The third chapter in Marvel’s big summer event is out. Enjoy.

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion #3

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Leinil Francis Yu (pencils), Mark Morales (inks) and Laura Martin (colors)

Cover Date: August, 2008

Cover Price: $3.99 US, $4.05 Can

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

Premise

We start seeing the big picture again, as we note progress and events both in and out of the Savage Land. For the third straight issue, we end on one heck of a splash page.

High Point

I’ve been waiting for that final splash page for over two years. I didn’t know the details, of course, but the “big picture” version is excellent.

Low Point

I hope the implied “revelation” here is wrong. I know others have been begging for it, but I think it would cheapen too much of what we’ve seen recently.

The Scores

The originality is lacking once more. This is an old school action romp, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Characters are positioned for a fun ride with an indeterminate amount of action, but otherwise, there’s not much here we didn’t already know. I give it 2 out of 6.

The artwork works well with Morales inking Yu’s pencils, keeping things nice and clean. The loss of focus in the final few pages is well done, and an excellent harbinger of that splash page I can’t seem to stop raving about. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story this time around is mostly action, and two conversations. The first is a nice showcase for Maria Hill, and the second is (I hope) psychological warfare with a heavy side of FUD. The last page is a turning point I’ve been really looking forward to. It’s thin on dialogue in a few place, but characters are positioned very quickly and efficiently. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is well done. No single character has a lot of space, but what they do have is well done. In a few cases, entire teams are written into the span of four pages or less. A few get only two pages each, but the dialogue they have is note perfect in those little windows. The recap page shows 31 characters, and it’s incomplete! This is a huge cast, well balanced. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. This is fun, and engaging, at least for those of us who’ve been exposed to the buildup. (I suspect I’d have had the same response to Final Crisis #1 last week if I were more familiar with the current DCU.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is a bit tricky to judge. There are numerous rapid scene changes, but the entire issue is at such a frantic pace that it’s not really the problem it would normally be. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an issue with a lot of fun payoff for those who have been reading all four Avengers titles (New, Mighty, Young, Initiative) and the Infiltration issues, but it would be a terrible jumping on point for those who haven’t. I’m definitely in the first group, and I’m working on a document (see above) that will give the second group what they need to know. (If you know of such a document for Final Crisis, let me know. Aside from the Green Lantern titles, I really don’t know what’s going on in the DCU.) As a member of the first group, I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion #3 receives 31 out of 42.