Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Fear Itself #1 of 7
Fraction, Immonen, von Grawbadger & Martin
Marvel’s next overly hyped, universe changing, all encompassing, big event hits this week with an oversized first issue. The four dollar price tag gets a solid forty-three page story that hits various areas of the Marvel universe that will eventually (presumably) come together in the end. It’s a good issue to set up the pieces with some great looking artwork, but the story just doesn’t grab me. I’m not sure someone dipping their toe into the greater Marvel universe with this kind of story will fully understand what’s going on in this issue. In that regard the issue may leave some folks in the dust.
The basic set up is that Sin, the Red Skull’s daughter, is now the new Red Skull. She finds herself a godly weapon and in the process seems to resurrect her father. This is where things get really confusing if you aren’t up on your Thor and his lore.
While this is going on, Thor is battling with his father, Odin. Apparently, Thor wants to stick around Earth and help the humans while Odin wants the Gods, all of them, to depart for greener pastures. Naturally, they fight and Thor lasts less than a round.
The confusion comes when Sin is with her new “father”. This character looked and acted an awful lot like Odin. I was temporarily lost and had to do some research online to figure what was what. It’s a minor complaint but it shows that these types of books make assumptions that the reader understands a lot of what is happening within the book, but the book is marketed in such a way that more than the usual readers will pick it up. It’s a balance to find the common denominator where the seasoned reader isn’t bored with recap but the new reader isn’t left behind.
The heroes spend most of the book taking a look at the depressed America. The solution is to put together a public works program that is privately funded. It’s a cute idea but leaves a lot to be desired. Specifically, what about the other countries that are in worse shape? How do you ramp up a town’s (or larger) worth of labor? Are they all just going to hang some drywall? You would think a lot of the public was so fed up with each other that there would be no way to come together to work on a project together. Perhaps the arc will answer these questions.
The artwork is great. The book is a fast read and the artwork moves that story along nicely. You get a couple of iconic images and you have some posing but for the most part the story captures emotions and shows the reader just how low morale is across the board. The artwork was the highlight of this issue.
The question is: are you ready for another event? If you are then this one seems to be taking things in a different direction than Secret Invasion or Civil War and it seems to have a solid handle on the story elements. If you are lukewarm to the idea then I am not sure this issue will be enough to ramp you up. I didn’t come away sold on the Thor mythos and since this story is heavy on this arena I am thinking this just isn’t the “event” for me. I do give Marvel props for making this issue oversized and not padding it with reprints. I would think if you are a fan of Thor or the Avengers then you will be thrilled with this issue.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles