Marvel’s Next Big Thing: THE FEARLESS with Matt Fraction, Cullen Bunn and Chris Yost

Fear Itself: The Fearless #3

Today we’re taking part in a special press call with Matt Fraction, Cullen Bunn and Chris Yost, the writers behind this fall’s Fear Itself: The Fearless. Also on the line, editor Tom Brevoort.

According to Brevoort, Fear Itself: The Fearless and Battle Scars were originally a single project, but as the Fear Itself event progressed, they realized they had enough material for two separate books in the Shattered Heroes status quo. While all three writers are involved, the bulk of Battle Scars (focused on “Marcus” the mysterious new character seen only on shadow in existing promos) is written by Yost while The Fearless is Bunn’s domain.

The Fearless centers on multiple heroes in their quest to gather the mystical hammers created by the Serpent. It spans the entire Marvel universe, though the major players are Valkyrie, Crossbones, and Sin.

As Yost explains, there are hammers positioned underwater, in the Baxter building and Utopia. So we can surmise that characters like Namor and the X-Men will feature prominently in various issues.

By and large, Mark Bagley will provide art for the hero characters and Paul Pelletier will focus on the villains and their arcs.

Fraction calls Bunn’s The Sixth Gun and The Fearless “kissing cousins” in the way the book plays to his strengths. Thematically, espionage and violence are center stage.

Asked about the prominence of Valkyrie and Sin–two female characters–in this major event, the writers stressed that it was all happenstance and had nothing to do with a mandate. By nature, Sin was always going to be a major player. Valkyrie entered into the story organically as well. Brevoort acknowledged that the prominence of female characters as well as creators has been prevalent in conversation lately (alluding to the debates taking place in recent DC Comics convention panels).

Valkyrie, a new favorite amongst the team, is being elevated, but Brevoort explains that she was also available for greater screen time since–unlike Wolverine or Spider-Man–she’s not so enmeshed with other teams and story lines. Fraction adds that she is able to navigate all of these disparate worlds and that plot necessity made her an easy choice as a major POV character.

Bunn is tight lipped about cameos, but promises the Thunderbolts will definitely make an appearance. Brevoort offers that Storm will be a major player. All of the Avengers teams, the FF, Project Pegasus and all the new teams coming out of Fear Itself will also feature. We will also see a few characters from the 90s resurface, though we may not recognize them right away.

Asked about the necessity of publishing the series twice a month, Fraction reiterated the sheer amount of story they’re hoping to tell. The writers also agree that they don’t want to overstay their welcome and feel that the quest element of the narrative lends itself to an accelerated publishing plan.

Yost treads cautiously when the subject of “Marcus” comes up, though he does say that the character loses a family member in the events of Fear Itself. Brevoort adds that the character would be a bona fide hero in the real world, and the thrill is seeing how that kind of person would operate in a world of superheroes. He’s involved in what Fraction calls a “chase.” But when the character turns the game around on those who pursue him, Fraction believes fans will embrace the guy.

Fraction refers to the hammers as “the Marvel equivalent of loose nukes.” Yost explains that the shadow of war will hang heavy over all characters involved.

Until Fear Itself: The Fearless #1 hits in October with Fear Itself #7, here’s a preview of Mark Bagley’s interiors from the upcoming issues:


  1. MORE fear?

  2. I am super excited that two of my favorite artists are handling the pencils on this book.

  3. I just read the first volume of Cullen Bunn’s Sixth Gun after hearing so much about it here. He’s jumped right to the top of my “writers to watch” list. If the review sof this are as good I’ll definitely be picking this up.

  4. One could, if one were so inclined, call Fear Itself a Marvel-ized rip-off of Sixth Gun, in a way. If one were so inclined, of course.

  5. I’m totally not looking forward to this…
    I really hope though, that it will be better than Fear Itself, then i will give it a try.
    So I’m going to wait what the reviews say before I start wasting money.

  6. Sigh. another effing event book. Will not read. Absolutely not.

  7. Mark Bagley, Paul Pelletier, and Cullen Bunn? All of a sudden a book I wasn’t interested in became a book I’m not excited for.

    And is it just me or was there not this much negativity when DC did the same thing with Brightest Day?

  8. Stop it Marvel. Just stop it.

  9. meh.

  10. Didn’t read any Fear Itself cause it looked like way too many tie ins and like most am over the over hyped event books but like Fractions previous work on IronMan and can’t say I didn’t enjoy a couple event stories over the past few years, just think Marvel needs a break from them and spend more time reestablishing its core characters and some great obscure ones to solid quality titles like the new Cap run Brubakers doing, love it. Annihilators/Avengers with DNA should be tight.

  11. i dropped three of my marvel books because of this fear itself bull, and decided to pick up green lantern, action comics and swamp thing from the new DC 52. So now im just buying three marvel books Punisher, Daredevil and Moon Knight , and guess what ! they’re all continuity free.

    • “Venom” is also worth checking out, although now it’s mixed up in the “Spider Island” event, although I still might go back and get it after reading some reviews (or buy it anyway because the art is amazing). I guess I definitely have become one of those guys who almost automatically won’t buy a book if it’s a tie-in, which in this case might be a mistake.

      Also, don’t forget “Criminal” which some might not count because it’s ICON, but it’s still Marvel footing the bill.

  12. I can’t believe Marvel is carrying on with this hammer nonsense.

  13. Fear Itself is the first Event (capital E) that I’ve ever dumped halfway through. :/

  14. what?seriously?they are countering DC’s new 52 with this?seriously?im dropping all marvel books right now.

  15. “Somebody call marcus.”
    “who the fuck is marcus?”
    “I know, I know, I don’t know.”

  16. This sounds rotten.

  17. Haven’t really been getting any event books this summer. I’ll probably read this in library trades next year. I do enjoy Yost’s writing, but I’m just not buying much of anything beyond my regular titles (especially with the DC relaunch taking some of my comic-buying budget). I sure do see a lot of Secret Avengers in that promo image, though.

  18. Can someone please tell me what is so terrible about this? Nearly every comment on this article (and others like this) are all long the lines of “Another event? This is terrible. I’m done with Marvel.” I just don’t understand what the problem is with these FI aftermath books. First off, this is all very similar to Brightest Day in both concept and exection, bui there wasn’t this much backlash for it. I know FI was unsatisfying for most readers, but that doesn’t mean that there should not be any type of fallout titles. Also, just like Decimation/Intiative/Dark Regin/Heroic Age fallout books, you do not have to read it if you don’t want to. Other than the fact that FI is “terrible” am I missing something why Shattered Heroes is going to be equally “terrible”?

    • For me the reason it sounds terrible is the plot description. It sounds like a bad video game. I’m happy to just ignore it as long as it doesn’t cross into stuff I’m already reading. FI has ruined the Avengers for me lately. I didn’t read Blackest Night/ Brightest Day either, so this isn’t an anti-Marvel thing for me. I quite liked Siege.

  19. PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    Holy crap! In my book, no one does the Marvel Universe better than Mark Bagley. Thanks for sharing some of his uncolored magic, iFanboy! Will this book sell for $2.99?