Yup, it’s another sparkling issue of Fear Itself, the comic that is to snappy dialogue what Rob Liefeld is to ankles.
The examples above are pearls from the lips of the Mighty Thor as he battles a Ben Grimm transformed by long-lost Asgardian bad egg The Serpent. But it’s not just the Son of Odin who’s at it – in Asgard, Tony Stark interrupts a chat with Odin himself to emit a Rrahhh!! as he drops his alcopop. Neither party comments on the gutteral snarl, it’s just another moment in a game of superhero Tourettes.
I remember Matt Fraction when he wasn’t afraid of dialogue, but given some of the actual English lines we get in here, I see the attraction of the unintelligible. Thor’s gems, for example, include him telling a transformed Hulk: ‘You were always a giant pain in the ass’ and ‘To be continued … Banner.’ Still, Thor’s only appeared in a few thousand Marvel comics, how could any terribly well-paid writer be expected to know how he speaks? Just write any old nonsense in Asgardian font and the kids won’t notice.
The artwork by Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger continues to be the best reason to stick with this frustrating event series. Whatever Fraction asks them to draw, they draw beautifully. The Hulk/Thor bout is literally smashing, while Odin looks suitably godly standing above Stark. And it’s all superbly coloured by Laura Martin and her assistants, and lettered by Chris Eliopoulos (though I fear he misspelled GGRRRAAAAHHH!).