So I’m sitting here, minding my own business, procrastinating on my column about horror comics and then this sudden thought crosses my mind: Fear Itself sucks.
I have no idea where it comes from, no idea what brought it on, but now I can’t fathom why I hadn’t realized it up until now. Fear Itself is really, really boring. Why? Numerous reasons, and I’m making those up as I go along because the thought didn’t care to elaborate. It just rang rather true.
We all know what’s going to happenFear itself does not contain any kind of exciting prospect. We know that Steve Rogers will be back as Cap, so that surprise has gone out the window, if it was ever intended to be a surprise. That leaves readers without one of the biggest – if not the biggest – points that could raise excitement. Don’t you wish you’d have a comic book where you’d be surprised? Where you’d go “Steve Rogers is back!? Holy crap, that is totally awesome”? But you’re left with about half a year’s worth of comic books that just drivel on and – if anything – you catch yourself feeling “Come on, we know what’s going to happen, just get it over with!” Sure, you don’t know how it will happen, but, honestly, do you care that much? Do you care for half a year of decompressed storytelling with a hundred tie-ins that you have no intention of reading?
Same goes for The Worthy. Here’s how it will play out. The heroes and The Worthy will battle each other in New York City. We’ve had Times Square, we’ve had Central Park, so it will be something else. How about Ground Zero? I mean, how boring does an event have to be until you start worrying about where the big fight will be? Mind you, I’m not asking whether or not there will be a big fight. I know it’s going to happen. The Worthy and the Avengersdefendersmen or whatever the team du jour will be called will make their stands, shout battlecries and then bash their heads in for about twenty pages. Whoop-dee-doo. And then the inevitable happens…
T he Worthy lose, the good guys win. Big surprise. Who saw that coming? Sure, some character will die here and there and will eventually come back, which saves us the trouble of being emotionally affected in any kind of way, and in the end, we’ll be left with Steve back as Cap which in turn is a giant retcon and in a couple years, nobody will even remember Bucky being Cap.
Furthermore, we know that none of the Worthy will die. Hulk dead? Come on, he’s a staple character. You can’t kill him off, mainly because his own book is going strong and so on. Killing off villains is always dicey because you never know when you might need them and having to come up with a convoluted and thoroughly idiotic way of “They died but got better” is so bothersome. Besides, nobody really cares about it anymore.
We don’t know what’s happeningWe’re about three issues in – without proper motivation to check when #3 is going to be out / was out, I will just assume that #3 will be out soon-ish, as it feels like it should come out around now – and we still have no clue what’s going on. Sure, hammers have fallen, people have picked them up, started mumbling gibberish in runes and then did… nothing of any sort of interest. Hulk did some smashing. Surprise, surprise! And the others just did the same. What about that fear we were promised? Has that happened yet? Nobody’s particularly afraid in this book as Bucky’s first reaction was not to pee his pants but rather to shout “Avengers Assemble!” and run head-first into a fight he’ll surely win. What about that psychological horror of having to face all the scary things that have ever scared you at once we were promised? And if we weren’t promised that, then it was heavily hinted at.
What’s the deal with Asgard and why do we care? Asgard’s left. Why? Because of the hammers, presumably. If we’re indeed at #3 and we still have Odin be a twat about it and Thor being a whiny teenager, then this is about the halfway marker of the entire story and we still have absolutely no idea what their sudden urge to move is all about. It would be about time to let us know, though. Because we have no idea who sent the hammers and why. We have no idea why the Asgardians are being asses about it and we have no idea how they plan on getting Steve back into the suit. So we have three issues and about fifty-nine tie-ins left and nothing has happened so far. Awesome.
We know that nobody’s scaredAlso, nobody in this book – and I mean, absolutely nobody – is scared. In fact, I’m surprised that Marvel even made an attempt at bringing fear into the mix. Most of these characters have faced off against alien demon zombies from another dimensions, creatures with six mouths that devour entire dimension and crap lightning, Galactus, each other and everyone else. Is there really anything left that strikes fear into these characters? Even mild concern would be hard to do at this point. And “Mild Concern Itself” is a crappy title anyway. A couple of hammers would mildly inconvenience these characters at best. So now they’re trying to shoehorn fear into these characters. With home improvement utensils.
The main question here is this: Why do we still bother? The story falls flat on all accounts. It is bland, it is confusing, it is predictable, it is boring. Yet people still buy it. Why? Because apparently, we’re having an event of our own: “Stupidity Itself”.