Review: Fear Itself: The Home Front #1

Published on April 12th, 2011

Fear Itself is out! Finally, the next big chapter in Marvel Comics big events has hit shelves and with that comes the many different tie -ins and one-shots. Fear Itself :The Home Front is the first of these and, according to Marvel, it is not required reading.  But, that doesn’t mean they don’t want you to read them so, they are working hard to give you the closest book to the main event without having it be directly about the main event. Thus, Fear Itself :The Home Front is born. So, how was this quartet of short stories? Read on to find out!

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Marvel is no stranger to “Big Event” books, having gone through Secret Wars I & IIThe Infinity Gauntlet, Civil War, Siege, and now  Fear Itself. Like all huge events, they always try to get you into book s you might not otherwise read, thus improving their bottom line and hopefully letting you explore further into how that event is affecting the Marvel U, much like they did with Civil War :Frontline.

The first in a set of four stories is written by Christos Gage and drawn by Mike Mayhew and deals with Speedball coming back to Stamford to try and make up in some small way for the horrific events that he was responsible for in the Civil War storyline. He shows that he obviously wants to make a difference, but goes in under a different name as to not draw attention to what could be a very volatile situation. He is ultimately confronting his demons head on in order to make amends. The short story is well crafted  and beautifully drawn. It has a very photorealistic style to it and the end truly lets you see the seething anger and fear still present in Stamford.

The next story is a short by Peter Miligan and drawn by Elia Bonetti and tells us more about my favorite team, Atlas! This short was a bit of a surprise, as I know Jeff Parker usually handles  Atlas which had me wondering the entire time if he gave any feedback for this short. The story centers around Jimmy Woo and Namora and seems almost uncharacteristic of these characters. Almost a little forced but I have to pick my battles because at least it is moving forward with an Atlas story right?! The art work is no Gabriel Hardman but suits Atlas. All in all, a nice little story and this only makes me want more Atlas in my Marvel!  Jeff Parker make it so!!

The third and literally one page worth was by Howard Chaykin and primarily feels like an after thought. I don’t blame Chaykin for this at all, as his art is as solid as usual, but it does feel slightly out of focus with what’s currently going on in Amazing Spider-Man, which makes me think it was more of a one-off last minute thing. Either way it is only a page long so no harm, no foul as it is just J.J.J. spitting his normal hate for super heroes rhetoric.

The last, and I must say the most attached to the first issue of Fear Itself is written by Jim McCann and drawn by Pepe Larraz. This short,  little look into how the fall of Asgard has affected Broxton, Oklahoma and it’s citizens feels more like the human side of the story. With Fear Itself issue one, we saw all the superheroes reacting to events, but with this we get to see how all those events have effected the average Joe. All in all, a nice companion piece to the main stories theme which is ..yup, you guessed it,  fear.

Final Verdict: It is easy to make a misstep with such a BIG Event but Marvel seems to be in good hands so far.  Which proves if you feel like digging deeper into all the Fear Itself event books you just might come up with gold.

Sheldon Lee

Sheldon@comicimpact.com