With this review, our coverage of “Secret Invasion” is officially up to date, and it should stay that way, at least until “Guardians of the Galaxy” hits shelves tomorrow.

General Information

Title: Ms. Marvel #28-30

Author: Brian Reed

Illustrator(s): Adriana Melo (pencils), Mariah Benes (inks) and Chris Sotomayor (colours), with assists by Paulo Siqueira

Cover Date: August through October 2008

Cover Price: $2.99 US, $3.05 Can per issue

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address.

Premise

The Skrulls have attacked. Ms. Marvel went to the Savage Land with Iron Man and the rest of the Mighty Avengers, but Stark sent her back to Manhattan to gather reinforcements in issue 3 of “Secret Invasion.” This reveals what happens to her: she realizes that the invasion is in full swing in Manhattan as well, and nobody else seems to be fighting the good fight. Ms. Marvel, current superhero and former soldier, is particularly well suited to dealing with this kind of situation. For the first few years of this title, Carol has been on a quest to find and define herself. It’s been hard to do this, as her role in S.H.I.E.L.D. has kept her busy. That’s not the case anymore. In her own words, from issue 28: “All the garbage that’s been cranking through my head these last months… everything I’ve worried about, or stressed over, is gone. Nothing matters. Not my popularity. Not Simon. Not even if William is dead or alive. Literally nothing matters but the fight. This fight. This is what I’ve needed since the beginning, even though I didn’t realize it. I’ve got a war to fight. It’s not a skirmish. Not a super-villain with a half-formed plan. This is a real and proper war. I have to fight it like the soldier I am. I get into the fight. I kill as many skrulls as fast as I can… and I save as many human lives as possible in the process. I don’t stress. I don’t worry. I don’t second guess myself. I just do what I used to do when I was a soldier– what I know deep down inside I’m supposed to do… I enjoy the fight.” This internal monologue is the speech that pulls the series together. It’s as though the first 27 regular issues and the specials that have come out since “House of M” have all been setting up that speech. It’s an incredibly effective payoff and promise for the future of the title. At the very least, it sets the tone for this entire crossover perfectly.

High Point

The rather lengthy speech I just quoted, for all of the reasons listed above.

Low Point

The last few pages of issue 30, teasing the future, don’t really fit here from a story perspective. It feels like they’ve got great plans for the future in the “Dark Reign” setting or later, and they’re teasing them while the “Secret Invasion” banner is still on the cover to try and keep readers. The purpose seems to have more to do with marketing than storytelling.

The Scores

This is an original approach for a hero, working within the framework of a clearly heroic character while still allowing her to kill. Moreover, it just oozes the “never surrender” attitude I like from my heroes. It delivers massive amounts of action, with all three issues covering a single combat situation that may last as little as one or two hours, while still managing to continue the character work done in the series to date. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is generally very strong. The work by both teams is solid and enjoyable. I’d be happy if it were either team exclusively, but with the art changes seeming to have more to do with hitting schedules than the story shifts from the “Secret Invasion: Infiltration” arc, it’s not as enjoyable. As I said, both teams are good, but the differences are jarring when you turn the page and see these kinds of differences, particularly since the two pencilers drew two completely different masks on the title character. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is nicely done. There’s at least as much internal action as external, with the combat acting as a catalyst for her self-realization. If you’re not following the main title, this selection would seem quite unresolved as far as the invasion is concerned. If you’re picking this up only because it’s a tie-in, you likely won’t appreciate how nicely this pulls the series together. As I’m following both “Secret Invasion” and “Ms. Marvel,” I found this covered both ends very nicely, and recommend the title beyond the crossover. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of Carol is great. Reed’s early work on the title had a few growing pains, primarily because most of his writing at that time was done outside the comic book medium, but he’s hit his stride here very well. Carol’s internal dramas have been the linchpin of the series, and this resolves that end effectively and appropriately. Some titles seem to use tie-ins as an excuse to boost sales, but this one is a natural fit that serves to move the title forward more quickly than it had on its own, and that’s due entirely to the characterization. Carol’s in character, multilayered, and experiencing growth, all while beating the living tar out of the enemy she’s facing. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. It’s a well written three issue fight scene that drives the character forward. I know I’ve been repeating myself a lot so far, but those prevailing elements were done very well, and they encompass the story completely. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow works well for most of the story, as it takes place is such a short span of time. It gets a bit jarring when the art team changes, though. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, this has been one of the better tie-ins so far. I recommend picking up the tie-in, as well as the rest of the series. Reed’s done some nice work with a character that hasn’t sold well in the past. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ms. Marvel #28-30 receive 34 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews (including date the last issue should be available, or “complete” if they’re all out):

  • Secret Invasion #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7: October 22, #8: November 19, full series: November 19
  • Avengers: The Intiative #14-19: November 26
  • Black Panther #39-41
  • Captain Britain and MI 13 #1, #2, #3, and #4.
  • Deadpool #1-3
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #4-6: October 15
  • Incredible Hercules #117, #118-120
  • Iron Man: Diretor of S.H.I.E.L.D. #33-35: November 19
  • Mighty Avengers #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, 17-20: November 26
  • Ms. Marvel #28-30: complete
  • New Avengers #40, #41, #42-47: November 26
  • New Warriors #14-15
  • Nova #16-18: October 29
  • Punisher: War Journal #24-25: November 29
  • Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man #1-3: October 22
  • Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #1, #2, and #3.
  • Secret Invasion: Frontline #1-5: November 19
  • Secret Invasion: Home Invasion (online only)
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1-4: November 12
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways / Young Avengers #1-3
  • Secret Invasion: Thor #1-3: October 29
  • Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-4: November 19
  • Thunderbolts #122-125: October 22
  • X-Factor #33-34, 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