Secret Invasion Review – “Secret Invasion: X-Men”

New posts on Saturday are unlikely. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday should see this event get caught up in time for next week’s new entries with Final Crisis #5, Secret Invasion: Dark Reign and Avengers: The Initiative #19. I’m also behind on a Buffy Season Eight review.

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion: X-Men #1-4

Author: Mike Carey

Illustrator(s): Cary Nord (artist on 1, 2, 4) and Claudio Sepulvedo (artist on 3 and 4). Colours by Dave McCaig.

Cover Date: October 2008 – January 2009

Cover Price: All issues $2.99 US. Canadian cover prices for issues 1-4 are $3.05, $3.05, $3.50 and unlisted respectively.

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


The Skrull invasion includes San Fransisco. It seems the Skrulls have only been concerned with their own manifest destiny, though, as they were unaware that the X-Men now call San Fransisco home (along with the majority of the world’s mutant population.)

High Point

Skrull Commander: I congratulate you on the guerrilla war you waged. You held an overwhelmingly superior force off for far longer than should have been possible. We meet as brothers and equals.

Cyclops: We do? Funny, I do have a brother who’s a rabid, murderous psychopath. But somehow I still feel insulted by that.

Low Point

The art is not a good fit for this story. The style is very ethereal, and would work well for romance or non-violent high fantasy, where you want that muted look. On an action piece where characters consider things like genocide, it just doesn’t fit.

The Scores

This doesn’t start to seem original until we reach Cyclops’ actions in the fourth issue. Until then, it’s a knockdown fight with the potential for a traitor among the group. I can’t imagine Cyclops considering what he considererd before Whedon’s run on “Astonishing X-Men” gave him back the edge he had for a while in the 1990s. It really suits him. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork, as mentioned above, would be a good fit for an utterly different type of story. The pastel wash, with lines inked in grey if they’ve been inked at all, aren’t a good fit for something this combat heavy. It also tends to sully and blend the features, which isn’t the best plan with a cast this large that needs to be distinguished. I’ve enjoyed work by Nord and McCaig on other titles, but combined with this inking and this colorist, it just doesn’t work for me. I give it 2 out of 6.

The story serves its purpose, keeping track of the characters (in the interiors; Wolverine only appears on the cover to issue four, since he’s busy with the Avengers in New York and the Savage Land through all of this.) It also serves to show the new X-Men status quo. To that end, it feels like a slightly more warranted crossover than the Spider-Man crossover. At least this one made a definite impact on this corner of the invasion, and everything from the last page of issue 3 on works well on its own. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of Cyclops, Emma, Beast and Nightcrawler is well done. Everyone else gets only cursory attention, which isn’t surprising given the size of the cast. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is much stronger in the last issue than in the first three. That’s where it breaks away from the mundane to the point that the story can overcome the art style. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is smooth, as with most of the event, since there’s not a lot of room for time cutting. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, the conclusion is great for Cyclops fans, but I don’t recommend it to others unless they can see the story behind the art style. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion: X-Men receives 29 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews (including date the last issue should be available):

Dark Reign reviews:

  • Agents of Atlas #1+
  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-22+
  • Black Panther #1+
  • Dark Reign: New Nation: December 17
  • Deadpool -7+
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-10+
  • Mighty Avengers #20-22+
  • Ms. Marvel #34-36+
  • New Avengers #48-50+
  • Punisher #1-2+
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign: December 10
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1: December 24
  • Secret Warriors #1+
  • Thunderbolts #126-129+
  • Uncanny X-Men Annual #2: January 21
  • War Machine #1-3+
  • Wolverine Origins +