Since Civil War, Marvel Comics has a tradition of releasing companion titles showing the ripple effects of their large-scale “events.” The latest is Fear Itself: The Home Front, which, like the main Fear Itself series by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen, will run for seven issues starting in April. (And hey, like Civil War: Front Line — and World War Hulk: Front Line and Secret Invasion: Front Line — they both have the word “front” in the title.)
Format-wise, though, The Home Front actually has more in common with anthology titles like X-Men: Manifest Destiny, with one main feature running throughout each issue, with additional shorter stories in each installment. And instead of focusing primarily on non-powered civilians, The Home Front showcases the effects of Fear Itself on a variety of characters throughout the Marvel Universe.
Newsarama contacted Fear Itself: The Home Front editor Lauren Sankovitch to learn more about exactly what to expect from the comic, who’s working on what, and how a series like this comes together.Fear Itself: The
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cover.Newsarama: Lauren, at first glimpse, Fear Itself: The Home Front looks like an altered take on something pretty familiar to Marvel readers — an ancillary tie-in to a major event comic that focuses on the more ground-level effects, in the tradition of Civil War: Front Line. Is that a fair assumption to make?
Lauren Sankovitch: Actually, while being the companion book to the main event, The Home Front will be tackling stories featuring more than just your average Joe/Jane. We’ll be taking a look at heroes and villains from across the MU and really making this book a global event.
Nrama: It looks like The Home Front differs from the likes of the Front Line books in format, as well. There are multiple stories being told in this series, including two that have been revealed already; one starring Speedball and one starring Jimmy Woo. Will these two be running throughout all seven issues? Will there also be an element like Marvel’s anthology books, with a different set of done-in-one stories in each issue? Or maybe a mixture of the two?
Sankovitch: For each of the seven issues of The Home Front, you can expect a full 32 pages of brand new content. The constant for each issue will be the Christos Gage/Mike Mayhew lead-off story featuring Speedball which will clock in at 14 pages. Next will be a 10-page action/mystery featuring the Agents of Atlas by Peter Milligan which will go through issues 1-4. Additionally, each issue will have a 1 page short written and drawn by comic legend Howard Chaykin in which we’ll explore an intimate moment with everyone from the flat-topped mayor of New York to one of Namor’s royal guard to New Avenger Ms. Marvel. And if that weren’t enough, each issue will conclude with a seven-page short featuring that multitude of heroes and villains I was talking about earlir… seven stories, seven different creative teams. The first story will be brought to you by none other than Hawkeye & Mockingbird mastermind Jim McCann.
Nrama: The original Front Line series focused on average people in the Marvel Universe reacting to epic-sized crises — even though we know there are stories starring superhero characters, it looks like the "regular folks" element still plays a part here, correct?
Sankovitch: Most definitely. Those “average people” have an extraordinary role to play in the course of the Speedball story.
Nrama: From an editor's standpoint, what kind of challenge is this type of book — dealing with many different creators and many different characters — simultaneously? What's the process like for assembling the talent?
Sankovitch: The fun kind! Really, it’s always exciting when you get the reins to a project like this. It’s an opportunity to work with a vast array of talent, many of whom it’s my first time collaborating with, and to really create something memorable and exciting. Since the stories are shorter than usual, it can oftentimes be a chance to work with that freelancer that you’ve been dying to work with but they’ve been too busy or maybe it’s a familiar face but you get to experiment with a new style or story form. While it can be intimidating juggling a book of this magnitude, the perks are definitely in the majority!<li> 'Next Big Thing' - FEAR ITSELF: ALPHA FLIGHT - LIVE! <li> Marvel's Young Heroes Prep For FEAR ITSELF: YOUTH IN REVOLT <li> Matt Fraction and Tom Brevoort Face FEAR ITSELF, Part 3