Marvel has a company-wide crossover event called Fear Itself that I’m currently reading, which brings about memories of past crossover events that I’ve read and collected, stories like Civil War, Siege, and Shadowland. It’s quite challenging financially to catch up on all the tie-ins of a major event, so I thought I’d do my part and talk about Fear Itself’s tie-ins (SPOILER alert).
There’s an influx of completed tie-ins, I don’t think I can cover all those in this post, so I’ll only talk about the recently completed tie-ins that I read first (meaning, those that I was interested in more).
Uncanny X-Men #540-#543
After a successful engagement against the Thunderbolts, the possessed Juggernaut continued to make his way west towards San Francisco, where the X-Men are headquartered. What transpires is another “stop the Juggernaut” story and I thought it was a great read. The tie-in is able to continue X-Men story threads while being fully tied into Fear Itself. A must-read to see where else Juggernaut wreaks havoc and to see why Cyclops is considered a good strategist.
Fear Itself: Wolverine #1-#3
Similar to the Herc tie-in, the Fear Itself: Wolverine limited series is about bad guys taking advantage of the chaos brought upon by Sin and her forces. This time, the bad guys are members of the thought to be defunct organization known as S.T.R.I.K.E., now more akin to a terrorist group. Successfully taking over one of Osborn’s helicarriers, S.T.R.I.K.E. is manipulated into dropping a nuke on New York City shortly before Sin’s invasion forces arrive. This is a average-to-good read, but has very little to do with the main Fear Itself storyline. It’s also hard to make sense of where this fits in Fear Itself, given Wolverine’s appearances here, Fear Itself: Uncanny X-Force, and New Avengers. Not essential if you’re only looking for a complete Fear Itself experience, but not a waste of money if you want to read a Wolverine story.
Like the New Avengers tie-ins, the Avengers tie-ins feature one-off stories per issue that’s framed in Bendis’ oral history approach. And like the New Avengers tie-ins, I’d have to rate the Avengers tie-ins per issue. Issue #13 shows the Avengers around the time of Stark’s press conference on rebuilding Asgard, #14 covers the Red Hulk and Thing battle in New York, #15 shows the Avengers group that faced the Hulk in Brazil, #16 is about Steve Rogers’ assault on one of Sin’s bases in Sweden, and #17 is a battle between the Avengers and Sin. Basing it solely on how strongly tied an issue is to Fear Itself, I’d say issues #14, #15, and #17 are must-reads while issues #13 and #16 are nice-to-haves if you have if they fit in your budget. As for quality of the writing, well, I have to be honest – Bendis’ talking heads approach is an acquired taste, and I don’t have it yet. I didn’t like his Fear Itself tie-ins and will probably skip most issues during re-reads.
Avengers Academy #15-#19
The best Avengers-related Fear Itself tie-in in my humble opinion, Avengers Academy is a must-read. With Speedball away (in The Homefront) and the rest of the faculty helping out on the Raft (funny how they didn’t even run into the Thunderbolts or Heroes for Hire), it became up to Tigra and the students to help fend off the Washington, D.C. invasion. Pym, Quicksilver, and Justice are then sent to Dubai to deal with Absorbing Man and Titania, who shunted them off to the Microverse. This allowed both Worthy to reach the Avengers Mansion, leaving the students to deal with the two by themselves. A must-read tie-in, so go ahead and get this.