Remember last December, before we really knew what Fear Itself launched, and Marvel decided to tease fans with a series of six images asking whether we feared specific things? Now that Fear Itself only has two issues left – Well, okay, five issues, if you count the .1, .2. and .3 issues following the “final” issue – I thought it’d be fun to revisit those teases and see how well they connected with the actual series. Join me, won’t you?
Do You Fear… Tomorrow?
Does Spider-Man fear tomorrow? Well, no, not really – Although, if he’d known that tomorrow would feature his running away from a fight because he wasn’t going to win, maybe we’d learn to be at least a little nervous. More to the point, has Fear Itself featured Spidey worried about the economic impact of the Serpent’s attack on Earth? Not that I’ve seen, but there’s always the possibility that I’ve missed the solicit for Fear Itself #7.4: Spider-Man/Ben Bernanke.
Red Herring?: Yes
Do You Fear… Family Secrets?
Red Herring?: No
Do You Fear… Losing Control?
Another one that paid off, even if the Hulk shown here is (a) the classic Hulk and not a Worthyfied Hulk (But then, maybe the Worthy didn’t even exist when this image was created), and (b) he looks horrified by his actions, as opposed to his current “I will punch you a lot Thor Ha Ha Ha” persona in the book. A hint of things to come, perhaps?
Red Herring?: No
Do You Fear… The Legacy You’ll Leave Behind?
If the Mighty are, indeed, Tony Stark’s version of the Worthy, then these green Iron Men could be the Mighty, right…? But… that’s clearly not what’s going on here. Look at the markings on the armor: “B. George”? “USA”? These are meant to be military armors, which… hasn’t appeared at all in Fear Itself. And Tony’s not making armor for anyone else in Invincible Iron Man, either – not to mention, wouldn’t military armor be more of an Iron Man 2.0 thing these days anyway? All told, this is a “Wha huh?” thing.
Red Herring?: Yes. Or just some kind of crazy randomness that got past editors by accident
Do You Fear…What You’ve Become?
Hang on, I want to check something: Has Cyclops even actually appeared in Fear Itself? The Uncanny crossover issues, sure, but in the main series? Exactly. Now, if this was a teaser for X-Men: Schism, this might make sense, but as it is…
Red Herring?: Completely
Do You Fear… A Loss Of Faith?
Hey, remember that part in Secret Wars where Cap’s shield got broken and he told everyone to give up because they were going to lose? Or that time when he quit being Cap and then realized he might as well not go on anymore because he didn’t have his shield, so what was the point? Great stories, all of them. And living up to the long-lived portrayal of Cap as a loser who can’t go on if he sees a bad guy break his stuff, sure enough, Fear Itself #5 did in fact see Cap lose faith as soon as his shield was destroyed. Result!
Red Herring?: Sadly not
So, there you have it: Three teases that paid off, and three that… just didn’t in the slightest. I’m not sure what that really tells us about how much we should trust the teases that we see from publishers four months before storylines start, but it does make me really hope that Cyclops will appear in the final two Fear Itself issues, dressed as Magneto, just to help out the results a little. After all, who wouldn’t want to see Schism get a little Fear Itself sales bump?