This summer, I’ve only been paying attention to three “event” comic series, and, so far, all three of them are really letting me down. It’s no secret that I’ve really disliked Final Crisis, but I’ve also been fairly annoyed with Batman R.I.P. The art in both of those has been pretty stellar, but Grant Morrison’s writing has been a mixed bag, and, for the most part, fairly weird to the point of being bad. I kind of like R.I.P, in spite of the bad writing, just because it’s at least building to something, and I’ve remained interested in seeing how it plays out. And, hey, at least it’s only affecting, like, twenty characters rather than six billion.
The third crossover I’ve been following is Marvel’s Secret Invasion, and, after a fantastic debut issue, this thing has been one big letdown followed by another.
The fifth issue came out today, so if you haven’t read it, just hold off on reading this review for a little while, because from here on out, there will be spoilers. In this issue, the good guys finally do some ass-kicking, after Mr. Fantastic is freed and comes back to Earth with a big gun that reveals who is and isn’t a Skrull. Most notably, Tony Stark is not a Skrull, and Spider-Woman was. Plus, the Skrulls reveal that they’re taking our planet over as part of their empire in order to save us from ourselves. Okay, Chris Jericho.
Sounds pretty decent, right? Well, it is, and it isn’t. I guess my biggest gripe is that, while I was reading this thing, I kept wondering how many damn times we’re going to have to sit through the same stupid conversation where everybody acts paranoid and talks about who may or may not be a Skrull.
The only interesting twist is that it’s revealed that some of these Skrull infiltrators (maybe all of them?) actually think they’re the superhero counterparts they’re posing as. The stuff with Captain Marvel, for instance, is really intriguing.
Another thing that I found kind of yawn-inducing is that Agent Brand and Maria Hill were able to trick an entire squadron of Skrulls to take out one of the main ships in their fleet and the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier, respectively, single-handed. Right. So you’re telling me these Skrulls were able to pull off one of the most elaborate, intricate plans to bring Earth to its knees, yet they’re fooled by a woman who speaks Skrull like a “drunken baby” and a robot decoy? Yeah, that makes sense.
I don’t want to say that nothing’s happening in this series, because, clearly, stuff is happening; it just feels like there’s a whole lot of filler and jibber-jab for the majority of each issue and then one or two big twists.
Oh well. At least I know what’s going on in this series, and it’s not complete freaked-out gobbledygook, like Final Crisis. Yes, the story about a race of little green shape-shifters invading Earth from the inside out is more believable and less ridiculous than Final Crisis. Now that’s saying something.