This was the only crossover title this week which stands alone. The others will be reviewed in their respective story arcs.
Title: Mighty Avengers #15
Author: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrators: John Romita Jr. (breakdowns), Klaus Janson and Tom Palmer (finishes), and Edgar Delgado with Guru eFX (colorists)
Cover Date: August 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. I plan to make some significant updates to the document today or Tuesday.
We’ve known since “Secret Invasion #1” that Hank Pym has been replaced by a Skrull. In this issue, we learn when and how that happened, and some of the things1 that Skrull has been up to ever since.
The Secret Invasion tradition of fantastic final pages continues.
Janet’s characterization. Her first appearance here doesn’t seem to fit with what I’ve read from her before.
Once again, the replacement story takes a different approach than previous versions, helping both the feeling of originality and the sense of planning on the part of the Skrulls. Each character is replaced in the manner most effective for that individual. The method that worked perfectly for Pym wouldn’t have lasted a minute with Nick Fury. I give it 5 out of 6.
The artwork is effective. It’s John Romita, Jr., who is very consistent. Action looks great, and quiet moments get the job done. Much emotion can be conveyed with a subtle facial expression, generally the angle of the head and/or a twist of the mouth. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story is well done, taking his replacement long and slow, and then speeding through the recap of major scenes he’s been involved in since the replacement. Again, it’s a great supplement to people who’ve read the material Bendis has written for Marvel before and during the Secret Invasion, but it won’t play out that well for someone who hasn’t. I give it 5 out of 6.
The characterization is usually solid. Janet’s first appearance doesn’t work for me, but given that it’s set just after the “Avengers Finale” took place, it’s not totally implausible. Hank Pym’s characterization is spot on, right down to the subtle arrogance he’s carried for years. I give it 5 out of 6.
As someone who has read just about everything Bendis has written within Marvel continuity,2 the emotional response I had was excellent. This filled in gaps, confirmed suspisions I’ve had since the reveal in Secret Invasion #1, and added one more that I’d missed on that final page. I give it 6 out of 6.
The flow is great. Some of the times and locations jump pretty rapidly, but given the clear montage nature of those pages, it’s not really a problem. This is especially true as the reader can guess which character is a Skrull long before Pym does. I give it 6 out of 6.
Overall, it’s another great supplement to the main title. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, Mighty Avengers #15 receives 37 out of 42.
Additional Notes and Comments
- For more information on Pym’s activities since replacement, check out Avengers: The Iniative #14 which also shipped this week.
- The only nine issues he’s written for Marvel I haven’t read are the three issue Daredevil: Ninja series and the first six issues of the Elektra relaunch. I have managed to track those down, and plan to have them read shortly.
hank pym was killed
the cover was an homage to Yellow Jackets Court Martial in Avengers 213(?)
but here’s the question(s): in this issue it sure looks like Pym gets killed. Lotsa blood there.
The timelines as to when some characters are switched is really difficult to pin down. Instead of Brand New day, they could have dealt with Spidey changes via Secret Invasion…when the hell was Mockingbird grabbed? Pym (alive pym) says some wonky stuff about years…
the skrulls can imitate powers to a limited degree- but what about psychic powers (Emma Frost Dupe)
At times these dupes have no recollection of who they were
other times it says there is a shared equal presence…surely Xavier or someone else could sense two thought patterns…
I was really sure Stark was a Skrull it would have made Civil War an even better payoff. I understand the rope a dope of not making him one…but still…