Today: Secret Invasion #4
Tomorrow: Captain Britain and MI 13 #3
Later this week and weekend: DC Universe #0, Final Crisis #1-2, FC: Requiem, and the two “Sightings” issues out so far.

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion #4

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

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

Cover Date: September, 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

The Skrulls are hitting the planet hard, through warfare both obvious and subtle. Their invasion is being met with resistance, but not enough to get the Skrulls worried. However, the humans have pulled in some unexpected reinforcements.

High Point

I’ve raved about the final pages of the first three issues in every review. This final page is good, but personally, I find the third last page much more compelling. Bendis is taking the entire Marvel Universe, and pulling it all together.

Low Point

There was a lot of recap art in the first few pages. I’d have preferred to see that compressed and spend more time with Nick Fury’s group.

The Scores

This is starting to feel original for one main reason: generally, these big events kick off with a strong action scene, slow down for a few issues, and then go right back at it. This isn’t letting up. At all. The back story is being slipped out over time, but even that is set up as a narrative over the recap pages. I’ve read in interviews that the entire eight issue miniseries takes place in the span of just a few hours, and that’s really what it feels like. I don’t remember reading a series that maintained this much sheer momentum through four straight issues. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is solid. Morales does a lot inking Yu’s pencils, keeping a nice, clean look to the art compared to Yu’s solo work. We’ve got emotions pantomiming the story through the narration, maintaining the expression with amazingly little dialogue for Bendis’ work. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is solid. We’ve got plot advancement and character work here, without taking time off from the action. It’s a hard balance to maintain, but it’s done here. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is done with a large number of shallow moments. No character has more than two or three pages. They’re all in character, but we don’t get a deep exploration of any individual. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was dampened by the length of the recap, but solidly bolstered by everything from “Skrull’s a Skrull” on. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is great. Go ahead: try to read this comic slowly. I dare you. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s another solid outing, and great summer fun. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion #4 receives 35 out of 42.