Early thoughts on Marvel’s “Fear Itself”

Via Robot 6 today, I learned of Marvel’s big event for 2011, “Fear Itself”, a universe spanning crossover. I am abivalent about this news.

These kinds of multi-title storylines continually pose challenges to my enjoyment of books from DC and Marvel. Currently, servicing the “Wolverine Goes to Hell” mini-event has hamstrung the just starting X-23 ongoing, for example. In other cases, I have had trade collections of titles like Manhunter and Birds of Prey upended by something going on in the larger DCU that I did not really understand or care about.

On the other hand, once I began seriously reading comics again “Civil War” was my re-entry into superhero books, albeit after it hall been spun out and collected into trade paperbacks.

I have tended to focus my reading from the major publishers on marginal characters and titles, the kind least likely to be at the heart of major goings on, but I have tried to get back into the X-Men, including the mainstream. Now that “Second Coming” is done, I kind of feel like I am getting my bearings again. What “Fear Itself” will do to that feeling, I don’t know. Maybe I will end up retreating further into the most obscure and independent of Marvel books, ones like X-Men Forever, that run outside of or parallel to mainline continuity. Or maybe it won’t end up mattering much.

My first thought is to resist Marvel’s attempt to get me to buy a bunch of books I don’t normally have much interest in. But I give the Powers that Be credit, putting Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen on the core mini is bound to make any current reader of superhero comics pause and think about how they want to approach this new event.

Buy or trade/wait? That would be the question.