Let me preface this post by saying I wasn’t even sure if I should include it on this blog. It is super long, super nerdy, and kind of out of place. Then I remembered this is my blog and I can do what I want, suckas. So, enjoy part one of this two piece epic reimagining. Oh, by the way, if you have no idea what Fear Itself is, go read the synopsis here, then come back.
Call it what you will, but the new Avengers movie got me back into comics in a good way. Because of that, I set out on a mission to read through some of the titles I missed when I gave up comics in 2009, primarily Invincible Iron Man and the major events (Siege, Fear Itself, Schism). I just got finished reading Fear Itself, and while it was not terrible, I was disappointed because it was a great premise that Marvel, in my opinion, totally squandered. That being said, I think I could have fixed it had they run it by me first. Here’s how.
First off, I really do think the core premise of this event was pretty great. Turning the world against itself as the dark brother of Odin emerged from a slumber to spread fear and turn the world into his own personal war horde is, frankly, awesome. It says something when Odin, the all-father of the Asgardian Gods, fears the implications of a corrupted earth populace. That being said, they made a huge mistake here in the form of the Avatar Hammers thrown about the earth. By having super-powered individuals pick them up and transform into even more super-powered individuals we get, what, just ultra powerful individuals. Sorry, but yawn. Here is what I would have done.
The hammers still fall to earth BUT, instead of super beings picking them up, it’s normal people. That guy in the first comic that throws a brick and hits cap in the head? He becomes the embodiment of rage. The guy on the news always calling things into question? He becomes an embodiment of dark trickery. And so on and so on. Each one of these people was not ”destined” to pick up the hammer, they just happened to do so and it brought about the warped side of their personality. They were then lieutenants who rallied people of earth to their causes, and also fought with each other. Each drop of blood spilled in this interplanetary civil war would fuel the serpent, until he became powerful enough to unite the warring factions against Asgard.
The only modification I would make to this is having one of the avatars be super powered, and who better than The Hulk? Hulk (or Nul, the World Breaker) was easily the best part of this series. In my version, he would be even better. Basically, you see how massively powerful ordinary people become, then at the end of the third comic you see Bruce Banner touch a hammer, then in the next panel you see his arm turn to Hulk, and in the final ”to be continued” panel you see it morph even further into a dark green/black spiked arm even huger than the Hulk’s. If I saw that, I would be like ”oh, shit. Things are about to get REAL”.
So, okay, you have the human avatars fighting their bloody war, and you see the Hulk emerging as a near deity, and now you have the superheroes. In the comic, all gravitas was lost because they made everything too big and the stakes too high way early on when Odin is just flat out like, ”I’m gonna destroy the world to stop The Serpent from becoming too OP.” forget all that.
The primary conflict in the series shouldn’t be between Odin and the superheroes begging him to avoid destroying the Earth. It should be between the superheroes and the warped populace. The idea being, these are real people. Only the avatars have actually been manipulated, the rest have let their fear take control of their better judgement. Humanity, who the heroes have sworn to protect, is actually its own worst enemy. How can the heroes rally to one side when basically everyone is a super villain?
There needs to be one scene where one super hero totally snaps and just starts attacking the populace with reckless abandon. Then Cap can stop him and just shake his head and say something like ”son, who are you protecting from who?” it would be super sad, because the heroes don’t know what to do when humanity actually breaks down, believing of their own accord that they must ally with an Avatar and act as puppets to the Serpent’s whims. The pivotal moment comes when the heroes finally kill an Avatar. They think doing so will break the followers of the spell, but it doesn’t, they continue to fight, with equal veracity, the other factions. Finally, Odin can bring up the option of destroying the Earth. Final scene in that comic, is just Cap, slumped in a chair. He looks at Odin, and says, ”Do it.”
Check out part two of this most nerdy reimagining here!