Over the past few weeks, Marvel has been beating the drums leading up to their seven-issue event series Fear Itself. You've got two A-list creators, and a host of secondary miniseries, tie-ins and one-shots. The event kicks off with a prologue book in March, but what if I was to tell you Fear Itself is already in your comic store — hidden amongst the back issue bins?
OK, maybe I'm being a bit of a wisegiu here, but give me a moment to explain. Fear Itself takes its name from the famous quote by President Franklin D. Roosevelt — but as smart as the creators of the series might be, they're not the first ones to use it.
DC used the phrase as the subtitle of a 1999 Green Lantern series by Ron Marz and Brad Parker. Marvel itself has used it on two occasions — once with the 1992 graphic novel Spider-Man: Fear Itself (sporting a creative team of Gerry Conway, Stan Lee and Ross Andru!) and another web-crawling one-shot from just two years ago called The Amazing Spider-Man: Fear Itself. That doesn't count a recent Batman novel AND a recent Doctor Who novel sporting the same name.
The 2011 event series Fear Itself might be about fear, but if there's one thing that Marvel isn't afraid of — the title.
(Although I wouldn't object to seeing more of whatever's going on in that cover on the right. Here's a couple pages from this out-of-print marvel – Bikini Clad Baron Zemo!)