Comics Catch-Up Corner

As I said last week, I have quite a few comics to catch up on. The first few series being those that I picked up during and after the events of Fear Itself. Fear Itself opened up a ton of stories and I thought was actually pretty good. It tells the story of Odin’s brother, the Serpent, rising from his prison and attempting to destroy Midgard (Earth) and Asgard. The Serpent summoned seven hammers to Earth that ended up in the hands of various superheroes or villains giving them incredible power to destroy and instill fear into mortals, who he names “The Worthy.” The Serpent was eventually defeated by Thor at the cost of Thor’s life. At the end, Odin left creation and called the Vanir; the All-Mothers Queen Freyja, Mother Gaea and Maid Idunn, to rule Asgard in his place. On Earth, the superheroes and mortals will be rebuilding what was destroyed along with building a new Asgard. Fear Itself has branched out to several one-shots to twelve-issue series. Here is what I’m catching up on now:

Journey Into Mystery: issues 626-631 – Journey Into Mystery focuses on the trickster god Loki. When I began reading this series at issue 626, Loki had died earlier in the series and been reborn. So this Loki is “kid Loki.” Kid Loki appears to want to do good as opposed to behaving as his previous self did. He’s still a trickster… but he hopes to be able to plan better and help more. In this hope, he plans to help Thor defeat the Serpent by destroying Dark Asgard and giving the Serpent a weakness inside himself that Thor can use. This is a decent plan, but it essentially comes down to Loki helping to kill his brother since the prophecy is that Thor will slay the Serpent but take nine steps and fall himself. I am sure this will have consequences once Loki’s part in things is revealed to the Asgardians. But this isn’t the only thing Loki will have to answer for… his plan stirred up a few other nasty things. First, he freed Surtur, the king of Muspelheim. Second, he allowed the Disir to be enslaved by the devil Mephisto. Third, he stole Odin’s Destroyer and had the warrior Volstagg pilot it to help destroy Dark Asgard. The trickery Loki employed to do these things will surely not go unnoticed but for now, when questioned by the All-Mothers, his explanations have proven to be satisfactory. I think the dynamic of the All-Mothers and Loki is going to be really interesting to see evolve. The All-Mothers have a plan… and they want to use Loki… but to what extent? And will their plans harm his good intentions by making him be his old, devious trickster self?

Invincible Iron Man: issues 504-510 – Invincible Iron Man 504 picks up with Tony Stark in Paris battling the Grey Gargoyle, who has been chosen as one of the Serpent’s “Worthy.” The Grey Gargoyle has turned almost all of Paris’s inhabitants into stone. As you can guess, things don’t go so well for Iron Man… or for Hammer Industries’ “Detroit Steel” either, who is turned to stone. Iron Man ends up flying back to Seattle to make some repairs and leaves with a gift liquor bottle. In his drunkenness, he calls to Odin and pleads for help to make weapons strong enough to defeat the Worthy. Odin agrees and transports Iron Man to the forge of Svartalfheim to work with the dwarves. Meanwhile on Earth, Pepper Potts and some Hammer Industries employees try to battle the Grey Gargoyle but lose. At one point, Pepper almost is turned to stone but as luck would have it, the Serpent summons his Worthy to him and she is dropped. Back in Svartalfheim, Iron Man’s weapons are enchanted by Odin and Iron Man is sent back to Earth with them to do battle with the Worthy. After the events of Fear Itself, the weapons are melted down and everything is back to earthly problems for Stark Industries. The Mandarin and Zeke Stane are working together and they have planted a mole inside Stark Industries… close enough to record Pepper crying after trying to help with the devastation in the US; and close enough to know that Stark was drunk while in the Iron Man armor. I’m interested to see where this is going.

Fear Itself: Spiderman: issues 1-3 – I’ve never been a fan of Spiderman but I picked up these issues in the hopes of finding a reason to like him. I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed. These three issues tell the story of Spiderman going through New York trying to find May to make sure she is safe. But, he gets sidetracked quite a bit. The issues start out with several people in trouble in different situations that eventually are all tied together at the end of the arc nicely. There’s a ton of inner dialogue from Spiderman, an encounter with an enemy that kind of fit but I didn’t see much point to, and a fight with the Thing who has been transformed into one of the Worthy. The arc just kind of ends with some things wrapped up nicely but mostly just left me wanting more.

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