Comic Books


The blockbuster Marvel event of the year continues!

Thor. Hulk. Thing. The fight to end all fights. And while it rages, the Serpent’s forces deal Captain America a blow not even he can withstand.

Story by Matt Fraction
Art by Stuart Immonen & Wade Von Grawbadger
Cover by Stuart Immonen & Billy Tan

Price: $3.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.3%
Avg Rating: 3.4
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. If they can keep up the pace from issue 4, this ship may just right itself yet.

    One thing’s for sure: After last week, I’m DEFINITELY more excited about this than Flashpoint.

  2. Not going to lie I pretty much hate this event. It’s awful and the tie-ins are even worse, the only reason I havnt dropped this is Stuart Immonen….jesus that guy can draw!

  3. The art is great.  The greatness ends there.  Still not completely sure what the point of this one is.  

  4. Fear Itself has been really good – especially compared to Flashpoint – and has gotten better with every issue. Very excited for the huge fight this issue.

    Anyone that feels otherwise is stupid and should feel bad and needs to work quickly to get their opinions in line with mine. This has been an internet comment.

  5. To tough it out or to drop, that is the question…

  6. @Malecema  


  7. This event has not been very good.  The art on this book is great though.

  8. I haven’t been into this at all until last issue. As a cap fan, it was just exciting to see him lead the charge again in the red white and blue. With that said, this is a do or drop for me after this issue

  9. art is good, story deserves a “meh”. totally dropped. I think i’ll catch up on wikipedia when its all over. 

  10. I just wanna skip to the end, now.

  11. I don’t think this worked as a Captain America event, but I guess it’s a decent Thor event. Stuart Immomen is definitely the draw (no pun intended).

    I don’t think there is really enough meat here though for a so-called big event.

  12.  Immonene’s art has been great.. but what’s the concept? This book had potential to be something good, but it’s gone off into not meaning anything. Just a bunch of random characters getting hammers, and attacking everyone for no reason. I “forgot” to pick up the last issue, but I suppose I’ll know what’s going on in this. I’ll stick it out because I have faith in Fraction and Marvel that the ending will be better than the beginning

  13. CRAP!

    Just sayin’,

  14. I know I still keep picking this book up tough…. I have a bad habit and I will stop this week I am done I will not be buying this.

    Just sayin’,

  15. Screw it im in it to the end no point turning back now

  16. Thanks Neeks, I feel the same way.  I am only getting a few tie-ins.  Spider-man, FF, Uncanny X-Men, Uncanny X-Force, Hulk and the Avengers.  I am enjoying the art, the story isn’t too bad.  I am new to comics maybe I just don’t know the backstory…

  17. I’m hoping this book does something for me this issue, i’m feeling nothing so far and we’re four issues in.

  18. @emberman Ya the art is great but the story has been alright at best, the problem ive found is the  storyline in this main 7 issue mini has been all over the place and hasnt flowed well.  
    Usually thats the  reason why you would  feel the need to purchase alot of the tie in minis which is what they try to do to sell more. If an event is done right though you usually are satisfied enough with the main story and if you then feel the need to purchase additional tie ins to enhance the experiance of the event then you have that choice.

    If i were you unless you actually are enjoying the story that much i would avoid most of the small 3 issue minis of specific characters  involved in Fear itself since it doesnt matter as much to the story usually but to each his own figured id tell you since your new to comics, i myself actually just started reading again after a 11 year hiatus

  19. I’m so OCD that I can’t drop a series until It is done. This series has not lived up to the hype, and after this is over, and Copiel stops drawing The Mighty Thor I will probably be dropping all Marvel titles from my pull list. For shame Marvel on your “comics for comics.” BS. Too bad too. Capt, & Daredevil # 1s were great. Reboot here I come. Drawing the line @ $2.99

  20. The sooner this is over with the better, I’m far to deep in to drop it now, but I find myself just not caring abou tthe story at all. Flashpoint is much much better than this right now. Thank god for X-men: Schism otr I may have lost all faith when it comes to major events in Marvel comics.

  21. Wow!!! Spider-Man’s attitude in this issue just makes me want to sell all the signed Spider-Man comics I have acquired these past years.

  22. yeah nothing has beat the dread feeling of the first Blackest Night book. The panel with Guy Gardener saying, “You hear that?” then cutting to the zombie hordes showing up was sheer terror. Fear Itself has zero context. “Let’s give Odin a brother…and make everyone afraid of….well, we’re not sure, but we’ll give them some hammers.”
    Flashpoint, while it does have is negative points, WAS being built up in the Flash books prior. But like Fear, I can’t get the oomph of a WW/Aquaman war. It’s much better than Fear though.

  23. This is bad….and seems to be getting worse. Epic art cannot carry a book alone.

  24. The cover is basically the entire issue’s plot in two panels. Except one of those plot points happened in the last issue of Iron Man and the boring parto of that plot point happens here.

  25. I’ll just send this guy to Italy where he can’t hurt anyone.

  26. @XManRyan  Yeah, I’m hoping thats explained because if there’s one thing peter isn’t it’s a quitter

  27. O no!!! I forgot 2 pick this up. Eh, maybe I should just drop this… I think I could do without it

  28. @WookieLoveMachine  don’t hate Marvel, hate the writer of those two titles.  Hope this will be the end of Fraction writing big events for Marvel or for anyone else for that matter.  

    In this just more of his crap Asgardian dialogue, and how predictable will be the ending, Odin and Tony will make Asgardian weapons and defeat the Serpent, the only intrigue will be who will get the weapons, my vote will be Iron Man, Cap, Power Man, maybe Thing again, Spidey, and maybe Wolverine?  Spidey and Wolvie are used for everything else in Marvel, why would it be any different here?  Seeing Caps shield destroyed was a shock though, but these moments are just too few and far between as far as putting together a good story/event as a whole.

  29. This was actually my favorite issue of this series so far. I agree that it has been very lacking but I think this issue held some emotional weight. The heroes really seem to be outmatched and I am interested to see what will happen next. Still completely bummed about Bucky.

  30. so spidey goes home and cap says they’re going to lose.  how disappointing.  not the kind of things i like to see from heros.  boooo!!!!!  other than that not a bad read, not great, but not toilet paper. this story should have been told in the avengers or even the thor series, doesnt seem like an event book.  doesnt seem like it needs to be 7 books long either.  is marvel becoming the house of bad ideas?  perhaps

  31. This was an excellent issue!!!

    For me to poop on.

  32. So apparantly it’s been long enough since I last heard a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog referance that that made me chuckle. Thanks doomwad!

  33. Well the art was good and the whole of the series still sucks!! I do not care who the company is; a good book is a good book!! A bad book is a bad book; like this one!! We all have different tastes and some of us have the same. When it comes to this series it sounds like 95% of us just cant pallet it and the other 5% are just Marvel groupies and will buy anything and stand by them no matter what. Wait maybe thats 4% and the 1% just really likes it???? Like wookielovemachine stated I am also a little occ or whatever and I need to learn to stop waisting money just because I have to have the whole series now.

    Just sayin’


  34. Little better.

  35. I agree that this has been underwhelming, but also that this was the best issue yet.  Didn’t believe Thor’s hammer shattering Ben Grimm, particularly when Thor didn’t even throw it.

  36. @Urthona  yea, had an issue with that too, sorta a weak way for Serpent Thing to be defeated.

  37. @Flash923 – Not nice to say that anybody who likes it is just a fanboy. Maybe some people actually like it. While most of it has been garbage, I quite enjoyed issue #4 and am looking forward to reading this one, and I am a discerning consumer of comic goodness.

  38. This is about as enjoyable to me as Daredevil’s Shadowland was. I keep reading the core series hoping fir a 180, but it never seems to happen. It makes me sad because I love Fraction’s work for the most part.

  39. Best issue yet, but that’s not saying much. If you want context on Tony and the weapons read the last issue of Iron Man. It wasn’t bad and it had a dwarf with terets.

  40. I’m done. OCD be damned. I will not be finishing this one out.

  41. It’s clear to me that Fraction and the Marvel editorial staff’s conversation behind this book went something like this:

    “So the Transformers movies sure are popular. Guess people love all action and little plot. Let’s do it.”

  42. Wow, that stunk.

  43. My Fear Itself experience:
    issue 1 – kinda cool
    issue 2- meh not too great but not giving up on it yet
    issue 3- they killed Bucky! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! (sobbing in fetal position ensues)
    issue 4- almost didn’t buy this, only reason was to see if Bucky was really dead… HE IS! (sobbing continues)
    issue 5,6 ,7-refuse to purchase the rest of FI, but judging from previous commemts there was a MAJOR characterization fail with spidey and cap… talking about this series reminds me of… BUCKY! (sobbing) WHY COULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN THE FALCON!

  44. Seems like everyone is jumping on the hatin’ band wagon, so I’ll play devil’s advocate.  A short defense of Fear Itself.

    First, this is long-term storytelling.  “Oh no, they’re spending too much time in the Savage Land!” is a classic line in this vein.  Well if you go back and read Secret Invasion in trade form with a couple of the tie-ins to supplement, it’s a pretty smooth and good read.  It doesn’t translate very well into monthly issues, but that’s just how the industry works; no ones really yet to jumped into the Earth-One style OGNs that these events would probably be better suited for.  Also, I get the feeling a lot of this is against the publishing companies more than its about the books. No one complained about the Viltrumite War when Invincible spent half a year basically just punching people in space, but that was Image.

    I know people don’t like this, but you have to read at least a couple of the tie-ins.  When faced with the classic event dilemma of large numbers of pointless tie-ins, Marvel seems to have decided the problem was in quality rather than quantity.  That is why the main Fear Itself series often feels like a sampling platter of what’s going on instead of a full story in and of itself, because it’s the bone that holds the meat of the various tie-ins together.  The trick now is figuring out which titles are good/worthwhile (Inv. IM, Jour. Into Myst., UXM, Avengers).  At least with Fear Itself, Marvel is making the story somewhat understandable through the main series alone; good luck reading Blackest Night without Green Lantern or GL Corps. Yeah, an event book should be able to stand on its own as a story yadda yadda blahdy blah, Marvel is in the business of making money, so its not that surprising that they chose to create a series that somewhat forces readers to buy a large swath of books.  It makes them more money and potentially grows the reader pools for the respective books.

    And in the end, its hardly THAT bad.  Ultimatum was bad, Amazons Attack was bad, this is perfectly middle of the road, perhaps even a bit on the better side.

  45. @Kamilo  This wasn’t bad, and I’m certainly enjoying it more than Flashpoint which seemed rushed and just off last issue. My problem with this issue can be boiled down to Spider-Man leaving at the end. But hey, I know comics, and it could be explained in the next issue in a way that will totally satisfy me for all I know.

  46. @Kamilo  thats a short defense?  if it doesnt translate very well into a monthly series, than it shouldnt be one.  if i have to buy 4 other books a month for fear itself to be, as you put it, a little bit better than middle of the road, than marvel should now be considering that the problem is quality rather than quantity, because if they’re not they should be.  whats that come out to, about an extra 200 bucks in a 7month period to make this event an ok read.  do you really think its ok that “marvel is making the story somewhat understandable” through the flagship of the series?  hasnt one of their mottos been that every comic is someone’s first?  besides, if the tie-ins are so great, how come you think nobody is buying them?  i dont think its about the publishing companies, because most of the people reading fear itself buy and love many of marvel’s books.  and yes, they are out to make money, but imagine you buy a steak from a restaurant and it doesnt taste good.  then someone tells you ” if you want it to be better, you also have to buy the salt, pepper, A1 and a couple of other ingredients that cost as much as the steak does.  just take it, chew it up and swallow.  dont worry, the restaurant is only trying to make money.”

  47. People didn’t complain about the Viltrumite War because that was fun, exciting, action based comic booking in which the readers got the whole story in one book, with characters they cared about, and stakes that were high and made sense. We’re complaining about this because it’s pretty much a hot mess.

  48. @Kamilo  Couple of counter points

    1) If it ‘doesn’t translate very well into monthly issues,’ then the publisher has failed just as surely as I would fail if I made a bus that only held 4 passengers.

    2) Fewer complained about the Viltrumite War in Invincible because it was completely EARNED.  Everything was understandable to all who were reading Invincible.  This mess just dropped on us from the sky.  That is the difference.

    3) If I ‘have to read at least a couple of the tie-ins,’ then Marvel has failed there as well.  If I went to see a movie and there were plot points that could only be explained by picking up an external piece of information, then the movie makers had failed at making a movie just as surely as Marvel has failed here.

  49. Alrighty, here we go.
    @Roi, your a lovely person who thinks clearly and logically.
    @sitara To take your steak metaphor, think of it this way.  If you’re just reading FI, you have a plate with nothing but a medium steak on it.  You want a drink, sides and fixings, those are the tie-ins.  Yes, a full meal usually costs more at a resturant than a single entree.  And yes, $200 over 7 months (which at ~28 weeks is an extra $10 or so a week) isn’t THAT bad.  If that’s a problem, maybe comics aren’t the hobby for you, they tend to be kinda expensive.  Oh, and though YOU may not be, people are buying the tie-ins, quite a few actually.  Flashpoint and Fear Itself tie-ins are all over the top picks every week and the sales charts every month.
    @MisterJ 1. Marvel is stuck in the monthly shipping schedule like the rest of us.  If Marvel and DC actually released OGNs then maybe thats what this would be, but as things are, this is how the industry works and sometimes it isnt ideal.  Its not the story’s problem, its the distribution system’s.  3. Like how sequels typically require watching the prequel?  And besides, the comparisons are mute as one is a largely singular one time story involving at most a half dozen writers while the other is long term (decade long) serialized storytelling involving countless of writers and creative professionals. 

  50. This just doesn’t feel epic.  The world’s at stake, but there isn’t any context to show it.

    With Thor saying he can’t beat the Hulk, Spidey leaving, and Captain America saying, “We’re going to lose”, everything is coming back to the original theme of fear, but the next issue needs to build some character to get there. 

    I still have no idea why Bucky had to die.

  51. @Kamilo  
    a steak by itself is not an entree.  sides, fixings and the steak combine to create an entree, which is a full meal.  you would buy a steak by itself from an “a la carte” menu, in which case it would cease to be an entree.  and if anything, the fixings, sides and a drink could more closely be compared to the characters that compose the book or “entree.”  the appetizer, salad, and dessert would be the tie-ins, which i dont think i should have to buy to make my “entree” taste good. maybe metaphors aren’t for you.  yes, comics are kinda exspensive, the issue isnt spending money, its getting my money’s worth.  and im also reading journey into mystery, which is fantastic, but does little, in my opinion, to advance the story in the flagship book that is fear itself.

  52. Wow. Ok. I take it back. I do not like.

    This isn’t the prequels, Matt! Stories need a protagonist! An arc! A plot, for pity’s sake!

    Ah well. At least Spider Island is fun.

  53. So… here’s the biggest problem with this. Franklin can undo Thing’s mystification? I’m okay with that. Then how come Franklin just doesn’t UNDO EVERYTHING!? He litterally has the power! (Let alone the non-existent motivation for Ben getting a hammer, but… alas.)

    Sigh… it’s just… falling apart at the seams. It’s not about what we were lead to believe it would be about, characters are wildly off mark, the plot ranomdly disappears for big fight scenes. And even Immonen’s pencils are getting sketchier more often in this issue. (I can’t blame him, and this has been on time so far, but if you compare this to the first issue you’ll see an increase in less defined backgrounds.)

  54. @Kamilo  your defenses are just excuses for poor execution, period.  To say you have to read it altogether to make sense of this, and that you have to read the tie-ins to make this a successful event?  Excuses.  To go with the steak metaphor, the tie-ins are more like ordering a steak from one restaurant, and then having to go to a different one in order to get the sides you want, you just shouldn’t have to do it.  The other flaw to your argument is that yea, I tried out the Wolverine tie-in amongst others, and they didn’t enhance the main series experience at all, so that totally debunks your theory that it makes it better if you simply read the tie-ins.

    @PraxJarvin  agreed, Franklin probably shoulda spoken up awhile back before a lot of people got hurt, i.e. Bucky, and unlike you, I wasn’t quite ok with Franklin being able to undo Thing’s mystification, seemed way too convenient to me.

  55. I don’t hate this. It was a well-drawn issue with people fighting each other. Sometimes that’s all a comic needs to be. It was far from the best thing I read this week (That’s between ‘Tec and Cloak & Dagger) but it’s not even close to the ‘WORST STORY EVAR’ that some folks are claiming.

    It’smy first ‘event’ since getting back into buying weekly and it’s been good in some places bad in others. The tie-ins I’m reading are the monthlies I’d be buying anyway, and it’s not ruinned them. I can’t understand the sheer amount of bile and hatred…

  56. I don’t hate this. It was a well-drawn issue with people fighting each other. Sometimes that’s all a comic needs to be. It was far from the best thing I read this week (That’s between ‘Tec and Cloak & Dagger) but it’s not even close to the ‘WORST STORY EVAR’ that some folks are claiming.

    It’smy first ‘event’ since getting back into buying weekly and it’s been good in some places bad in others. The tie-ins I’m reading are the monthlies I’d be buying anyway, and it’s not ruinned them. I can’t understand the sheer amount of bile and hatred…

  57. @markish  Completly agree with you, this is far from the worst thing ever. Granted some of the character stuff has missed the mark a bit, but the story itself could be much worse. I dont get all the hate, if people dont like it they shouldnt read it.

  58. Thank god someone agrees…..

    Franklin is generally considered the most powerful mutant on the planet.  In Hickman’s run they show him building entire realities out of nothing, so yeah, he can deus ex things.  However, that is limited by several factors: hes a child, he doesn’t yet have full control over his powers, the Worthy (like Thor) tend to be just as deus exy.  Thing was fatally wounded with a giant hole in his chest when Franklin approached, thus making it safe enough for Franklin not to get a hammer in the face, and weakening Thing enough so that he could somewhat gain control over himself again.  Ben was also likely the most “posessed” of the group as his was the farthest fall from grace, likely meaning breaking him away from the hammer was easiest.  There is also a strong bond between “Uncle Ben” and Franklin, meaning the latter will go out of his way to save the former.  Dont expect Frankie to put his neck on the line too much for Absorbing Man and Hulk.  And that’s why the whole Franklin thing ain’t so bad.

  59. @Kamilo  you win a no prize if franklin doesn’t try to fix anyone else sir, that all makes perfect sense

  60. I was starting to think the series was turning a corner, I didn’t think the first half of this issue was half-bad but the second half was almost non-sensical.
    #1    Why would Spidey call someone “beardo” who DOES NOT HAVE A BEARD?!?
    #2    “Don’t let the hammer hit the–” … what?  What happened there?!  What did he hit the hammer with to cause that big explosion? 
    #3 Not everybody reads FF, Matt.  I have no idea what the fuck happened there, who that kid is, or how he saved him.
    #4 So did Thor trip or something when he was trying to strut after launching the Hulk?  “Tuh” indeed. 

    I’m a fan of Stuart Immonen but something isn’t right here, I’m finding the action in a lot of these panels hard to follow and it doesn’t seem like the writing and the art are quite in sync with each other.

    @NawidA I should have listened to you, instead I gave Matt Fraction another 4 dollars I shouldn’t have; lesson learned.

  61. Threatening to kill everyone, and then LEAVES AFTER CRUSHING THE SHIELD?


  62. Now THIS is more like it! Finally, we get some action, some intenstiy… something HAPPENED! This was a make-or-break issue for me: if I wasn’t impressed, I was skipping the last two (I realize I’m $20 in at this point, but the $8 from 6 and 7 would buy me a cheap lunch!).

    But why did it take until the fifth issue of a 7-issue event for us to get to this? Poor execution of a good idea.

  63. I have not been enjoying Fear Itself for many reasons, one being that the characterization of everyone seems off.  I recently thought of a good reason that explains everything – the weird characterization, why the story is structured the way it is, etc…  I am not writing this series off yet… Fraction could surprise us by sticking the landing in a way that causes us to rethink what we’ve been reading to result in a very satisfying story…. I hope this is the case.

  64. pretty good issue, but what i’d love to see next issue would be cap’s shield being replaced by a shield made from asgardian material by tony stark.

  65. @kamilo if any of this was evident on the page, it would have been great. As it stands it seems like we “needed” to have Ben become Worthy, for no clear reason that presents interesting drama – just cause it’d look cool- and then now we “need” Ben to be un-Worthied because he needs to survive the event. As wel, this contradicts aspects of FF because why wouldn’t Franklin heal/bring back Johnny? Especially since Franklin pretty much says in this issue “my powers were never deactivated when everyone thought they were.” It’s sloppy writing. It’s “have my cake and eat it too writing.” There’s no depth, no exploration of the things going on. Just plot point to plot point, many of which seem ignored or glossed over. Millions are dead in Paris in this story. No one is going to say: “Hey Ben, how’d you get better? Think you could arrange the same for those people?” It’s a selective Deus Ex Machina that has too much power and logically contradicts the entirety of the plot! Why not wish Sin and the Serpent to the cornfield and be done with it, Franky?

  66. so Franklin “saved” Ben but watched his real uncle die?    Fail

  67. and Steve Rogers gives up? grows discouraged, yes, depressed, i could buy, but gives up? if were paying money for these and not simply reading a friend’s copies, i would be done with it at this point. oh well, at least i can still enjoy Journey into Mystery . . .

  68. I didn’t think this was so bad. Seemed like the weight of the situation is finally sinking in. I like this one and I thought the first issue was good. That’s about it.

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