Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blogathon 35: Secret Invasion (Part 4)

[Discussed in this post: Secret Invasion #8, New Avengers #47, and Mighty Avengers #20.]

For these posts, I'm using the Secret Invasion reading order that I created earlier this year. It's totally awesome, but I don't recommend rereading any of this really. Except the Nick Fury issues and New Avengers #47, which I will discuss momentarily.

I would like to once again apologise for my CBR review of Secret Invasion #8. It was wrong. I was excited about reviewing the finale to Marvel's big event and, you may not remember this, but it shipped the Wednesday after America's Thanksgiving, meaning their books were delayed by a day -- so Canada got it first. We got that shit first! And that clouded my judgement. I didn't want to be the guy who confirmed that the ending kind of sucked and Norman Osborn takes over as everyone predicted, so I let it off easy.

Well, time to correct my mistake, folks.

The finale to Secret Invasion is a complete failure. There's no climax as the entire thing is told in the past tense. These events already happened, so everything turns out okay. So why do I care? The Wasp dies? So? Norman Osborn kills the Skrull Queen as EVERYONE IN THE WORLD rushes to kill her? So? The people replaced arrive and the one character whose replacement we'd want explained, Mockingbird, didn't get a goddamn issue explaining that shit! That's just cruel, Bendis. Cruel, cruel, cruel. Waste my goddamn time and money with how Elektra got replaced and not Mockingbird, a character whose soul we know is in hell or something like that? THAT'S THE SHIT YOU EXPLAIN! Also, how does the president shut down SHIELD? Where's the goddamn Secretary-General of the UN? Someone call Ban Ki-moon immediately! And, dude, they stopped the invasion! Tony Stark didn't fuck up too much!

Unless you look at like this: Stark was Director of SHIELD for, like, 15 days since the final pre-Secret Invasion Mighty Avengers arc took place on Initiative Day 14. Guy's in charge for less than a month and what happens: Ultron almost kills the world, the Hulk almost kills the world, the Venom Virus takes over Manhattan, and Skrulls almost conquer the world. You bet your ass you fire him.

But you don't replace him with a man with a history of repeated psychotic breakdowns. Yes, yes, Bush don't care what no docters sez, I get it, but no. No no no no. No. Just don't. First, you think you're Secretary-General of the UN and now you think a mental patient can run national security? Christ. That's why they passed the 22nd Ammendment, eh? Thank god.

So, the new status quo: Everybody Hates Tony Stark. Norman Osborn is in charge of HAMMER, which is like SHIELD only 'Merican.

While that was a rather bad conclusion to the event, the New Avengers issue that shipped the same day is very good. Issue 47 features godawful Billy Tan art for the framing sequence where Luke Cage tells his kid about the day he fell in love with Jessica. The rest is an absoltely fabulous Michael Gaydos-drawn story about Luke hiring Jessica to find his father so he can just see if he's okay and maybe show that he's not the criminal that he was once accused of being. This is a subtle issue. The storytelling is purposeful and it is done very well. Gaydos does more with a look than Billy Tan does with a billion unnecessary lines that only he knows why are there. The issue ends on a point from Secret Invasion #8: Skrull Jarvis has the baby. See, I done told you Jessica fucked that one up!

Mighty Avengers #20 is Bendis's final issue of the title and the epilogue to Secret Invasion, dealing with Jan's death and Hank Pym's reaction to the world post-living on a Skrull ship. Shit has changed, boy. This issue isn't very good either. It's melodramatic and Hank Pym is pissed off, which is... I dunno. Jimmy Cheung does some nice splash page montages of the events Pym missed, though.

And that does it for Bendis's Secret Invasion stuff. In 30 minutes, we do Secret Invasion: Thor.

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]