Fear Itself: The Fearless 8 (of 12)
This is my new comic for the week. Every week I try a new series I’ve never touched before without researching it beforehand.
Fear Itself wasn’t all that special. The event took way too long to build up, had way too many tie-ins, and the final issue just felt like a jumbled mess. The concept behind the event was good but the execution was lacking. That said, I really liked the Home Front and the Uncanny X-Men tie-ins. So how was this comic?
I’ve heard good things about this mini-series so I thought I’d check it out. This mini-series deals with the event’s fallout. After the final battle, the eight hammers were somehow spread throughout the world and both the heroes and villains are hunting for them.
The star of this series is Valkyrie, a shield maiden of Asgard and I know virtually nothing about her. This issue also has plenty of Sin in it, and even shows her escaping from the authorities. Who is Sin? That would be Red Skull’s daughter and was second to Fear Itself’s main villain, Serpant.
This issue feels like the quiet issue of a long storyline. Besides Sin’s rescue, not that much happens. Valkyrie has her sword repaired, Sin talks to her allies, and it ends just before Valkyrie starts fighting the X-Men. The artwork is good, but feels a bit too light at times. I have to ask though, does this story really need 12 issues? I would think collecting eight hammers of power wouldn’t need more than eight or nine issues. I can’t speak for the rest of this mini’s progression, but it feels like Marvel is trying to drag this event on longer than it should. Avengers vs. X-Men is right around the corner and it’s “prequel,” X-Sanction is more than half-way done. Marvel really should slow down with its events. That said, this issue was still good. I can’t quite recommend it, but I liked it despite my dislike for the main Fear Itself event.
This is the start of a 6-issue weekly crossover with Venom, X-23, Ghost Rider (the new woman ghost rider) and Red Hulk. Why are they working together? To stop blackheart from literally bringing hell to earth, that’s why. Blackheart is also in the middle of a power struggle with Mephisto, who is the marvel universe’s version of Satan.
Each of the four heroes are in Vegas for their own reasons. Venom is in Vegas because he was working with the villain Jack-O-Lantern in the previous issue. Red Hulk is hunting down Venom because he stole the venom symbiote. X-23 is tracking her own DNA sample, which was bought by blackheart. Ghost Rider is there because, well, Blackheart is trying to bring hell to earth.
The pacing in this book is relentless. There is virtually no room for character development as the plot and the action takes center stage. The sheer scale of the plot is epic and these four heroes are in way over their heads.
In short, this issue was a lot of fun. The action was intense and the humour was hilarious – especially with the last page reveal. All this is backed up with generally strong artwork. Rick Rememder’s tight writing doesn’t waste a single word, and everything you need to know for this crossover is explained on the recap page. If you’re looking for a dysfunctional team up of four legacy characters, look no further.
This crossover is weekly, so you won’t have to wait long for each chapter. It continues in Venom 13.1, 13.2, 13.3 and 13.4 then finishes in Venom 14 in the first week of March. As such, I won’t bother reviewing another issue until 14 unless there is a lot to say.