Friday, March 23, 2012
Fear Itself HC
Well, now I understand the complaints about this series.
I was really looking forward to this based on the creative team, but I have rarely read a crossover with so much missing. Entire plot elements are simply dropped out of the book and not mentioned again. What happened in Paris? I don’t know. Did Absorbing Man get a hammer? Clearly he did, because we see him with one, but it is skipped. After dominating the early goings, the hammer wielders just disappear from the pages. I mean, we see the Thing’s return, but we’re talking about Hulk and Juggernaut! Heck, I even want to see the others (like Attuma) get taken down too!
Part of the lack of focus here is that there are barely lead characters for this. Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man are mostly featured, but they fade away for most of an issue before showing up for a dramatic moment or two. I think Thor makes out the best, he gets some great fights with Odin, Hulk, and Thing. But this wasn’t marketed as a Thor story, and even his story feels incomplete. This huge battle with the Serpent, the one that got built up with prophecies and all that dialogue? A few panels long. Then just done.
Winter Soldier’s death? Pointless. And NO ONE should be able to break Cap’s “indestructible” shield. I understand the need to quickly (and artificially) give the Serpent some street-cred, but editorial should have nixed this idea. Now the shield is breakable. It’s that simple. It’s been done.
And Spider-Man QUITS? Seriously? The poster boy for responsibility goes home when he thinks the heroes are going to lose? Oh my. Can’t take that one back either.
How the heck were the super-powered good guys determined? Black Widow, Iron Fist, and Dr. Strange barely appeared in the series, yet they all get special Asgardian weapons and Tron redesigns. Why? I don’t know. Is that in a tie-in? I’m sure I’ll find out from the library eventually.
It’s also pretty funny that Hermod basically stands in for Balder through the whole story. He even looks the same.
Once aspect that lived up to the hype is Stuart Immonen’s art. I’m really impressed with his Asgardians. Odin is regal and more powerful than I’ve ever seen him. Sif looked great, if others could make her look this regal, I’d join the fans clamoring for her to join the Avengers. Cap should not be slinging guns and wearing helmets, but Immonen turns those mistakes into triumphs, with Cap’s sweet parachute-drop into downtown NYC.
I shelled out for the hardcover, but clearly, that wasn’t enough. If I want this whole story, I’ve got to buy a lot of tie-ins.
Story – Average
Art - Excellent