Since I'm pretty sure Fear Itself #5 and Ultimate Fallout #5 will be the most talked about comics of the week, I'm going to do a solo post on Fear Itself now, and a duel post featuring Ultimate Fallout #5 and New Mutants #29 for tonight. Okay, with that taken care of, let's hit the Fear Itself review! As always, this review will be FULL of spoilers, so if that bothers you, turn back now!!
Fear Itself #5(of 7):
Summary: We kick off the festivities with Thor being attacked by two of the strongest members of the Worthy, Thing and the Hulk... Yep, it sucks to be Thor. From there we head to New York where Captain America(Steve Rogers) is battling Sin, before finally heading to the remains of Asgard where Tony Stark is asking Odin to use Odin's workshop to create weapons to combat the Serpent's Worthy. I'm going to skip over the Iron Man stuff, since it was covered in greater detail in the last issue of Invincible Iron Man. Back with Thor, realizing that he was in a life or death situation, and that he'd be overwhelmed by the foes he was facing, he tries to get through to Thing, begging him to fight off the Serpent's influence. When Thing proves unable to do so, Thor reluctantly sends his hammer THROUGH Thing's torso(!!), felling Thing and allowing Thor to concentrate solely on the Hulk. The two children of the Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman(Franklin and Valeria) head to their fallen uncle, who tells them that after all of the awful things he'd done, he was ready to face death. Franklin isn't ready to allow it though, as he uses his reality altering powers to heal Thing as well as free him from the Serpent's influence(!). Back to Thor and Hulk, Thor realizes that he's no match for the Hulk, so he hits Hulk with all of his might, sending the Green Goliath high into Earth's orbit, before Hulk comes crashing back down to the planet elsewhere. Completely spent, Thor then collapses to the ground. To finish things off, we'll head back to Cap's battle with Sin. Cap decides to attack Sin in a frontal assault(because that worked SO well for Bucky), and gets smacked around a bit. Before Sin can finish off her second Captain America of this mini-series, the Serpent lands in New York, much to the delight of Sin. The Serpent compliments Sin on all of the havoc she had wrought in his name, declaring that the Earth was now his. Luckily for Cap, the Avengers charge over and attack the Serpent, but are easily brushed aside like bothersome insects. Relatively pissed off by the whole situation, Cap throws his shield at the Serpent, who proceeds to rip it in half(!?!?!). While Cap stares dumbfounded, the Serpent lifts his ax and sends out a massive wave of energy, destroying buildings, as well as knocking the Avengers out cold. Upon waking up, Spidey tells Cap that it was probably time to evacuate the city, since there was no hope in winning. Cap surprisingly(inexplicably?) agrees with Spidey and this issue ends with Cap telling the Avengers there was no way they could win the battle against the Serpent.
Thoughts: So a few things of note happened here. The Thing was nearly killed by Thor, but was healed by Franklin Richards. Not only was Franklin able to heal Thing, he was also able to free him from the Serpent's influence... Now that's kind of a problem because it means that Franklin is as strong as the Serpent(a god)... If Franklin can cure Thing, then there's NO reason he shouldn't be able to free the rest of the Worthy from the Serpent's thrall, as well as undo all of the Serpent's damage(ie: return Bucky to life). As a matter of fact, if Franklin does anything less, I'll be quite pissed. There's a good reason Marvel downgraded Franklin's powers after the Heroes Reborn fiasco, throughout the 90's he had become TOO strong. Allowing him to do what Odin couldn't/wouldn't(stand against the Serpent), may be a mistake in my view... Speaking of mistakes, the Serpent destroying Cap's shield. While making for a great visual, and a real, “holy shit!!!” moment, is awful. I mean Cap's shield has been indestructible for YEARS!!! It's withstood everything and anything that's been thrown it's way. Onslaught, Thor's hammer, the Hulk, you name it, Cap's shield withstood it. Allowing the Serpent to destroy Cap's shield is, for me at least, a completely unneeded, and terrible move. We already KNOW the Serpent is really powerful. Destroying Cap's shield doesn't do anything to add to that. We already KNOW the Serpent is uber-powerful. The destruction of Cap's shield, as well as Cap giving up at the end of this issue were definitely the two lowest points of this issue for me. Captain America, announcing that the Avengers were going to lose, seemed wildly out of character to me. Cap has faced down a who's who of threats in the Marvel Universe, from common Nazis to super-powered demigods. Hell, he went toe-to-toe with Michael Korvac, who, it could be argued, was more powerful than the Serpent! He didn't back down then, so I can't fathom him backing down now. Cap doesn't strike me as the defeatist type, so I'm not sure what the hell Matt Fraction was doing there. Now, with all that said, I really enjoyed this issue. Yeah, I know, I just spent MANY sentences spelling out what I didn't like, but this WAS a very good comic. The pacing was fantastic, as I flew through reading this issue. It just went seamlessly from one storyline to the other, with the threat continuing to build throughout. Cap facing Sin one-on-one, while stupid for Cap, made sense, since he was obviously furious about Bucky's death and therefore probably wasn't thinking straight. The battle between Thor, Hulk and Thing was phenomenal, with the art perfectly complimenting the story. These were three of Marvel's top heavyweights going at it, and it felt that way. Their fight had that epic feel to it. The Iron Man stuff wasn't really worth mentioning, because like I said, it already took place in Invincible Iron Man, so you already know what Odin's answer to Tony was. Overall this was a very good comic, better than almost anything else I'll read this week(I'd have to think), but there were too many parts that outright bothered me to call it a great comic.
Score: 9 out of 10.I have three words to describe this scene... Bull and shit!