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REVIEW: Fear Itself & why DC has so much to fear from Marvel

One of the greatest things to have come out of my recent purchase of a iPad has been the ability to read comic books on it. As I have mentioned before, I have long been a DC fan and I frequently enjoyed their big events such as Infinite Crisis, The Sinestro Corps War, The Blackest Night and so on. However recently there has been a shift in the spectrum of my comic book allegiance from DC to Marvel. This has been in part to the success of the Avenger movies and has resulted me in paying more attention to Marvel books. Having finally got the time, i set about reading the Marvel Comics event of 2011, Fear Itself.

Fear Itself is a 7 book mini series event with repurcussions throughout the Marvel universe and was mostly a event that had been developed through the pages of Thor and in particular Captain America. After the end of Captain America Reborn, the daughter of the Red Skull, Sin is horribly disfigured. replaces her father as the Red Skull and eventually finds a hammer encased in ice at a secret nazi research base (as you do). With the Hammer she becomes Skadi and transforms several Marvel Heroes and villains into her soldiers through the use of other hammers. On top of that you have the return of Skadi’s father The Serpent and the prophecy that Thor would die killing him in battle.
It is easy to see where Fear Itself comes from. It was developed from the general state of the world in 2011. The world is still suffering through the effects of the economic problems and it is on this level where Marvel succeeds with Fear Itself.
When I first read about Fear Itself my first reaction was one of not giving a crap. The Blackest Night had just occured in the DC universe and my eye was firmly focused on the DC Universe. So as Fear Itself progressed I was more looking at the DC event Flashpoint. it was during this that i started paying more attention with what was going on in Marvel. The Avengers Tower was destroyed, Captain America killed (that is Bucky Barnes) and Paris had its population transformed into Stone. It was at this point where I noticed where Marvel was succeeding where DC was struggling. In Flashpoint I was spending most of my time figuring out what was going on. With Fear Itself I was spending my time enjoying what was going on. The level of destruction played out through the pages of Invincible Iron Man was on a scale I had never seen before. There was one poignant scene in Fear Itself #6 where the Avengers are in full retreat and the writers did a great job in bringing the emotion through the pages. The reader could feel the fear coming out of the pages. With Flashpoint, i knew the heroes would win and everything would be restored. With Fear Itself i was asking the question “who would win and could they?”
Fear Itself delivers on a lot of what it promises. It delivers incredible action scene. well written dialogue and the art is incredibly breath-taking. Especially the artwork featured in the Invincible Iron Man. I had long said that when it comes to the comic book companies. Marvel had great artists and DC had great writers. On this occasion it was Marvel who had great writers and great artists.

Of course the story in Fear Itself didn’t end completely, it continued into the Shattered Heroes epilogue and some of the events would lead into this years Marvel event Avengers vs X-Men. I find myself asking myself the question more and more as to why I still bother with DC. If it wasn’t for Geoff Johns’ work with Green Lantern I would have very likely called it a day by now. As i have mentioned before Grant Morrison is ruining Superman and aside from Green Lantern. No book has actually managed to grab me. Hopefully DC’s crossover storyline Night of the Owls will be able to bring some quality to them. For at the moment, the day of the comic belongs to Marvel.

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