My Week in Comics: July 8, 2011

Another Friday rolls around, which means it's time for another My Week in Comics! What did I get myself into this week? Read on to find out!

Let's get this out of the way first: Fear Itself #4 is not very good.

I've been reading comics for a good part of my life, and I've come to accept that decompressed stories and mega crossover events are the bread and butter of comic books. It's ugly business, for sure...and Fear Itself #4 is just making it worse.

So the Serpent is using the Worthy to recharge himself through the fear they generate as they rampage across the globe. With the Serpent fully powered up, he will be ready to face Odin, and that fight will only mean bad news for the Marvel universe. So what do the heroes do? Why, bring back Thor, Iron Man and Steve Rogers together, of course!

And that's as far as you can go with this issue. Matt Fraction was too concerned with giving panel time to the dozens of Fear Itself tie-ins to bother with actual story progress. All this amounts to is a lot of fantastic imagery and posturing with neither emotional weight nor sense, not to mention the huge amount of disjointed scenes that rival those of Final Crisis! Panels upon panels of places and people I'm supposed to care about, wasted because I had no reason to.

Even as a straight-up superhero story, Fear Itself fails. They're the greatest heroes that Marvel has ever assembled, facing powerful and mystical fear avatars, and everyone's big plan is to keep punching? Where's the heroic edge? The common sense?

Am I being cynical about this? Am I just a crusty old fart that doesn't like what these newfangled comic books are doing these days? I don't know. But what I do know is that four issues in, and Fear Itself is STILL spinning its wheels in place. It's been made clear that this isn't an event book. It's a handed out brochure for all the Fear Itself tie-ins out there, and I sure as heck didn't sign up for that. This is a 2 out of 5 by virtue of Stuart Immonen's amazing yet tragically wasted art. Something big is brewing in the next issue, and Marvel's got one last chance to turn this around.

On the other side of the pond, Flashpoint #3 is starting to get interesting. Barry is burnt to a crisp, but he's not about to give up trying to regain his superspeed! Just in time too, as Barry, Cyborg and Flashpoint Batman are racing to stop global war by recruiting the greatest superhero that they know!

As much as I hated the first two issues of Flashpoint, I admit that Geoff Johns stepped up his game here. A lot of stuff happens, and they all clue you in on the world of Flashpoint and the inevitable climax its building up to. I didn't feel lost at all while reading this, and I'm actually interested in how these motley crew of heroes will pull this event off.

The cover alludes of course to a meeting with Flashpoint Superman, and what our heroes find is the ultimate twist in this book. Suffice to say it's an unexpected twist to the idea of Superman, and I'm excited to see where Johns goes with this. But it's not just Johns...Andy Kubert is taking Flashpoint to great heights with his art. He totally sells the scale of this issue (and of the entire event) well, and the detail is above and beyond what you'd expect from an event book.

Flashpoint #3 is a study on how you write and draw and event book. It advances the story, clues you in on the current state of the universe it happens in, and is drawn well. If not for some unfortunate typo errors (did editors fall asleep or what?) in the book, this would have been a stellar issue. As it is, it's a good 4 out of 5.

Can't get enough of The Geek's reviews? Head on over to The Outhousers, where I reviewed X-23 #12! Trust me, you'd want a manga by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda after this!

Comic book companies never tire of event books, do they? Let's hope they do this week one better. Comments? Suggestions? Violent reactions? Leave me a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

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  1. I havent yet picked up Fear Itself 4 but I have felt that nothing really been happening. Only 4 issues in and im ready for this event to be over. Thats not a good sign.