‘Fear Itself’ is winding down to it’s inevitable conclusion with this issue and, while it’s been a decent ride, it hasn’t left me nearly as excited as DC Comics’ ‘Flashpoint’ and New 52 or even Marvel’s own ‘Spider-Island’. This issue finally raised my excitement level a bit more than any issue thus far. ‘Fear Itself’, despite the interesting premise, has never really explored the actual idea at the core of the book… namely, “fear itself”. The book is supposed to be based around the theme of fear but, instead, it has devolved into a smash-‘em-up superhero book with sides drawing lines and preparing for the obvious climactic showdown. That isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but I expected so much more based on the teasers for this series and Marvel hasn’t delivered.
[Warning: there be spoilers below!]
This issue picks up where ‘Fear Itself’ #5 left off, with Thor down and the rest of Earth’s heroes seemingly willing to admit defeat. Well… all of Earth’s heroes except for Tony Stark (Iron Man). Tony’s travelled to Asgard to make a deal with the lord of the gods themselves… Odin. Tony wants to use Odin’s workshop to create weapons so that Earth might stand a chance against the Serpent’s hammer-powered army.
As the issue opens, Captain America and the Avengers are carrying the wounded Thor back to Asgard to beseech Odin to help his son. Despite the clues dropped last month, Thor isn’t out of action yet. After an uncharacteristic outburst, Captain America is cast out from Asgard and Odin helps his son return to health. Odin also arms Thor with a special set of armor and weapons that Odin himself used the last time he defeated the Serpent. Tony Stark is still at Odin’s workshop making weapons for each Avenger so that they might be on equal footing with the Serpent’s team. Back on Earth, the banished Captain America arms himself with a shotgun and prepares to face the Serpent.
Unless some extreme plot twists take place, the next issue is just going to be an action-filled issue with the Avengers, now armed with their own versions of Asgardian super-weapons, defeating the Serpent and saving the planet. It’s par for the course with an epic superhero event book. Sadly, the only thing that readers have to fear is that Marvel will continue this generic trend with their next event when ‘Avengers: X-Sanction’ begins this December.