Well, this week saw the finale to Secret Invasion. While Final Crisis is struggling to get past the halfway point (I love the story a lot, but really, the delays aren’t doing the series any favours) one thing Marvel have done a great job of is getting this 8 part series on the shelves. By my reckoning they’ve gotten 8 issues out in 9 months which in these days of delayed books is incredibly good going. Momentum can be key to a big event like this (something that is hurting Final Crisis badly I fear) and hats off to Marvel for pulling it off.
So, in the final analysis? Well, I think my original feelings still stand, in that Final Crisis seems to be (for me) telling the better, more layered story, while Secret Invasion suffered from really weird pacing issues. It felt like we spent an eternity in the Savage Land, where pretty much nothing of consequence actually happened. Then in this finale, several big events happen in a matter of panels. Things like the Wasp’s fate, and the discovery of the original people duplicated by the Skrulls felt incredibly rushed given the meandering pace earlier in this series. Its similar to the problem I had a couple of issues ago, where once Reed Richards was freed, suddenly the whole invasion was being wrapped up in a matter of minutes. All this series seemed to show was that for all their planning, the Skrulls really sucked when the chips were down. While the feeling of threat was high during infiltration, it felt that once the heroes had stopped mucking about the Savage Land, getting shot of the Skrulls was about 5 minutes work.
There’s still some dangling plot threads as well. I’m not sure (as I got bored of collecting the Avengers tie ins), but did the “He loves you” thing ever get explained? It seemed to be really significant early on, but never actually went anywhere. I was waiting for some big revelation as to who “he” was.
However, I will say that overall, and despite these negatives, I’ve quite enjoyed this event. While the main series has been a bit of a dissappointment at times, the overall event, and the infiltration build up was a lot of fun. The idea of not being able to trust anyone was fun, but it was a shame that the series seemed to blow all its big reveals in the first issue. I’d have loved to see a couple of other big twist reveals in the last couple of issues to really throw things for a loop, but it never happened. Really I tend to think this series peaked with that first brilliant issue.
Lord help me, while I’m currently jettisoning DC monthlies, some of this Marvel Dark Reign stuff looks really interesting. I’m intrigued to grab the first couple of issues of Dark Avengers, to see what they’re all about (and who they are). And the upcoming Iron Man stuff looks very interesting, with him taking the blame for the whole Skrull mess, and ending up wanted and on the run. Really, for all the dodgy, dodgy stuff Iron Man got up to in Civil War, I can’t help but feel he’s taking the blame for this one unfairly. In SI #8, Thor turns his back on him, saying its because its his fault the invasion happened, and I just felt sorry for Tony. Now if Thor had said “Thou madest an evil clone of me!” then fair enough.
I’m determined to keep my monthly costs as low as I can, but I reckon I’ll be picking up a few of the Dark Reign titles anyway, at least for a month or two to see what its about. Thank God DC cancelled the Bat-titles I was buying.