Fear Itself:Spider-Man #1 (of 3) review


Story Title: Day One

Writer:Chris Yost

Art:Mike McKone

Colors:Jeremy Cox

Be afraid. Be very afraid. But still read the review. And leave lots of comments. Like hundreds.
Fear has taken over the Marvel Universe. Don’t ask me how. I haven’t been reading the other Fear Itself books. Before I enter into the ‘plot’ part of things, I figured I’d start this review by listing all the things I’m afraid of. It’s not a long list, as I am a very courageous person. A Renaissance man too, if you will.

1.Chickens. I’ll eat them, but have any of you ever actually been close to a chicken? Those things will fuck you up.

2.Heights. I get mad vertigo. Sometimes I get sick just reading a comic where Spidey is up on a tall building.

3.Mosquito’s. Just thinking about them gives me the creeps.

4.Eating Chicken can be pretty scary too. You don’t want salmonella.

5.Germs. I wash my hands more than anyone you are ever likely to meet.

6.Random sniper attacks. We all remember the D.C. guy a few years back.

7.And of course, dying alone 🙁

Anyways, none of those fears are on display in this comic, because I guess they are not interesting enough.

Plot:

The issue starts off in bold letters: New York City. Hour Six of the Fear. A guy named Robert (or ‘Bob’) Christansen is fearful of being discovered for keeping crooked books for Roxxon Oil. A woman named Karen Anderson is eight months pregnant. She is afraid she will die while giving birth to her daughter, a child her husband believes is not his. He packs a bag and leaves her. A gentleman named John Russel is about to have his home foreclosed. He lost his job months ago, and is now missing payments on his house. He worries where he and his family will live as he loads a gun. A second generation Iranian man, Naveed Moshtaghi,  is afraid of being harassed, or worse, by his fellow New Yorkers. And, of course, there is our hero, the Astonishing Spider-Man (I almost said amazing, but that’s used enough) who worries for his girlfriend Carlie’s safety, and that of his elderly Aunt May (when is she going to die already).

Naveed is involved a minor car accident involving his cab, and another person’s car. Naveed gets out of the car, only to be attacked by a FEARful mob (see what i did there?) who accuse him of being a terrorist. Spidey swoops in and saves the day, all the while thinking how inappropriate a time it is to make jokes, as this is the third person he’s saved from a mob in the last few hours. Spidey tries his Aunt May again, but all the cell towers seem to be down. it turns out Naveed is also having a hard time locating his family.

Robert, the crooked business man, readies himself to jump of his building to his death, after calling his wife, who it turns out is fearful that Robert is leaving her. Karen, the pregnant woman goes into labor, and is unable to call an ambulance (this issue really makes me want to get a land line installed), John, the soon to be homeless family man, gets his loaded gun at the ready, while our wondrous webslinger continues to save average citizens.

We next see our favorite reporters at the Daily Bugle, Ben Urich, Norah Winters, Joe Robertson, and random red headed woman, as Robbie takes a call from Jonah Jameson, blaming Spider-Man for all the chaos. Robbie orders everyone to get out there and report, as Peter finally makes it to Carlie’s. Don’t worry all you Delta’s. Carlie is okay. Spidey saves some more people, including a suicidal Robert, and the issue ends as Spidey run into Vermin.

Commentary:

I thought this issue was really good. It did feel like mostly setup for the next two issues, but the quality was a lot better than I expected. Most tie in issues to big events are usually pretty awful, to put it bluntly. The art was great. Anyone who is familiar with Mike McKone, know that the man can draw a damn good Spidey. He does not disappoint with this story. I had a chance to meet McKone at Comic-Con last week, and he was a pretty nice guy too.

The coloring in the issue, while maybe not to everybody’s liking, fit this issue well. Jeremy Cox colored everything slightly dark and murky, but not so much as to clash with McKone”s style. In this issue we were given red and black Spidey, which Ive always liked better than red and blue. I’m not sure who did the cover, as it’s not listed, but I’m thinking different people, as that Spidey is Red and blue. I read a story or interview or something that said Ditko intended Spidey’s costume to be Red and Black, so that’s always been my prefered costume for my favorite super hero.

The story really drew me in. Besides Spidey, we had a look at the fear going through other people’s minds as well. I’m interested to see where the story goes. Spidey saved the suicidal Robert, at the expense of his own shoulder, which is now dislocated. I’m not sure if his story is over, as Peter mentioned that the guy seemed more afraid of dying than any thing else, after he jumped. We were left with the pregnant woman Karen, running through a mob trying to get to a hospital. She was distraught as she mentioned she couldn’t feel her baby moving anymore. Naveed was left safely on a rooftop by Spidey, and John, the homeowner, was shown to be aiming his gun outside the window at the people he perceived to be coming for his house.

Im really amped about Spidey’s upcoming battle with vermin, who was shown to be just as afraid of Spidey, as Spidey was of him. Vermin has always been one of my favorite villains, going all the way back to Kraven’s Last Hunt. Vermin was shown to be cured in the ‘death of Vermin’ storyline, and its always kinda bothered me that he was changed back without any explanation. It’s also bothered me that Spidey hasn’t taken the responsibility to try to cure vermin again. I’m glad he is alive though, as I assumed the Kraven family had killed him. This should be a good battle, because you have the toxic aura that vermin already gives off, plus all the fear that is already affecting everyone. And Spidey has a dislocated shoulder to boot.

Overall:

This was a very good issue, and I have a lot of hope for this Storyline. The art was great and so was the storyline. It was a real quick read though, and I usually like my comics to take longer than ten minutes to read. Still I give this issue a 4/5

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