Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blogathon 37: Secret Invasion: Captain Britain and MI:13

[Discussed in this post: Captain Britain and MI:13 #1-4.]

Despite tying into a big event crossover, these four issues aren't the best hooks for this series. I nearly dropped the book initially because these issues aren't that strong. But, I had heard positive reviews of Paul Cornell's Wisdom mini and, more than that, I had a feeling about this book. Sometimes, I get these 'feelings' about books (and TV shows and movies and CDs) that tell me that I should check them out. There's no real reason for doing so other than me trusting these feelings. Only rarely have they been wrong, so I put a lot of trust in them at this point in my life. Oh, and we once again know that I was right. Captain Britain and MI:13 was worth sticking with.

The general concept of this opening story is good: the Skrulls want Britain's magic and MI:13 needs to stop them. Simple as all that. Despite the title, Pete Wisdom the leader of the group and Captain Britain dies at the end of the first issue. Cornell is the king of cliffhangers, by the way. The man excels at crafting them. First issue? Captain Britain dies. We're all fucked.

Cornell alternates between two major battle points: Avalon, home to Britain's magic; and London, where the Black Knight and the army hold off some Skrulls. Here, we're also introduced to Faiza, a doctor that's hit with some Skrull zap ray that gives her the power to open up bodies and fix them. It's a defensive sort of power.

By the end of the second issue, it looks like the Skrulls have won Britain's magic. They have a weird Dr. Strange-like Skrull that's actually kind of freaky. However, when all seems fucked, Pete Wisdom does something stupid and releases all the dark, evil forces in exchange for help in fighting the Skrulls and Merlin brings back Captain Britain who kicks some ass. In issue four, there's even a lovely joke where the dark forces tell Wisdom that they will grant one request and he utters those immortal words... "No more Skrulls." Oh ho ho. I love it.

The story ends with Faiza plucking Excalibur out of the ground.

It's a decent little story, but nothing too special or exciting. It's a shame that a cool character like Skrull John (a Skrull that's taken the form of John Lennon) had to die. But, that opening on the team gets filled in the second story by someone even better -- at least in the hands of Cornell.

Leonard Kirk has a simple, clean style. Lots of energy, good facial expressions, the whole lot. He does some very nice art here. The visual reintroduction of Captain Britain is particularly lovely.

In 30 minutes, welcome to "Dark Reign."

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