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Fear Itself #7: Review

Oct 2011
Matt Fraction, Stuart Immonen

Story Name:

Fear Itself 7: Thor’s Day

Review & Comments

Rating:
3 stars

Fear Itself #7 Review by (October 25, 2011)
Series review: So what of FEAR ITSELF as a whole? Like SIEGE it was the outline of a story, flashed out with dozens of side comics to create a coherent whole. As such it seemed like a cheap pretext for getting us to buy more comics (which aren’t cheap). Oh yeah, and what happened to the theme? The Marvel heroes face the fears of ordinary people? Was only hinted at in the main series—unless everyone’s deepest feat is facing the Hulk with a magic hammer. They promised something different and gave us a standard “good guys fight bad guys” scenario. I felt cheated. It was okay I guess but we could have waited for the trades. Which we’ll have to read anyway to understand what was going on.

Review: And so it goes. The final issue of this year’s epic crossover features great art by Stuart Immonen depicting apocalyptic battle scenes and a disappointing story by Matt Fraction. Yeah, the Big Baddie is killed but nothing is really resolved; that’s it. Finito. And what hurts is that half the issue devoted to promotion. Four new series, a three issue follow-up and an uninformative teaser for next year’s bloated epic—presumably connected to that final panel flash.

Comments: The title comes from a famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The armed Avengers are Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and Wolverine, joined by Dr, Strange, Red She-Hulk, and Iron Fist. Cameos by Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Spider-Woman, Protector, Red Hulk, Sif, Hogun, Fandral, Volstagg, Valkyrie, Mockingbird, and Dracula. Dracula?


Fear Itself #7 Review by (February 20, 2013)
Following up things mentioned in the epilogues *within* FI#7:- The 12-issue FI: The Fearless starts this month. In #1 Sin sets out to find the Worthy's hammers, and Valkyrie sets out to stop her. The 2 Hulk epilogues are misleading, suggesting Hulk will be in Defenders and Bruce Banner in Incredible Hulk. In December's Defenders #1 the Banner-less Hulk persuades Dr Strange to reform a version of Defenders to go after Nul, his Worthy identity, and then leaves them to it, not appearing in the rest of the series. For some reason Nul has remained as an independent entity, when the other Worthy didn't. Iron Fist is a member of the team, but I don't think they ever follow up his Weapon of Agamotto problem from Iron Man 2.0. Meanwhile this month's Incredible Hulk #1 probably occurs chronologically later. It begins a tale of Hulk vs separated mad scientist Banner, set after a gap of time. (It will be revealed that Dr Doom was responsible for their separation in FI#7.) Next month's Battle Scars #1 starts the mini-series that introduces the new Nick Fury. But I don't know what it's got to do with FI.

Other issues definitely happen after FI#7:- In Journey Into Mystery #630 it turns out that Volstagg was powering the Destroyer for Loki. he tells some Asgardian children a sanitised version of FI. The FI 7.n epilogues actually cane out the following month. I think they probably happen in reverse order:- FI#7.3 Iron Man sees Odin call IM to Thor's funeral. But first he brings back to life all the people turned to stone by Mokk/Grey Gargoyle in Paris. Gargoyle is held in prison. (This ties up FI plotlines rather than leading into the following Iron Man issues. But Tony's drinking during FI will be a springboard for the next plotline.) In FI#7.2 Thor, a new god Tanarus arises after Thor's funeral to take his place, setting up for the next set of Thor issues. Tanarus will eventually be exposed as Ulik the Troll in disguise. And of course the real Thor will return. In FI#7.1 Captain America, Cap finds out that Bucky isn't really dead, setting up for the Winter Soldier series.

There are 2 new issues before FI#7:- One is Journey Into Mystery #629 in which Loki magically rewrites the legend that Thor will die fighting Serpent, but only to make it that his sacrifice saves the world. The other is Invincible Iron Man #509. In between FI #6 and #7, IM returns to Earth with the Asgardian weapons for the Avengers. Mokk/Grey Gargoyle is called away by the Serpent to the final battle, saving Rescue's life. Note that only 5 of the 7 Worthy turn up for the final battle in FI#7, specifically those who were villains. Angrir got transformed back to Thing in FI#5. And Hulk/Nul is shown to be too busy in FI: Hulk vs Dracula. Some issues overlap FI#7:- In FI: Hulk Vs Dracula #3, Hulk/Nul concludes his fight with the hordes of Dracula. At the end I think he breaks free of Nul, presumably after he's ignored Serpent's summons in FI#7, but before the hammers abandon the Worthy later in that issue. Avengers Academy #20 has a few pages covering the final FI battle, then we're into post-FI restructuring. FI: Youth In Revolt #6 sees the group's FI missions conclude (probably actually before FI#7), but then there's some post-FI reflection.

This month's shrunken volume of tie-ins finish off a few side-tales before condensing around Fear Itself #7. I will also mention some of the follow-on issues from later months. First of all we delve into pre-history as The Mighty Thor #7 (the only tie-in for that title) tells the history of Odin and the Serpent (basically collecting together info from preceding comics, mainly Journey Into Mystery). I place Ghost Rider #4 before FI#4. The only FI connection here is that GR *doesn't* attack Sin/Skadi. The story continues without the FI banner. Possibly before FI#5, in New Mutants #32 the team save Hela and Hel from the Serpent's minions. During/after FI#5 we have FI: The Home Front #7. Speedball saves Miriam Sharpe from the Sisters of Sin. Amadeus Cho's team save Hawaii from the helicarrier, but then split up. If this was meant to initiate a new Young Avengers-like team, then it wasn't followed up on.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fear Itself #7 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Captain America—alone—mans the barricades outside Broxton, Oklahoma as the Serpent, backed by the Worthy, approaches on his floating city. In fallen Asgard, Tony Stark returns from Asgard Space bearing the powerful Uru weapons he constructed. As he distributes them to the Avengers, he learns that Cap’s shield has been destroyed. Nearby, the Serpent draws on all the residual fear on Earth to transform, while shouting defiance to his brother Odin. As Cap stands firing automatic weapons at the attack force he sees his teammates, their bodies transformed by the divine weapons they wield charging onto the field of battle….

In Broxton, a local man named Rick checks on his wife and son in a refugee center then decides to go back to stand with Captain America, to stand up to his fears….

Thor, wearing his father’s armor and wield the Odinsword and his own hammer descends from the sky to face the Serpent, now transformed into a giant dragon. A blast from the monster’s breath sends Mjolnir flying into the distance while Thor engages his foe. The hammer lands near the front line, creating a massive crater and stunning Cap; Cap is helped up by Rick, then wielding Thor’s hammer as his weapon, shouts "Avengers Assemble!" and the apocalyptic battle is on. As the Avengers battle the Worthy, reports come in from all over the globe of ordinary citizens banding together to overcome the disasters the villain and his minions have caused. As Odin gives order for his forces to raze Midgard in a last-ditch effort to stop the Serpent, Thor continues to fight against his powerful enemy who is trying to poison the Thunder God’s mind against his own father. As foreseen in the prophecy, Thor emerges victorious as he drives the Odinsword into the huge dragon’s skull. The Serpent falls to Earth and, as he dies, the magic hammers are drawn back into the sky, leaving the enslaved Earth people in their normal states. And, as also foreseen in the prophecy, Thor walks nine steps, collapses and dies in Odin’s arms….

In the days that follow, a funeral pyre is prepared for Thor near Fallen Asgard. Cap summons Odin to the funeral but instead, the All-Father bears the corpse of his slain brother and returns to Asgard Space to guard his tomb until the end of time, casting the rest of the Aesir down to Earth. James "Bucky" Barnes is buried at Arlington National Cemetery; Cap’s shield is repaired by the Svartalfs; Cap announces, with the Avengers that they will rebuild the shattered Earth. And in Broxton the inhabitants try to go on with their lives, taking care of each other…and in the final panel a bright flash is seen on the surface of the planet….

Epilogue 1: Sin awakens screaming in a squalid lab surrounded by masked doctors. They are her servants who engineered her escape from Avengers custody and now await her bidding. She suffers phantom pain from the loss of the hammer which had transformed her into Skadi; her minions remind her of what her mind contains: all of Skadi’s memories of the Nine Worlds, ready to be exploited…. Story continues in FEAR ITSELF: THE FEARLESS #1.

Epilogue 2: Inside the Hulk’s brain he is being lectured by a disappointed Bruce Banner. Fed up, Hulk seizes Banner and ejects him from his mind into the real world. As a confused and helpless Banner lies near panic in an unknown desert, the Hulk bounds off into the distance…. Story continues in INCREDIBLE HULK (2011) #1.

Epilogue 3: A mysterious invalid in a vault-like room receives a visit from his agent. They are plotting to capture one Marcus Johnson but the soldier is stationed overseas; as part of the scheme to take him, the agents reports how Johnson’s mother was murdered under the guise of a home invasion during a riot in Atlanta. Johnson is now on his way back to the States and the Hunters are ready for him, a group of mercenaries including Taskmaster and Deadpool…. Story continues in BATTLE SCARS #1.

Epilogue 4: Hulk, ashamed and outraged by the control of his body by Nul, Breaker of Worlds, now realizes that Nul is free in this world. Seeking help and redemption, he makes his way to New York where he shows up on the doorstep of Dr. Strange…. Story continues in THE DEFENDERS (2011) #1.


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> Fear Itself: Book info and issue index

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


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner

(Robert Bruce Banner)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

(Clint Barton)
Hulk
Hulk

(Bruce Banner)
Iron Fist
Iron Fist

(Danny Rand)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

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

(Betty Ross)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Attuma, Serpent, Sin (Synthia Schmidt), Titania, Worthy.