Well, there's no doubt which two comics I'll be reading first today. I'm not even going to waste any time with an introduction here. Let's just get right into it.
Fear Itself #4(of 7):
Summary: Thor is cast out of Asgard by Odin since Thor was insistent on attempting to save humanity from the Serpent's influence. Unfortunately for anybody who cares about good comic book stories, he was too late to save Bucky Barnes, who is, officially, dead... Thor meets up with Nick Fury, Iron Man, Black Widow and Steve Rogers, and he informs them of a prophecy that states that he would have to face this Serpent, and they would both die in the process. Since it had been prophesied, Thor tells his allies to stay out of the battle so they don't end up as casualties of what is, ultimately, an Asgardian battle. Steve dons his old Captain America outfit and tells Thor that he'd be on the front lines with his friends fighting until the end. While that's going on, the Serpent possessed Attuma is gathering more and more energy for the Serpent until the Serpent's lair is finally lifted from the bottom of the ocean floor, and the Serpent stands fully powered. As for the heroes, Steve Rogers... or I guess I should start saying Cap, once again... heads to New York to face down the Serpent powered Sin, Iron Man heads to Broxton, Oklahoma to seek an audience with Odin, and Thor heads to the Serpent's lair to confront the madman. Upon meeting the Serpent, he informs Thor that he was in actuality Odin's brother(Thor's uncle), and that Odin had stolen his rightful place as the head god of Asgard. After that deception, Odin locked his brother away in the bowels of the Earth until he was awakened by Sin. The Serpent, well aware of the prophecy that a battle between Thor and himself would kill them both, tries to convince Thor to join him against that liar Odin, but Thor refuses, which leads to the Serpent teleporting Thor to the location of his two strongest warriors, the Hulk and the Thing, ending this issue.
Thoughts: So that's that. Bucky's dead....... I don't even have the words to express how disappointed I am about that fact. I'll take some time to gather my thoughts on that and do a post about it later. As for this issue, it was okay. It was more of a set-up issue, almost a breather after the needless death of Bucky last issue. Pieces were moved around the board, there were a few revelations, but that was really it. Eh. I'm too pissed off to go into much more detail about this issue right now, but like I said, I'll have a Fear Itself #4 post up up in a few hours looking more in depth at this one.
Score: 8 out of 10.Fuck you, Marvel. Bucky deserved better than this.
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #3(of 6):
Summary: This issue gets started with the Heavy Hitters, led by Hardball(who just so happens to be my favorite Initiative character, just so you know...), being tasked with doing the impossible, stopping the Serpent powered Juggernaut and saving Las Vegas. The Hitters initial moves work out well, as they manage to lead Juggy into a big hole they dug outside of Vegas, but Juggy manages to pop out of the ground. From there we head around the country to other heroes, with Prodigy trying unsuccessfully to get Gravity back into the battle, while Thor Girl and Cloud 9 are still puzzled as to why Prodigy sent government agents to torture Thor Girl(he actually had no idea what those agents were doing, and had them imprisoned once found out). Back in Vegas, Juggy is tearing through everything thrown in front of him, so Hardball takes a page out of Speedball's book and puts one of his energy balls under Juggy, hoping to blast him out of town. While the blast does send Juggy skyward, it doesn't send him out of town, just into the storm drains below Vegas where several families were hiding. The heroes arrive on the scene and Hardball tells his team to clear the civilians out, figuring he'd have enough power left to hold Juggy back for 10 seconds or so. The team reluctantly does as ordered, and Hardball surrounds himself with a massive ball of energy. Distracted, Juggy lifts his hammer and brings it down on the energy ball, raising a huge cloud of dust. When the dust clears, Juggy has left Vegas and continued his trek westward, while Hardball lays motionless in the rubble.
Thoughts: You know, if Marvel is trying to piss me off by killing off all of my favorite characters during this Fear Itself stuff, they're doing a fantastic job. What the goddamn hell?!? First Bucky NOW Hardball?! As with last month, I don't know for SURE that Hardball is dead, but from the looks of things, yeah, he didn't survive that. And quite frankly, if he didn't, I'll be holding Sean McKeever's favorite, Gravity, to blame, since he was too afraid to rejoin the battle this issue. My anger notwithstanding, the rest of this comic was pretty good. You get a good feel for who Hardball was, as we get his origin story, and in the end(if that really was his end), you get the sense of the type of hero he was/is/could have been. The other stuff, with Thor Girl and Cloud 9, and the strange government officials who were hunting Thor Girl adds some extra intrigue, but unfortunately, it seems like Hardball will simply be used as a plot device to get Gravity back into the battle, and if that's the case, that's bullshit, in plain English.
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.If that's the end of Hardball, you haven't seen ANY ranting yet!