Or – “And We Still Have Almost NO Idea What’s Going On…”


The art of the big crossover event has changed over the years.  The first one, (in my memory, anyway) Secret Wars, was done almost entirely outside of the regular titles’ continuity, with the individual heroes stories jumping forward a few weeks in time, while the miniseries played out separately for the rest of the year.  Crisis on Infinite Earths took place everywhere at once, causing for weird moments where characters we expected to see in one place turned up in another.  Civil War annoyed me with it’s tendency to put the home titles in low gear or idle while we waited to see what played out in the main title.  Secret Invasion has done a little bit of all of these, in that the Avengers titles have been indefinitely suspended in favor of Skrully Flashback Theatre, whereas Spider-Man’s home books completely ignore that anything called Skrullapalooza even happened, except for that “Mary Jane vs. Sinister Six Super Skrull” miniseries, and both Fantastic Four and X-Men have done their crossover bits as separate from their regular minis.  Last issue, our heroes rallied, banding together for the big fight…  What happens this issue?

Previously, on Secret Invasion: Years ago, the Skrullian warlords attempted to conquer Earth, only to be SI1.jpgstopped by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four.  Somehow, this uncharacteristic loss caused the empire to become fixated on planet Earth.  The aliens attacked, again and again, becoming more and more abstract in their strange blueprints for conquest.  Finally (and it seemed to have taken a long time for a people supposedly versed in espionage and deceit) they decided to replace key superheroes and support staff in order to undermine their entire culture, and thus conquer Earth.  The gambit worked, perhaps even worked a bit TOO well, as several Skrulls (including Crusader of the Initiative, and one or two Hank Pym impersonators) came to the conclusion that the game is rigged.  Now, the heroes have uncovered the treachery, have banded together with villains, unregistered combatants, government thugs, and the occcasional satanically-powered cheapjack sneak thief, to fight an endless army of Super-Skrulls and save their planet.  Even Norman Osborn, director of the Thunderbolts, has leapt into the fray, ready to layeth the smacketh downeth on some pointy-eared goons…

Here’s the basic gist of this issue:  AND NOW THEY FIGHT!  Y’know that point in Dragonball, where all the characters named after fruits and underwear have talked and talked and talked for a few weeks, and the entirety of today’s episode is big hair and fireballs?  It’s a bit like that.  At least with Bendis at the helm, we get a few good bon mots.  Ares and Thor stand side-by-side, cracking alien skulls, and the scion of Asgard cries (in old Norse font) “This battle ends with victory, clear and true!”  “Aye, brother!” cries the son of Zeus, while Spider-Man dodges in the skies above.  “See, that’s how you talk in one of these,” remarks Pete as he webs up a Skrull.  “I could NEVER sell that.”  Iron Man is staggering, barely upright, and the new Captain America is even here, finally cementing James Barnes as being a part of the honest-to-gosh Marvel U.   Best of all is this exchange between Nick Fury and Norman Osborn (standing back to back and blowing green heads off left and right with giant Rob Liefeld guns.)  “Fury.”  “Norman.  You should be in jail.”  “So should you.”  Ha!

We even get an interesting psychological moment, as Janet Van Dyne attacks the Skrull in the form of her ex-husband Henry Pym, (Crap! ON! YELLOWJACKET!!!) while the Skrull insists upon lecturing her about how he was going to save her for last, blah blah blah fishcakes.  “The problem with you, Jan, is you always–” begins the faux Pym, before being dropped by a giant right from the even more gianter teen hero Stature.  “Please, with the lectures!” she snarks.  Heh.  And, again with the fighty fighty fight, until Bullseye of the Thunderbolts nails Skullowjacket RIGHT IN THE EYE with a rocket-propelled grenade, dropping the titan in his tracks.  (Doctor Wertham would NOT approve.)  Iron Man is forced to leave the fight (bad idea, Tony) while Wolverine takes his personal grudge right to Spider-Woman and begins slicing her up like a country ham.  Speaking of ham, there’s fists of it present as Spider-Man remarks that this can’t be THAT serious, as Uatu the Watcher isn’t here yet…  seconds before The Watcher appears.  Sigh…  At Avengers Tower, Jessica Jones watches the battle on CNN.  After a few moments, she bursts into tears and makes a fateful decision.  “I need to go help.”  She turns to Jarvis (How did he get back to the tower so quickly?  Wasn’t he on the wrecked helicarrier last issue?) makes him promise to take care of baby Danielle, and leaps into action.  Also leaping directly into the fray?  Noh-Varr of the Kree, aka Marvel Boy, who literally fireballs into the midst of the heroes and villains, scattering the combatants.  “IN THE NAME OF CAPTAIN MAR-VELL!  IN THE NAME OF THE KREE EMPIRE!  I TELL YOU INVADING HORDES THAT THIS FIGHT IS OVER!” I think we may be seeing our new Captain Marvel right here, folks…

The heroes rally and attack (and their pupils disappear in so doing ((Thanks, Leinil…))) while New Avengers leader Luke Cage is amazed to see his wife fighting her way to his side.  “Hi, baby,” remarks Jessica as they unite to crush Skrull skulls.  “You were right about the Skrull thing,” she says, and Luke laughs, “All of a sudden it’s the best day of my life.”  (When you win a fight with the wife, Luke, make sure to savor it.  It won’t happen often.)  In the middle of the pitched battle, Young Avenger Hawkeye is felled by a bolt of energy, and suddenly, Clint (Ronin, ex-Hawkeye) Barton grabs her weapon.  Over the course of two amazing pages, Clint empties his quiver, killing Skrull after Skrull after Skrull before putting an arrow right through the Queen Skrulls FACE.  That…  is hard-core.  Unfortunately, the heroes don’t know the full extent of what has happened, as a mortally-wounded Skrullowjacket kicks in his failsafe routine.  Remember when YJ gave the Wasp the giant serum back in Mighty Avengers?  That was probably bad.  Janet swells to mammoth size, and starts emitting strange Kirby-dot energy.  The heroes scream, as Jarvis holds baby Danielle Jones-Cage and watches from his tower (YET AGAIN WITH THE BABY IN PERIL???) and reveals the real plan.  “They die, we die.  It doesn’t matter.  As long as the words of the prophets come true.”  He checks subway walls and tenement halls as we fade to black, with a much-awaited “to be concluded.”

This is a mighty quick read, to be frank.  Ain’t a lot here but the fighty fighty.  There are some nice character bits from page to page, and a few moments that really stand out as well-crafted, but overall it’s a 20+ page battle royale, and if you’re not a fan of the artist rendering said battle, you may not enjoy the royale so much.  I greatly appreciate the forward motion in this title, but since we’re seguing directly out of this into Dark Reign in ten minutes, I don’t know that I’m all that psyched to see the ending.  Bits of groundwork are laid for the NEXT big event here, which makes me want to ask: at what point will we get to breathe?  When will the endless series of earth-shattering crossovers slow down?  This isn’t a bad seventh chapter of an ongoing story, but as a stand-alone issue, there’s a lot of flatness between the peaks, and the deus ex machina ending set up by a flashback issue of Avengers kind of annoys me.  Sure, it’s 2008, but it’s just as unrealistic to suddenly switch all superhero battles to ending in shades of gray, with no real victor, as it was to have them all end in total trumph for the previous 70 years.  Secret Invasion #7 is okay, maybe even a little better than the average book, but doesn’t really excel beyond the confines of “Hey, it’s that guy and that guy, and the world is in peril!” earning a somewhat muted 3 out of 5 stars.  Maybe next issue will be the one that hits this crossover out of the park and blows my mind, maaaaan…


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.

Previous post

The Freshmen Headed to Big Screen

Next post

Dynamite Entertainment Solicitations for January 2009


  1. Gaumer
    October 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm — Reply

    this issue seemed like a whole lot of filler

    nothing really happened that didnt happen word for word and panel for panel in another book or books

    but still *sigh* i bought it and its tie-ins *watches Marvel take even more of my money* :)

  2. Ricco
    October 23, 2008 at 2:56 pm — Reply

    The Uatu moment and Noh-Varr’s arrival were great, but Clinton’s machinegun arrow shots were awesome!
    In Deadpool 3, Norman Osborn stole from Deadpool the data on how to kill the Skrull queen (data that he was trasmiting to Fury) and in Ms Marvel she says she has to kill Osborn (could be cuz he’s the one who got her torture durring her stay in the airforce, don’t know yet). But my guess is that he and his Thunderbolts will save the day and that despise all the the efforts and lose the real heroes faced he’ll get all the glory.

    I think if there is a winner it’ll be Normam Osborn.

  3. DrStrangeCubicle
    October 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm — Reply

    The entire bit with the Watcher just made me groan.

    I’d probably give this 2 or 2.5 stars. Nothing particularly good or bad, but not really what I expected or wanted at this stage from this much hyped and supposedly months-in-the-making event.

  4. Hat of Tim
    October 23, 2008 at 5:11 pm — Reply

    I’m not really a big fan of the art on this series…it just seems a bit too 90’s for my liking, sort of sub-Image style. Saying that, the story has been cracking along apace, and it’s gotten me really worried about one of my favourite characters, the Wasp…all I’m saying is they’d better not kill her off! Yeah, I know that she died back in Secret Wars (c’mon, you remember that happening!), but she was brought back to life again within one issue if memory serves. So if Bendis knows what’s good for him, he’d better leave Jan alone! If any Avenger type character deserves to die, it’s Hank Pym! But’s it the not knowing until issue 8 that’s going to be the killer with having to wait ’til next month…

  5. Ricco
    October 23, 2008 at 6:18 pm — Reply

    Actually for all we know everyone who was impersonated by a skrull is dead (except for Blackbolt and Sue Storm whom we know are alive) so Hank could be long dead…
    The Sentry/Void hasn’t done anything yet, so my guess is that he’ll take her off world where she can detonate without destroying Earth, that or Skrull-Pym will once against lose his mind and the Hank imprint will take over and save her.

  6. October 23, 2008 at 8:54 pm — Reply

    I just discovered the song Somebody Loved by the Weepies and listened to it while reading your review. It made your words even better than usual.

  7. Mr. Dou
    October 24, 2008 at 8:35 am — Reply

    I wonder where Ms. Marvel is. She left the Savage Land, and I don’t read her book, so I’m not sure what’s going on with her. Anybody care to enlighten, or should I go to Wikipedia?

  8. Brother129
    October 24, 2008 at 10:38 am — Reply

    Is there a second Jarvis? I’m pretty sure he was blown to bits on that Shield helicarrier…

  9. Ricco
    October 24, 2008 at 11:16 am — Reply

    Ms Marvel was last seen (during the invasion)fighting in the Raft some creepy psychotic Super-Skrull, after the fight she found a weird Hydra tatoo on the skrull, then it jumps to several months later. Now the comic has a secret origin kind of flash back.

    About Jarvis, he has no powers so any skrull could pose as him, but as seen with the Hank Skrull it’s possible to replace implanted(implanted with an individual’s memory/emotions) dead skrulls with cloned versions so it might be a second skrull.

  10. Gaumer
    October 24, 2008 at 11:25 am — Reply

    2 Jarvis’ (Jarvi???) threw me a little but I came to the same realization that he may be a copy of a copy. Skrulls must have a human Xerox machine

    Ms. Marvel went from the Super-duper Skrull on the raft to trying to mend her family relationship.

    Not sure whats going to happen next. But with the whole “Embrace Change” and Dark Reighn thing, I dont see the Skrulls going anywhere fast.

  11. Ricco
    October 24, 2008 at 11:51 am — Reply

    Maybe Dark Reign refers to Norman Osborn becoming president or something, ‘cuz we know from Ms Marvel and Secret Invasion – Spiderman that the Avengers won this big battle and that at least Spidey survived…

  12. Slappy
    October 24, 2008 at 5:17 pm — Reply

    Is it just me but is Secret Invasion too similer to the DC Millenium event where the Manhunters set up “Sleeper Agents” to spy on all of the Heroes tus replacing Dr. Helga Jayce and Rocket red #7 and Laural Kent to tie the LSH. I do understand like Kirosawa that there are only 25 story lines in existance, but both stories could have been done better.
    Until we find out that Still Dead Steve Rogers was really replaced by a Manhunter, Make mine MaSpoilers!!!!

  13. Slappy
    October 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    Gaumer, if the “Embrace Change” leads to Dark Reign, does that mean an Obama Presidency (change for the sake of change) will lead to Ragnorak?

  14. October 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    Major Spoiler: In Issue #8, just before everyone succumbs to whatever bad mojo Wasp is laying on everyone as a result of the giant juice Skrullowjacket had given her, Sentry returns and hurls her into the sun.

  15. Brother129
    October 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    Can he hurl himself into the sun next?

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section