The general plot: taken from wiki… (few minor spoilers)
During World War II, the Red Skull on orders of Adolf Hitler performs a ritual which causes the Hammer of Skadi (which belonged to the Asgardian goddess Skadi) to fall to Earth where it lands in Antarctica. Traveling to Antarctica, the Red Skull finds the hammer but is unable to lift it. Red Skull has Adolf Hitler's Thule Society seal it away and put it under their guard. Many years later, Red Skull's daughter Sin with the help of Baron Zemo retrieves the Book of the Skull that contains the location of the hammer.While Tony Stark holds a press conference with the Avengers by his side to announce that his company Stark Resilient will help rebuild Asgard in the wake of the Siege, Sin uncovers the Hammer of Skadi. Upon lifting the hammer Sin becomes Skadi and frees her father, the god of fear from an underwater prison. (The two appear loosely based upon Skadi and her father Thiazi of Norse Viking mythology) Odin, aware of the return of the god of fear, commands his people to return to the Asgardian plane, against the protests of Thor, whom he has chained and dragged against his will.
What's unique about this cross-over event in the larger scope of the Marvel Universe? First it says, maybe Odin isn't the Highfather. This shakes the Norse god's history to the core and seems to have scared or deeply angered Odin. Thor's world is shattered, too. All he has ever know is a lie. His father is not who he says he is. Then you have Captain America... the daughter of his greatest enemy, a true greater threat than the Red Skull, has the Power of a GOD! The Avengers worst possible nightmare. And to top it all, fear makes them stronger. What will happen next?
Before this, I've had very little experience with Matt Fraction. I'd say most have said good things about him. But, It took me a while to warm up to his Thor book with Pascal Ferry. I'm starting to come around. But if there was ever a creative team member to latch me onto an event… it’s the pencils of Stuart Immonen. Stuart Immonen is easily one of my top 5 favorite artists… of all time. I was a fan back in the days he drew Superman, then drew Nextwave, Ultimate X-men, & Ultimate Spider-man, and most recently New Avengers to name a few. If you want to hook me… put this man on a book. The pages of Fear Itself were worth the cover price alone. He is the perfect blend of photo realism and cartoonish action. The man is just my ideal comic artist.
Again, I feel like Marvel knows how to make a cross-over work. This plot felt developed and logical, even if it was to bank on the 2 upcoming Marvel movies. I have genuine intrigue as to the ramifications of Odin being scared of not only the presence of this new "god" as well as the appearance of the Watcher. Thor is imprisoned and the rest of Earth's heroes are stuck with the feeling of dread. Knowing something bad is coming and some of the most powerful have fled out of fear. I plan on writing a bit of my initial reaction on DC's Flashpoint in the next few days, but If I just compare what little I understand is going on… Marvel really makes you feel like this is an important story and has an impact on what is going on in their day to day comics. I feel like I can buy just the "Fear Itself books" and I don’t' need 30 some books to comprehend a universe of stories. I'm a hardcore DC fan. I enjoyed Blackest Night… but Siege was so much cleaner. It was 4 issues and it wrapped up an arch so beautifully. Kudos to Marvel for hooking me on simplicity and great art & story telling. I'm really liking Fear Itself and it has my vote for event of the summer!