REVIEW: Marvel’s Fear Itself #6

Posted by under *dislike, Comics |

With the Summer coming to an end, DC Comics’ Flashpoint concluding and all the new number one issues DC is shipping every week, Marvel is just reaching the penultimate issue of their major event, Fear Itself. This series has had some big moments, but we’ve felt throughout that they weren’t sold with the impact they could have had. Chapter Six continues that trend along with a lot more set up for the final battle with the Serpent. This puts an impossible amount of pressure on Chapter Seven to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion.

Spoilers for Fear Itself in general, Fear Itself #6 specifically and the many possible fates of Bucky Barnes will follow.

PTB: The expressions on the character’s faces on the cover really capture how I feel about the series. I just don’t know what to say about it. Marvel has had its share of events over the last decade and going into the final issue I have to say this is the weakest one.

KevinMLD: That’s hard for me to judge. I think I’ve read all of the major events in recent years but I read them as someone with very little Marvel nostalgia. Usually I’m only familiar with what the Hulk or Captain America has been up to in their own books and I haven’t found this series, beyond the pointless death of Bucky, nearly as frustrating as Civil War or House of M. Those series really didn’t work for me. Having said that, there’s way too much Thor mythology going on in this series for me to actually enjoy it.

PTB: I have honestly enjoyed most of the other Marvel Events. I also don’t mind the Thor stuff, but he’s also not a character I’m a big fan of. Issue #6 really needed to deliver and what it presents just comes up short. There’s tension among the characters as to what’s coming next, but this needed to finish the set up so #7 could hit the ground running.

KevinMLD: It does seem like there have been a lot of talking heads and very little action in this series.

PTB: We see Iron Man has been working with the Asgardians to forge weapons for the Avengers. As the final touch, he throws them into a pit of mystical Uru (the same metal Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, is forged from) along with himself and the armor he’s wearing. We know this is leading to the debut of the magically imbued group of heroes called “the Mighty,” but we really should have seen them here. We know they’re coming and Marvel released a teaser image for this weeks if not months ago, and a revealed image a few days ago. At this point, these teasers do nothing but take the impact out of the moment they’re revealed and that’s coming in the final issue of the series.

KevinMLD: I can’t argue that point. As I’ve said before, Marvel doesn’t need eight Thors.

PTB: I think when we did the math last time, this made eighteen Thors! As it stands, they’re going to be introduced in issue #7. That will take up a few pages, the battle with the remaining members of the Worthy will take a few pages, Cap and Thor will face off with The Serpent and before we know it we’ll be at the epilogue. Everything would have more room to breathe if they unveiled the Mighty here.

KevinMLD: Don’t forget Odin will clearly step up to plate at some point to redeem his character so that will eat some pages as well.

PTB: Immonen’s artwork is solid here, but nothing really jumped out at me. He’s really talented and consistent, but I think the problem is that there’s not a lot of action. That may be why I’m hard pressed to even identify a memorable image beyond the Avengers carrying Thor to safety. It’s a dramatic scene, but I feel like there were inconsistencies as to who was seeing them do this and how many people were actually there to see it.

KevinMLD: I actually really disliked that first image of the Avengers carrying Thor. Cap just is positioned in a weird pose.

PTB: The heroes desperation is a change of pace, and they do seem outmatched but very little is resonating with me. Cap’s shield was shattered last issue and the only reason it matters to me is because I already know it should matter. Nothing on the page is reinforcing that, nor do I imagine it’s informing anyone that might not already understand.

KevinMLD: I’ve felt that way since the death of Bucky. They’re not showing on the page why these events matter.

PTB: We get some impact here with Thor being injured and carried back to Asgard. We know he’s double tough and to see him laid out is a big deal. Knowing that Odin can heal him (albeit not completely) makes it feel like there’s less at stake even though we’re being told this is the end of everything. Maybe I need to see the Statue of Liberty’s sticking halfway out of a beach to drive it home. That has worked in the past/future.

KevinMLD: I just can’t wait for New York to be magically back to normal in three months.

PTB: Seeing Spider-Man racing to see Aunt May and in the process revealing to her that he’s Spider-Man is another problem here. It honestly shouldn’t even be a focal point since it’s been done over and over and with how recent the Brand New Day switch was it seemed too soon to start resetting things this way. I honestly expected him to publicly unmask at some point in the issue.

KevinMLD: This scene was a terrible detour for this issue. May should have said, “Are you really so stupid that you needed to come find me?”

PTB: It certainly feels like killing Thor will be the “epic” moment for this series (in part because of another reveal on Marvel’s part about a new God of Thunder), but that feels cheap.

KevinMLD: I can’t think of a good way for this series to end. Admittedly, I don’t follow Thor closely, but it feels like he just came back from the dead and it also doesn’t seem like that long ago that Odin was dead and Thor was leading Asgard in his place. Maybe Bucky will become the new All-Father.

PTB: We made comparisons between this series and DC’s Flashpoint as the big two publishers rolled out their Summer blockbusters. I thought Flashpoint was a very successful and enjoyable series. Given the way it led into DC’s relaunch of “the New 52,” it’s impossible to deny that it was the more important of the two. It may be an unfair comparison given the scale of what DC has done, but with all the positive attention they’re getting it makes Fear Itself look even worse.

KevinMLD: I agree that Flashpoint was generally a stronger series, but I’m not sure I felt that way with issue 4, so maybe Fear Itself can come back and finish strongly.

PTB: That’s definitely a possibility, and I want to trust writer Matt Fraction to make it all work. I really wanted this series to be great independent of what anyone else is publishing, and it just isn’t. I’m not sure what can happen in the final issue to recover.

KevinMLD: They could resurrect Bucky.

Read more about Marvel’s Fear Itself on MyLatestDistraction,
and follow each issue of the series here:

Fear Itself #5 / Fear Itself #7

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