Secret Invasion Review – “Secret Invasion: Frontline”

Yes, I’m getting behind again. (If only coworkers would stop getting sick…) Secret Invasion: Home Invasion is in the denouement, but is not yet finished, so that’s going to wait until after the higher profile reviews of Final Crisis #5 and Secret Invasion: Dark Reign.

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion: Frontline

Author: Brian Reed

Illustrator(s): GG Studios

Cover Date: September 2008 – January 2009

Cover Price: $2.99US, $2.99-$3.50 Can

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


Ben Urich is one of the survivors of the Skrull invasion, and he’s working to find a way to write about it all. He collects the stories of other survivors, as well as some who were not immediate victims, but he doesn’t figure out how to write about it until he has to face the aftermath.

High Point

The conversation with Joe Robertson.

Low Point

“Alien Virus Detected.” Seriously, how does the computer identify where the virus is from? And if the virus has shut everything else down, why do the screens still function well enough to display that message? It’s also irritating to see characters in the final battle who were deliberately removed from the playing field early on and have not yet returned.

The Scores

This is a somewhat original take, keeping the entire event at ground level, as the previous Front Line series have done. It’s the only entry of this type in the event, and the model itself doesn’t get used much, but it has been roughly the same model through Civil War and World War Hulk. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is pretty good. Individual panels look good, with appropriate details and great colours and colour gradients. I’m less impressed with the actual pencil work, as the characters often seem quite stiff, but the action isn’t the focus, so that’s less distracting than it would be in other titles. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is well done, with an almost Seinfeldian convergence of multiple characters and plotlines into a single, coherent finale, all the while keeping Ben Urich nice and prominent. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is the main goal, keeping the common threads and traits these people share at the forefront, and using them to accent the strengths people can draw on when they need to. Urich himself has several really clear moments, particularly as the series draws to a close. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response builds nicely. When the “survivors” start dropping, and we learn the ultimate fate of several key players in the Marvel universe (including the first public reaction to “Dark Reign”) we get some great stuff. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow isn’t too bad. The stiff figures hinder this somewhat, as do the frequent location shifts at the beginning. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it delivers what we want from a “Frontline” title. Your opinion of the previous “Frontline” miniseries will likely be consistent with your opinion of this one. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion: Frontline receives 30 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 +