After hefting the hammer that crashed into Yancy Street, Ben Grimm undergoes a hideous transformation, much like the others deemed “Worthy” to hoist the hammers deliver by the Serpent. Ben Grimm, as he becomes Angrir, maintains a modicum of his personality, albeit a very dark, hideously twisted version. Or so it seems.
As was revealed in the “Black Panther: The Man Without Fear” recently, the leech-like creatures on Ben’s epidermis are in some way connected to the Hate-Monger. Cullen Bunn plays upon that aspect in this issue, giving the leeches a devil-on-the-shoulder influence over the decisions Ben Grimm makes and the actions he takes. This sure ain’t Aunt Petunia’s ever-lovin’, blue-eyed nephew, and following this issue, I wonder if the Thing will ever be the same again.
Bunn aptly handles the dialog and relationship between Reed and Sue Richards, giving them both the determination to do everything they can to help their friend. Bunn’s comfortable handling of the first couple of the Marvel Universe blends nicely with Tom Grummett’s friendly, detailed artwork.
Tom Grummett’s work in this issue makes me realize that this man doesn’t get enough work. His Fantastic F-oops – Future Foundation look great and each one of the characters has a distinct identity. Grummett uses those aspects to craft a visual tale around and about these characters, in the way Sue cradles Reed’s unconscious form and the sheer brutality that Angrir directs towards his closest friends.
Dell’Otto’s cover sets the mood for Angrir’s attacks across the Marvel Universe this week. The Thing does not look like someone who should be crossed at all, and the story in this issue certainly upholds that appearance.
In his attacks upon those he loves most, this issue shows just how hideously possessed Ben Grimm is, but “Fear Itself: FF” serves as more of a teaser than anything else. Event-related comics have gone from true tales that tie into the main story to thinly-veiled advertisements for a better or more complete story found elsewhere. That’s a real shame, as there certainly seems to be plenty of opportunity to further examine some of the stories present in this issue.