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!
Thor is back on Earth and lets Nick Fury know that Odin plans on wiping out life on the planet in order to stop the Serpent. So Iron Man, Thor, and Steve Rogers, who is Captain America again, split up to take on their separate missions. This issue is Fraction’s best so far in the series, and I wish the second and third issues had this sense of urgency and dread. The only thing that was a bit sudden was seeing Steve back in his costume after what happened last issue. I’ll just assume Bucky’s death will be handled in another title. Immonen’s art is great as usual, but what I really want to see is him draw the fight that’s going to happen next issue. Fraction definitely is looking to put Thor to the test with this cliff hanger. 4/5 – IS
Captain America is dead. Long live Captain America! Yes, it’s sad that Bucky Cap bit it. Yes, he was killed in one or two panels, last issue, but as we learned in Ultimate Spider-Man, sometimes death just happens in a blink. This issue, however, is far from dead. It. Was. Awesome. Finally, Fraction is living up to his hype! It even has Iron Man smelling of garbage and rotten fish, quoting Jaws, and doing something TOTALLY unexpected. The waters in Canada are even filled with dead Atlantians, much like my bathtub water was filled with “dead” G.I. Joes, when I was a kid. Okay…and last week, too.
Solid story. Solid art. And even Ki-Adi-Mundi was seen rioting in Illinois. This could be epic, after all. 4.5/5 – AW
After the atrocity that was last issue, we finally get back to a focused story that actually matters. Parker’s tale has the team finally go up against Juggernaut, who has been transformed into one of the Worthy. They’re trying to get a better understanding of what’s going on with their teammate, so with Satanna’s help they hit the astral plane and venture inside Juggy’s mind. Man-Thing is also starting to act weird and it’s in part to Satanna’s involvement, along with the large amount of fear gripping the planet. “Whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing’s touch!” is the famous quote about the character, so hopefully this will be the catalyst for something great to happen with Man-Thing. Parker’s writing was great in this issue and it’s definitely worth the money. When it came to the visuals I thought Shalvey did a good job, even though I’m not too fond of his style. The sequence on the astral plane was the standout part of the issue just because of how different it felt from the rest of the book. I can’t wait for Fear Itself to be over so Parker can totally focus on the T-Bolts, because there’s some really cool things brewing. 3/5 – IS
Does Wolverine actually stand around and think to himself, “I’m Wolverine. I’m the best there is at what I do!”? He does in this issue. He also has a lovey dovey conversation with his girlfriend for a couple of pages. Then he’s off to fight a group called S.T.R.I.K.E. that has been in hiding for the last five years. They have just stolen Osborn’s flagship Helicarrier that is armed with a nuclear warhead.
The art was decent. The story was alright. The inner monologue was your typical “comic booky,” and it was pretty much just another Wolverine story that used the backdrop of Fear Itself. It could actually hold its own without it. It practically wasn’t there, anyway. The villain, Scarecrow, had the best lines of the book, for the three panels he was in. 3.5/5 – AW
Hammer Juggernaut is in Las Vegas, and Hardball, Komodo, Telemetry, Rage, Nonstop, and Debrii have the difficult task of stopping the unstoppable. Funny, after reading Fear Itself #4, I thought Juggernaut was in San Francisco. Hardball seemed to have sacrificed himself, going full power, and it still didn’t stop him. Maybe he is running to San Francisco now?
Elsewhere, Gravity has ducked out and refuses to get back into the game. He even hung up on bossman, Prodigy. Thor Girl and Cloud 9, declared fugitives by Prodigy after Cloud 9 broke Thor Girl out of her supposed “safe” containment, face The Liberteens (who?). That squad is a joke and couldn’t bring them in.
This issue is chaotic and all over the place, just like the atmosphere of the whole Fear Itself event. So, it’s done a great job of capturing the overall feel. But after I was so high on the first issue, it is starting to fizzle. But it is kind of neat to see all of these characters, unknown to me, act like real deal superheroes. 3/5 – AW
It sucks when a title is forced to fall under the banner of a major event and then that issue falls in quality. This issue of Heroes For Hire is yet another example or victim of such a happening, and it’s a shame since the previous arc was pretty strong. Here we have Paladin needing back up, as he’s going up against a transformed Thing while Shroud is at the Raft helping to stop the criminals from escaping with help from Elektra. All the while, a new C-list villain is introduced and ends up taking up way too many pages. For the most part, Abnett and Lanning still provide good dialog, but the actual story just fell a little flat for my tastes. The cliffhanger ending is the only part that caught my attention, as it goes back to the Puppet Master situation that’s been lingering since the first arc wrapped up. I like Hotz’s artwork, but for some reason I didn’t enjoy it much here. Hopefully next issue will be a little better, and when Fear Itself is over things can get back to normal. 2/5 – IS
If you are not a frequent reader of Uncanny X-Force, Deadpool does a fine job bringing you up to speed on who they are and what they do. He’s soon interrupted by Wolverine and Archangel as the team sets out to locate a kidnapped mutant who is about to be publicly executed. The kidnappers are a splinter group of the mutant hating Purifiers and their leader, Jonathan Standish, has deemed that all superhumans have brought about the end of the world. Which isn’t too far of a stretch considering how much devastation the Worthy have caused and all of the death in the city. Williams continues the status quo of a good Uncanny X-Force issue, though I’m wondering why this couldn’t have taken place in the main title. The story itself is pretty intense and has that adult edge to it that those who do read the series have come to expect. Bianchi’s artwork is just awesome on every page, proving that he’s not just a cover guy. His panel designs are dynamic and take his art to another level. The interrogation sequence with Fantomex and Psylocke was one of the stand outs. If you’re already a fan of this title then you’ll be happy with what you get in this issue. If you’re new to the title then you’ll finally see what you’ve been missing out on! 4/5 – IS
Juggernaut finally makes his way to California after popping up in almost every Fear Itself tie-in for the past couple of weeks in one way or another. Since San Francisco is now the X-Men’s backyard, you knew this match up was inevitable, like Steve getting his costume back. So while Juggernaut is stomping his way to destroy everything, Cyclops and the Mayor are busy deciding mutant policy. Meanwhile, Namor is attempting to get some “I might die in the coming battle” sex from Emma. Since none of the Worthy speak English, it was a nice touch that Juggernaut converted some random guy that served as his mouthpiece. Nothing too exciting happened as it very much feels like a set up issue. Actually, that’s EXACTLY what it is since Marvel has been teasing a huge fight between Colossus and Juggernaut that will require Colossus to do something we’ve never seen him do. The artwork is the usual stuff from Greg Land, so you’ll either like it or you won’t. 2.5/5 – IS