Okay, so, about a month ago, I was working on writing up the comics I read over the holidays, and had just finished talking about the World War Hulk event comics. Next up on the list of Marvel Events is therefore Brian Bendis’ Secret Invasion . Yeah, I’m crediting it to Bendis, because if World War Hulk was Greg Pak’s baby, this one is Bendis’. He writes the main comic, and the primary tie-ins are to the two Avengers titles, both of which he writes. The upshot is that nearly all of the plot-significant stuff happens in a Bendis book.

Unlike World War Hulk — and like Civil War — this is the sort of crossover where the main plot isn’t contained within just the main book; and as in Civil War, Marvel does a terrible job of collecting it. Pretty much the only thing you can do is to read through the main book, then through the four Avengers books, and sort of get the story told to you in fits and starts. It’s an awkward way to read a story and significantly detracts from some big moments (and confuses the hell out of some other ones), and Marvel really needs to figure out a better way of collecting crossovers.

That said, the story here — of Skrull infiltrators secretly replacing various heroes, and now finally having their big invasion — actually is pretty good, and manages to tie together a lot of recent Marvel events in a way that doesn’t smell too badly of the retcon. It’s nothing brilliant or revelatory, but it’s perfectly competent superhero fun.

So that’s the main line story. What about the peripheral ones (which are all listed in the archive for this entry; I don’t see a reason to type them all in here)? Well, honestly, if I’d written this up three months ago, or even two months ago, I probably could have gone into a lot of detail. At this point, though, the only one that sticks in my memory is Greg Pak’s The Incredible Hercules: Secret Invasion , which goes in a very different direction, and takes Hercules into the realm of the mythic to do battle with Skrull gods. It’s treading a fine line between over-the-top silliness and classic myth-inspired superheroism, and it remains to be seen which way it’ll eventually fall, but Pak has been a reliable writer up to now, so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.


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