Taking a short break from background work, we now present the first public showcase of the Secret Invasion storyline.
Title: New Avengers #26-32
Author: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrator(s): Alex Maleev (#26), Leinil Francis Yu (pencils and inks on issues 27-32), Dave McCaig (colours on 27-32)
Original Publication Date: Cover dates range from January to September 2007
Cover Price: $2.99 US per issue
Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address. At the present time, updates are not appearing there. The file I have includes listings for two titles that won’t be announced until Tuesday, so the online update will wait until then.
Maya Lopez is trapped in Japan, dealing with Elektra’s usurption of the Hand and subsequent control of the Japanese underworld. The Secret Invasion comes into view in issue 31. (Normally I’d spoiler guard this, but given the event’s logo…) When fighting for their lives against the Hand, Echo (Maya Lopez) stabs Elektra through the stomach. In death, she is revealed to be a Skrull.
The Skrull reveal. Potential implications are so huge, that I doubt any actual event will ever be able to live up to them.
Since when can Clint Barton pass for a ninja?
The originality starts out weak, using with the “search and rescue” story written with Bendis’ trademark “go to insane lengths to keep things from readers that characters know in order to add suspense to an otherwise typical story” style. (See also: Secret War and The Pulse.) Then comes the Skrull reveal, and it all changes. I give it 4 out of 6.
I’ve got to admit, I’m not a fan of the art of Lienil Yu. The character poses and storytelling work, but the figures are overly angular and the line “shading” just makes them look dirty. I give it 4 out of 6.
The story‘s artifical time jumping and pacing was interesting on the first read, but feels gimmicky on the second pass. Most of the interest was generated based on the story this promises, rather than the story it actually tells. I give it 4 out of 6.
The characterization was pretty good. I’m far from convinced that Clint Barton would fight in that style. (Note that he would fight effectively, just differently.) This is Bendis’ strength, as revealed in issue 32, which is essentially one big conversation about how they all cope with the reveal. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response was pretty hum drum until the big reveal. Now I’m pumped for what’s coming. I give it 4 out of 6.
The flow was stodgy, due in large part to the forced time jumps and repeated dialogue the time jumps require. I give it 3 out of 6.
Overall, it’s a decent story, but if you’re only in it for Secret Invasion, just stick to the last two issues (conveniently to be collected in the Secret Invasion: Infiltration trade paperback due in a few months time.) I give it 4 out of 6.
In total, New Avengers #26-32 receive 28 out of 42.