Fear Itself: Spider-Man #3

Background

The world has gone mad with Fear Itself. Spider-Man is just as scared as everyone else. But he has made a vow: as long as he's around, no one dies!

He will not rest as long as there are people to save. Having seen off Vermin, Spider-Man races to a hospital to save a pregnant woman.

Across town, his friend and teammate The Thing has been transformed into one of The Worthy: Angir - Breaker Of Souls!

Story 'Day Three'

  Fear Itself: Spider-Man #3
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Assistant Editor: Ellie Pyle
Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Mike McKone
Lettering: Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Jeromy Cox

New York City. Hour Forty-One of the Fear! Dr. Shahrzad Rafiee is finding the hoards of unruly, frightened patients a struggle. Norah Winters fears that Norman Osborn will find her and kill her! Karen Anderson is being carried by Spider-Man to the nearest hospital. The Thing has been transformed into Angir: Breaker Of Souls! He sees Spider-Man and wants to kill him!

Spider-Man arrives at the hospital with Karen and, spying the other patients all hurt and scared, passes her to Dr Rafiee. Karen is dead. Spidey knows that she was alive minutes ago so the doctors begin to revive her and deliver the baby! Suddenly the wall crashes down and Angir pounds in! Spidey freezes at first but soon moves, trying to allow the doctors to get Karen into the elevators! Angir smashes the elevator door as Spider-Man punches him in the face! He doesn’t flinch so Spidey, knowing that he can’t go toe-to-toe with him, tries another tactic and tries to reason with him. Angir hits Spider-Man with his hammer! Hard! As a result, Spider-Man goes into cardiac arrest! Dr Rafiee tries to shock him with a defibrillator but Angir approaches her…! Norah Winters appears and hits Angir from behind with an IV stanchion so Angir chases after her, allowing the doctor to restart Spider-Man’s heart! Spider-Man slowly recovers and looks around. Through everything that has happened in the last three days, he finally sees that there is no hope… Everyone is helpless against this force of fear. Norah, the doctors, Karen and her baby; they are all going to die… Spidey picks himself up - It’s a pity he’s too much of an idiot to believe any of that! He webs the hammer from Angir’s hands and slams him with a metal chair! With pain tearing through him, he channels the fear and adrenaline and thumps away at Angir, eventually hurting him enough to make him stagger! Angir summons his hammer but Spidey knows that he can’t survive another hit! He spots a light above Angir and webs it down on top of him and the resulting electrical blast knocks him down! Stunned, Angir leaves the building! Norah comes to the relieved Spider-Man to congratulate him but he passes out!

Hour Forty-Eight of the Fear! Taxicab driver Naveed Moshtagi, saved by Spider-Man, prays with his family. Former CEO Robert Chistansen, rescued by Spider-Man, is comforted by his wife. John Russel, stopped by Spider-Man in the church, prays and finds the fear lifted from him. Karen Anderson, brought to hospital by Spider-Man, was resuscitated and gave birth to a baby girl. Dr. Shahrzad Rafiee focuses on one thing at a time and pushes the fear aside. Norah Winters is humble regarding her actions that saved Spider-Man life.

Peter Parker briefly received medical treatment and then re-entered the city to help as many people as he could. He later receives some phone messages from Aunt May, telling him that, no matter how bad it gets, he should never lose hope…

General Comments

This issue rounds off one of the strongest, emotional and gripping mini-series I have ever read. With a simple concept, Christopher Yost has delivered a story that uses Spider-Man perfectly, coming close to the types of threat and brink of defeat that creates the most legendary scenes for our hero to recover from.

Yost develops the structure of the narrative here, delivering framing panels of the characters we’ve seen but then allowing for this raging fight sequence to fully take centre stage. Without interruptions, this scene is wonderfully epic. There’s a great balance of outstanding and emotional Spidey narrative with expertly choreographed action. To push Spidey to the limits of cardiac arrest and just about back is something that really works here and truly shows the power of The Worthy and sells the tenacity, belief and responsibility of Spider-Man.

This scene wouldn’t be as successful if it wasn’t for the clarity, poise and style of Mike McKone. He mixes panels up with ease, creating this splintered, quick affect on each page that requires it and then pulls out all the stops on a shattering whole-page of Angir hitting Spider-Man and then this silent concussive force that eventually sees him off. If Yost choreographs the action then McKone directs, producing a crisp and believable sequence of events. He has always been able to capture the realistic and here, using real space and solid line, he does so with aplomb.

All of these things, the intelligent writing from Yost and the stunning visuals from McKone, result in something very strange and unlikely happening. I find myself liking Spider-Man even more.

Overall Rating

Christopher Yost re-writes the book on how to do a proper tie-in! This mini-series has it all, capturing the level of fear the big event book, Fear Itself has failed to do, and concludes with a remarkable fight sequence and stunning level of emotion and involvement.