Jul 28, 2011

Let's Review Fear Itself: FF

Cover by Gabrielle Dell'otto

I picked up this comic today, and since we have this blog here I thought I'd review it. Let's see, what can I say about Fear Itself: FF?

It's pointless.

Man, that was a short review. I should probably talk more about it, shouldn't I? The book is written by Cullen Bunn, I've never heard of him, but you can visit his blog here. It's drawn by Tom Grummett and inked by Cory Hamscher and Rick Magyar.

It's a one-shot that ties into the Fear Itself event. Basically Fear Itself goes like this: an ancient Norse god is giving out power hammers to a bunch of dudes and making them evil. One of the dudes happens to be The Thing. So he's evil.

That means he has to fight the FF.

Now that's a formula... for DRAMA!

Actually, I'm lying, there's not really any drama here. This issue really is pointless. It's a tie-in to a major event, but it has nothing to say. It can't resolve the Thing's condition as an evil monster. It can't offer any new revelations on the Fear Itself event. And it can't further any current FF story lines.

So what can it do? Well, it's left with being a fight issue and a character study. Unfortunately it doesn't manage to be good at either of these jobs. The fight scenes here are completely uninspired. When Reed Richards and the Thing fight it's literally a two-panel battle where the Thing triumphs by... grabbing him. That's it? Really? Jeez.
That's the ENTIRE FIGHT? Seriously?

The other fights are a little better, but only by merit of being a little longer. They're staged and written really badly. Oh yeah, and you know how the Future Foundation has Doom as a member? And Alex Power? And... y'know, a bunch of super genius kids? And Spider-Man? None of them are here. There's Sue, Reed and... Dragon Man.

So, having failed to be exciting, what about the character study? Honestly? There's nothing there either. There's no real deep insight into the characters. They spout the cliches you'd expect, but nothing really any deeper. For example the worm things all over the Thing are constantly growling and spewing hatred, but their lines don't get any deeper than, "They all hate you! You should kill them!"

I can't say I actually hate the book. It's just that it's empty.

I'm not even really sure what the final panel
is trying to convey...

There's no reason it couldn't have been a fun book. I love a good fight book. But there's no good fights here. Take the Thing/Dragon Man fight. They wrestle over the Thing's hammer, then Dragon Man uses his flame breath on the Thing. Rather than give us a moment to think the flame had an effect it just moves right onto the next panel, the Thing completely unharmed.

The staging of the battle is just, boring.

I'm really repeating myself at this stage. Event books, especially tangential tie-ins, always run the risk of being superfluous or incomplete. This one just feels like it almost doesn't exist at all.

 --Andrew S.
(There's also a subplot with another character -- but it's probably the only part of the book of any dramatic interest, so if you are going to pick up this book I won't spoil it for you.)

(It's Alicia Masters.)

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