Review Shooter: Fear Itself #1

Fear Itself finally begins, and it’s off to a great start! If you follow me on Twitter or even Tumblr, you’ll probably know that I’ve been pretty excited for this event. It’s being done by two of my current favourite creators in comics, and the whole idea and story behind it really intrigued me. I know people have been grudging against it ever since its announcement because they’re “sick of events”, but honestly, events are exciting. You know big things are going to happen with characters you love and characters you aren’t that familiar.  I think ‘event fatigue’ is a myth. But anyway, onto my review.

The issue opens with a protest in Lower Manhattan. Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter are stuck in the middle of the protest, and worried that it’s going to turn into a riot. Now, I like this scene. I think it’s a good way to start off an event story, but I do have one problem with it. It’s never really made clear why people are protesting. From what I gather, it’s because there’s damage in the area they’re protesting, and the people of New York are finally sick of it. Now, I came to this conclusion myself, so I may be wrong. However, the scene has a great end to it in which Steve and Sharon are powerless to do anything about the riot.

A good amount of this issue follows Sin, and her origin into her ‘new’ character. This involves Nazis, shooting, explosions and a pissed off daughter with so many daddy issues it’s a waste of time trying to count them. I think she’s going to be a great villain for the rest of the story.

In the press release and publicity for ‘Fear Itself’, Marvel repeated again and again that the story will deal with current real world issues. Like the recession and unemployment. They deliver on that promise, and in my opinion, it makes the issue even stronger. An example of this is a family leaving Broxton, Ok (where Asgard currently is) because they simply can’t afford to live here any longer due to what’s been happening. Marvel Comics have always been good at including real life issues, and Fear Itself is up to date with that. It makes the comic feel more modern and the story more new.

Another part of the book I liked is the exploration of the relationship between Odin and Thor. I think this issue does well in bringing you up to date with where this relationship currently is, and this issue takes it even further. Big things happen. And big things in comics are exciting.

In ‘Fear Itself’ Matt Fraction is writing for a mix of characters that he’s been writing for, for years, as well as a number of  characters that he’s writing for, for the first time. He is at his strongest when he’s writing the scenes with Thor and Odin, but the Sin scenes are equally excellent.

As for the art, it’s pretty amazing. Immonen, Martin and Von Grawbadger are all at the top of their game. Immonens pencils and  panel layouts really work for the storytelling. He probably could have filled this issue with double splash pages, but he doesn’t. There are some, but it doesn’t feel or look over done. And the inks and colours help enhance Immonens art, not over layering on his pencils. And the page of The Serpent, which we have seen already in previews, is great.

All in all, a great start for Marvels latest ‘event’. I can’t wait for the next issue of the story, it’s when things are really going to heat up!

New Reader Accessibility Rating: 8. This is supposed to be a story that anyone can pick up, regardless of your knowledge of Marvel. It is that. But, the reason I can’t give it 10  is because I think you need to read the prologue book (BOOK OF THE SKULL) to fully appreciate the back story behind what Sin is doing. But, forget that you hate Marvel. Forget that you hate ‘event comics’ and give it a try. I think even the most cynical of comic book readers will  be pleasantly surprised.

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