2 out of 5
An Event-adjacent book, which means – alas, despite creative efforts – that it’s fairly useless.
Fear Itself was a rather meh-received crossover series, and as I can’t glean an easy one-sentence summary from wiki, I can relate. That doesn’t mean that comic events have to have elevator pitches, necessarily, but I do think giant conflicts should be able to be boiled down to something graspable, with the nitty gritty exciting comic fans. That same sensibility ripples through this issue, which, granted, is the last in a mini-series, but gives little indication of its relevance; that is: I’m not intrigued to find out more.
Further fracturing things is that The Home Front appears to have been a bits and bobs tie-in, with four stories told in the book: one by Christos Gage and Mike Mayhew that was the frontrunner through all seven issues, and two shorter stories that ran for varying lengths, plus a one page J. Jonah Jameson strip. It’s an unfortunate normality for events to have these types of “and here’s what happened to the rest of the characters!” issues, but to split it up into shorts and stretch it out over a whole mini-series is asking a bit much of your audience.
The Gage / Mayhew bit focuses on Speedball, and indicates that ‘Fear Itself’ was about some badguy-fueled fear magic that Speedball somehow counters during a ‘I can’t tell if anything actually happened’ fight sequence. The narration, from a human character who lost her child, is well done, but it has that taint of being over-serious for a spandex book.
Van Lente and Alessandro Vitti conclude The Chosen, with X-23, Power Man, Spider-…Girl? -Woman?, Thor, and Amadeus Cho battling some aspect of the fear in some place using Cho’s ‘this looks smart but means nothing’ super powers, and though Vitti punches it up quite excitingly, it doesn’t feel like it makes much sense. There’s a lot of to-do about punching through a surface and you kind of wonder why Thor’s hammer sits the job out. But I haven’t been around for parts 1 and 2 (or anything Marvel, recently), so what do I know.
Brian Clevinger and Pablo Raimondi do their take on one o’ them background tales by zeroing in on the regular folk helping on the sidelines of whatever Fear Itself was. Raimondi’s art is rather stiff, but Clevinger stays on target and clips the story down to essentials. It’s predictable fluff, but not nearly as cheesy or overwrought is it could’ve been.
Let me know if this review has totally rocked your world and you will now only collect the last issues of mini-series.