Comic Vine Review


Avengers #16 - Fear Itself, part 4 Master man Mayhem !


A Fear Itself tie-in that gives us a follow up on events from Fear Itself #3. This is the issue we should have seen before a couple others as it gives us insight and reactions that felt as if they were missing. We get that a bit of butt-kicking as well.

From the cover we can see this is a Fear Itself tie-in with Steve Rogers. What you should also notice is that he is not in his Captain America suit.

The Good

If you've been reading Fear Itself then this next bit should not be a spoiler. Bucky Barnes is dead. Actually it never quite felt clear on what Bucky's final fate was. We had a fade out but never really saw anyone, especially Steve, deal with it. The next we saw Steve, he was shown holding his Captain America mask and then jumped right into the action. This issue shows us what happened before that. This is what was needed before even Captain America #1. It felt like Steve never grieved for Bucky.

Continuing with what we've been seeing in the pages of Avengers and New Avengers, the other team members tell their part of the story in what appears to be an interview or debriefing session. While this gives the issue a lot of dialogue, it's a nice change over just seeing straight action. There is action but we get to hear their side and interpretation of what happened. The main thing is what Steve does. That is worth seeing.

We also get to see some other non-Avengers get some time in the spotlight. The use of them makes perfect sense since all the other Avengers are busy fighting the battle in Fear Itself. And who would've thought there'd be so much killing?

John Romita Jr splits his time in showing the characters talking, along with their emotions easily seen on their faces. The action scenes along with Paul Mounts colors really look snazzy. And even though Steve isn't wearing the Cap suit here, seeing him with and using the shield is always a sight to be seen. And I can never get enough Alan Davis covers.

The Bad

This issue should have happened a couple months ago. One of my complaints of Captain America #1 was Steve's apparent lack of concern over Bucky. We simply saw Bucky meet his end and then Steve jumped right into the suit. Also because this issue happens before other events, it feels like it doesn't matter that much. Steve goes on a mission. We didn't know anything about it so it feels inconsequential. It's a mixed feeling. This story needed to be seen but because it feels late, the impact was diminished a little.

The Verdict

How does Steve Rogers feel about what happened to Bucky? Did he dive right into the Captain America suit? These concerns are addressed here. Because we're seeing them after the fact (and after other events in the Marvel Universe), some of the importance was taken away. Steve goes on a mission and since there was no mention, you knew the outcome. Bendis continues his interview style debrief session which is great to get a recap of events and hear how the characters actually feel. This gives them a little more humanity rather than just reading action scene after action scene. The great cover art by Alan Davis was an added treat for me as well. This was an important issue that sadly should have happened a couple months ago.