Fear Itself Half Time Show (Some Spoilers)
This is not a review of Fear Itself #4 exactly, its more of a review of the crossover so far.
There's a lot to say about this crossover so far. Some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it just "What were they thinking?" I am going to get my biggest gripe out of the way right off the bat. TOO MANY TIE-INS! If you read any my blogs pertaining to Chaos War or referencing Secret Invasion/Civil War, then you know I hate extraneous and pointless tie-ins. That said, this is a huge storyline with pieces that go all over the world so it makes sense that we would need a decent amount of extra limiteds and one-shots, and I will even give it to them that most of these tie-ins are really well written. But I have to ask...did we need a Wolverine limited AND an X-Force limited, both released on the same day? And since we saw Iron Man's adventure in Paris, did we really need to have a Black Widow one-shot? Not that Natasha's brief tale wasn't fun, but in a storyline that legitimately covers books countries and many books, was it really needed?
Also, and again I repeat that this is a halftime show so there is still time for all the storyline points to connect and make sense, I feel like with all the Worthy all over the world and superheroes rushing around in circles trying to keep up, some of the finer continuity points are getting lost. For example, when I picked up this week's batch of issues I read Uncanny X-men before reading Thunderbolts and at the beginning of UXM Juggernaut lands on the ground and begins his trek towards San Francisco. Now last I was reading, he was fighting the Thunderbolts so when I picked up that issue, I was expecting it to end with Marko taking off into the sky so then he presumably lands in UXM. However, at the end of the issue he's still screwing things up in Chicago. So I totally accept that they will reconcile all of this before the end of the crossover but for now it makes things a bit hard to follow and keep straight.
My final big complaint - the death of Bucky. I get that Marvel feels like someone has to die during every crossover to make its exciting (i.e. Goliath, Wasp, Punisher) but the way they kill characters lately really bugs me. I mean, they left Bucky dead for how many decades? Then they bring him back, make him Winter Soldier, break his brainwashing and make him Captain America after Steve dies. They even bother to go through the whole "Who Will Wield the Shield?" scenario just to reassure us that Bucky is Captain America now. So now after all that storylining and character redemption and they just go and kill him. I get that importance that the new Red Skull killed the new Captain America but why bother going throuhg all the troubel of making him Captain America and Steve in "Commander Rogers" only to have it go back to the way it was before in the next big crossover?
Now with all that out of the way, I DO love this storyline. Odin has always been this untouchable father figure without a real story of his own and now in one fell swoop we get new family members and a true showing of how much he thinks of lesser being like humans. Although part of me feels like he always has every intention of helping Earth defend itself because otherwise how did he hear Tony Stark plea? I don't think Tony has an Asgardian pipeline directly to the All-Father like Thor does so I think that for him to have heard Tony's cries and seen his sacrifice (the scene watching him give up his sobriety was excellent) he must have been already listening. I wouldn't be surprised to find that he was just forcing Earth's people and his son to rally their forces and show that they deserve to be saved.
At first I wasn't sure how I felt about the Serpent, just seemed like another God of Fear or Demon of Fear to me and havent we really seen plenty of those before? But as he gets more power and his Worthy wreak more and more havoc across the Earth, not to mention the newly revealed brotherly rivalry and stolen throne, I find that I am more and more into this newly revealed Asgardian royal. At the end of this I would like to see him defeated depowered but not destroyed (as characters tend to be in big Asgardian stories) so that we can see him come back without some crazy ret-con explanation. Maybe hes the Asgardian Maximus the Mad? A new foil to Thor and Odin now that Loki (for now) is just a mischievous child not the God of Lies.
Overall I am enjoying this storyline and can't wait to see how it turns out. Between this, Schism, and Children's Crusade I think we are in for a really exciting year after 2011 ends!