Secret Invasion Review – “Captain Britain and MI 13 #3”

This gets the Secret Invasion reviews caught up. Tomorrow and through the weekend I’ll start the “Final Crisis” reviews, to give equal representation to events at both major companies.

General Information

Title: Captain Britain and MI 13 #3

Author: Paul Cornell

Illustrator(s): Leonard Kirk (pencils), Jesse Delperdang and Scott Hanna (inks), Brian Reber (colors)

Cover Date: September 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.


The Skrulls have captured all of the magic in Britain. The only way to continue fighting back against them is to get magic from elsewhere and attack with that.

High Point

“We just don’t like to make a fuss.”

Low Point

I didn’t care for the first issue, because it felt like going down a frequently used path. The second felt like it changed direction, to a different path which had been prominently used better in a higher profile title spinning out of Marvel’s last line-wide event. This time, it goes right back onto the track I thought it was on from the start. If it had headed down a new path, I could have given it credit for the red herrings before giving me something fresh and new. Instead, it’s back to the first unoriginal path.

The Scores

The originality isn’t great. Someone’s going to die? A snap of the fingers and a good dose of magic, and all is well! Gee, when was the last time that happened? Give me one more day to think about it, and I’m sure I’ll come up with it. I give it 2 out of 6.

The artwork is the best part of the series. Leonard Kirk does a great job here, keeping everything popping and moving. Some pages are inked better than others, but I don’t know for sure which inkers did which pages, so I don’t want to specifically say which individual’s work was unsatisfactory, particularly since they both seem to do better than was done on the pages in question. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well told. I’m not happy with the story they chose to tell, because of similarities to so many stories I’ve seen elsewhere in comics, but the actual execution of the weak idea is pretty good. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is well done. I like the way the Black Knight is written, and Pete Wisdom is as irritatingly whiny as he is in the other comics I’ve seen him in. No other characters have enough time to really show there characterizations. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response should have been much better. If this was your first comic, it would probably be pretty enjoyable. It’s not, and the frequent use of cliche elements without some new twist is something I find unsatisfying. (I seem to be in the minority here; issue 1 keeps going back for additional print runs, even with Marvel’s new overprint policy, but this is how I’ve felt.) I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow is smooth. Like the parent title, this is very quickly paced, spanning just a few minutes across the country. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, I find it disatisfying, primarily because the good parts are good enough to convince me that this creative team has no excuse for using this many rehashed ideas all at once. The series may improve down the road, but I don’t plan to stick around to find out. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Captain Britain and MI 13 #3 receives 27 out of 42.