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Review of New Avengers 42 (3.5 stars) June 25, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This issue, while extremely vital to the Secret Invasion storyline, and very informative, could have been better. I can’t really think how though, it just feels as if something was missing. Perhaps it was the lack of any major reveals. Sure, we learned exactly when Jessica Drew was replaced (during her “operation” to regain her powers, which was a Skrull ruse all along) which is something that I’ve been wondering for quite some time. This is followed by some very cool art as Veranke “becomes” Spider-Woman for the first time. We also learn that the Skrulls staged the Raft breakout, in order to ensure the escape of Sauron and the Silver Samurai, though this latter detail could have been very easily guessed once we learned that Secret Invasion tied in with the first New Avengers arc. Indeed, once I learned of the tie-in, I assumed it was a given that the Skrulls hired Electro, and I was right (big surprise).

The unintentional part, of course, was the formation of the New Avengers, which the Skrull’s hadn’t planned on. Still, this seems to help their cause more than hinder it, as it allows the Empress of the Skrull Empire to not only spy on, but be a part of, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. (I’m also assuming that Jarvis was replaced either during or shortly after Civil War so the Avengers Tower could still have a spy. This also accounts for Jarvis and Aunt May developing romantic feelings for each other, though with the OMD/BND retcon, this may no longer have happened.)

The most interesting aspect comes toward the end, as we see the one thing the Skrulls could have never planned for: House of M. The issue ends with the “big white flash” that started it all focused on Veranke/Jessica. I’m intrigued to see how they handle this next issue. After all, in Wanda’s Mutant Utopia, how does a Skrull Invasion fit in? And, if my memory serves me correctly, which it likely may not, wasn’t “Jessica” the one who was skeptical about changing the world back because this might be “how mutants become the dominant species.” (Or was she the one who made the analogy and said “we shouldn’t try to stop the bomb after it has gone off”?) Either way, assuming that Jessica was also a Skrull, why would she want the House of M to stay intact? Surely, Earth would be much harder to conquer if it was full of mutants? Didn’t she say earlier in this issue that the current number of mutants was threatening enough?

While this may not have been the most entertaining Secret Invasion tie-in, the story was still essential, and the storytelling was fairly well done, after all, it was written by Bendis. Besides, next issue looks to be much better, so you have two factors making this a must read. One small complaint on the art: while montage at the beginning looked really cool, did anyone else notice that everyone had the same face? Heck, Jessica and Madame Hydra standing side by side looked like twins. Likewise, Tony Stark and Wolverine looked exactly the same except for their facial hair. Mehh, at least Jim Cheung’s New Avengers art is more pleasing to look at than Leinil Yu’s was.




1. Mory Buckman - June 26, 2008

I’m really excited to see House of M thrown in, because it’s just so random. Unfortunately, that won’t be continued until New Avengers 45! 43 jumps back to Spider-Man with Ka-Zar, and 44 has something to do with the Illuminati. So it’s a three-month wait to see where Bendis is going.

Something that I’m really interested in is that this issue lets you decipher the Skrull text in all the other comics. At least, that’s my assumption. I’m going to have to copy down the font to a piece of paper to see if it stays consistent from series to series. If so, that’s a cool little easter egg.

2. lotrking - June 26, 2008

Hey, if you see a correspondence between the Skrull language in the issues, and are able to decypher it, let me know! (I’m much to lazy to do these things on my own, but I’d love to mooch off your work. 😉 ) Also, if you post translations on your website, I’d definitely link to you.


3. Mory Buckman - July 3, 2008

The stuff the Skrulls are saying in their language isn’t quite as profound as I was expecting.

4. Mory Buckman - July 3, 2008

Well, blah. It turns out there’s more than one Skrull font. The one in New Avengers 42 is only applicable to New Avengers 42. I could write out the script for Mighty Avengers also, but it doesn’t seem worth it. So all I’ve actually been able to decipher is the page where they stick the skin-stuff on Queen Veranke:

“And so I stand here naked.”
“I cover you with this black thing as you asked.”
“Hurry it up will you, I’m getting cold here.”

5. lotrking - July 3, 2008

Mehh, at least you found out what it said. If you see anything cool in any of the other books, let me know.

Thanks again!


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