Crossover Events. The ugly reality of comic book publishing. Beneath the shining veneer of color and unbridled imagination lies, hidden away, the cruelly mistreated, abused child that makes all of it possible. I hate them...but I love them.
And why wouldn't you? Crossover events promise to "change everything!" Just when you've had your fill of the crime-fighting status-quo, along comes a massive monster/war/rift in time-space. Things will get horribly grim, a few heroes will be killed, and at the last minute (issue) the series' central character will somehow save EVERYTHING. It's a sound formula, right?
But as we all know, the formula's the problem. Not only the predictability of the story lines, but the arbitrariness of Changing Everything every year, just in time for summer. The transparency of crossover events as horrible, word-balooned greed can't help but wear on even the most faithful reader.
I've gone through a pattern for the past few years:
1. Start the series
2. Enjoy the first few issues
3. Miss a random, under printed issue
4. Lose track of the plot
5. Realize that company X hates me and loves only my money
6. Try to jump back in since, hey, I already went this far
7. Realize I have no fucking idea what's happening in this comic or any comic related to it
8. Give up, defeated.
9. Vow "Never Again."
So, all that being said, here' s my comprehensive-ish, multi-part Mega Blog covering all of Marvel's latest clusterfuck, Fear Itself. I hearby and officially invite all of my fellow Wereadcomics bloggers, whom I know are each reading various parts of this series themselves, to join me in a debate of the merits and "meh"-rits of this event in their own postings. Feel free to disagree or even call me names.
So Here We Go! In the order that I read 'em!
- Fear Itself: The Book of the Skull: Really cool! The Red Skull's daughter is up to something! Awesome WWII Captain America flashbacks! Fear Itself is going to be so cool!
- Fear Itself #1: Man, Matt Fraction can make anything cool, maybe. Asgard, and all of its godly citizens, have been stuck on earth. In middle America. Odin demands they flee the planet (has had enough of Oklahoma) in anticipation of some encroaching evil. But Thor loves earth chicks, so there is conflict. A good start! Let's go!
- Fear Itself: Home Front #1: A serial compilation of stories apparently not good enough to merit their own title. Not too bad, especially the Speedball story that opens the issue. As a peripheral title, Home Front seems relatively harmless, if not actually good.
- Journey Into Mystery #622: Okay, this is awesome. A good reason to read crossovers, apparently, is to check out titles that you otherwise would have completely ignored. Thor looks to be prominently featured in Fear Itself, and Loki is never far behind his big bro. In JiM, we join Loki after he's been turned into a child without his adult memories as punishment for past trickery. Will he reform? Will he get back to his old shenanigans? I need to know!
- Fear Itself: Sin's Past: MISSED IT! DAMMIT!
- Invincible Iron Man #503: This only seemed sort of related to Fear Itself issues previously released, except for the end. Not a bad Iron Man session, though. I didn't really know what was happening, but good nonetheless. That Matt Fraction, I tell ya.
- Fear Itself Spiderman #1: Spiderman is getting the fear! All of Manhattan is getting the Fear! This was the first issue in the Event so far that gives you a sense of what's at stake: being pretty freaked out about stuff. Kind of nebulously freaked out and nervous. I don't know. The more I think about it, this kind of sucked.
- Journey Into Mystery #623: Rebuilding momentum! Even better than the last JiM! Asgardian tom-foolery at its finest! I think I will read Journey into Mystery from now on!
- Fear Itself #2: Ok. The shine is coming off this puppy. First issue that was actually disappointing . The God of Fear is assembling "The Worthy" by shooting hammers down to their locations, giving them vaguely enhanced, maybe Thor-like powers. The lineup of hammer-ers is pretty lame and the whole issue felt kind of disjointed. Crossover-itis might be setting in.