This week’s first “Secret Invasion” review was chosen based on my level of anticipation for it, and it delivers.

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2

Author: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Illustrator(s): Barry Kitson (pencils), Kitson, Mick Gray and Scott Hanna (inks) and Chris Sotomayor (colors)

Cover Date: August 2008

Cover Price: $2.99 US

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Premise

The identity of their attacker is starting to sink in for Johnny, as he faces her head on in the Negative Zone. Meanwhile, Ben, Franklin and Valeria are dealing with the typical invasion of the Baxter Building by the local denizens. Even if they do deal with the threats at hand, neither of them knows how to repair the portal well enough to get themselves home.

High Point

Oh, God, we’re about to get shown up by a seven-year-old… Granted, the seven-year-old in question is Reed Richard’s son

Low Point

Valeria grew up really, really fast. She was barely talking during Civil War, and now she spends the entire issue walking on her own two feet or operating complex machinery? Seriously? She grew up faster here than she would have if she were real.

The Scores

This feels original. I don’t remember an issue of the Fantastic Four with these four and this dynamic, and I’ve read them all. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is well done, keeping the story moving and laying out the Negative Zone in a fairly clear manner. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is working very well. This is exactly how the Skrulls would take on the FF, and it’s a pretty reasonable depiction of how they pull through it all. It’s also not entirely clear what their attacker’s motives truly are. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is very strong, with Johnny’s internal monologue and with the conversation with all four of them at the end. Aguirre-Sacasa did very well with these characters (when he was working with his own plots, rather than those handed down by the president since forcibly removed from editorial) back when he wrote Marvel Knights 4. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is very good. I’m a big fan of the team, and this is delivering on the tone of the series better than Millar and Hitch are on the main series right now, and this only has half of the cast. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is nice and smooth. It’s a rapidly paced story, and it’s well delivered. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a solid entry, and is shaping up to be one of the better crossovers. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2 receives 37 out of 42.