Or – “Colonel Nick Fury And I Have Sompin’ To Say…  ‘We’re Baaaack!!!’

So.  My cable internet was initially supposed to be on last Friday.  It wasn’t, due to an error on MY part.  So, they scheduled a hookup for Monday… which didn’t happen.  I was, needless to say, less than pleased.  But, I was assured, Wednesday morning I would have internet access.  Wednesday night I returned home to find…  nothing.  I cursed my carrier and made a couple of calls.  I explained that the cable drop was running through two different splitters and some sort of black box from the satellite network, and the next morning I had a technician on site who rewired it.  And that night, another technician was supposed to kill a neighbor’s cable access, and shut mine back off.  My wife (who is not to be trifled with) called them, and read them the full riot act with three part harmony and the 23 8×10 glossy photographs with the circles and the arrows and the paragraph on the back describing each one, and fully explained to them the displeasure of the Peterson household. 

My cable is back on.  I have five additional cable hookups, at no charge.  I have a pretty sizable credit on my account, as well as free installation.  But best of all?  My comic reviews are back!  WHOOO!

Previously, on Secret Invasion: The Skrulls have launched a full-fledged invasion.  They’ve activated their sleepers, in Avengers Tower, in the upper echelons of SHIELD, in the Baxter Building…  even knocking at your front door!  A Skrull Sue Richards has detonated the Baxter Building, the SHIELD helicarrier has crashed, (and, honestly, that bit is getting really old) Tony Stark has been rendered useless, (again) and a saucerful of heroes has crashed in the Savage Land.  Among those returning from beyond are the late Bobbi Barton, aka Mockingbird, Jessica Jones as Jewel, as well as Captain America himself.  Mockingbird passes herself off as real (whether she is or not is still up for debate, at least in my mind, no matter how emotional her reunion with husband Clint) and informs us of the shocking fact that the Captain America she’s travelled with is the real deal!

This issue starts with the SHIELD helicarrier, downed in the Bermuda Triangle.  Miraculously, the thirty quazillion tons of steel that comprise the carrier have not sunk, instead floating precariously in the ocean.  It’s a ludicrous moment, and kind of sets the tone for the rest of the issue, inviting you to shut down, tune in, grab the popcorn and enjoy the thrill ride.  Maria Hill, acting director, tries to regain control, ordering her agents into action, only to find the ship under siege…  from a paunchy senior citizen.  “I was wondering,” asks the fake Edwin Jarvis, “if you’d be ever so kind as to offer us your full and total surrender.”  Heh.  It’s a cute moment, followed by a look of complete disbelief from Ms. Hill.

Halfway across the country, we’re treated to the sight of Venom being punched into the stratosphere by someone or something posing as the late Captain Mar-Vell.  Marv makes short work of the Thunderbolts, and prepares to murder The Swordsman, but can’t follow through…  A tear runs down his cheek, as Norman Osborn climbs out of the rubble.  “You can’t do it, can you?”  “Mar-Vell” raises a fist, coruscating energies ready to strike, but Norm holds his ground.  “My guess is you’re not exactly who you’re dressed as…  Would you like to have a drink and talk about it?”  Mar-Vell seems to smile, and we cut away to Camp Hammond, as Yellowjacket rounds up the troops to defend Manhattan.  ‘Course, previous issues revealed Hank Pym to be a Skrull, so I’m unclear as to whether it’s a trap or not.

We see the Young Avengers (Patriot, The Vision, Hawkeye II, Hulkling and Wiccan) fighting an army of Super-Skrulls in Manhattan, as we see Skrulls with the powers of the Avengers, the X-Men, and  one who may have the powers of the Young Avengers themselves!  Hulkling tries to reason with them (“Um… Brothers of the Empire!  My name is Hulkling!  I am the son of Princess Anelle!”) but they just shoot the hell out of him, and Wiccan takes a punch from a giant Super-Skrull who can, indeed, tie his big shoes without an oven mitt.  The YA’s are nearly overwhelmed, but the Initiative recruits arrive just in the nick…  Big giant fight ensues!  I hope Gauntlet gets hit by a flying bus!

In the Savage Land, we see “Jessica Drew,” Spider-Woman sneaking through the jungle, only to find she’s being followed by Echo.  Jess attacks, firing venom blasts at full power, as Echo cries out “I’m not a skrull!”  Spider-Woman catches her by the throat, zaps her with a point blank burst of power, replying, “I know.”  Spider-Skrull-Woman continues on, stumbling upon Tony Stark, desperately trying to repair his armor.  The virus that has infected his armor affecting his Extremis-enhanced metabolism like the flu, giving him a fever, chills, and a bad case of creepy red-rimmed eyes.  Oh, wait, that’s just Leinil Yu art.  Never mind.  Jessica enters, and calmly tells him, “You can relax now…  You did it.  Your work on Earth is done.”  The Skrull Queen explains that he’s her deepest undercover agent, trained to forget his true identity in order to destroy the heroes of Earth from within…  Wracked by fever, unsure of anything, Tony tries to deny it, a horrified look in his eye.

Back in New York, a Giant Skrull takes out Stature, while his brethren devastate the Initiative’s finest.  All the Skrulls begin chanting (if I read my Skrull correctly, they’re all saying “He loves you”) and an energy blast takes down nearly all the heroes.  The Vision’s skull is blown to smithereens, and the Skrulls prepare to kill more heroes, when suddenly one of them explodes into a fine green mist.  Nick Fury hefts a Cable-esque giant rifle, surrounded by his new agents (Girl Who Looks Like Angelina, Kid In Tights, Guy With Chain, Hot Puerto Rican Speedster Girl, Hooded Dante Hicks, and Stone Cold Steve Austin) ready to kick some serious @$$.  “Okay, Commandos!” Nick hollers, “Let’s turn this thing around!” 

This issue worked for me as a middle chapter, sort of that point in the summer blockbuster where the special effects slow down for a few minutes and they throw in the obligatory love interest and/or guest appearance by Rob Schneider.  It’s that part of the story where your brain starts to look at the plot holes and think, “Waitaminnut!” but then Will Smith says something funky, or we get a nipple shot of a model/actress/future feature dancer at Scores.  For what it is, it’s interesting, but there’s still too much bait and switch going on for my tastes.  The art, by Leinil Yu, is at least more attractive than his work on New Avengers has been (something I attribute to inker Mark Morales) and I’m still irritated by the revelation that Spider-Woman, one of the best things Bendis ever inexplicably decided to revive, is a Skrull spy.  It’s interesting to finally see somebody catch Tony “I Have To Be The Marvel Universe Batman” Stark flat-footed, but the issue overall is a cotton candy, satisfying your mental sweet tooth with some empty calories in a 2.5 star effort overall…

25stars.jpg


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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17 Comments

  1. Baal
    June 7, 2008 at 11:34 pm — Reply

    As much as I love the S-W revival myself I love even more the image of Bendis laughing maniacally as he wrote her these last few years, knowing she was a Skrull. I’m even more glad that she killed Echo. Even should this turn out that this is really Jessica Drew and she turned teh tables on the imposter, here’s hoping she really did kill Echo. I don’t think a jury in the world would convict her!

  2. June 8, 2008 at 12:11 am — Reply

    Oh, business!

    Any review on this site is always a pleasure to read, but one that discusses Fury at length, and paraphrases Alice’s Restaurant AND Ookla the Mok? This is why I waste time at work to read your site. This review. Thank you!

  3. Rowan
    June 8, 2008 at 3:19 am — Reply

    I was just pumped to see Fury and really he needs a Cigar but still pretty pumped to see him and the commandos I am interested in what the “stone cold steve austin” kid is gonna do and who his like parents are and what his powers are too

  4. Randallw
    June 8, 2008 at 6:59 am — Reply

    I used to get the Avengers just before and after unassembled. I stuck with New Avengers for awhile and coasted along but I simply couldn’t stand the art by Leinil Yu so I dropped it. When I realised that the name “New Avengers” had been hijacked I changed to Mighty Avengers, but I’ve dropped that after the mess they made of Dr Doom, one of my favourite characters (so much so I reinstated my Order for FF soon after I’d dropped it when I discovered Doom was returning)

    All those heroes seems to me a get out of jail free card for every one that has been messed up. Cap has to return of course, so they drop the real one out of a ship and say the dead one was a fake. I was about to say Spidey coming out of the ship would allow OMD to be shown as a fraud, but then I remembered he was a fake.

  5. Salieri
    June 8, 2008 at 7:57 am — Reply

    I agree with Fury – turning that gun around will take a real effort…

  6. Maximus Rift
    June 8, 2008 at 10:34 am — Reply

    You know, I really want to like this but I have a sneaking suspicion that this won’t end well and we’ll be swept up into the next big company arc.

  7. Rowan
    June 8, 2008 at 10:55 am — Reply

    I agree with you fully Maximus, I can see them just creating more questions and only answering like 3 of the ones we have now. What 3 I dont know but probably terrible minor ones and they will keep us guessing about cap for about a year or so

  8. Brother129
    June 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    So does this make Spider-Woman a triple agent?? We have to keep our eyes on all the characters Bendis professes to love (Cage, Jessica Jones, Echo, Jessica Drew); I would imagine that the real deals will play significant roles in the unravelling of the Skrull invasion. I’m hoping Echo isn’t dead because (1) she didn’t get a heroic death scene and (2) she just slept with Clint Barton in New Avengers and that would be really juicy especially if Mockingbird is the real deal. I must admit that at some point I will lose interest in the multiple story lines/fronts in this issue. Not to mention the 1,00 tie-in books so I’m hoping we aren’t kept in the dark until issue #7…

  9. June 8, 2008 at 1:56 pm — Reply

    Yeah… Fury looks weird w/out the cigar…

    Possible replacements:

    a piece of straw,
    a lollipop,
    a pen,
    a kazoo.

  10. June 8, 2008 at 7:26 pm — Reply

    Nick Fury with a Kazoo?

    Pure.
    F’ing.
    Genius.

    “C’mon, you gold-brickin’ yayhoos! FWAAAZZZERRRRP!”

  11. June 9, 2008 at 10:50 am — Reply

    a) The cigar NEEDS to make a comeback.
    b) Isn’t Sharron pregnant? Skrull child or Steve’s child?!

  12. June 9, 2008 at 10:54 am — Reply

    So does this make Spider-Woman a triple agent??

    Paraphrasing Mac from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, “No, [she] just lied about being a double.”

    Except that doesn’t work, so yes. Probably.

  13. Josh P.
    June 9, 2008 at 11:26 am — Reply

    How is a Skrull a triple-agent (or a lieing double-agent)?

  14. Mark I.
    June 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm — Reply

    Civin: don’t hold your breath on the cigar. Quesada’s all Anti-Tobacco because his dad died of lung cancer. To which I say–Man up Joe. Both my parents fell victim to the death sticks and I can’t stand most real-life smoking…but I’m also pragmatic and sentimental about classic characters…Nick Fury’s without the cigar is like Professor X without a wheelchair, Clark Kent without glasses, Batman without nipples…wait, scratch that last one.

    If a person of the largely anti-smoking 21st century reads a comic book and decides to take up cigars smoking because Nick Fury does it, well, that person *is* stupid enough to need weeding out of the gene pool. Yes, even a child.

  15. Lost Prophet
    June 9, 2008 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    All that matters is that Fury is back and he is going to clean house!

  16. Brother129
    June 9, 2008 at 1:54 pm — Reply

    Revisiting the triple agent thing: Jessica Drew was asked to spy on Shield/The Avengers by Hydra. Fury asked her to keep spying and report back to her. At some point Spider Woman was or wasn’t replaced by a Skrull. Therefore she could be a triple agent. Knowing that Bendis has plans for Spider-Woman (her own book) after all of this crap…we can assume she isn’t dead and his plans for her will most assuredly be revealed in the pages of Secret Invasion/Avengers

  17. June 10, 2008 at 9:33 pm — Reply

    Wouldn’t this make Spider-Woman a quadruple agent? Working for Shield, Hydra, Fury and the Skrulls?

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