If you haven’t been reading Marvel books for the past few months (or maybe under a rock in a cave) you probably wouldn’t have seen their full-court press advertising Fear Itself. With Fear Itself, Marvel’s next great event series is upon us and I can’t wait to see what happens.
Book One: The Serpent, is written by Matt Fraction with art by Stuart Immonen. Fear Itself is seven parts and will eventually cross over into every major Marvel Universe book, including the X-Men books.
Worldwide struggling economies and job markets, mass media reporting on the culture of fear, consumerism, religious wars, and natural disasters have all contributed to the state of the world. Never has there been more fear felt collectively by humanity than today. Fear Itself is about a Norse god named the Serpent: The God of Fear who is powered by feeding off of the fear of others. The Serpent has a centuries old vendetta with Odin, who used magic to hide him away. Now thanks to the Red Skull’s daughter, he’s loose and with Asgard and the Gods at their weakest, he is poised to strike.
What stands out most about Book One is the overall tone, it felt like watching the news and reading a crazy Ray Bradbury-esque story about ancient Gods come to Earth to have their new kingdom built in the heartland of America (with superheroes of course). It appears the focus of this story will be the Norse Gods of Asgard and the battle for the title of All-Father. I’m excited to see more about the Red Skull’s daughter as she wields the Hammer of Skadi.
My favorite part of this book had to be the battle between Thor and Odin as Odin is losing his mind. Thor was given the choice between Asgard and Man, Thor chose Man and humanity. The climax of this battle is Odin commanding Thor’s Hammer, “Mjolnir drop,” essentially taking The God of Thunder’s powers away and ending the fight. Odin giveth; Odin taketh away, indeed. Make sure to check out Book Two: Blitzkrieg U.S.A. in May as well as crossover issues throughout the rest of the Marvel Universe as fear spreads this summer.