Fear Itself #7
Things go as you'd expect: the Avengers get their souped-up Asgardian weapons and beat the tar our of the "Worthy". Thor goes one-on-one with The Serpent as both die in the struggle. Well, as dead as Asgardians can get. In the struggle, Thor loses his hammer, but Captain America picks it up and rallies the troops. The overall sense of distrust and panic among the general populace settles down and is replaced by hope as the heroes beat back the bad guys.
After things have settled down, Cap and Iron Man meet at the ruins of Avengers Tower and promise to rebuild everything.
With this issue, I really got the sense that it was Marvel's 10th anniversary tribute to 9/11. Especially during the final battle as regular people begin helping each other out and pulling together. Cap even specifically mentions the slow re-building of the World Trade Center to tighten the parallels. This is a tough line for Marvel to walk-- for me, their stories have always added a special appeal to the actual NYC. Yet this just comes off as rather trite and lacks the inspiration or meaning that Marvel was aiming for.
I don't want to go into exact detail, but on 9/11 I thought that all the stuff I was seeing was something out of a comic book, especially the Towers crumbling. It was like seeing the Baxter Building or Daily Planet buildings being blown-up or shot into space. I kept thinking: "shit like this isn't supposed to happen". Now, 10 years later it's rather tacky for Marvel to do their own "super hero version" of it, where the bad guys are punched and everything is tied up with a little bow.
Anyways, storyline-wise, here's the final fallout from the series:
-Bucky was killed and buried, so Steve Rogers is back as Cap in the traditional costume
-Thor is "dead"
-Odin returned to Asgard and left all the other Asgardians stranded on Earth.
-Hulk is now physically split from Bruce Banner. Hulk is out for revenge on Nul, the spirit that possessed him. To even the score, he's gone to Dr. Strange for help, which launches a new Defenders title
-Sin/Red Skull/Skadi is apparently on a quest to recover all of the Serpent weapons
-I couldn't see the exact connection, but there's a secret agent-type of guy named "Marcus Johnson" who will be getting his own title. This didn't have much, at ALL, to do with "Fear Itself", but it was included as an epilogue
-Over in "Avengers", Cap has decided to re-shuffle the lineup, AGAIN. It appears that Red Hulk will not be around, much. All that hype for his induction into the team, then he's gone after basically two stories.