What if they held a secret invasion and no one came?
Marvel, to give it its due, is generally better at producing massive crossover events than DC. DC’s stories are always more dependent on making you buy spin-offs and tie-in events than Marvels, forcing you to either buy more comics or miss out parts of the story. The reason I don’t like Infinitive Crisis and Final Crisis is because the story is too dependent on the tie-ins and it’s difficult to get some idea of everything that’s going on. Civil War and World War Hulk, by contrast, managed to keep a coherent storyline and most of the tie-ins could be read or not, as you liked.
But Secret Invasion is little more than a vast disappointment.
Regular readers were introduced to the concept of the Skulls (shape-changing aliens from outer space) infiltrating the Marvel universe a few years ago, shaping the universe to weaken the heroes in preparation for a massive invasion. They started the Civil War (although at least they avoided making Tony Stark a skull), shattered the Avengers and laid the groundwork for the invasion. When a handful of Skulls were discovered, Tony Stark (Iron Man) started to try to prepare for the invasion, but it was too late. The Skulls were on their way.
So far, so good.
SWORD detects a Skull ship entering Earth’s atmosphere and Stark sends the Mighty Avengers to investigate, encountering the New Avengers, their on-the-run former allies, in the Savage Land. The ship opens, revealing heroes from a kinder, gentler era, while the Skulls put their plan into operation. The world communications and defence networks go down. SWORD is taken out. Prisons are busted open. A mighty fleet of skull ships attack New York City. The new heroes are revealed to be skulls. The real heroes return to New York. They fight the skulls and beat them. That’s it. Oh, and the Wasp dies as well.
It took eight issues and a day, comic book time, to end the invasion. I am not impressed. The skulls were an overwhelming threat, but now…now, they were just swept aside. There are so many problems with this series that it’s hard to believe that the early promise was swept aside to be replaced with this. There was so much promise here, but now it just looks as if the universe has been rebooted yet again.
Questions: why weren't the originals (the people the skulls replaced) simply killed? Why didn’t the ship that crashed in the Savage Land have a mighty bomb onboard? Why did the Wasp die? What happened to the President and the rest of the world’s governments? Where was the military? All that lead-up and that’s all that Nick Fury did?
Conclusion; good artwork, great lead-up, poor storytelling and flawed execution. It was nice to see Maria Hill having such a good role for once, and the new Captain Britain series is well worth a read, but everything else…meh. Next time, Marvel, get Warren Ellis to write it.