Secret Invasion Review – “Secret Invasion #1-8”

Now that it’s all said and done, how does it stack up as a distinct and independent entity?

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion #1-8

Author: Brian Michael Bendis

Illustrator(s): Leinil Yu (pencils), Mark Morales (inks) and Laura Martin (colours)

Cover Date: June 2008 – January 2009

Cover Price: $3.99 US each as issues, $29.99 US as TPB

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Ever since Avengers Disassembled, Skrulls have been infiltrating the Marvel Universe. This information only came to light recently, and has thrown the heroes into an even greater state of distrust than they were in after “Civil War.” All of this happens before the series starts; this starts with the Skrulls’ first overt public move, runs through the actual combat portion of the war (which lasts a matter of hours) and culminates with the immediate aftermath, implications of which will be found in issues stamped with the “Dark Reign” banner in the coming months.

High Point

“Okay, Commandos! Let’s turn this thing around!”

Low Point

It doesn’t stand well when viewed as a distinct entity, though it is an effective payoff from the last five years worth of content.

The Scores

The originality was part of the creation of the event, and where it leaves the Marvel Universe. The creation of the event happened in other titles, and the implications are only a part of the last five pages or so. Everything in between is a great big fight, and we’ve seen those many times before. It’s a well done great big fight, but it’s still a great big fight. I give it 2 out of 6.

The artwork delivers in the end. At first, it’s a little stiff and stodgy, but by the time it’s over, Morales and Yu are working together to create active, flowing images. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story contained within these eight issues is pretty limited. As mentioned earlier, by the time the main miniseries launched, all we had left was a great big fight. The “whys” and “hows” of the invasion are left to the tie-in Avengers series Bendis also wrote. This meets the goals it sets for itself in an internally consistent manner, but the goals it sets were by no means lofty. If you haven’t read the build-up, you’ll have a lot of questions that go unanswered. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is fairly well done. There’s no time to “go deep” with anyone, but the moments we do see with them are entirely in character. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response, from the perspective of someone who has been on board for this event since long before we knew it was an event, was very strong. This series is, essentially, the payoff for everything Brian Michael Bendis has been writing in the main Marvel universe since he was assigned to “Avengers” and disassembled the team. Those of us who have been reading since then will likely enjoy this high octane culmination of that long-term build. Those who start here will likely find it to be just another big fight. Since I was here from the start, my own emotional response scores a 6 out of 6.

The flow is very smooth. A lot of this has to do with the timeframes involved. The first seven and a half issues (or so) could well have elapsed within the span of five or six hours, with the entire event lasting 24-48 hours. There is no down time at all until the victors emerge and the aftermath begins. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a strong denouement, but not a strong individual work. If you’ve been reading Bendis’ Avengers work, this is a must-read. If you haven’t been, grab the “Secret Invasion: Dark Reign” one shot to learn what the Marvel Universe looks like in the aftermath and go from there. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion receives 30 out of 42.

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews:

Dark Reign reviews (with final availability dates):

  • Agents of Atlas #1-2+
  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-22+
  • Black Panther #1-2+
  • Dark Avengers #1-3+
  • Dark Reign: Elektra #1-5
  • Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1-
  • Dark Reign: New Nation: This is a sampler with a few pages from each of four or five other Dark Reign titles. It won’t be individually reviewed, and the samplers aren’t complete enough for our system. The finished products will be reviewed as they come out.
  • Deadpool -8+ (crosses over with Thunderbolts)
  • Incredible Hercules #127+
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-11+
  • Mighty Avengers #20-23+
  • Ms. Marvel #34-37+
  • New Avengers #48-51+
  • New Avengers: The Reunion #1-4
  • Punisher #1-3+
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1
  • Secret Warriors #1-2+
  • Thunderbolts #126-130+ (crosses over with Deadpool)
  • Uncanny X-Men Annual #2: January 21
  • War Machine #1-4+
  • Wolverine Origins -34+