So here it is and there it was. Another issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ masterpiece has come and gone, and we wait another month for Secret Invasion #5. So what did 4 bring?
Well, Secret Invasion #4 suffers from being an issue of a main event, thus meaning it has cover all the bases, causing to jump around a lot and not dwell in one place for too long. The result is a bunch of tiny steps forward, rather than a huge advance in the story. It still works better than when the whole book is dedicated to on single location a la Secret Invasion #2.
So we start off with a long winded narration of “the story so far”, frankly, I could have done without most of it, as I don’t think we really need to hammer the “Trust no-one” point any further. I think we all get it now, even the biggest dolt in the world is bound to get it after a bazillion times, it’s called conditioning. The narration did have some good bits, particularly about the one about how Human beings have often invaded a place, drove out the local population and then went on with their lives like nothing ever happened. Kind of gives what the Skrulls are doing perspective, seeing how we’ve been doing it for a couple millenia or so.
We get another reminder of just how utterly useless the Sentry is as we see, yet again, a shot of him running away from the battle, crying (I wish to god I was making this up, but I’m not).
After an issue of flying, Ms. Marvel arrives in New York, only to get shot in the face by Nick Fury (for being a Skrull, of course). I like the team dynamic of Fury’s Howling Commandos (nay, Secret Warriors), they work well together, if only I could figure out what it they were actually doing. They seemed to be collecting the bodies of the fallen, probably Fury wants to beef up his army of kids. Innuendos aside, what I desperately want to figure out is what the hell happened to Ms. Marvel. After previously mentioned face-shooting, she gets piled on by a bunch of Skrulls, among them everyone’s favorite Wife-Beater , Hank Pym, and then we slowly close in on her eye and this happens:
Now, I’m pretty sure the last black panel means Carol blacked out (she is being gang-banged by not so little green men, it’s understandable) but what the hell is up with the eye? Vigilant readers of this very blog will remember my own “Blue Eyes Theory” which has been thrown out the window with every character to have had blue eyes before now shown to have green ones (well, just Jarvis, but still). I’m not sure what happened with the mask, did Yu simply forget to put in a pupil in all the previous panels? Faithful readers, feel free to leave a comment below explaining what the hell I’m supposed to be getting from this.
Cut back to the Savage Land, where we find this handy little narration has been Spider-Woman pulling off her best Bond-Villain impersonation and laying out the Skrull’s plan to Tony (albeit a sick, confused , near-death Tony). The two get ambushed by the Black Widow, who, may I add, is totally bad-ass and, less badassly, shatters my dreams of an ape-Beast and Jean Grey coming back. Today. Natasha scares off Spider-Woman and smacks Tony around a bit to get his head back in the game (that and an Adrenaline needle through the f’ing throat!). Natasha also turns Logan (or at least a Logan, I still think he’s a Skrull) into a holier man (by shooting him, not giving him a papal blessing). Apparently the two have agreed on some safe-word which signifies your human-ness. A fool-proof plan, I’m sure (he’s a Skrull folks).
From the Jungle to Space and we see Agent Brand sneak onto a Skrull ship, shed a tear for the fallen, and see Reed Richards being tortured. She gets ambushed and we’re done. I’m left wanting more Brandy goodness (and you can read that whichever way you like, both are true).
On the downed S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier, Maria Hill is fucked as a (still) totally creepy Jarvis asks her for her surrender. Hill is reassured by the gaggle of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents standing around her with guns drawn. Turns out they’re all Skrulls. Fucked.
The Hood and his crew decide to join the battle for Earth, reasoning that no earth = no more Deathlok robots for them to use to rob banks. Which is probably true.
We wrap up the issue with the most awesomest last page that was spoiled three weeks ago by the cover for Secret Invasion #6, but still, seeing Thor and Cap (Bucky, but he also works) joining the fray sends a little geekgasm tremor through me. Avengers Assemble.
So, Secret Invasion 4 works, although I think if the issue had been over-sized, it would only benefit from the extra space. As it is it’s trying to cram a whole lot into less space, and some scenes could have benefited from a few more pages (I’m looking at you, Agent Brand). Things seem to be looking slightly better for the heroes, with Tony in better shape, Thor and Cap joining up. This of course means the Skrulls will now unleash their true power, pretty much guaranteeing the Heroes are totally doomed until something awesome happens to change it all (I think it starts with a K and ends with a “ree”).
As an added bonus, I thought I’d take a look back at the 70’s spread from issue #1, and give it a slight update with recent revelations depicted. Enjoy:
Oh, and read Captain Britain. I loved it, and I’m not even British, I wonder what they feel about it.