The fear continues!
The penultimate edition of the Fear Itself crossover covers the God of Thunder and the people who care about him most… more or less. Matt Fraction seems to be writing everything for Marvel these days, but I guess that is the boon to being a Marvel Architect. His helming of the recent major crossover ran from warm to lukewarm, and it seemed the whole thing was more about getting from point A to point B. Since Thor died at the conclusion of Fear Itself it seems that his wrap-up issue would be key for the immediate future of the title, and it was, but the happenings here were so suddenly and unexplained it read almost as a teaser.
It was no secret a new hero was coming to helm the role of Thunder God in Thor's stead, but still Fraction manages to present the new character in a surprising and enigmatic manner. It's so hard for the major companies' plans for their flagship characters to go unspoiled, but here the excitement of a cold switch, and a new era for the Asgardians make it a justifiable pick up for those interested in the character and other trolls, demons or goddesses associated with the Nine Realms.
The issue jumps around, but takes place within the range of happenings in the final act of Fear Itself #7. We see Odin collect the body of his son, and how Sif, Loki, Jane Foster and the Avengers react to the beloved Thor's death. The All-Father in particular takes it pretty tough, blaming himself, as he should. The characterization of Odin has been all over the place even for a theatrical Asagardian. Fraction's depiction of him has been either confrontational or sorrow-ridden and rather in the middle. The one consistency has been his protectiveness of his kingdom and son, but interestingly, in #7.2 as in #7, he seems to abandon his kingdom for his family. I am very interested to sit in on Iron Man and Odin's conversation in #7.3
Adam Kubert has good and shoddy moments in the course of the issue. The most noticeable element is the inventive, but seemingly indiscriminate paneling. Kubert captures the somberness of the story adequately, and does justice to the range of characters. Overall, the art is not enough of a departure from, nor on par with the awesome offerings of Stuart Immonen and company in the main series. Kubert's faint, almost scratchy style works better with the Gods than worth humans or heroes, particularly in the sequence introducing the apparently new god and goddesses of the Marvel Universe.
For the first time in my comics career I'm finding myself attracted to Thor titles. I've always respected the character, but the universe has its own allures too. Fraction's take on this period of Thor's career is a deserving read for those interested in the Thunder Gods, new and old.
Jamil Scalese is just like you — an avid comics fan and lover of sequential art. Residing in Pittsburgh, PA, he is an unapologetic Deadpool fan, lover of the Food Network and proud member of Steelers Nation.