LIVE BLOG: FEAR ITSELF with Matt Fraction Press Conference

Today we took part in a special Fear Itself press call with writer Matt Fraction and Marvel SVP of publishing Tom Brevoort. Details of the story were sketchy going in, but following the call we now know a lot more about Marvel's big event for 2011. 

Tom Brevoort first approached Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker about developing a Thor and Captain America centric event to time with the release of their first solo feature films. That request led to the event we now know as Fear Itself. "This is the Red Skull discovering that Odin isn't the All-Father," Fraction explained. This is the story of Odin's "dirty little secret." It's a Cap and Thor story that touches on the entire Marvel universe. It's about realized nightmares: Thor's godhood coming into question and Captain America's fear of an all-powerful Red Skull. 

One of the things that most impressed us about Fraction's depiction of the event was his approach to the event format. He expressed frustration with past events, and spoke as both a fan and writer. When we asked about the nature of the last issue in the story serving as a conclusion or a launch pad for the next event, he was quick to reply that it would indeed be a satisfying ending. It will absolutely hint at the next two years of Marvel stories, but first and foremost, it will be a satisfying end to the tale rather than a stop. 

We also asked about this change in approach to events. We knew a lot about Civil War going in. This story? Not so much. Fraction said it was exciting to look at a story that way. 

"It's pretty refreshing to have the opportunity to tell a new story, to try and shock and surprise people," Fraction explained. "We get to do the big thematic things when you have a clear entry point."

The story isn't hindered by continuity and buildup from earlier story lines. "The prologue is a great teaser for the story, the chance to have a clean starting point to tell from page one is great. We don't have any other continuity to obey.  It's been terrific to build and go. It's new and fresh."

As for threats, this is all about the Serpent, Odin's aforementioned dirty secret. He's been erased from the pantheon of gods, but now he's teamed with the Red Skull to seek out the "Worthy." These are the heroes and villains profiled on past promo images. All those guys and girls fighting over hammers. "Odin got the idea for Mjolnir somewhere," says Fraction. And each of these hammers seem to coincide with the nine steps and nine worlds of Asgard. Everything is connected. Brevoort promises that those selected to be "Worthy" will operate on a scale like we've never seen. Major power boosts and upgrades. We'll learn the identity of most of these warriors in issue #2 of the main series, with the final Worthy revealed as a major shocker in #3. 

Brevoort stressed that the nature of Fear as it's being talked about in the lead-up to Fear Itself, may be misconstrued. This is not about illusions or fever dreams. These are realized fears. Thor's godhood is in questions. Bucky is experiencing his first real event scale crisis, and must struggle with the responsibilities of being Captain America. Steve Rogers is a general behind the lines, experiencing the alien task of sending other men to the front to die. Tony Stark, a man of science, must confront the impossible, come to terms with the presence of divine beings. 

Fear Itself #1 goes on sale April 6 with a supersized 44 page issue.


For more details, replay our live chat below!