In Marvel Comics' summer miniseries Fear Itself, a dark god known as The Serpent uses magic hammers to transform characters like the Hulk and the Thing into sociopathic Asgardian deities.
But when Fear Itself wraps up, what's going to happen to The Serpent's mystical implements of smashing? Here's the scoop on The Fearless, a new story that sees both Marvel's heroes and villains going on a hammer quest.
We recently caught up with Marvel editorial about Battle Scars — an espionage-tinged miniseries spinning out of Fear Itself —and last Friday, Matt Fraction, Cullen Bunn, and Chris Yost were on hand to discuss The Fearless, a globe-trotting, twelve-issue, twice-a-month miniseries hitting stands this October.
The Fearless was initially part of the Battle Scars story line, but Marvel's scripters found the series too divergent. As Matt Fraction noted, "It was two very different kinds of good, it wasn't like peanut butter and chocolate. It was like peanut butter and sports cars."
This trio of writers workshopped Battle Scars and The Fearless — most of the script duties for Battle Scars went to Chris Yost, whereas The Fearless went to Cullen Bunn (whose recent graphic novel The Tooth we really dug). Marvel editor Tom Brevoort was also on hand to give a synopsis of The Fearless:
By the end of Fear Itself, we've seen that the Serpent has crafted and empowered [these] powerful hammers. And while he himself is dispatched and off the board by the end of Fear Itself — in a tremendously dramatic way that we're not going to tell you about — and these artifacts still exist in the world. They have the potential for great destruction or the potential for great use.
And so a number of characters — motivated by their own, wants, needs, desires, some of which are mysterious when we set off on this journey — individually set about gathering up, stealing, and purloining these assorted hammers for their own hands. There are some larger things going on. It's not that people just want a collection of hammers [and] they have a lot of nails they need to drive!
The two stars of The Fearless will be the righteous Asgardian Valkyrie and Sin, the Red Skull's cranberry-faced daughter who'll be rising up the ranks of Marvel's marquee supervillains. Mark Bagley's illustrating Valkyrie's stories, whereas Paul Pelletier's illustrating the darker adventures of Sin. Bunn also hinted that we'll see some villains who have been out of the spotlight since the 1990s.
Brevoort further promised that this story will span the entire Marvel Universe, spanning such colorful destinations as the X-Men's Utopia island, the Baxter Building, and the bottom of the ocean. Fraction compared these hammer to "loose nukes" and that these artifacts have the power to seduce otherwise well-mannered heroes.
Finally, the editors noted that Valkyrie's quest for the hammers will bring her into conflict with some of her allies, as you can see in the below preview art from The Fearless #1.