Secret Invasion #1 (of eight) (Marvel – Bendis / Yu / Morales / Martin)
SECRET INVASION IS HERE!! Years in the making, months in the teasing…and it all STARTS HERE!! The shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls has secretly infiltrated every super-powered organization on Earth with one goal…full-scale invasion! In this DOUBLE-SIZED first issue, page after page unveils reveal after reveal and shocking moment after shocking moment! Brian Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu leap off the pages of mega-hit New Avengers and deliver a story that will change the Marvel Universe forever.
THE MARVEL UNIVERSE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!
SPOILER ALERT!!! I will be discussing some plot details here, if you don’t want to know, stop reading… but know that Secret Invasion gets a thumbs up! I tell you this “Because he loves you”.
Let me start with the fact I was ready to really not like this book, all the hype, all the drama… as it is an eight part major event series with various spin-off, I really expected this first issue to be rehash and not go anywhere. Not so, major events take place and we get quite a few reveals. Before we get to the meat and potatoes of the invasion, let it be said that the art was good, but just good. It didn’t blow me away, the times I paused slack-jawed when reading this issue, it had to deal with the content of the story not because the visuals took my breath away. No big splash pages or dramatic poses, but somehow I think that was a positive thing because it let the plot speak for itself.
The issue opens with a flashback to right after the destruction of the Skrull homeworld and a secret Skrull cult begins moving to fulfill some dark prophecy. Next we see Hank Pym, Reed and Tony discussing Elektra’s corpse and trying to figure out how the Skrulls were able to get past technological, magical and super-powered related defenses to infiltrate. Spring forward to now, a single Skrull ship is falls into Earth’s atmosphere and crash lands smack dab in the Savage Land. The Mighty Avengers and the Secret Avengers each make a mad dash for it, and of course the both arrive at approximately the same time. Just at a point where true physical conflict between the two groups is about to explode Tony’s armor is struck down by an alien (Skrull) virus. In fact all over the world, major systems (SHIELD, Stark Enterprises, The Raft, the Cube, etc) are being taken offline, there is also a Negative Zone breach at the Baxter Building. The sabotage at the macro-level are all done by Skrull sleeper agents that are in key high-trust positions, there were enough of them that it make the reader step back and go blurry eyed. The question now is, When “Commander Dugan”, “Sue Richards” and “Hank Pym” (three of our infiltrators) set these events in motion, how long have the Skrulls been in place… did they just swap in in the last six hours, have they been there a few days, are these the same beings that we have been following since Civil War or before. I will give Bendis props for being able to set up a little suspense here. Just as the world is going to hell on a security level, the Skrull ship with the full Avengers roster outside of it opens to reveal no less than a dozen of Marvel’s finest (Spidey, Sue Richards, Logan, Power Man, Emma Frost, etc.) all in various classic garb from the 80’s and 90’s. Also in this group are a few characters that twist modern Marvel continuity on it’s ear (Captain America, Iron man, Thor, Vision, Hawkeye, etc.). From this point, we have two options. Either all of these heroes were abducted on the scale from years ago or they are Skrull duplicates.
Let’s look at option one. If all of these heroes were abducted and they are just returning, this literally takes at least the last ten years of Marvel’s history offline. Every X-men plotline, WW Hulk, Civil War, Ragnarok and the death of the Asgardians, the end of the Avengers… all of these would have been somewhat involved with the Skrull plot. That seems a bit much, even for Bendis. A much more likely idea is that while Skrulls have infiltrated, this ship that crashed are filled with Skrull duplicates. Possibly to warn Earth of the coming invasion. At the beginning of this issue we saw that the invasion began from a secret Skrull Cabal, a cult not the Skrull government as a whole. I very much doubt that the Secret Invasion will not explode into a Skrull civil war that Earth is in the middle of.
In any case, I am much more impressed than I thought I would be. I hope Secret Invasion ends as strong as it started!
Issue Grade: A