Review: FEAR ITSELF The Home Front #2

Published on May 9th, 2011

Fear Itself is upon the mighty Marvel Universe and lying in its wake is the ripple effects of so many books. Sin has liberated a dead Asgardian god and that god has in turn thrown the world into turmoil. We have seen different hammers thrown all over the world yielding different results for each one, but all with the same end consequence, chaos and destruction.

fihomefront2Fear Itself: The Home Front is, and has always meant to play out as, a companion piece to Fear Itself. This book was meant to show us a glimpse into small fragments of the rest of the Marvel U in the way of  four short stories, some continuing and some not. How is the story so far? Continue reading to find out if Fear Itself: The Home Front #2 is worth your time.

As Fear Itself: The Home Front is broken into four non-connecting stories, I will review each on its own separate merit. The first in the set of four is the continuing story of Speedball in Stamford, Connecticut and is written by Christos Gage and drawn by Mike Mayhew. This small story picks up right where it left off in Fear Itself: The Home Front #1 and has Speedball confronting, and in many ways being confronted by, his past demons. This story takes place right after the super villain prison known as The Raft has been damaged and its residents have started escaping. This seems to coincide perfectly, as Speedball goes from villain to savior of the people in a matter of minutes. It is easy to see why this story is featured as the art work is pitch beautiful and the writing by Gage is perfectly in character for Speedball. This story works nice as a companion piece and makes me wish Speedball was still Penance as he was far more interesting a character during the post Civil War stories.

The second story is also a continuation of the the first issue and features one of my favorite Marvel teams, Atlas. This short is written by Peter Milligan with art by Elia Bonetti.  I should start off by saying that, because I have loved the excellent work that Jeff Parker has done with Marvel’s Atlas,  I may be a bit hard on this short. With that in mind, I feel like I would equate this to a new set of actors and writers coming into your favorite TV show or movie. It just feels off,  as though they almost get it, but veer so far off to the left that it makes everything right the original creators did go out the window. Having said that, Bonetti’s art works well for the team and it feels oh so close to making you happy. Too bad you can’t fill in the word balloon’s yourself. My main gripe is really with Milligan’s writing, it is as if he hadn’t taken the time to really get to know all the members of the team. I hope that by the end of the story we find out that this is the one week that Jimmy Woo decided to hit the sauce hard, which would explain his crazy, uncharacteristic behavior. So, my final thought on this one is, while it is nice to see Atlas back on the page, it sucks to see them portrayed in a manner so uncharacteristic of them.

The third story, if you want to call it that, is written and drawn by Howard Chaykin. This is a new, non-continuing story that features Jessica Jones favorite bad guy, The Purple Man. This story also deals with the prison break at The Raft and in four panels  shows The Purple Man being thrown from the explosion into the water with a quick glimpse of The Juggernaut in his merged god, hammer wielding form. Much like the first story Chaykin did In issue #1 ,this feels like a quick afterthought. Though, the only thing I can say is that having The Purple Man back in action in The Marvel Universe may make life for Jessica Jones very difficult.

The fourth and final story in this issue is written by Heathentown author, Corinna Bechko and drawn by Lelio Bonaccorso. This short, and decidedly less superhero laden,  story deals with a train ride taken by Liz Allan and her son Normie into the city. While the art by Bonaccorso felt a bit rushed, Bechko does an excellent job of showing us a human perspective in a world of super humans and gods run amok. It is always interesting to me to see how ordinary people in the Marvel Universe deal with extraordinary problems. The story’s pacing and buildup is perfect and by the end you see that you don’t need to be super to be a hero. All in all, a nice little peek into the life of Liz and Normie.

Final Verdict: Four stories for $3.99 isn’t bad, especially if you want to get a bigger picture of what’s going on in the Marvel Universe during Fear Itself. While these are not required for the main story, it definitely clues you into what might occur later on down the line.

Sheldon Lee