The World's Going to Be Destroyed? Yawn...

Bloggified by Jake on Monday, June 6, 2011

I am trying to write three books and am constantly complaining about how little time I have to accomplish anything due to my 50-60 hour a week day job, so a lot of blogging about comics has fallen to the wayside. However, since I read the first three issues of Fear Itself this weekend despite rarely reading any of the big crossover events, I thought I would weigh in, albeit briefly.

I don't get it.

Less briefly, I don't know why I'm supposed to care about this story. Granted, I've been out of the mainstream of Marvel for years, only checking in briefly when X-Factor has an obligatory tie-in to the major event or getting summaries from Twitter that lead me to Wikipedia to learn why and how Norman Osborne is in charge of the world or whatever the hell that was about. Still, I don't think my ignorance of current storylines is what's holding me back.

It just seems like a by-the-numbers "major threat is posed to the world and the superheroes band together to fight it off" story, but without anything to get me actually interested. It feels like it's been put together by a committee that drew up specific guidelines based on past event comics. Destroy major cities, turn heroes against one another, kill off a notable character who also happens to be totally expendable,, etc. In this case, the committee also realized the series would kick off during the hype of the Thor movie, and that the general public would expect Steve Rogers to be back as Captain America in time for that movie, so in addition to the other points, the threat should be Norse-related and Bucky would have to die or otherwise be removed from his role as Captain America.

In reading the third issue, one moment really stood out for me as even more out of place and awkward than everything else.I assumed this was Matt Fraction's nod to the old tradition of the Yancey Street Gang razzing the Thing whenever he came back to the old neighborhood, but this seemed a little extreme. Why would you heckle the superheroes who have saved the world multiple times when another threat is being posed to the planet as we know it? This feels like a Jew during the liberation of Auschwitz yelling, "Hey, Americans, I sure hope you unlock those gates faster than you fought the Battle of the Bulge, ya jerks!"

Then I realized if I lived in the Marvel Universe, I might feel this way, too.

For nearly a decade, Marvel citizens have lived under an almost-constant threat of annihilation. The disassembling of the Avengers and subsequent demutanting of the populace were minor blips compared to the Civil War that saw a nuclear explosion wipe out Stamford, Connecticut and a battle between superheroes that destroyed several blocks of Manhattan.

Significant chunks of New York City have also been destroyed in the Skrulls' Secret Invasion and World War Hulk, as well as Hell's Kitchen being transformed into a demonic feudal kingdom under the leadership of Daredevil. At this point, if Galactus comes down and says, "I'm going to eat your planet," the average guy must think, "Ho-hum, speaking of eating, what should I make for dinner?"For shocking twists to be shocking, for tense moments to be tense, for dire consequences to be dire, there needs to be some downtime. Otherwise, the rebirth of an ancient Norse god of fear taking control of the most powerful heroes and villains and bending them to his will with the intent of razing the planet is just another day in the Marvel Universe.

0 sarcastic replies:

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)