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Idiot's Guide Weekly: Do Not Fear, A Fear Itself Review is Here!

Written by Christian on Tuesday, May 10 2011 and posted in Columns

IGW takes a look at Fear Itself #2 and finds it wanting.  Plus news, comics and more!

Welcome to a weekly column summarizing the good, the bad and the ugly that occurred throughout the week in comics. With fifty billion websites covering all the minutia of the comic industry and dozens of comics hitting the shelves, it's about time that someone has the stones to take it all in and regurgitate it like a mother bird to her chicks.   Idiot's Guide Weekly will cover pertinent news, the best and worst comics of the week, and anything else worth mentioning in a jovial and mocking manner.   So enjoy it while it's fresh: Idiot's Guide Weekly aims to please.

The News:

Top News Story of the Week: Thor debuted to good reviews and okay sales figures. Personally, I thought the cheesiest parts were the action scenes. They were too short and didn't really impress me at all. However, the humor and acting were spot on. Loki, in particular, was brilliant.

Marvel is squeezing the last pennies out of the Ultimate franchise, with new Ultimate titles by St. Nick Spencer and Jonathan "I loved to Connect the Dots as a Kid" Hickman. This marks either the revitalization or the end to the Ultimate universe.

Free Comic Book Day was last weekend. Sadly, I bought more comics on Saturday than I did during the week.

An Idiot's Guide to Fear Itself #2

IGW reviewed Fear Itself #1 last month and decided it merited another look.  Oops.

This is a Nazi Robot with a Hammer, or as the Germans call it "Overkill"
Fear Itself #2
had the unenviable task of following up the masterpiece that was Fear Itself #1. While the first issue established that Odin is a contender for "Worst Parent of the Year" and that Steve Rogers' kryptonite is a brick to the face, Fear Itself #2 establishes that Matt Fraction hates America, loves Nazis and has the Norse Gods of Vikings confused for the French Gods of Retreat.

The issue begins with Odin and the Asgardians retreating to a barren rock in the middle of space. Odin channels his magic feet energy to turn the rock into a planet and then tells his followers to bunker down and eat some baguettes. Odin then imprisons Thor for underperforming at the box office and tells his son that he won't be released until his movie manages to gross $100 million at the box office.

The second act of the issue features Earth's reaction to a set of giant hammers falling from the sky. Various villains and antiheroes are turned into giant monsters when they touch the hammers, with names such as Beiberus: Breaker of Music, Navyseal: Breaker of Republican Chances to Retake the White House and Flaturent, Breaker of Wind. The Avengers are assembled by Steve Rogers and told to get their asses out there before something gets broken. Also, we get a bit of foreshadowing when Reed Richards asks Rogers to send the Thing to check out the giant hammer that landed in the middle of Yancy Street. Yeah, that decision isn't going to come to bite anyone in the ass.

Because a crazy redhead with boobs hanging out of her shirt needs a hammer to break men.
Finally, we see the Serpent address his band of tricked out Nazis with a stirring speech about the need for laizze-faire capitalism and small government. The Serpent then tells them to make like Miley Cyrus and Party in the USA. Unfortunately for him, the German word for "Party in the" is Blitzkrieg, which causes the Nazis to blow up the Capitol building. The issue ends with Steve Rogers asking the Avengers where the hell everyone is at (duh, Steve, you sent them off to find hammers while leaving Washington D.C prone to Nazi robot attacks) as the Earth gets shrouded in evil darkness. Fraction also hints that the mainstream media is the real villain in the comic, filling panel upon panel with fearmongering warnings about global warming, unemployment and oil spills.

DC, I see your Superman renouncing his citizenship and raise you an EXPLODING CAPITOL BUILDING!
My main problem with Fear Itself #2 is the lack of a substantive plot. This book could easily be summed up into three panels. The first would probably feature Thor in a chained up in a fetal position, the second would feature some dudes with Tron markings and hammers, and the third would feature a major US monument getting blown up. Thank God that Marvel chose not to use these three panels in teasers for the next episode, or else I would feel very underwhelmed. Also, I feel like Fraction chose the wrong things to focus on. We get five pages of Odin shitting out a planet with his feet but only one panel of the Grey Gargoyle about to petrify the entire city of Paris. We get more pages of the Hulk talking about his marriage problems (the root of the Hulk's commitment issues comes from the fact that he likes to touch other peoples' hammers) than we do of NAZIS BLOWING UP WASHINGTON DC.

Overall, I feel very disconnected from Fear Itself. I'm aware that it's going on. I'm aware that people have been possessed by magic hammers. I'm aware that the Marvel Universe is about get more fucked up than a Mississippi family tree. However, I'm finding it really hard to care. Hopefully the death of Bucky-Cap next issue will change that.

The Book of Mammon: Losing Mammon's Marvel Virginity.

So, I finished reading HERC #1

It was good.

The comic begins well, but hits it first speed bump rather quickly. I tried my best not to rip the comic to pieces when Herakles whips out his "The sword of Peleus" and "The Athena's Aegis" but that was my inner classicist nearly boiling over... After overcoming the shock and disgust of such blatant disregard for original myth I continued my journey into Marvel's HERC.

Herakles' employment at a local greek resturant was unexpected turn, but is actually really one of his better life choices, seeing as his last 12 jobs paid horribly and required a great deal more work.

The saving grace of this comic was a simple name drop which left the lasting impression this book was looking for. "Mordor"
BOOM! Lord of the Rings? yes please! Well played Marvel...

I picked up HERC #2 already and will be reading that soon.

I still live and die DC, but Herc will continue to be on my monthly pull.

P.S. Son of Ares as the villian, and no Clash of the Titans... Everyone can sleep soundly tonight knowing that Mammon isn't out for blood. (IGW Note: Small animals and bums can sleep soundly tonight.)

The Comics (There Be Spoilers Below!):

Moment of the Week: Wolverine kills a Nazi. (Uncanny X-Force #9) Wolverine manages to kill more Nazis on a single page than this month's offering of an event featuring Nazis as one of the primary antagonists.

We call this position "Assuming the Kingsley"
Comic of the Week
: Annihilators #3. In a weak week, the comic featuring the talking raccoon takes the day.

Surprise of the Week: X-Men: Prelude to Schism #1. The recent X-events of the last five or so years have been a two-edged sword. While they've often been the best stories to come out of the X-Offices, they also directly cause the normal titles to suffer as the writers are never able to establish their own direction for the books.

Other comics of note:

Superboy #7: Trippy issue, easily the strongest of the series to date.

Hobgoblin Life Lesson 15 (props to Zabazu from reddit for the inspiration!)
Heroes for Hire #6
: I'm proud that Heroes for Hire lasted six issues before the requisite Spider-Man crossover.

Moon Knight #1: Solid first issue with some twists, some turns and plenty of multiple personalities.

Avengers Academy #13: I'm conflicted. On the one hand, I hate prom. On the other hand, I love Gravity. On the one hand, I hate Katy Perry. On the other hand, I generally love this book. Meh. It was okay.

Hello (New Characters):

Kyknos (Herc #2) Kyknos was killed by his father in the Dark Reign: Ares series, so it'll be interesting to see how they address his resurrection.

Goodbye (Dead Characters):

JSA All-Stars. Waste of a series which only hurt the JSA in the long run.

Everything Else (Musings and whatnot)

Flashpoint hits IGW next week. Be afraid.

Next Week: Flashpoint!

Written or Contributed by: BlueStreak

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About the Author - Christian

Christian is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Christian is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.


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