Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Steve Dillon, Ron Garney, Paul Pelletier with Dave Meikis, Mike Perkins, Jefte Palo, Daniel Acuña, Steven Sanders, and Renato Guedes
Color Art: Matthew Wilson, Matt Milla, Rain Beredo, Andy Troy, and Chris Sotomayor
Jason Aaron goes out with a bang on his final Wolverine solo issue, finding a way to feature just about every character from his run and then some.
As the newly appointed secret assassin lord of the entire eastern hemisphere, Sabretooth takes it upon himself to throw a party featuring a who’s who of Wolverine antagonists. Among the attendees are Mystique, Daken, Lord and Lady Deathstrike, Silver Samurai, Sauron, Tiger Shark, Blob, Soulstriker, Jade Claw, and the Hellfire Club’s new White Queen. Dr. Rot is also shown being turned away by security at one point.
Naturally, Wolverine has caught wind of the party. I guess super villains don’t have these sorts of gatherings without leaking word to whoever it is they want to kill, you know? Anyhow, Wolverine contacts Maverick, who is in a much lower place than we last saw him, for more information.
This is just the first of several scenes we get that tie up loose ends and plant new plot threads. While Dr. Rot’s appearance was a tease for an upcoming Wolverine story, several of these cameos could carry over into Wolverine and the X-Men, which Aaron is still writing. We see Kade Kilgore, the pint-sized Hellfire Club Black King, arriving on a deserted island and shooting Blackwater’s disgraced CEO before hiring two of the three remaining Blackwater “Adamantium Men” as his bodyguards. The remaining Buzzard Brother is shown eating a freshly-killed wolverine in the Canadian Wilderness, clippings about Wolverine and the Jean Grey School pinned to the walls around him. Wolverine’s murdered children are shown in Hell with his father, and ex-girlfriend Melita Garner is given a new status quo. There’s even a joke thrown in about furries for good measure during a scene with Logan’s on-again/off-again ninja girlfriend and his adopted daughter.
Then, there’s the inevitable brawl that happens when Wolverine shows up at Sabretooth’s party. I hate to feel like I’m spoiling anything (and I may already have done so), but there’s a catch here involving an old Sabretooth tradition.
Aaron ends his acclaimed run the way any long-term gig on a book like this should be wrapped up–tying up loose ends and leaving good openings for future stories, whether they be by incoming writer Cullen Bunn or carried over to Wolverine and the X-Men.
Just about every artist who worked with Aaron during the last few years worked on Wolverine #304, as well. The result is an issue where every other page has a different style. It isn’t as jarring as it sounds, but there are moments where the transition pulls you out of the story briefly.
Regardless, this is fun, fast-paced, gritty, and a great jumping-on point for new readers (it even has a checklist for anyone wanting to get caught up on Aaron’s run), as well as a nice cap to the last few years of Wolverine solo stories.
ART: 7/10 (This is due to a couple of jarring transitions.)
Part 1 – Everything that was right about Fear Itself #7 and the event in general (Kinda spoiler free, maybe?)
1. It totally made sense and was pretty cool when Captain America picked up [that one thing.] Right?
2. I dug how Hawkeye looked kinda pissed because he WANTED missing a shot to be a possibility.
3. [amazon_link id=”B005CWOQ1K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: Deadpool[/amazon_link] ruled the roost. BIG UPS to Christopher Hastings (W), Bong [!] Dazo (Pcls), Joe Pimentel (Inks), Matt Milla (Clrs), and Simon Bowland (Ltrs).
4. [amazon_link id=”078514840X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Journey Into Mystery[/amazon_link] was the big winner among the non-limited series (in theory) tying into FI. I’ll be talking about last week’s issue at length NEXT week, since the next issue drops Wednesday, but Kieron Gillen womped like a MUTHA in Loki’s adventures. My quick take: This series killed the ass off Superman Beyond 3D, Grant Morrison’s shorter but similarly-themed adjunct to [amazon_link id=”140122282X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Final Crisis[/amazon_link]. Really.
5. [amazon_link id=”0785163891″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: The Home Front[/amazon_link] had a lot of good stuff. I’m a fan of Mike Mayhew’s particular brand of painted photo-realism, so I’m glad to have seen a bunch of that. BUT, his stuff really pops for me when he has garish colors to work with, so it was a li’l bit sucky that Christos Gage had him (and colorista Rain Beredo) draw so many normal schmucks and baddies whose costumes were just black. Anyhow, the series still had plenty of good stuff, with the standout pieces being most of Howard Chaykin’s pages, the awesome American Eagle piece in #5 by Si Spurrier & Jason Latour, and the always-welcome Great Lakes Avengers/Defenders/X-Men/JLI, by Elliott Kalan, Ty Templeton, and David Curiel.
6. [amazon_link id=”0785157018″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt[/amazon_link] (W,A,C,L: McKeever, Norton, Gandini, and Cowles) was a worthwhile read, and it has this:
7. [amazon_link id=”B005PHT6G2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: The Monkey King[/amazon_link] (a Fialkov-Doe-Quintana-Lanphear joint) was more fun than watching Joyce Carol Oates foolin’ around with a monkey. Which I have imagined many times.
That’s the good stuff. Any parts of the Marvel [Publishing] Universe that tied into Fear Itself and were good – the best F.I. moments from Invincible Iron Man or Thunderbolts or New Avengers or whatever – do NOT get especial credit, because they would have been just fine WITHOUT the big event. Well, maybe the MODOK thing from Hulk needed a suitably big world threat to help Ole’ Big-Head learn to love. Hard to say.
Part 2 – The BAD things about Fear Itself #7 and the event in general
1. Odin’s plan was absolutely moronic, unrealistic, cowardly, contemptible, poor strategy, and generally asinine. Nobody anywhere doesn’t think this.
2. Captain America using shotguns to easily blow Nazi red-shirts robots out of the sky. Look at all the piled-up wiped-out robot-VolksWagen things:
Golly, if only they had this amazing “shotgun” technology available in Washington, D.C., which those things supposedly totally destroyed. Instead, all they had available in Washington were tanks, fighter jets, bazookas, grenades, and EVERY PIECE OF WEAPON TECHNOLOGY THAT COULD BE BOUGHT WITH 50% OF EVERY FUCKING AMERICAN TAX DOLLAR FOR THE LAST 40 YEARS.
3. Humanity all simultaneously Not Being Afraid was predictable from roughly one second after we found out that the big bad, The Sears Pants, is powered by human fear.
4. The “death” of Thor while he has a current ongoing series has about as much dramatic heft as the death of Kenny in episode #29 of [amazon_link id=”B00023P49M” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]South Park[/amazon_link]. Also, what did he die of, exactly? Anvilitis? The only question on anybody’s mind is how long Marvel will pay lip service to the idea of Thor being dead. But Thor is immortal – not because he’s a “god,” but because he is a corporate property. A corporate property will not and cannot be made to stay in the grave as long as it can be monetized.
5. Just, in general: Fuck prophecy. Don’t like it. Crap story device, except when Loki wields it.
6. BTW also, Heimdal can suck it. What a tool. He just basically does nothing ever except watch Odin act like the king of all assholes, followed by blindly obeying whatever whack shit Odin demands of him.
7. The dialogue in the main series was bad. All of it.
8. If I gave a shit about continuity, I would point out sloppy errors like Captain America’s un-scarred shield in his new series (or the OBVIOUS problems with aerodynamics this would create), or Cap’s WAY continuity-sloppy appearance in Daredevil. Suffice to say, there’s no clear idea what happened when ANYWHERE. (Can you order Fear Itself, Spider Island, Schism, FF’s War of Four Cities, etc? I sure as shit can’t.)
9. I regard Fear Itself (Main Series), Book of the Skull, Hulk vs Dracula, The Deep, FF, and The Fearless (Issue #1 only, not buying the rest) as a fucking waste of sixty bucks. I spent money on all of this, I don’t get review copies (and probably never will with an attitude like this!)
10. So, here is Sin at the end of the big Fear Itself battle.
Let’s ignore the fact that her face is a red skull because of horrible burn scars that are suddenly smooth. Instead, I want to know if she was jailed in any of the prisons that held Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, or Mohamar Ghaddaffi. Oh, wait a sec, it slipped my mind, those guys – who ADDED TOGETHER killed about 5% of Sin’s headcount as the cause of Fear Itself – got killed the fuck dead as soon as ANYBODY laid eyes on them. Seriously, did Captain America fistfight the entire population of Asgard to keep them from chopping off her head? In what silly-assed world is she alive, other than as an act of a god who has a product to move?
As dental models.
Are event comics ALWAYS money-grabs by desperate companies who hope the jump in sales makes up for the rotten aftertaste that never, ever goes away? Hey Marvel, keep searching for the new Jim Shooter, okay?
Part 3 – And now, a word from the medium of comics
And from me. Me and comics, both at once somehow.
The above is my favorite scene from Invincible Iron Man #509, which I have profaned by replacing Matt Fraction’s words with MY OWN treatise on What Is Good, which differs shamefully from that of Conan the Barbarian. End of column, thanks!