I haven't the foggiest notion as to what this mini-series is all about, but figured I'd give it a shot since it's supposed to be spinning out of the Fear Itself event. Since that's about all I know about this one, I guess I should get reading...
Battle Scars #1(of 6):
Summary: This issue gets started in Afghanistan during the Fear Itself event where we meet Sgt. Marcus Johnson of the US Army Rangers. The fear effect being sent out by the Serpent reached Afghanistan and as such the place is more chaotic than usual. After managing to repel a Taliban attack on his base, Marcus gets word that his mother was killed back in the States. He heads home to Atlanta and attends his mom's funeral, where Steve Rogers(Captain America) and Sharon Carter are observing him from a distance. From there, Marcus heads to his mother's house, where he is met by a police officer who explains that during the Fear Itself event there were widespread riots and violence for no apparent reason and that his mother was a victim of that seemingly random violence. Marcus heads into his mother's ransacked house and notices a Russian armor piercing bullet amongst the carnage and immediately realizes that something here didn't add up. Marcus heads outside to tell the cop what he had found when he spots a sniper scope from a distant window taking aim at him. Marcus reacts instinctively and tackles the cop, taking cover behind the cop's car. From there three armed Russians charge Marcus and attack him, but Marcus manages to use his superior training to take the three men down, demanding answers from the one who was still conscious. Before he can get any answers though, Marcus is attacked by the Taskmaster(!!!), who easily takes Marcus apart. Before he's able to kill Marcus though, Captain America and several military units arrive on the scene demanding Taskmaster to surrender while Marcus watched in utter confusion.
Thoughts: You know, I knew this comic was developed by Matt Fraction, Cullen Bunn and Chris Yost. If I would have known it was scripted by Yost, I can guarantee you I wouldn't have bothered buying it, due to my undying hatred of Yost for his treatment of the Academy X students... But with that said, you know what? This was a hell of a good comic book! I mean I hate to compliment Yost(trust me, I do...), but the story here was engaging, and Marcus was a character who was very easy to like. Add crisp art, Taskmaster and an intriguing mystery and you've got a recipe for success. Of course Yost had to kill over 125 people in this one issue(because he can't seem to tell a story without a massive body count...), but I guess that's just Yost being Yost... At least I can continue reading this mini-series with the knowledge that Marcus won't be getting killed since it seems Marvel has plans for him. Here's hoping that no teenage mutants show up in this mini-series though, because you KNOW how much Yost loves killing THEM off!
Score: 9 out of 10.Awesome, it's the Taskmaster!!