Tomorrow I’ll review “Secret Invasion: Frontline.” The web-only “Secret Invasion: Home Invasion” seems to be running a bit behind schedule. It’s almost done, but I don’t know if it’ll be done Monday night. (It’s been published a page at a time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.) The series is clearly almost done, but it may take more than one page. If it’s done on Tuesday, that’ll be Tuesday’s review. If not, it’ll be “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #16-19.”

General Information

Title: New Avengers #42-47

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s):

Issue Pencils Inks Colours
42 (Spider-Woman replacement) Jim Cheung John Dell Justin Ponsor
43 (Savage land ship replacements, continuing issue 41) Billy Tan Danny Miki Jason Keith
44 (Learning to duplicate the humans) Billy Tan Matt Banning Justin Ponsor
45 (House of M, continuing issue 42) Jim Cheung John Dell and Jay Leisten Justing Ponsor
46 (The Hood’s group learns of the invasion) Billy Tan Matt Banning Justin Ponsor
47 (Luke and Jessica bond with Danielle) Billy Tan and Michael Gaydos Matt Banning and Michael Gaydos Justin Ponsor

Cover Date: Ranges from August 2008 – January 2009

Cover Price: $2.99 US each. $2.99 – $3.50 Can each

Premise

Each issue fills in background details to the Secret Invasion event, as detailed in the illustrator credits.

High Point

The issue 46 reveal.

Low Point

The House of M issue, which seems two issues too late, doesn’t seem to have much impact on things, apart from the reveal at the end. I’d have preferred if the Skrulls were unaware of the change in the world, along with almost everyone else, and if the issue had been Annihilation based instead.

The Scores

This is an original structure, revealing the buildup and answering the inevitable questions in the form of parallel flashback issues rather then loading up the main event with the gobs of exposition we’d normally see in this type of story. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork varies a bit, but Tan and Cheung are consistent enough that it’s not really a problem. The only issue that has a major style shift within is the last one, in which they used the old “Alias” artist for the flashback to the timeframe within that series. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is a bit disjointed, particularly as “sequel” issues do not follow immediately from the lead-in issues. Much like the live action Star Trek movies, the even numbered entries are much stronger than the odd numbered entries. The other just don’t seem to really contribute much. The last issue is a nice Luke and Jessica story, but it seems to have little to do with the invasion itself. I give it 4 out of 6, averaging the scores for the various issues.

The characterization of Veranke, the Hood, Reed Richards and Criti Noll all work well. Aside from those four, nobody really gets enough time to come through clearly. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is as varied as the content. Some works very well, particularly the Hood and Reed Richards issues, but the others don’t necessarily engage the reader. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is very rough between issues. There’s a lot of time jumping, and some “to be continued” moments that don’t continue in the next issue. In fact, I’d recommend reading issues 40-47 out of numerical order, but rather in the order 44, 40, 42, 45, 46, 41, 43, and 47. It’ll make more sense. Once an issue starts, the contents of that issue work well enough, but it can be quite jarring between issues. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an uneven grouping. My advice is to read them in the above order, possibly choosing to skip the odd numbered issues. It’ll be a generally more enjoyable experience. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, New Avengers #42-47 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 #6-7+
  • 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 #33+