Each one of the "big three" (Thor, Iron Man, Cap) got fitting ends to their character arcs in Fear Itself, and they were very satisfying to read. I like it when a writer is able to bring things around full circle and actually complete what he starts, albeit with a few hiccups (see below).
Cap wielding Thor's Hammer was amazing, and was definitely the "hell yeah" moment that the series needed. It seemed quite logical, as well; why would Cap not get a weapon made for hi-oh yeah!
With Bucky's death, it seems that Fear Itself was a bit of a vehicle to get Steve Rogers back into the stars 'n stripes quickly, and push him back into the role as soon as possible. Steve went from beind a field commander to one of the war's frontmost soldiers in three issues, and it just felt a bit forced.
Even though three more epilogue issues have been announced for Fear Itself, I feel like they cover the wrong characters; the ones in the book are setups for news series that we've known about for some time, while the ones with their own issues are for viewpoints actually relevant to the story. It frustrates me to read about the new Defenders series when Captain America's reflection has been left out to sell a separate issue. It feel kind of cheap, to be honest.
I prefer a "Brave New World"-type scenario, where we're given a sampler of new stories, and can make decisions from there.
So here we are, at Fear Itself's epic conclusion. I want to say it's better than some crossovers I've read, but there was little pacing issues that made me feel like the last issue needed to be loaded with plot in order to tie it all together. While I had nothing but good things to say about the previous issue, so much happened in this one that events really didn't have the time to get going.
I mean, let's list some things, here:
Seems a bit rushed, doesn't it?
I think Fear Itself will read a bit better when it's collected as a trade paperback, but for now, the ending fell a bit flat with me. I think endings should bring everything around succinctly, instead of leaving readers with questions, like I did with nearly every plot point above.