Fear Itself #7


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Fear Itself #7


  • Words: Matt Fraction
  • Art: Stuart Immonen
  • Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger, Vines
  • Colors: Laura Martin, Ponsor & Milla
  • Story Title: Thor's Day
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Oct 21, 2011

Did Matt Fraction deliver a satisfying conclusion to Marvel’s newest blockbuster event?  Not even close.

The concluding chapter of Matt Fraction’s Fear Itself fails to improve upon the lazy mess that has come before it.  Though more than double in size, Fear Itself #7 reads like an amateur attempt at a superhero story, with characters being bashed together by a child who left logic at the door.

Fear Itself #7 is a perfect example of a book that chooses flash over substance.  At its lowest point, Fear Itself becomes a disjointed mess of a comic that glosses over important events in favor of spotlighting disconnected battles.  At numerous instances, for example, both heroes and villains state a coming transformation to their forms, yet Fraction chooses not to show these and instead merely reveals the less-than-exciting result.   Constantly through #7, Fraction either arrives at events too late or leaves them too early, adding to the confusion of what is happening in the story.  Even the “battles of epic proportions” fail to excite, moreover, as the final showdown between Thor and the Serpent opens and closes with a whimper, with little battle actually occurring. 

Fear Itself #7 was burdened with the same problems as the entire run, ultimately making the purpose of the title rather clouded.  The book certainly lacked a compelling story, most obviously noticed by the constantly heavy-handed and forced discussion of “fear.”  Fear, fear, fear, was the theme of the title, yet other than being forced into dialogue after discussion after talk, little paralyzing fear was actually shown that would legitimize a book being named after it.  How were the Serpent and the Worthy different than any other Marvel villain who tried to conquer the planet?  In the end, he and his pointless Worthy were just another one-dimensional set of villains for Captain America and Iron Man to punch into submission.

Stuart Immonen’s art also suffers from the disjointed feeling of Fraction’s story.  On the one hand, Immonen’s pencils are aesthetically great, with characters and backgrounds looking better than in any other book in the series.  He does, however, fall to prey to the confusing story, with battle scenes being interrupted by forced and stale news reports, or events coming and going too soon.  Immonen’s art is the visually pleasing flash to Fraction’s criminally missing substance.

Ultimately, Fear Itself failed to deliver any consequential resolutions to the ideas Fraction worked with.  What made the Serpent a unique threat?  What purposeful use did the Worthy fulfill, and what is their fate following #7’s events?  Where is the resolution to the numerous hero deaths?  And most important, why was Fear Itself needed?  If the series cannot legitimize its need, perhaps it should not have been Marvel’s summer event.

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