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A Secret Communications Disruption Can Mean Only One Thing…
Secret Invasion #1 (Reviewed)



Posted by Steve

NEWAVN00_COV.jpgDid you catch that Phantom Menace reference there?

My favorite crossover event ever is Marvel’s Secret Wars. That series blatantly gave us heroes vs. villains for 12 solid issues. That’s what I love about comic books, the good vs. evil aspect of things. I feel like the real world has enough gray areas, and I like my comics to have things at least a little more black and white. So it was, that I enjoyed Civil War only minimally. I thought it was a good story, and I thought it was intriguing, but I didn’t like the fact that the sides weren’t as clear cut as a good ole good vs. evil slugfest. I will say it again, there’s enough gray in the real world.

Apparently, Brian Michael Bendis has been preparing for the Skrull invasion for a couple of years now. This Summer, it all comes to fruition. This month it began.

I’ve tried to make it clear in the past that I have been out of the comic book loop for a while now in an attempt to get my finances under control. Well, my finances are such now that I am able to delve back into the world of comics. I meant to only subscribe to two or three titles, but it was like a tractor beam of fun that sucked me right in. I’m on board with Marvel and DC’s big crossover events this year, and I’m even getting the weekly DC title for the next year, “Trinity.” I’ve said all that to say this….I’m totally getting Secret Invasion.

This first issue delivers the first of what promises to be several surprises and  questions and quandries for our heroes that will most likely not be answered or cleared up until 6 or 7 issues in to the story.

The surprises?  Well, Jarvis is a Skrull.  That was a pretty big one to me.  Apparently, everyone who read the prelude to Invasion knew that Dum Dum Dugan was a Skrull.  So, no surprise there.   One of the bigger surprises happens on the very last page in the very last panel as Reed Richards, on the cusp of revealing why the Skrulls can’t be detected and in turn plausibly may be on the verge of a way to detect them, is turned into a big pile of goo by Hank Pym who, it turns out, is a Skrull.

The questions and quandries?  Well, there is the question of who “He” is.   There is no question of the religious implications in what the Skrulls are doing.   Out of  some sort of twisted Manifest Destiny  philosophy, the Skrulls believe that Earth is destined to be their new throneworld.   However, the question is, who is He and what does it mean when the Skrulls say “He loves you.”  right before they cause all holy heck to break loose?

The biggest question however, outside of who is a skrull and who isn’t, is are those Skrulls  that get out of the ship at the end of the story or not.  I’m inclined to believe that they are Skrulls that didn’t make it to Earth when they were supposed to given the outfits of some.  Wolvering looks a lot like his first appearance in Hulk 181, and Luke Cage looks like he stepped off the pages of a seventies or eighties comic.  Then, there’s the presence of Captain America and Thor in the mix.   The presence of Thor screams Skrull because of what’s going on right now in his own title.   Captain America reeks of Skrull as well because of the fact that when Steve Rogers died, he didn’t revert to Skrull form like Elektra did, so it stands to reason that the Steve Rogers who died on the steps of the court house was the real Steve Rogers.

This first issue of what is to be Marvel’s big crossover event of the year did everything it needed to do.   It set the stage for what will hopefully be a big good vs. evil battle between our heroes the World’s would-be conquerers.  Not only were there a few Skrully reveals, but the whole Armada showed up as well, ready to do battle and take over the Earth.  So, I am on board to see where this thing goes, and I don’t mind saying that I’m anxious for all of the mystery to end and the fighting to ramp up and really begin.

So, how do I rank this book?

STORY 4 out of 5 –  I give this book a four only because it was a bit tedious at parts.  That seems to be Bendis’ way sometimes though.   It was a great first part of the story, as I’ve said, though.  The only other reason I have for docking a point is the fact that there really isn’t anything to help a first time comic reader understand what’s going on.  One of my favorite things about comics in the older days was when something was referenced there was an editor’s note that told the reader where to go to read about the events mentioned.

ART 3 out of 5 –  Nothing really stuck out to me about the art of this book.  I feel like there should have been a splash page used for the reveal of the people in the ship and there wasn’t.  There were times where I looked at the page and just really didn’t enjoy what was there.  I don’t mean to sound to critical, but the art just isn’t anything to rave about here.

COVER 4 out of 5 – I really like the main version of the cover.  I like the silhouette of some of Marvel’s greatest heroes looking like Skrulls.  It does look quite cool.  However, it really doesn’t show what’s going on inside the book does it?

VARIANT BLANK COVER 1 OUT OF 5 – Variant covers have become a given in comics these days.  With sell outs abounding, it’s almost like the comic companies just go ahead and commission covers to be variants.  Apparently not for this book.  I totally don’t get the meaning of the blank variant cover and it seems a bit lazy.