Mel’s Muses: Fear Itself #1 and Brightest Day #23

I may be a little late here but I just got to give my two little ol’ cents worth on last week’s much-anticipated, high profile summer event from Marvel and the penultimate issue to last year’s big bi-weekly series from DC.

Fear Itself #1. The marketing media blitz that Marvel threw at us over this mini-series has been relentless, lots of tantalizing interviews and cool artwork over the last couple of months. Writer Matt Fraction promised some big changes to the Marvel Universe by the end of this seven-part series and judging from this double-sized first issue, it sure looks like we are set for a wild, dramatic and exhilarating ride.

Now I don’t know about you guys, but when I blow my recess money on a big summer event crossover like this I expect to see all the Marvel big guns involved! And thankfully Fear Itself has so far delivered a storyline worthy for all of them. In this first issue, most of the main players are introduced and we see some familiar faces as well as some new ones. It’s a slow burn and downright gripping as we see Fraction moving the pieces into place, and setting the story in motion.

When a forgotten Norse God, The Serpent, shows up and starts arming some of the meanest and toughest Marvel characters with big ass magical hammers, you know there’s gonna be lots of action right round the corner. Well, right now it’s just the Red Skull’s psycho daughter Sin who’s got her hands on one such hammer. The fun starts when we learn which other Marvel characters get the remaining hammers.

Besides the obvious comic book action and all, Fraction has also introduced some real world concerns and fears into this first issue. Fear is lurking everywhere, from the super-powered foes our heroes fight to the everyday dangers we face like the economy and recession. It’s not too heavy-handed nor does it distract us from the super-heroics and that’s a good thing.

Just like past major Marvel events, there’s an A-list artist at work here and Stuart Immonen has definitely brought his ‘A’ game to the playing field. Stunning visuals on every page. Just can’t wait to see the rest of his designs for some of the new characters.

Like I said, this first issue looks like a great start to a mind-blowingly amazing storyline. Just get it already!

Brightest Day #23. I really wanted to like this series as there’s a bunch of my favourite DC characters in it and Geoff Johns is one of the writers, so why can’t I? With this latest issue, we are looking at the penultimate issue and guess what, I don’t think I know what’s going on.

Brightest Day is the bi-weekly spin-off from last year’s DC big crossover event, Blackest Night. It follows the adventures of 12 previously dead heroes and villains, the mystery surrounding their resurrection and how it all connects with the strange White Lantern ring. Well, it started off pretty good as we follow some of the resurrected heroes around but somewhere down the line, more new questions started popping up instead of getting answered. Hey, like everyone out there, I like a good plot twist in my stories and with every twist here in Brightest Day, a new layer of mystery gets added to the mix. But that’s cool, what’s not so cool is we are almost at the end of the series and I still don’t know why, who or what is behind all this.

Then with this second to last issue, brand new plot ELEMENTS were abruptly introduced and we were thrown one huge twist when an old yet familiar DC character is revealed as the villain? At least I think he or it is now a villain, I’m still confused.

Sorry if this sounds more like a rant than a review. It’s just that I had some pretty high hopes for Brightest Day, as a matter of fact, I still do. Don’t fail me now, final
issue #24!


Melvin Yong has worked way too long in the media and advertising industry. He now spends his time with his family, writing short horror stories and playing lots of board games.

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