Ever since Marvel first announced Fear Itself in December, the company has been supplying a seemingly endless number of teaser covers which have already revealed some of "The Worthy" — eight humans chosen to fight as generals for the God of Fear aka The Serpent. But thus far, very little has been revealed about The Serpent himself… until now.
During a press conference earlier today, Fear Itself writer Matt Fraction indicated that The Serpent is deeply connected to Odin and the Norse Gods from Thor. But he also said that Odin may not be the "All Father" he always said that he was.
"[The Serpent is] Odin’s dirty little secret [and] the dark heart of Norse cosmology," related Fraction. "He makes Odin look like a teddy bear… The Serpent is everything vile you can imagine in a supreme deity."
The event was partially inspired by Hitler’s interest in Norse mythology, which was used as the cornerstone of this story. The event kicks off when the female Red Skull (Sin) discovers the existence of The Serpent and she is transformed into a goddess herself to serve her new master.
Regarding the mysterious cosmic hammers that will empower various villains (and possibly some heroes as well) and enlist them into The Serpent’s army, Fraction teased that Odin may have been influenced by them when he created Thor’s hammer.
"They’re intended only for their wielder, and the wielders are drawn to these things whether they realize it or not," explained Fraction. "These heroes and villains become the avatars of something scary… that’s a big part of our second issue."
"Each one represents a power analogues to or equivalent to Mjolnir," added Marvel Senior Vice President, Tom Brevoort."[They will] redefine the scale of the battlefield in the Marvel Universe…it’s a battle between gods, and ‘man’ – in the form of our superheroes – will be caught in the middle."
"We are fuel for that fire, and it’s mostly between Odin and the Serpent," said Fraction. "Nothing we can do or say will change that."
As the name suggests, Fear Itself will force the major heroes of the Marvel Universe to literally face their fears given form.
"What does it mean to Captain America when he shouts ‘Avengers Assemble!’ and nobody follows him?" asked Fraction.
Fear Itself #1 will be a double-sized issue and it will infect comic shops in May.