god hammer can be, too.
Who is gonna stop Nerkkod? Well, it’s in Canada, isn’t it? Alpha Flight, of course! What’s that you say? They’re dead? I thought so, too. They came back to life in Chaos War. Was anybody reading that? I can think of enough dead Marvel characters to bring back from the dead, to fill TWO teams, and the members of Alpha Flight are nowhere near that list. But you true believers were thirsty for it. Screaming for it. Now they’re back in their own maxi-series!
While Alpha Flight is fighting bad guys, the Canadian Prime Minister pretty much declares Martial Law. After Alpha Flight gets done fighting bad guys, they fall under a sneak attack at their own headquarters and one of their very own betrays them, seemingly of their own accord. Egads!
The story and characters I really don’t care for. I could never get into Alpha Flight. I think Puck is funny, but he’s not here. Dale Eaglesham’s art is beautiful, but that’s not enough for me. I can’t say I was disappointed, because I wasn’t expecting much. No thanks. 2/5 – AW
Home Front continues to be the heart and soul of the Fear Itself crossover event. I’m seriously amazed at how great this series has been and how consistently the various stories continue to build and entertain. Specifically, the Speedball tale “Going Viral” along with “The Age of Anxiety” featuring the Agents of Atlas. After being saved from a mob, Speedball is talked into going to the places where the superheroes aren’t able to get to and help those in need. He ends up in Missouri, going up against Juggernaut who can make even the strongest hero crap their pants. In the second story we find that Jimmy Woo’s plan to hide the fact that Atlanteans were used in some sick sacrifice from his girlfriend Namora blows up in his face. Despite his good intentions she only sees deceit, so while she storms off to bury her people Woo has to find a way to translate the ancient text written on the flesh of the Atlanteans.
The usual one page from Chaykin chronicles the seconds of a life caught in Paris when the Grey Gargoyle transforms the residents of the city into stone. However, the best surprise of the entire book (for me at least) was the Cardiac story. A Spider-Man villain who finds himself caught up in the madness that has engulfed the city as he has only seconds to decide on the life of a man and his child. The man unfortunately happens to be the head of a health care company that has screwed many people and several are dead because of it. Home Front is one of the few tie-ins that I’m enjoying as much as Journey Into Mystery! 4/5 – IS
“Youth in Revolt: Part 2”: Since her hammer was causing people to panic last issue, Prodigy has Thor Girl turn herself in and she does some time in a cell at their headquarters for “appearances.” Elsewhere, Crossbones has escaped and is tearing stuff up. He puts a few bullets in Gravity’s chest. With the likes of Frog-Man, Geiger, and Scarlet Spider (WOO HOO!) he’s soon taken care of and Gravity lives. They then get the heads up that Juggernaut is bringing his hammer crashing through town. While in the holding cell, Thor Girl is actually being interrogated and harassed by two shadowy agents about what she knows of these Asgardian hammers and hammer swingers.
Although it wasn’t as much of a thrill ride as last issue was, it still has me hooked. It looks like Scarlet Spider could play a big role in the upcoming issues. That’s always a plus in my book. 3.5/5 – AW
Well I’ll be damned! Bendis actually made me appreciate Red Hulk for a moment as he takes a stand against a transformed Ben Grimm and proves himself an Avenger. Bendis continues the series of interview questions, as this time various Avengers give their opinions about their new member. From the answers given you can tell the questions are before, during, and after Fear Itself, or at least near the end. If you are one of those who complain about Bendis and his talking heads, then I think you’re missing the point in this issue. The series of interviews actually helped reinforce the impact of the fight as well as make the issue more than just a slugfest. It was cool to see the admitted hypocrisy that some members expressed about Red Hulk, and then there’s Wolverine who just accepts him because Steve Rogers says so. Bendis also throws in one of the quickest and yet very effective recaps that I’ve seen that sums up what’s been going on if you’re arriving late to the Fear Itself story.
Romita Jr. makes this issue look damn good, and Dean White and Klaus Janson deserve major props as well for the colors and inks. From the interview segments to the destruction caused by Ben and Red Hulk throwing down, there was something for the eyes on every page. New York hasn’t looked this bad since World War Hulk, and Avengers Tower is now horizontal and strewn across several blocks. The aftermath of all of this is beginning to pique my interest a lot more than the actual event. Mainly because as of right now things do not look good for the heroes as these avatars seem more than even the strongest of them can handle. 3.5/5 – IS
“No Unwounded Soldiers”: Everybody knows by now that the Avengers are spread thin dealing with these crazy hammer wielders. Steve Rogers calls Hank Pym and the rest of the teachers at the Avengers Academy into action. Rogers warns Pym that the students may be needed, but for protection and evacuation of civilians only. Before Pym goes off to fight with the rest of the teachers, he orders Tigra to stay behind with the students in case they get deployed. The students do get deployed to D.C. to fight Sin’s forces. They kick ass, they work well together, and they save lives. They have great training and it is paying off. Mettle takes a life during the course of battle. He gets shook up about it, but Tigra talks him back to reality. Pym finds out that the students have been deployed and is in a hurry to join them, but Maria Hill sends him to Dubai where Absorbing Man and Titania are raising hell. Pym has handled Absorbing Man before, so he vows to make quick work of him and get back to his students. Pym has never met the Absorbing Man possessed with a hammer thingy….
Whoa. This is actually a good comic book, Comic Attackers! Gage takes these students seriously and doesn’t get into the stereotypical “they’re kids and everything will go wrong in battle” type of storytelling. The art is cool, too, and I have a soft spot for Veil. Pick up this comic book, people. It joins Journey into Mystery as one of the tie-ins that you should, without a doubt, be reading. 4.5/5 – AW
It’s Iron Man vs. a transformed, hammer wielding, ass kicking, Grey Gargoyle, and Tony is scared s#i@less! After waking up from a dream, Iron Man finds himself on a mountain of bodies that have been turned to stone. He knows that he’s not going to be able to win this fight alone, so he decides to run. That’s when Detroit Steele shows up to lend some support, but Tony knows even he won’t be enough to shift the battle to the good guys’ favor. Back in the U.S. things are still chaotic, and Pepper is having a bit of a breakdown as it looks like it’s only going to get worse before it gets even worse.
I used to ask myself what would happen if Tony got sick while wearing his armor. Well, Fraction answered that question, and Larocca made it look pretty sick showing Tony blow chunks out of the armor. That was just one of the pretty cool moments in this issue as it’s more focused on a smaller cast of characters. From the pacing to the dialog this issue was definitely a bright spot when it comes to Fear Itself tie-ins. Also, seeing the Grey Gargoyle cause this much destruction by himself makes me think that if all of the Serpent’s avatars end up in the same area at one time, it’s lights out for the heroes. Larocca’s art shines during the fight scenes, and when he shows Tony standing on the mountain of bodies it really illustrates how bad the situation is. Not to mention the state that Tony’s armor and himself are in by the time the fight is over. 3.5/5 – IS
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