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Review of Secret Invasion 4 (4.5 stars) July 10, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I don’t think I realized how big this was until this issue. I mean, I knew that this was Marvel’s big event for 2008, and that it was going to have a massive amount of tie-ins, but I figured it would probably go along the lines of: Skrulls try to invade, heroes quickly discover this and kick their butts in a cool way, no harm done (aside from normal amount of destruction that results from super-battles). It wasn’t until the almost-entire-issue monologue by an unknown Skrull (I’m guessing Veranke), that I realized the Skrulls had a good chance of winning this. Heck, if Marvel really wants to pull a gutsy move, the Skrulls will win this. Could you imagine the next year or two of all of Marvel’s issues being published while Skrulls ruled the Earth? The epic rebellion that would inevitably occur? Now, I’m not saying that Marvel will do this. Likely, our heroes will find some way to win, but it will probably involve a change in Marvel’s status quo. Look at how much Bendis changed the status quo after Avengers: Disassembled, and then again after House of M. Do you really think good ol’ 616 will walk away unscathed this time? If nothing else, this issue really opened my eyes to what’s at stake here. This isn’t just a cool battle story like World War Hulk was. Win or lose, we are facing some major ramifications.

Now that I’ve rambled on long enough about my slow-coming epiphany, let’s get to what you guys and gals all want: the spoilers. Typical “decompression, keep ‘em waiting until the end for everything” Bendis hasn’t progressed the story too much. Given, the NYC battle that began in issue 2 finally ended – stealing a line from Spider-Man himself, Nick Fury’s new Commandoes could say: “We came, we saw, we stole a line from Ghostbusters!” (That means they kicked some total Skrull butt, for those of you still waking up.)

However, the other battle in the Savage Land, which also started in issue 2, looks like it’s still in full swing. Black Widow got some much needed spotlight as she took out Skrull-Beast and Phoenix, and rescued Tony from Jessica/Veranke, but not before (somewhat) convincing Tony to ignore Jessica/Veranke’s tripe from last issue. (We all knew that Tony wasn’t really a Skrull, right?) She also sent Wolverine on a “find and kill” mission for Veranke, who escaped.

Just a couple of other brief side-notes from this issue: we see that Reed Richards is still alive, though captive and being quite literally poked and prodded (and stretched) for Skrull scientist study (try saying that five times fast!) Agent Brand (that green-haired S.W.O.R.D. agent chick from issue 1, for those not in the know) does indeed survive to sneak onto a Skrull armada ship, only to be captured. Skrull-Jarvis reveals the helicarrier to be full of Skrull agents, and commands Maria Hill, now acting head of S.H.I.E.L.D., to surrender on behalf of humanity, or be executed. But the two most tantalizing teasers come at the very end of the issue. The Hood, still alive and kicking, realizes that a Skrull-ruled world is bad for crime business, so he sets out to assemble a supervillain army (oh, heck yeah!) And in the aftermath of the NYC battle, Thor shows up in all his awesome godliness, and who should be watching this, none other than Captain America (presumably James/New Cap).

As you can see, there was a lot of promise in this issue. Aside from the occasional minor complaint about some of Bendis’ dialogue, he is a master storyteller, and his skill is evident here. Any regular readers here know that I am no huge fan of Yu’s artwork, but there’s really not to much to complain about here. True, I still don’t like the way he draws his (human) faces, but his work here isn’t annoying like it was in New Avengers, and his Skrulls are pretty darn awesome.

For more of my opinion on Secret Invasion in general, see this handy dandy comic book industry report card.




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