Secret Invasion

By Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Francis Yu & Mark Morales (Marvel)
ISBN: 978-1-84653-405-8

The Skrulls are shape-shifting aliens who have threatened Earth since the second issue of Fantastic Four, and have long been a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe. After decades of use and misuse the insidious invaders were made the stars of a colossal braided mega-crossover event beginning in April 2008 and running through all the company’s titles until Christmas.

The premise is simple: the would-be conquerors have undergone a mass religious conversion and are now utterly dedicated to taking Earth as their new homeworld. To this end they have replaced a number of key Earth denizens – including a number of superheroes. When the lid is lifted no defender of the Earth truly knows who is on their side…

This volume is just one of many collecting the vast number of episodes in this saga, and contains all eight issues of the core miniseries, the one-shot spin-off Who Do You Trust? and the illustrated text book Skrulls which claims to provide a listing and biography for every shape-shifter yet encountered in the Marvel Universe (but if they left any out could you tell?).

Fast-paced, well-drawn and suitably spectacular, this is a twisty-turny tale and quite enjoyable – if overly-complex in some places. When the heroes discover the plot they shift into high-gear, but everything gets really sticky when a Skrull ship crashes releasing a band of missing heroes who ought to be the originals that were replaced: but are they…?

Rather than give anything away let me just say that if you like this sort of thing you’ll love it, and a detailed familiarity is not vital to your understanding. However, for a fuller understanding, as well as the relevant 22 Secret Invasion volume that accompany this, you might want to seek out Secret Invasion: the Infiltration, Secret War (2004), Avengers Disassembled, and Annihilation volumes 1-3, as well as various Avengers: Illuminati issues.

Despite all that this is still a solid light adventure read, the kind of stuff-and-nonsense we all need occasionally and one that can honestly stand on its own two feet – or are those tentacles…?

© 2008 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. A BRITISH EDITION RELEASED BY PANINI UK LTD