Spinning out from the main event of 2011; Fear Itself: The Fearless is just one-part of what happens in the aftermath. After the Serpent War, the superhero community is shattered (most Marvel comics had the words "Shattered Heroes" over their titles), but there's no time to lick wounds as new threats emerge everywhere.
One of those threats comes in the form of Sin, the Red Skull's daughter, who started the whole Serpent War in the first place. Sin, now without her powered-up persona of Skadi and her Norse-God-of-Fear hammer, is in a frenzy to get her hands on all the hammers that transformed The Worthy into the God of Fear's generals.
Teamed up with villain and lover Crossbones, she's on a mission to trace the hammers, now scattered around the globe, in order to have another go at world domination.
But there's another who is also on the hunt for the hammers; Brunhilde of Asgard, aka Valkyrie of the Secret Avengers. She quits her role as a Secret Avenger and dedicates her life to this mission.
I've read reviews elsewhere that have questioned Marvel's choice of character for this book, but I think it makes perfect sense. The hammers are of Asgard, it's therefore an Asgardian problem. Thor is seemingly dead at this time, having died in his act of killing the Serpent, thus ending the war, so it makes total sense to me for Valkyrie, a superhero in her own right as well as a member of Asgard's Valkyrior, to take on this challenge.
The book spans the globe, with both adversaries coming into contact with other heroes along the way. The Thing's appearance for example, is a particular favourite chapter of mine as he was one of the Worthy who was transformed into Angrir, Breaker of Souls and wreaked havoc and destruction in New York, so is trying to make amends. Brunhilde however, is in his way!
This book is not essential reading for the casual reader. It is however, useful for those who have read Fear Itself and wants to know what happens in the aftermath of that event. I found it enjoyable and a good read, and although the artwork isn't of the highest standard that I like or am used to in the comics I collect, it is good all the same.
I think the first reviewer is slightly critical, but I admit that this story is not for everyone. In fact Fear Itself has had its critics, although I'm not one of them. I'd give this book 3.5 stars if I could, and one should remember that this is 12 comic-issues long, it's a bumper book and worth the money especially in hardback (as it is quite cheap in hardback on the UK amazon site).