Secret Invasion Review – “Secret Invasion #6”

The latest chapter in the main event is ready for review. I’ll find a way to schedule the time needed to catch up on this and Final Crisis shortly, but I’m out of town for most of the next three weeks (including two of the Wednesdays) so I don’t know how long it’ll take to catch up.

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Leinil Francis Yu (pencils), Mark Morales (inks), Laura Martin, Emily Warren and Christina Strain (colours)

Cover Date: November 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.


Multiple human factions have formed to face off against the Skrull threat. Reed’s group returns from the Savage Land to take on the group in New York. What’s more, all of the agents in New York also pull together, forming a massive united front against the Invaders.

High Point

Veranke: “He loves you.”
Spider-Man: “Um… He who?”
Veranke: “God.”
Nick Fury: “Yeah? Well my God has a hammer!

Iron Man (flanked by Thor and Captain America):
“Right… Avengeeerrsss! ASSEMBLE!” and the two page spreads that immediately follow that dialogue.

Low Point

Reed has a weapon that reverts all Skrulls to their natural forms, and doesn’t use it?

The Scores

Again, this issue doesn’t feel original. It’s the culmination that’s about to lead into what must be the final battle. I give it 2 out of 6.

The artwork is solid. These teams are really pulling themselves together, and the artwork gives them the kind of visibility and stature that deserves. I’m even excited about Marvel Boy’s participation for the first time in a long time. There’s a huge cast here (I count over 70 human characters, plus skrulls) and the action is clear and unambiguous. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is light on plot once more. There are so many factions involved, it takes two pages to position Noh-Varr, four to position the Skrulls, and the rest of the issue just to get Earth’s defenders all in the same place at the same time. It’s pretty darn fun, but there’s not a lot of plot this time. All of the little steps were expected and necessary, but that’s all we get. I give it 3 out of 6.

The characterization of the human characters is pretty light. Iron Man and the Wasp have a nice conversation in transit, and Thor and the new Captain America have a similarly enjoyable face off, but there are so many in the cast that these moments are pretty fleeting. The Skrulls and Kree have some slightly longer moments, and the conversation between Captain Marvel and Noh Varr is very nice. Everyone seems to be acting in character, at least. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. As I’ve mentioned, this is the final culmination where Earth’s defenders pull together into one massive army. There’s something to be said for any storyline that can naturally reach the point where Captain America and Venom can be seen side by side facing the same opponent. We’ve got the Avengers (New, Mighty, Young and Initiative), Nick Fury’s new Commandos, Thor, Spider-Man, Mr. Fantastic, Captain America, Ka-Zar, the Hood’s crime syndicate and the Thunderbolts all in one front. Long-time Marvel readers like myself have got to like that idea. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow works well. The only part that doesn’t completely mesh at this point is the Marvel Boy and Captain Marvel conversation, so the issue opens with it and then moves on immediately. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a fun if predictable chapter in the story that builds to the point that’s been coming since Echo stabbed Elektra. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion receives 29 out of 42. That sounds lower than it feels by the nature of this part of the story: note the high scores in the “Overall” and “Emotional response” categories.