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Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #1 – Review

By: Brandon Montclare (writer), Michael William Kaluta, Ryan Bodenheim & Simon Bisley (art), Chris Sotomayor, Tony Avina & Bisley (colors), Nate Piekos (colors), John Denning (assistant editor) & Mark Paniccia (editor)

The Story: Whoever feels fear shall burn at the Man-Thing’s touch!  Given that Man-Thing is living on the Raft and the Raft has been blown up during FEAR ITSELF, that little Marvel factoid might present a problem, huh?

The Review: This comic is an interesting concept that kinda falls apart in its execution.  When Juggernaut’s hammer blasted the Raft, all manner of bad guys where loosed onto the world.  Among them was Man Thing, who isn’t really evil. He’s kinda just an elemental force of nature and is hanging out on the Raft to provide transportation for the Thunderbolts.  But, everyone knows that Man Thing is drawn to fear and when he touches someone who is afraid, he burns them to a crisp.  So, the fact that the world is in a full-scale panic due to Fear Itself is going to drive poor Man Thing nuts and a lot of civilians will die unless someone stops him.

See, that set-up kinda works, right?

Now what I don’t like as much is the execution.  The team that is sent after Man Thing consists of: Howard the Duck, She Hulk (original green lawyer flavor), Frankenstein and Nighthawk.  Some comic fans love any sort of oddball mash-up because I see their comments on message boards and they like saying, “Just give me Howard the Duck and Frankenstein working together and I’m happy.”  I hate to sound elitist, but I’m a little more discerning than that as I really didn’t care for the team-up and the only singular character I enjoy out of that bunch is She-Hulk.

The art is kinda a mess too.  There are a few pages by Michael William Kaluta, who is an all-time great, but it looks like most of the issue is by Bodenheim and while I am not bothered by Bodenheim’s art generally, I don’t think it’s a very good match with Kaluta.  Then there are a few pages that look either like “Kaluta in a huge hurry” or “Bodenheim trying to copy Kaluta’s style” and they just don’t look good at all.  Bodenheim doing his normal art would have been more appropriate.  Now I did LOVE the three Simon Bisley pages at the end, but that wasn’t enough to save the issue.

Conclusion: There are bound to be a few crummy tie-ins for every event and this seems to be one.  Not a bad premise, but the execution is kinda lacking.  I have hope that it’ll improve on the next issue when the art situation is a little more settled.

Grade: D

-Dean Stell

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One Response

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