This review contains spoilers, so if you haven't read "Secret Invasion" yet and don't like stories getting ruined for you, do yourself a favor and don't read this.
I'm not sure how clear I made this in my "Powers" review
, but I recently got into reading single issue comics instead of just graphic novels/trades (if you want to know why, ask in the comments section). And I'm really into it too. I'm even acting like a collector and bagging, boarding and boxing the comics.
Anyways, one of the main books I've been reading is "Secret Invasion", Marvel's latest cross-over event, which, for those who don't know, is the comic industry's version of a summer blockbuster that encompasses all of the titles. The basic story involved a hostile takeover by the Skrulls that, if you believe writer Brian Michael Bendis, they've been planning for years. Given that I'm somewhat of a newbie (is that word still viable now), I did have to do some catch-up reading and some things I'm still not too clear on, but I was willing to judge this on its own terms and nothing else. Now that it's all over and I've re-read all 8 issues of the main storyline, how do I think it all turned out? Well.....
The Good: The pacing is well handled. It starts off a little slow, but once it gets going it doesn't stop. Tons of action here and all of it well handled. Also, the story is consistent and coherent. No head scratching here (after Leon's review, I'm so glad I didn't read "Batman R.I.P"). What's more, when you read all of the books together in one sitting, you don't really feel the need to read the tie-in books. Sure, they may make some things a little clearer, but the story still makes sense without them.
There's also some well placed humor, particularly a quote about the Helicarrier's constant failings by Maria Hill, a somewhat newer character to the Marvel U that I really like. In fact, all of Maria's scenes involving her and the Skrull version of Jarvis are gold.
I really liked the whole "Embrace Change" thing. Sure, it doesn't really make much sense when you think about it, but it works when you read the books because of the overall creepiness of it all. All of those ads that Marvel did helped sell this element of the story as well.
I also liked how while the good guys won (SURPRISE!), this isn't truly the end. So many repercussions and loose ends and nothing is really tied up in a neat little bow. Of course, given that this all takes place in a comic book universe that continues onwards, this isn't much of a surprise. Still, a nice touch.
Finally, the art is very good, particularly in the first issue.
The Bad: Now that I think about it, there isn't too much that's bad, but what is bad is really is quite strong. First off, I was really disappointed in the identity of the mysterious "He" that the Skrulls kept referring to. It seemed like such a big deal and then in issue #6 we learned that it's God. Wow, talk about a let down. Sure, the idea of these Skrulls being religious fanatics is kind of neat, but I still felt like Peter Bilingsly in "A Christmas Story" when he discovered he wasted all of his time just to hear a commercial.
Also, I'm still a little iffy on the ending. Sure, I'm intrigued by how things will go from here, but I can't believe that they were so stupid to hand everything over to Norman Osborn. Sure, he was ultimately the hero of the hour and Stark proved his incompetence, but Osborn? Maybe I'm missing something here (like I said, I'm still a little new to all of this), but this seems kind of dumb. Of course, we live in a country that elected an idiot to run it, so maybe this isn't too far fetched.
Finally, while the pacing was good, it still felt long, but this is a minor gripe.
Well, that's it. All in all, "Secret Invasion" was an entertaining read. It was far from perfect, but I had fun with it and I'm (somewhat) interested in what comes next.