Secret Invasion Review – “Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1”

I somehow missed this review when the issue came out about this time last year. Well, that oversight has been corrected. I’ve also added checklists of all of the reviews that will come. I’m going to try to post one every day or two until they’re all caught up.

General Information

Title: Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1

Authors: Dan Slott and Christos N. Gage

Illustrators: Penciles by Patrick Scherberger, Clayton Henry, Carmine Digiandomenico, Tom Feister, Steve Uy, and Salvador Larroca. Inks by Dave Meikis, Paul Neary, Carmine Digiandomenico, Tom Feister, Steve Uy, and Salvador Larroca. Colors by Wil Quintana, Jose Villarrubia, Daniele Rudoni and Stephane Peru.

Cover Date: January 2008

Cover Price: $3.99

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address. This will eventually get updated more completely. In the meantime, I’ve added a checklist to the bottom of this and all future reviews linked the relevant content. (It was while making this checklist that I realized this particular review had been written and typed up, but not yet posted. Oops.)


Background for the various recruits is provided and revealed, as well as infiltration efforts by some of the Skrulls involved.

High Point

The “Armory” story.

Low Point

The cheap humour with the Nazi scientist. Those jokes came too easily.

The Scores

These are not your typical superhero origins by any stretch of the imagination. It was also the first hint at the overall plan for the Skrull invaders. I give the originality 5 out of 6.

The artwork is a bit inconsistent, given the number of rotating art teams. The MVP story was the weakest, with inks that are far too heavy. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story was well done, giving several origins that break all the molds. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization was good all around, with many interesting reveals. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was great. It’s a very interesting story all around. The Secret Invasion link is a long time coming in the issue, but this would be worth reading with or without the event tie-in. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is smooth within each story, given that the issue is an anthology style collection, with thematic links. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, I give this a solid 5 out of 6. “Avengers: The Initiative” has, in my opinion, probably been the best Avengers title Marvel’s put out since “Disassembled.”

In total, Avengers: The Initiative Annual #1 receives 33 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews:

  • Secret Invasion #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, full series
  • Avengers: The Intiaitive #14-19
  • Black Panther #39-41
  • Captain Britain and MI 13 #1, #2, #3, and #4.
  • Deadpool #1-3
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #4-6
  • Incredible Hercules #117, #118-120
  • Iron Man: Diretor of S.H.I.E.L.D. -35
  • Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man #1-3
  • Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1, #2, and #3.
  • Secret Invasion: Frontline #1-5
  • Secret Invasion: Home Invasion (online only)
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1-4
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways / Young Avengers #1-3
  • Secret Invasion: Thor #1-3
  • Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-4
  • Mighty Avengers #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, 17-20
  • Ms. Marvel #28-30
  • New Avengers #40, #41, #42-47
  • New Warriors #14-15
  • Nova #16-18
  • Punisher: War Journal #24-25
  • Thunderbolts #122-125
  • X-Factor -34, She-Hulk #31-33

Aftermath (Dark Reign) reviews:

  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-?
  • Dark Reign: New Nation
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-?
  • Ms. Marvel #34-?
  • New Avengers #48-?
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1
  • War Machine #1-?
  • several unannounced titles, I’m sure