At the beginning of 2010, everyone was a bit damn tired of event books.  DC Comics’ Blackest Night stretched on for 9 months with a huge amount of tie-ins (73 comics in all), and Siege from Marvel was shorter, at only 4 months, but flooded the market with numerous tie-ins (about 40-some books total) during that short time span.  Since the fan outcry from both events, and the tie-ins that were, at best, loosely related to the main event, both companies have taken a bit of a step back from “event” stories…or have they?

DC has been publishing the Brightest Day storyline since the conclusion of Blackest Night and it currently stands at too many comics to even count (it passed 50 titles back in August…I can’t find a more current checklist).  And Marvel?  Well, since the conclusion of Siege, we’ve gotten:

  • X-Men: Second Coming – 25 comics
  • X-Men: Curse of the Mutants – 18 comics
  • Chaos War – 21 comics
  • World War Hulks and Fall of the Hulks – 31 comics
  • Shadowland – 31 comics

Have we really had enough of a break from events for an announcement like Marvel’s upcoming “line-wide” event FEAR ITSELF to really seem like a big deal?  And can we say we’ve fully recuperated from “event fatigue?”

Despite being announced as a seven-issue miniseries from the creative team of Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen, Fear Itself actually kicks off in March 2011 with a World War II era issue penned by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Scot Eaton before launching into the actual mini one month later.  Not only that, looking at preview art for the event, it’s clear that the event will affect Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and…well, pretty much everyone (the Thing is the only Fantastic Four member visible in preview art, kind of spoiling the fact that he’ll obviously survive “Three” currently going on in Fantastic Four).

As hard as it is, a vote against event storytelling is only going to be counted if I don’t buy the damn book…but it’s so tied into the Marvel Universe that I almost feel like I have to.  But given how bad I got burned with Shadowland and Siege, I am definitely done buying tie-ins strictly just for the fact that they have the name of the event on their cover.  Even supposedly close nit tie-in books seem to inevitably conflict and confuse the main storyline, without actually enhancing it.  Even Blackest Night: The Flash, which I enjoyed, didn’t really further Blackest Night at all, despite both being written by Geoff Johns.  And I get it – tie-ins are meant to focus on specific characters that may not be key pieces of the event, and are intended to be as self-sustained as possible.  But that basically means that, as we all suspect, you really don’t need to buy the tie-ins.  Yet we saw that Shadowland‘s final issues didn’t make a lick of sense without reading Daredevil, much like Blackest Night needed Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps.

Is Matt Fraction already setting up hints for Fear Itself in his Thor and Iron Man runs?  Can I enjoy the 7 (8) issue mini without having to read all of those?  I’m a bit concerned that Spider-Man is involved, considering how great a start Big Time has had – will that story be derailed?  And where was that break from events we were promised?

What say you?  Are you on board for Fear Itself?  How about the tie-ins?  What would be the criteria for you purchasing a tie-in?

*Update: One last note…looking at this promotional image, I notice it says “Book I” at the bottom…of how many?*