Two more Fear Itself comics to sift through today, which should come as no big surprise, since like half of the zillion comics I picked up this week are Fear Itself tie-ins. Today it's my favorite Avengers title, Avengers Academy, and the Fear Itself: FF one-shot, which COULD be great depending on what happens in it...
Avengers Academy #16(Fear Itself tie-in):
Summary: This is another issue that has two stories going on in it(man, most of my comics lately are like that...), so as usual, I'll tackle one story before touching upon the other. We get started in Dubai, where Giant Man(Hank “Awesome” Pym), Quicksilver and Justice are trying to keep the Serpent possessed Absorbing Man and Titania from destroying Dubai. After an extended battle that sees Justice and Quicksilver fall to Titania, Giant Man manages to trick the Absorbing Man and Titania into entering a huge dimensional doorway, taking them away, even though he knew that they'd eventually be back. Before he could do what he wanted, which was to be at the side of his students, Pym winds up collapsing due to exhaustion. Back in Washington DC, the Avengers Academy kids(and Tigra) are responsible for evacuating as many civilians as they can. Veil spots a little girl standing near a partially collapsed building and rushes over to get the girl to safety. However, the girl tells Veil that her mother was trapped in the building, and not knowing what to say to the girl, Veil heads into the building to look around. As luck would have it, Veil finds the badly injured woman and manages to help her escape from the building. Back on the street, the woman rushes over to embrace her daughter when she is gunned down by one of those Nazi war machines, dying at her daughter's feet. Absolutely stunned by what she had just witnessed, Veil transforms into a toxic gas, slips into the cockpit of the Nazi war machine and murders the driver. Veil returns to the little girl, who is kneeling in front of her mother's corpse, and can't find any words to say to the shocked child. A paramedic rushes over and Veil tells the paramedic to take the girl to safety before collapsing near the dead woman, mouthing that she was sorry to the child.
Thoughts: Woooo, Christos Gage is easily one of the best writers in comics today! Seriously, if you see his name on a comic, pick it up, because it WON'T disappoint! The work he's doing in this series during the Fear Itself issues is truly remarkable. Yes, we're getting appearances by the Worthy, which is something I feel all Fear Itself tie-ins SHOULD have, but he's also taking the opportunity of the war itself to further develop the Academy kids... I hate to beat a dead horse, but that's the difference between this comic and Generation Hope, which features lead characters of around the same age... Comparing this series to Gen Hope is like comparing Shakespeare to a coloring book... Anyway, I know I'll be looking forward to the next issue of what is, in my humble opinion, the best Fear Itself tie-in besides Invincible Iron Man that Marvel is producing.
Score: 9 out of 10.Damned Nazi BASTARDS!!!
Fear Itself: FF #1:
Summary: This issue gets started with the Serpent possessed Thing rampaging through New York City before being confronted by the Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic(FINALLY!!!). Naturally the two try to talk sense into Thing, but he doesn't want to hear it, so Mr. Fantastic tries to slow Thing's progress, which proves to be a bad move, since Thing simply grabs Reed and knocks him out. Sue tries to attack now, but is unable to halt Thing's attack, until she shoves one of her forcefields down his throat to suffocate him. Some sort of explosion strikes Reed, which distracts Sue long enough for Thing to break free of her hold. Thing tells Sue to deal with Reed's injuries while he went about spreading fear. From there Dragon Man tries to attack Thing, but is dispatched with relative ease. Thing goes to kill Dragon Man, when he is next confronted by Alicia Masters, who heard about what was happening on the TV and ran out to try to talk sense into Thing. For a moment it looks like Alicia is getting through to Thing, until he grabs her by the neck and tosses her into a nearby light post. From there, Thing walks over to deliver the killing blow, but is stopped by one of Sue's forcefields. Sue begs Thing to allow her to assist the injured Alicia, and Thing lets her, since the two women couldn't spread fear if they were dead. Sue manages to resuscitate the very injured Alicia, and this issue ends with the Thing continuing his path of destruction.
Thoughts: Now THIS was a very good Fear Itself one-shot! It had everything you'd want, Reed and Sue trying desperately to save Ben from whatever outside force had taken him over, a battle with Dragon Man, and Ben's one real true love, Alicia, trying to talk sense into him. If I had a complaint about this issue, it would be that Ben didn't kill anybody important, as macabre as that may sound... I mean if you REALLY want to establish how evil Ben was now, have him kill Alicia! That action would have ramifications that Ben would NEVER recover from, leading to some pretty awesome stories down the road. Sure, after Fear Itself ends, Ben will have to come to terms with all of the people he killed while possessed, but imagine what he'd suffer if he'd killed Alicia... I mean it's not like she's doing anything anyway... Besides that though, this was a very well written story, so props to Cullen Bunn on a job very well done.
Score: 9 out of 10.Wow, those little mouths on Ben are quite annoying...