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Fear Itself #3: Review

Jun 2011
Matt Fraction, Stuart Immonen

Story Name:

Fear Itself 3: the Hammer that Fell on Yancy Street

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Fear Itself #3 Review by (June 8, 2011)
Review: Well, let’s skip over the details and get right to the heart of the matter: they kill Captain America. The solicit for the new CAP #1 hinted that Bucky would die so that Steve would wield the shield once more and here it is: an epic, heartbreaking, violent—and totally unnecessary—death of a major character in Marvel’s annual epic crossover. The biggest surprise is that I assumed it would have happened in CAP #619 and Brubaker, who resurrected the dead sidekick years ago, would have been the one to kill him off; fooled me. It’s heard to get worked up over these events any more; they provide cheap drama and (usually) a big event to attract attention. True, this one slipped under the radar, masked by the overly publicized Death of Ultimate Spider-Man (seems like I’ve been hearing about that one forever yet he’s still alive, I think) and the pseudo-secret demise of the Human Torch not long ago (we knew an FF member would snuff it, just not which one). Don’t know whether to take this as a joke anymore; they killed Steve, he was reborn, they killed Bucky, how soon will he be back? It would have had more of an impact if there was any clear point to the Bucky Cap tales since Steve came back. The title kind of meandered while Brubaker thought up new ways to put him through hell. Then they kill him. Because they can’t kill anyone else: they need Thor and Iron Man is still hot and they don’t want to confuse new readers coming aboard after seeing the movie next month. And I’m rambling. Had some hopes for this series, we’ll see where they go with this (Funeral for a Friend, anyone?).

Comments: The title comes from a famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” When Sin/Skadi rips off Bucky’s prosthetic arm, in one panel it’s a right arm instead of the left as in all other views.


Fear Itself #3 Review by (January 16, 2013)
During/after FI#4:- Avengers #14 sees Thing/Angrir topple Avengers Tower, as Red Hulk tries to stop him. (Hulk #37-38 will tell us that this fight takes place during Sin/Skadi's attack on New York in FI#4.) In Secret Avengers #14 Valkyrie leads some soldiers against Sin/Skadi's army in New York during FI#4. In the 2nd part of FI: The Deep #1 Sub-Mariner (and Loa of the X-Men) calls in Dr Strange, who ropes in other Defenders:- She-Hulk (Lyra) and Silver Surfer. I'd place this during or after FI#4, when the X-Men are too busy with Juggernaut/Kuurth to help retake New Atlantis, even though it is the foundations of Utopia Island.

After FI#3:- In FI: Black Widow, after Bucky's 'death' in FI#3, Steve Rogers sends Black Widow to France to stop terrorists taking advantage of global fear to steal France's nukes. In FI: Youth In Revolt #2 we hear about Cap(Bucky)'s death in FI#3, and some of the cast go to face Juggernaut/Kuurth, who's now moved to Las Vegas. Meanwhile Thor Girl's being interrogated in prison, assuming her Asgardian connection means she knows what's going on.

During FI#3:- Avengers Academy #15 starts after FI#2 as Hank Pym, Justice and Quicksilver go to stop criminals escaping from the Raft. But then they go to face Titania/Skirn and Absorbing Man/Greithoth in Dubai, as seen in FI#3. Meanwhile Tigra leads some Academy kids in Washington against Sin/Skadi's army from FI#3. In FI: The Home Front #3 Speedball goes to Missouri to face Juggernaut/Kuurth, and the Agents of Atlas continue to investigate the Thule castle. FI: Spider-Man #2 positions this 3-issue series in the chronology as it ends with Thing becoming Angrir in FI#3. In Journey Into Mystery #624 after Loki frees Thor in FI#3, he turns Hela and Mephisto against each other as the Serpent tries to ally with them. In Alpha Flight #1 it's Alpha Flight vs Attuma/Nerkodd in Canada. Herc #4 has references to events in FI#3 and Alpha Flight #1, and the general fear. But mainly Hercules continues to fight his own enemies Hecate and Kyknos.

Before FI#3:- Thunderbolts #158-159 has most of the team away in Iraq when Juggernaut becomes Kuurth in the Raft in FI#2. But then they return to help with the aftermath of the devastation of the Raft. Man-Thing isn't in #159. He must sneak off in #158 to take part in FI: Fearsome Four. FI: Fearsome Four #1 has widespread fear sending Man-Thing on a rampage in New York. Howard the Duck gets involved, as do Frankenstein's Monster, Nighthawk and She-Hulk. It could be that Man-Thing escaped from the Raft during the Juggernaut incident. In FI: Deadpool #1 Deadpool hears about the hammers transforming people, and sees Juggernaut/Kuurth still in New York. He tries a scam by convincing Walrus he's on of the Worthy, so he can get money for 'protecting' people from him. Iron Man 2.0 #6 continues the mini-run as Absorbing Man gets the hammer that fell in the 8th City of Heaven and becomes Greithoth, Breaker of Wills, before FI#3. And Dr Strange predicts to Steve Rogers that Iron Fist will become a problem. Invincible Iron Man #505 is also a continuation as Iron Man loses his fight in Paris with Grey Gargoyle/Mokk, and Detroit Steel gets turned to stone. I place the 1st part of FI: The Deep #1 early to give Attuma/Nerkodd time to attack Canada later in Alpha Flight #1. He successfully drives Sub-Mariner out of New Atlantis (underneath Utopia Island), then leaves Tiger Shark, Tyrak and new char Aradnea in charge. The rest of the issue takes place days later.

Fear Itself picks up pace, and the number of tie-ins has almost doubled this month. I have tried to arrange them in a rough chronology, extending before and after this issue as well as during it.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fear Itself #3 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America leads some of the Avengers (Black Widow, Falcon, and Shang-Chi) into action against Sin/Skadi and her war machines as they attack Washington D.C. Sin delivers a mighty blow against his shield with her magic hammer shouting "This whole world will beg me for mercy!" as Cap is barely able to stand against the impact….

In Asgard, Loki drugs the guards and releases Thor from his cell….

Possessed by the spirits of The Worthy and armed with huge magic hammers, Juggernaut wreaks havoc in Missouri; Absorbing Man destroys Dubai; in Brazil, Hulk is on a mad rampage as Red She-Hulk rescues the innocent. Hulk sends her crashing to the ground; she changes back to Betty to plead with Bruce to stop; he raises his hammer for a killing blow; an Avengers team led by Ms. Marvel arrives and attacks the mind-controlled monster….

On New York’s Lower East Side, Reed Richards has called the Thing to investigate the hammer that fell on Yancy Street. When Ben touches the hammer, he is transformed into Angrir, Breaker of Souls, and with a stamp of his foot, turns Yancy Street into a shambles….

In Asgard, Thor meets secretly with his supporters, including Sif and the Warriors Three, and they lay plans to escape to Earth to protect it from Odin’s scheme to sacrifice humanity to stop the Serpent. The All-Father surprises the plotters and rebukes Thor for acting in ignorance, since he doesn’t know the ancient prophecy that Odin seeks to avert. When Thor insists on standing with his Earth friends, Odin hurls him down to the planet, giving him until "the shadow of the Serpent falls across the World Tree" and throws his hammer after him….

Steve Rogers, unable to stand by and watch as the enemy attacks the nation’s capital, turns matters over to Maria Hill and glides down to the action. Captain America has recovered from the devastating blow and orders his team to hold the line. He calls out "Avengers Assemble!" and hurls his shield into Sin’s face. The enraged villainess beats Cap to the ground and rips off his prosthetic arm—and then proceeds to drive the handle of her massive war hammer through Cap’s chest. She announces to the assembled heroes that the Serpent is coming, and calmly walks away….

Captain America, Bucky Barnes, an enormous hole running all the way through his chest, his life’s blood pouring onto the concrete, gasps out a warning that the Serpent is here….

Fade to white….


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> Fear Itself: Book info and issue index

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


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Captain America
Captain America

(James "Bucky" Barnes)
Falcon
Falcon

(Sam Wilson)
Hogun
Hogun

(Hogun the Grim)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Loki
Loki

(Loki Laufeyson)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)
Red She-Hulk
Red She-Hulk

(Betty Ross)
Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman

(Jessica Drew)
Thing
Thing

(Ben Grimm)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Balder (Balder the Brave), Future Foundation, Serpent (Cul Borson), Shang-Chi, Sif, Worthy.