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Fear Itself #2: Review

May 2011
Matt Fraction, Stuart Immonen

Story Name:

Fear Itself 2: the Worthy

Review & Comments

3 stars

Fear Itself #2 Review by (May 9, 2011)
Review: Immonen’s epic art atones for the fact that not much happens in this issue; largely we have the origins of three of the eight bad guys (Nerkkod appears in only a single panel after his transformation). The Avengers? We see them standing around and listening to Steve Rogers make plans. In the meantime it’s clearer that we’re not going to get the whole story but at least they refer us to three tie-in issues on the last page, to see what becomes of the Absorbing Man, Loki, and the Grey Gargoyle. CIVIL WAR was the gold standard for company-wide crossovers; the basic six-issue miniseries was a complete story—all the myriad tie-in issues added some depth and complexity but it didn’t matter whether you picked up Ant-Man’s or She-Hulk’s titles—or even Captain America’s or Iron Man’s. Last year, SIEGE turned that on its head; it felt as though part of the story was missing and we needed to read some of the side issues for it to make sense. Guessing which ones was the problem: IRON MAN was essential but SIEGE: CAPTAIN AMERICA was clearly thrown in just to sell another book. Looks like FEAR will be another SIEGE. Sigh.

Comments: The title comes from a famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The Avengers seen in the story include Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (J. Drew), Wolverine, Red Hulk, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, plus appearances by Sharon Carter, Maria Hill, Thing, Luke Cage, Iron Fist. Asgardeans include Volstagg, Loki, Hogun.

Fear Itself #2 Review by (January 2, 2013)
In FI: Youth In Revolt #1, Steve Rogers recruits young ex-Initiative members to help keep order. But Thor Girl's hammer gets her mistaken for a Worthy. The issue includes footage of Sin/Skadi's attack on Washington. And in Secret Avengers #13, Iron Man 2.0, Ant-Man, Beast and Sharon Carter go to help defend Washington. In Iron Man 2.0 #5, we find out where the the last hammer is. It falls in the 8th City of Heaven, whose ruler Monkey King claims it. Titania/Skirn and Absorbing Man are also after it. John Aman is with Iron Man 2.0 in Washington, until they are dragged to the 8th city, along with Iron Fist and other Immortal Weapons. Herc #3 has Hercules fighting more Raft escapees. But #4 will make direct reference to FI#3. FI: Spider-Man #1 could be set during FI#1 or #2, as Spidey copes with rising fear in New York. But #2 will direct us more to FI#3.

As Fear Itself starts to get rolling there are more tie-ins this month, and with more relevance. Avengers #13 centres around Tony Stark's announcement in FI#1 about rebuilding Asgard. But it also includes a shot of Sin's invading army from this issue. Journey Into Mystery #623 has the Asgardians off Earth as in this issue. Loki finds out stuff about Odin/Serpent history, and sets out to oppose Odin as a devious good guy. In FI: The Home Front #2, Speedball faces some of the Raft escapees from this issue, and hears about Juggernaut and Hulk becoming Worthy. And the Agents of Atlas go to the Thule castle in Germany (from FI#1), and find Atlantean bones. In Invincible Iron Man #504, Tony Stark comments on Odin possibly souring the deal to rebuild Asgard in FI#1. Then Iron Man goes to Paris to fight Grey Gargoyle transformed into Mokk, Breaker of Faith by another of the hammers.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fear Itself #2 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Odin and the Aesir arrive in the newly created second Asgard in space, where the ruler of the gods proclaims that they shall prepare for war against the threat of the Serpent. Some of the gods worry that abandoning Earth to the enemy feels like retreat and Thor concurs, vowing to stand by his adopted home. When he challenges Odin, however, the All-Father orders him imprisoned and continues with his plan to purge the Earth to stop the enemy….

The Worthy have been summoned, though: a war hammer falls from the sky and crashes into the Raft, the prison for super-villain situated in the East River. Juggernaut finds the hammer and when he touches it he is possessed by the spirit of Kuurth, Breaker of Stone. As reports come in of similar impact events (their term, not mine) around the world with attendant violence and disaster, Steve Rogers tells the Avengers they are going to divide the world into incident zones and deploy squads of heroes to keep the peace. He gets a call from Reed Richards: Reed and the Future Foundation are investigating an object that crashed to Earth on Yancy Street….

In Brazil, Bruce and Betty Banner are vacationing, hoping to work out some of the kinks in their marriage caused by their alternate identities. When an object crashes to the ground nearby, they transform into Hulk and Red She-Hulk and go to investigate. Hulk touches the massive hammer and becomes Nul, Breaker of Worlds. He manages to gasp out an order to her to run before his personality is completely overwhelmed….

In South Africa, Crusher Creel (the Absorbing Man) and Titania are overseeing illegal diamond mining when another hammer crashes into their midst. Creel is unable to budge the weapon but when Titania tries she is transformed into Skirn, Breaker of Men, and promises Creel that they will head north to find his hammer. Beneath the Pacific Ocean, Nerkkod, Breaker of Oceans—formerly the conqueror Attuma—rises and joins the others in allegiance to the Serpent. This would-be All-Father commands his minions to create as much havoc and destruction that they can, filling Earth with doubt and panic and fear. Skadi (formerly Sin) outfits a brigade of Nazi battle suits and sets out to destroy the world’s capitals, starting with Washington D.C. in a massive blitzkrieg—and the call goes out: "Avengers Assemble!"

Stuart Immonen
Wade Von Grawbadger
Laura Martin
Stuart Immonen (Cover Penciler)
Wade Von Grawbadger (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Bruce Banner)

(Cain Marko)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Red She-Hulk
Red She-Hulk

(Betty Ross)


Plus: Future Foundation, Serpent (Cul Borson), Sin (Synthia Schmidt), Titania, Worthy.

> Fear Itself: Book info and issue index

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