This catches up the reviews of issues branded “Secret Invasion,” with the exception of the Ms. Marvel “Infiltraion” issues (to be reviewed with the release of issue 27.)

General Information

Title: New Avengers #40

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Jim Cheung (pencils), John Dell (inks) and Justin Ponsor (colors)

Cover Date: June, 2008

Cover Price: $2.99 US, $3.05 Can

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address.

Premise

This flashback issue reveals how this Invasion was developed from technological and political perspectives within the Skrull empire. It also ends with a likely Skrull reveal. This bridges a lot of the time from the original Illuminati response to the Kree-Skrull war until much more recent times.

High Point

The final panel. I may need to go back and revise an earlier review…

Low Point

Dorrek’s observation. He never seemed to be such a hands on ruler before.

The Scores

This is an original take on Skrulls, really spending a lot of time working on how their society works and runs. Until now, the early issues of Silver Surfer, Vol. 3 seemed to hold this corner of writing, and even they did not fill in this much back story this well. If you have any interest in what Skrulls are like when they’re not attacking, this is where you’ll find that. They’re planning a different kind of assault for completely different reasons, and it all comes through here. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is by Jim Cheung, who made the first twelve issues of Young Avengers so distinct. Very clear, solid art. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story holds up quite well, filling in gaps in culture, explaining the technology and its limitations, and establishing definite timeframes. If you’re not reading the main event it may not be terribly interesting (assuming anyone interested in Skrull culture would be reading the main event), but if you are, this is dynamite. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is fairly well done. Dorrek is mostly well done, apart from that one scene, and the rest of the cast were created right here and now, with their own distinct voices (and body language to back it up, thanks to Cheung.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is very strong for those of is interested in the Secret Invasion. The rest of you will probably get bored, but then, those not interested in Secret Invasion probably aren’t reading this review in the first place. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is very similar to that in the “Mighty Avengers” issue I just reviewed: sequential time jumping begins with a scene well in the past, and then catches up to much more recent events in chronological order driven by a common theme, telling a single story. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a strong issue for a crossover. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, New Avengers #40 receives 35 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

Expected this week: Secret Invasion #2 and Mighty Avengers #13.