So, I’ve covered Dark Reign part one and part two, and I’ve covered Siege, so it’s time to get stuck into the final part of this reading guide – Fear Itself and Journey Into Mystery!
Fear Itself covers Thor and the Asgardians, and specifically the mistakes of Odin’s past, while Journey Into Mystery focuses in on the reincarnated Loki. It also ran alongside Matt Fraction’s Thor, so I’d recommend reading both series concurrently.
My advice for Fear Itself is the same as always though – read the main event, and then go through the tie-ins you want to read.
In this time of global anxiety, economic turmoil and mass hysteria, Sin, the new Red Skull, has made an awesome discovery – a revelation that will divide father and son, turn friend against friend and herald the rise of Fear personified. Who is the Serpent? As Odin and the Asgardians leave the Earth to fend for itself, the Avengers and the world’s remaining heroes battle the unstoppable tide of terror! And then – the Serpent’s Hammers fall! Who shall rise up and join the Serpent as the Worthy, living avatars of his evil? And how can the Avengers respond…to fear itself? Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen bring fans the biggest Marvel event since Civil War!
This is the main core event. It gives you the bare bones, which is enough to read Journey Into Mystery, if you’re desperate to get to Kid Loki’s story.
In the aftermath of Fear Itself, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man have all been changed by the dramatic event. as each deals with the shocking alterations to their lives, can they rise to the occasion and remain Earth’s Mightiest heroes?
This is the only tie-in I’d say is essential if you’re wanting to continue with Captain America, Iron Man or Thor’s storylines.
Fear Itself reaches its hand deep into the heart of the City of Lights!
Iron Man races to Paris, France, to encounter one of “the Worthy” waiting there for him. How will the ultimate man of science react to a city turned to stone? And if that weren’t bad enough, the world is going mad as the avatars of the Serpent start their rampages. How resilient is Resilient? How strong is Iron? And as if things weren’t grim enough–Rescue engages Hammer Industries as one of the Serpent’s avatars goes on the hunt…and Iron Man arms himself for the end of the world.
Manhattan is gripped in violent panic. Peter Parker has not slept in days. Abandoning his friends and family, Spider-Man cannot…WILL not…stop if there are people to be saved. But as the opening salvos of Fear Itself take their violent toll, will Spidey have what it takes to fight his own doubts? Then: Ben Grimm, one of the most beloved heroes in the Marvel Universe, is now the willing avatar of the Srepent’s malice–an engine of discord cutting an unstoppable path of destruction through the heart of New York City! How did the Serpent’s Hammer seduce him so easily? And can he be stopped before he levels the entire city in the name of his dark master? Plus: the secrets of Fear Itself’s Hammer-wielders revealed! Get up to speed on the origins of the foes who are shattering the Marvel Universe’s very core! Some of Marvel’s finest writers and artists team up to bring you the living history of the Worthy!
America blamed Speedball for the deaths of six hundred people in Stamford, Connecticut–the event that sparked the super hero Civil War. And while some have forgiven him, he hasn’t forgiven himself. But a new crisis has arisen…fear is spreading throughout the populace…and, while doing charity work in disguise, Robbie Baldwin’s true identity is exposed to the people of Stamford. With the world falling apart around him, can Speedball rally the population against the new danger–or will this survivor of an old war be the casualty of a new one? Plus: Marvel’s super agent Jimmy Woo confronts his deepest fears in an all-new, all action adventure!
Make sure you’ve read Civil War before this one, to get more on Speedball’s story.
Fear Itself: Thunderbolts Jeff Parker
When the Fear Itself hammer falls, the raft is destroyed by one of its most powerful prisoners with a newfound weapon of the gods! Hundreds of the most powerful criminals in the world are now on the loose. But their threat is nothing compared to that of the one man who was already unstoppable, and now wields godlike power. Now the Thunderbolts will begin to learn the true meaning of Fear Itself!
The God of Fear has come to Earth and the only thing standing between it and world domination are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Can the Avengers stand against an evil older than time itself? Or will even the strongest heroes on the planet fall? It won’t take some of the Avengers to fight the madness of Fear Itself–it will take ALL OF THEM! The New Avengers and Avengers join forces in the face of true fear! And who will join the New Avengers for the first time EVER? Stay tuned, True Believer! Plus: amidst the ashes of what is left of the Marvel Universe, and during the battles throughout New York, an all-new Avengers romance blossoms.
With a growing sense of uncertainty and despair gripping the nation – and the world – the remnants of the Initiative program are sworn in as federal agents charged with keeping the peace. Their ensuing actions, however, threaten to plunge America’s young heroes into civil war! Featuring Avengers: the Initiative stars Thor Girl, Ultragirl, Cloud 9, Komodo and Hardball – plus Firestar, Gravity and some very cool surprises -youth in revolt brings the horror of Fear Itself to the doorstep of a generation!
During his dark reign, Norman Osborn attempted to mold super-powered teens to further his twisted agenda. So the earth’s Mightiest Heroes created the Avengers Academy to reverse his influence on these impressionable heroes. But what happened to the young men and women who weren’t enrolled? Will friendship bloom or will fists fly when this year’s Avengers Academy students meet the kids who didn’t make the cut? then, as Fear Itself engulfs the Academy, the teachers must battle not one, but two hammer-wielders at the same time!
Amidst the unstoppable force of Fear Itself tearing through New York City, Wolverine and his girlfriend, Melita Garner, find themselves having to make hard decisions in order to do what they do best. The British intelligence-turned-mercenary black ops group STRIKE has taken advantage of the chaos and activated sleeper agents for one final, deadly mission. It’s up to Wolverine to stop them, but in leaving Melita to report from the ground, will his choice prove fatal?
Plus: the New Mutants fight the scariest beings you never knew existed! The events of Fear Itself aren’t confined to our reality, so when strange forces take Hel over from its ruler Hela, it’s up to Moonstar to fulfill her role as Valkyrie and save the day. Her teammates are afraid of what will happen if Dani does this alone, but will they abandon the X-Men as Juggernaut destroys San Francisco?
Again, if you want to know how Dani ties into all this, check out my Dani character profile.
With Sin tightening her grip on the Eastern seaboard, Steve Rogers’ black-ops Avengers take to the front lines of Fear Itself! War Machine, Ant-Man and Beast defend Washington D.C., the immortal Valkyrie leads a squad of mortal soldiers and Black Widow fights for the honour of Bucky Barnes.
As the Fear Itself hammer-wielders continue their campaign of terror, Red Hulk takes on the newly deified Ben Grimm, the FF’s Thing! It’s bruiser vs. bruiser as two of the world’s strongest battle it out in an all-out brawl that will shake the world! Plus: Omegex, a deadly force from beyond the far reaches of space, has awakened – and he wants Red Hulk! What can Red do against a destroyer of entire worlds? Then, as the Worthy-enhanced Hulk rampages across the countryside, only one group stands against him: the Vampire Nation!
Spider-Man … for hire? With Paladin in deep trouble, Misty Knight’s operation only has one agent in the streets: Spider-Man! But the wise-cracking wall-crawler is up to his neck in trouble with the all-new, all-deadly Scorpion! Who else can Misty deploy? And what other shocks can she reveal about the lies upon which the Heroes outfi t was built? Then, as the terror of Fear itself engulfs the streets, our underdog operatives fight just to keep the city together – and that means Misty Knight must recruit some very unlikely agents! Just who is for hire tonight? Would you believe elektra, Shroud and Gargoyle? Plus: the Heroes For Hire go to…the Jersey Shore? With the trade in the Atlantean narcotic Hook running wild, it’s time for Misty Knight to shut it down with a lean and mean handpicked squad that includes Moon Knight and aquatic expert Stingray!
The hottest, most rocking thing on two wheels returns! Start pumping your fists and banging your head for GHOST RIDER, by writer ROB WILLIAMS and featuring the long-awaited return of superstar artist MATT CLARK. Witness the violent birth of the all-new Ghose Rider…come to cleanse the earth in a firestorm of Blood, Oil, and Vengeance! Johnny Blaze has been chained to Hell long enough. With the world thrown into chaos in the events of FEAR ITSELF he is given a chance to rid himself of the Spirit of Vengeance forever…and he takes it. The curse is passed onto a new host but Blaze has no idea what nightmares his action has wrought upon the world. Will the new Spirit of Vengeance bring us salvation…or send this world of sinners to a flaming death?
Why is Spider-Man’s deadly foe Kraven the Hunter stalking T’Challa across the city … and how long until the prey targets the pursuer? And will the world’s greatest predators have anywhere to hide when T’Challa’s wife Ororo arrives and rips the skies open? Plus: as the mayhem of the Worthy engulfs Manhattan, the American Panther makes his debut! What does his arrival mean to Hell’s Kitchen? Plus: a six-armed Panther? The arachnid infection gripping Manhattan hits T’Challa, but that doesn’t mean he’ll stop trying to protect Hell’s Kitchen! And when Overdrive breaks into the quarantine zone, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Panther swings into a deadly race across the streets of New York City. Find out why T’Challa sheds his fear to become the Most Dangerous Man Alive!
The previous volume in this Black Panther series is called Urban Jungle.
As the Marvel Universe is wracked with FEAR ITSELF, only Deadpool sees it for what it truly is … a way to make money. Has Deadpool really been chosen as one of the Worthy, granted one of The Serpent’s Hammers? Or did he just take any old hammer and go to town with some rhinestones? Plus: do you fear … your protectors turning on you? Man-Thing has gone mad as fear consumes the world, and Manhattan will burn. A team of talented artists spotlight the dark side of the Marvel universe, each through the eyes of a fallen hero. Howard the Duck, Nighthawk, Frankenstein, and She-Hulk mutate from hero to monster freaks – and instead of saving the city, the foursome just might end it.
As Fear Itself hits the Marvel Universe, an extreme faction of the mutant hate group, The Purifiers, believes that the end of the world has come, that the devil is here for humanity and it is up to them to ‘save’ as many human souls as they can before he strikes. Can X-Force stop their drive for worldwide suicide?
The X-Men are used to being feared. When Fear Itself finally reaches the West Coast, they’re going to become well acquainted with the emotion first hand.
The unstoppable Juggernaut is marching step by step towards Utopia, and they have all the time in the world to realise how little they can do to stop him.
As an offer by the Serpent’s servant puts human and mutant at each others’ throats, one X-Man makes a deal with a demon lord in an attempt to halt the Juggernaut’s rampage – but can he back out at the fight’s end? Prepare for the clash of two unstoppable forces!
Then, after the hammer-blow of Fear Itself and the violence of SCHISM, it can’t go on. It’s the end of the Uncanny X-Men. And who better to provide a stirring eulogy than…Mister sinister? Join us for the end of the industry-shaping series with the return of the 19th century’s finest morally dubious scientist.
You should read Schism before going near this, watch this space for that event guide!
A bold new era for the lion of Olympus! The Chaos War left Hercules without powers – and without a sidekick. but when mythic evil stalks the streets, and a latter-day band of Hercules worshippers cries out for their saviour, what is the son of Zeus to do? he takes his three thousand years of combat experience, raids the armoury of ares for the most fearsome weapons of legend, descends from heaven and gets medieval.
Fear Itself: The Fearless cullen bunn matt fraction more
When Fear Itself is over, the hunt is on! Mystical hammers lay strewn across the entire Marvel Universe and it is Valkyrie’s mission to find them, no matter what the cost, and no matter who stands in her way…even if it’s Captain America & the Avengers!
Journey Into Mystery
This series starts as a Loki series, and then transforms into a Lady Sif series. Loki completed his story, but Sif’s was sadly cancelled after two volumes. Everything in the Loki series was written by Kieron Gillen.
The shadow of Fear Itself looms over Asgard, and only Loki holds the key to stopping the impending war between Odin’s army and the Serpent! With Thor imprisoned by the All-Father, and the rest of Asgard mistrustful of the young reincarnation of the god of mischief, Loki takes what help he can get from his new avian advisor Ikol, the undead Tyr, God of Battles, and a bloodthirsty Hel wolf, and journeys to the underworld. There he hopes to best the Serpent’s devious machinations and undermine the god of fear’s plan for world domination. But ever the trickster, when it comes to Loki, nothing is as it seems!
Young Loki is at a severe disadvantage: everyone in Asgard remembers him from his previous life – but they’re all strangers to him, and they fully intend to keep it that way. Desperate, Loki conjures up a mystical means of eavesdropping on their private thoughts, but what he learns doesn’t make him happy. even worse, the lesson itself may just cost him his life! Then: there’s a story bartenders tell about the devil. that at closing time, he chooses a bar and walks in the door. He’ll want to talk about his day. If you listen and survive, he’ll give you a tip. The story isn’t true, but occasionally it amuses Mephisto to play along. And when he’s spent the day spying on all the earthly gods and what exactly they’re going to do about Fear Itself, you’ll want to hear what he has to say.
The stage is set for a deadly new year, as the most unpopular boy in Asgard receives a certain fourpawed fire-breathing present. What will Loki do with this most unwelcome gift? Then, fallout from Fear Itself leaves thousands trapped in deadly fever dreams around the world. Why is it Loki’s fault – again? Guest-starring Volstagg and the Son of Satan! And Leah of Hel discovers the wonder and consequence of milkshakes…
The New Mutants crash headlong into the pages of Journey Into Mystery when a forgotten hero returns! He’s mightier than Thor himself, but will the truth behind his exile consume them all? Gods are made mortal, with mutants their only hope for survival! Undead cannibals are on the loose, and San Francisco turned inside out by forbidden magic! A thrilling mythological mystery adventure in the Mighty Marvel manner!
The MANCHESTER GODS dread URBAN PANTHESISM arises in the north of Otherworld, the British Subconscious! Don’t look panicked. We just mean “Civil War.” A Civil War that Asgardia refuses to interfere in. Publicly. Behind the scenes, Loki is a one-man intervention force. Also: Secret mission from Hela!
The first Aesir/Vanir war was the darkest time in Asgard’s past — so dark it was seared from their history books. But now, rebels strike against Asgard, and a second Aesir/Vanir war breaks out! As Surtur’s all-consuming fire rages across the nine worlds, Thor and Loki go on the run. Thor hatches an unconventional plan to stop everything burning, while a desperate Loki journeys into the heart of Surtur’s fiery kingdom to…parlay? What vile secret hides at the heart of this new war? Can the All-Mother of Asgardia save the nine realms? And when Thor finds himself trapped in the underworld, the truth about Loki is finally revealed! As Loki’s future and past collide, who will judge a god?
This is the end of Loki’s Journey Into Mystery storyline, and the Mighty Thor run, so if you’ve only read one of the runs, you’ll need to read this to tie everything up.
An all-new journey begins, starring Sif…the Berzerker?!
She may be a Lady, but girly ain’t her style! When the latest crop of beasties beset Asgard, our sword-slinging heroine leads the battle charge – but that no-holds-barred zeal for glory may be the very thing that brings the realm down around her winged helm! Finding herself newly minted with an ancient version of the Berzerker spell, Sif returns to an unsuspecting Midgard…and with no patience for relative peace, starts putting out fires with gasoline! And things heat up even further when our heroine falls in with a group of brutal Asgardian savages – and joins them in their millennia-old battle against monsters! But can the berzerkers keep their bloodlust in check? Guest-starring the Superior Spider-Man and a collection of Marvel superstars!
Journey into Mystery, Featuring Sif, Vol. 2: Seeds of Destruction KI
Mayhem in the mess hall! Horror in the hash house! Volstagg’s daughter, Hildegund, only wanted a midnight snack…but something else is rampaging in the lower kitchens of Asgardia, and she’s going to have to wake the whole house to fight it. To the rescue come Sif! Thor! The Warriors Three! And even Heimdall’s dog! All these doughty heroes join forces to chain the vicious beast once and for all. But unfortunately, everything they need to do it…never existed! Then: he’s back, baby! That’s right, Beta Ray Bill has returned! After her most recent misadventures, Sif is working hard on getting her berserker rages, emotions and feelings back under control. However, when a certain hammerwielding, space-faring ex shows up…all bets are off!
And with the cancellation of Sif’s run, we’re at the end of this reading order! I hope that this has proved useful, and that you’re going to have a great time reading this event, if you have any questions, please do send them over!
This also marks the end of my month of blog posts! Thank you so much for every click on this blog, the follows, and everything, this website is a labour of love, and seeing how it’s helping people get into comics means everything!
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