Overview

Fear Itself #5

Review

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Fear Itself #5

Credits

  • Words: Matt Fraction
  • Art: Stuart Immonen
  • Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
  • Colors: Laura Martin
  • Story Title: Brawl
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 10, 2011

Fear Itself #5 remains an emotionally empty collection of action sets and battles

Things do not bode well for Matt Fraction and co. when, five issues into Fear Itself, I still wonder why the series even exists.  Fraction has not yet met expectations as he plods from one explosion to the next, only peppering his scenes with the deaths of characters.  It’s quite curious that with the title Fear Itself, with the idea of the Serpent preying on all of humanity’s fears, with the world at stake, why hasn’t Fraction shown us readers anything that resembles “fear?”  Issue #5, for example, features the long-awaited “epic” battle between Thor and the Worthy-empowered Hulk and Thing, but the battle fails to bring anything fresh to the series.  Thor certainly is not afraid as he enters the battle, and the Thing’s involvement, moreover, is another example of “awesome” ideas being written in for the sake of existence and nothing more.  How many times have goliaths taken to the streets of New York to do battle?  Fraction failed to take advantage of the possible epic scale of the battle and instead delivers a generic fight scene. 

Even worse are the strange character moments between Captain America and Spider-Man.  Fraction again fails to bring closure to Steve Rogers' mind following the death of his partner, and even worse, suggests the destruction of buildings to be a valid reason to give up the fight against the Serpent and the Worthy.  The idea of superheroes accepting defeat could definitely be an exciting twist to explore, but the inclusion of it here is neither organic nor logical, and instead flagrantly flies in the face of the ideologies of our heroes. 

Stuart Immonen’s art, moreover, fails to add to the lack of excitement, and he instead only delivers a competent superhero book.  On one hand, Immonen’s character designs are gorgeous and unique, but his generic action sets leave so much to be desired; as great as each piece looks, absolutely none of the pages are terribly out of the ordinary.  For this being the flagship Marvel title, Immonen’s art simply does not meet the heightened demands of a summer blockbuster story. 

Fear Itself continues to be nothing more than a collection of action scenes for action’s sake, and deaths for shock value.  Fraction fails to make his antagonist interesting or believable, events continue to be illogical, and characters behave abnormally.  The whole premise has failed to be legitimized and the purpose of the series has yet to be revealed.

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