Fear Itself is the latest Marvel event/crossover. This issue is a tie-in... of sorts.
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Associate Editor:||Lauren Sankovitch|
|Writer:||Brian Michael Bendis|
|Inker:||Faucher, Mendoza, Townsend, Vey|
|Cover Art:||Dean White, John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson|
|Lettering:||VC's Clayton Cowles|
Basically, this comic is full of short 'bursts' of interviews with different Avengers and a couple of 'story' pages. Basically it recounts the events of the first two issues of the crossover, Fear Itself, where Iron Man announces a project to rebuild Asgard and Thor is all for it. Meanwhile, Sin (formerly the Red Skull's daughter and now the current Red Skull), has released a powerful God who thrives on fear and who empowers her to wreak havok on the world, leading to an attack on Washington. These events are touched on from the perspective of different members of the Avenegers. So it's basically a retelling of an already recent comic.
There are a couple of 'new' sequences. One where the Red Hulk eats a bowl of raw eggs, causing Spidey to vomit in his mask. The other sequence show the celebration in Asgard after Iron Man's announcement, which is only new in the sense that it reveals Spider-woman and Hawkeye have developed an intimate relationship!
The issue ends, mid interview giving the idea that next issue will be more of the same. I'm not sure if this issue is set after the eventual end of Fear Itself, but it seems as though it is.
Most issues of the newest volume of Avengers have had a verbal history of the Avengers written by Bendis at the end and while I started to read the first one, I got very bored, very quickly, stopped reading and haven't tried any of them since. This issue format is basically the same, but with pictures. While the interviews give some insight into the different characters that make up the Avengers, it gets pretty boring, very fast. There is really no new story here, plotwise, especially if you have been reading the Fear Itself series and the tiny bits that are added, really aren't important or interesting.
Tie-in stories during events work best when they show different sides of the story or flesh out what was happening for a certain character, etc. Over the last few Marvel events, the tie-in issues have been very good. This tie-in and I'm guessing next issue, just seem like, at best, an experiment gone wrong and at worst a lazy way to fill in a couple of issues. Bendis has been writing the Avengers for awhile now and his tie-in issues during the Secret Invasion event in particular, were excellent. But, this issue is basically a fragemented retelling of a story that has already been told. And if you aren't reading Fear Itself, I don't know how it would make any sense at all.
At the end of the day, this book is the freaking Avengers! It's chock full of Marvel's premier characters! You'd expect this to be a core book in the Marvel universe and canon. You expect big action and big heroics. This issue seems much more like a meaningless mini-series and I hoping for more!
Seems like a missed opportunity.