Secret Invasion Finale and Dark Reign

Secret Invasion #8Well, 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.

14 thoughts on “Secret Invasion Finale and Dark Reign

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  1. Yeah, I too found the laying the blame upon Stark a bit unfounded.

    I mean seriously, how was he supposed to know about a Skrull infiltration?
    And when he did know, he responded pretty correctly in responce to all the things that happened. Sticking Norman in power is bloody rediculous, at most he should’ve gotten a bit of a commendment, thanks and changed the minds of a few people about him, but to put the Green Goblin in total power? That’s going a bit far.

    I kind of liked him being the Director of SHIELD, it was an interesting setup.

    Why would he be on the run though? I mean seriously, what did he do wrong? The invasion cannot be blamed on him, was the President blamed for the Nazis? I mean sure, if they knew about the Illuminati attacking the Skrulls back in the Illuminati issues, then fine. It’s like how America is provoking Iraq and Iran, but they don’t know about it. So what the hell..?

    As the the ‘He loves you’ thing, it was breifly explained in a few lines of dialogue in some tie in book.

    Spiderwoman Skrull (At least I think it was her): “He loves you..”
    Can’t remember who this was: “Who does?”
    She looks at him with extreme dramatic close up: “God.”

    A kind of ‘Ooooh’ moment there with little revelation. Kind of a ‘oooh, it’s a religious war’ feeling. Not that we didn’t guess.

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  2. There’s an interview with Bendis on Newsarama where he’s basically saying that Stark’s blame largely comes down to the fact that the invasion happened on his watch and people are looking for someone to blame. Having been head of SHIELD at the time as well as one of the key figures in the Civil War, he pretty much gets the flack by default.

    I can see that being the case really. Bendis seems to be saying “of course he’s not to blame, but people need a scapegoat” which I can understand. Still I can’t help but think that people like Thor etc should’ve known better, although I suppose there’s an underlying blame for Cap’s death there (although again, Tony really didn’t have anything to do with that).

    Handing Norman control is an interesting plot point largely as we’ll all be sitting waiting to see how badly it backfires for the US Government. Norman holds a heck of a lot of a power now, and he’s a nutjob with a tendancy to run around in green and purple spandex. Its pretty much Marvel’s version of DC’s President Lex storyline and should be fun to see how the heroes cope.

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  3. I’m really looking forward to Dark Reign, particularly Iron man, on teh run, Dark Avengers looks interesting (The Iron Patriot and Noh-Varr seem to be there) and we get an Agents of Atlas series. Also there is the smallish thing of the new War Machine series.

    AGree on SI as a whole, coudl have gone less time in the savage land and more time fighting back.

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  4. Ah. I didn’t recognise most of the Dark Avengers. I’m presuming at this point that Iron Patriot is going to be Norman, and I believe the Wolverine of the team is Wolverine’s son who’s been running around one of his billion titles.

    Interesting to see Scarlet Witch back on the roster (Mighty Avengers from memory). That should be very interesting.

    I wonder if Hawkeye is still in the Ronin getup, or if it’ll be someone else (interested to see what happens to him, what with Mockingbird now back).

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  5. Yup, teh Scarlet Bampot is back on teh Mighty Avengers Roster. And There were hints in the dan slott interview that Stature and The Vision of Young Avengers may be involved too. I do wonder who will be in that outfit, Dark Avengers has a hawkeye too, on my blog (Shameless plug) I put in an out there theory that the Spider Man black Costume and Hawkeye are none other than Venom and Bullseye from Thudnerbolts.

    Now for a new Out There theory, Ronin in New Avengers is (drumroll) Tony Stark

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  6. Annoyingly there’s an interview up on Newsarama with the writer of the new Hawkeye and Mockingbird limited series and he specifically mentions Clint’s still in the Ronin getup, and both characters will be in New Avengers, so bang goes the Tony theory.

    I like the Venom and Bullseye theory though. Norman putting a more Avengers-y spin on the Thunderbolts?

    I can see Stature not being too keen on Wanda being back. What with Wanda killing her Dad and all.

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  7. Specifically the Thunderbolts he trusts/likes. He’s got on well with Venom and knows how to deal with Bullseye. The Ms Marvel could possibly be Moonstone in disguise and Ares could well be Ares since as we’ve seen from Mighty Avengers, He’s pretty morally flexible and socially not too sophisticated (Tactical Genius but doesn’t really understand the world) Of course if we’re going down this route of the Dark Avengers actually being the Thunderbolts in disguise (and it would be a nice nod to the original Thunderbolts being the Masters of Evil in disguise) Then The WOlverine we’ve seen coudl be swordsman with fake claws.

    WHere are Songbird, Pennance and Radioactive Man? Well last issue of Thunderbolts Radioactive Man was sent back to China, Pennance was sectioned by Moonstone and last we saw songbird had one of Bullsye’s Sharper weapons very near her favorite life sustaining organs.

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  8. Picked up the Nova series (1-current) off ebay and gained a possible insight into Tony’s plight.

    It seems the Skrulls (probably through Jarvis) ‘infected’ all Starktech technology, including the defence systems used throughout the world and so on.

    So thats immediately put Tony in the blame as if they weren’t using the technology he so believed in, they might have been able to put up more of a fight. Maybe.

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  9. Interesting thought about the Thunderbolts, although there’s a side of me that hopes not, as that could be a bit predictable. Saying that however, since we can assume that Norman’s Dark Avengers team is going to be the “official” Avengers as far as the US (if not the readers) are concerned, then having them be the likes of Venom and Bullseye is definitely interesting.

    So regarding Tony, it does sound like he’s taking the blame for the eggs in one basket situation. Serves the various world Governments right though. So ironically, somewhere like Latveria was probably the safest place to be from the Skrulls 🙂

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  10. Bah, of course Latveria was safer, under the benign rule of the great Doom we are all better off. Long Live Doom.

    I rekcon teh Dark Avengers are going to be official, New are as usual Underground and Mighty, by the sound of things, are going to be independent but more avengery.

    David, That the post Anihilation Nova series? what did you think of it?

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  11. Having not really read Nova before I was pleasantly surprised by the series, it felt very Kyle Rayner and the basic plotline revolves around Richard Rider, who is now the last of the Nova Corps. He is in space, rushing from distress call to distress call and emergency signal, barely eating, barely resting.

    There is a nice character dynamic between him and his only companion, the ‘Worldmind’, which is a kind of super AI with a full blown personality, and a pretty arrogant one at that. They clash often, and the Worldmind is apparently the sum of all knowledge that the Nova equivilent of the GL Guardians possessed. It is Richard’s duty to now safekeep this mind and the ‘entire Nova force’ which was once shared between all the members of the corps.

    During the series Richard clashes with a techno-virus of sorts, his own past and even Galactus and (his now current herald) the Silver Surfer.

    It’s a fun read and has some nice touches to the story. Despite it feeling at times a bit of a Green Lantern knock-off, it is indeed a good read.

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  12. There’s also a great plotline when he returns to Earth, after spending a couple of years in space, and being shocked at all the changes, Civil War wise. Iron Man goes after him too, SHEILD having detected a large power signal entering Earth’s atmosphere.

    Rider is apparently very war seasoned now due to the Anihilation event.

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  13. If you can hold on for the decades it will take me to sort out my comic collection, I can lend you the issues.

    It is good, and yes, very Kyle Rayner. The whole Anihilation saga is worth reading if you want to see how he got to where he was. And of course Knowhere, the celestials head he visited with the psychic soviet do gon it is now the base of the Guardians of the Galaxy (Which i can also reccomend the trade for, it has a talking raccoon who hates anthromorphic talking animals for gods sake)

    And of course, because I’m going to be insufferable until War Machine #1 comes out, you may be interested to know that Dan Abenett and Andy Lanning, who write Nova once wrote War Machine.

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