Comic: "Secret Invasion #2"
Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Bendis
Artist: Yu

Reviewer: Max Burbank
Posted: 6/1/2008

Plot: Lots of Heroes who may or may not be Skrulls run around the savage land hitting each other. Then a spaceship lands in New York and all these Skrulls that have bits and pieces of lots of different Marvel Hero costumes and props all mixed up get out and start blowing shit up.

Review: I donít now. Maybe itís me. Maybe Iím just old. Maybe if my synapses were slightly more elastic I wouldnít feel this way.

But do this. Play along with me, check me here. Go to Wikipedia or any comic book website you favor and look up a synopsis of the Spider Clone Saga. Read it. Iíll wait.

You done? Now tell me what things the real Spiderman did and what things the clone Spider-Man did. No checking! Which Spider-Man failed to save Gwen Stacyís life? Which Spider-Man went off to the Secret War planet and got hooked up with the black costume that would turn out to be Venom? Which Spider-Man first dated Mary Jane and which Spider-Man married her? Tell you what, fucked if I know. Writers and readers alike pretty much have had to pretend the whole thing never happened.

Now, take that classic clusterfuck. And multiply it by the dozen or so Superheroes that popped out of the Skrull ship I the Savage Land. Viola. Some of them are Skrulls and some of them are not. Weíre totally supposed to believe that Mockingbird is the real deal, because she knows a secret Clint Barton knows that nobody else would. So the Mockingbird that died, what, like over a decade ago in some shitty ass West Coast Avengers read by nobody pile wasnít the REAL Mockingbird. Except Hawkeye just came back from the dead himself. Unless the Hawkeye that died was a Skrull. And hey, donít forget that the Skrulls have unlocked all of the heroes powers, so whose to say Mockingbird didnít Professor X the secret info out of Hawkeyeís head unless of course the current Hawkeye is a Skrull. And like that isnít stupid enough, what about Phoenix? Oh, for the love of God Phoenix, who has already died and come back, what, like eight times? And please donít forget that a whole lot of what you think Jean Grey did in the comics wasnít her anyway. Jean Grey was in a cocoon on the bottom of the ocean and the Phoenix force did half the crap you thought she did including getting killed on the moon. Thatís without mixing in at what point the original Jean Grey might have been replaced by a fucking Skrull. What if the Jean Grey that died in a space shuttle crash back in X-Men 90 something wasnít Jean Grey to begin with? What if the Phoenix, right, replaced a Skrull, and then got killed on the moon and the Jean Grey that came back to life wasnít the real Jean Grey but a Skrull Jean Grey? But please donít forget that when that Jean Grey turned out not to be dead, Cyclops was married to Madelyn Prior who was a CLONE of Jean Grey, unless of course at some point Madelyn Prior was replaced by a FUCKING SKRULL!

And hereís what Iím saying. Even if Bendis and Quesada have it all worked out and written down and totally do know whoís a Skrull and who isnít and when they were and when they werenít, which by the way I donít think those two duffuses (duffai?) do, NO OTHER WRITER OR READER FROM HERE ON IN will be able to remember. Just like the fucking Spiderclone saga. At some point if thereís anyone left who cares at all, they will just have to pretend the whole damn thing never happened.

But maybe itís me. Maybe itís just too complicated for my poor old brain to follow. Maybe itís all going to be perfectly understandable at the end and I will have been complaining about nothing.

Or maybe itís a big, damn, lazy ass mess of really, really bad writing.

Overall rating: Half
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:42 AM
No, you're right, it's just another goddamn mess that will hopefully be forgotten within the next decade, maybe even sooner if it's that bad.
Ba dum dum dum dum
Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:58 AM
What ever happened to releasing comics that weren't an 'event' or a 'war' or a 'crisis'.

I mean, I remember just reading comics about a hero going doing things, now everythings a huge deal with everyone teamed up and the entire universe being turned on its head every other day, I'm getting pretty tired of that.
Oozes machismo
Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:14 AM
Thanks for the heads up, Max. I only wait for graphic novel releases these days, because, let's face it, a lot of these arcs are shitty melodramas that would be better served by on a midday soap opera than in comic book. Looking forward to reviews on Grant Morrison's run with Batman.
Crazy Russian
Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:27 AM
Sigh... One More Day anyone?
Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:12 AM
Why is this happening Max? Honestly tell me how this can be allowed.
Freelance Product Tester
Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:16 PM
Since you're talking about comic book death, I thought I should post this here:

X-Men: Death Becomes Them
The Moxie Nerve Food Tonic
Jun 2nd, 2008, 05:00 PM
That was funny.

I think what's going on with Marvel right now is an extreme case of something I may get around to writing a "Hey Dork" about someday if I have enough time.

It has to do with the problems of long form storytelling, where you have the same characters and an ongoing continuity. The longest form stories I can think of are soap operas, some of which have ongoing continuity dating back to pre television radio days. After soap operas come comic books, with Superman having the longest story, even though the story loops back and gets started again over and over, it still presents the challenges of the long form story.

Seen in one way, all Marvel is one longform story going back to the early days of the FF , spidey etc; or you can go one step further back to Nick Fury who came out of their war books, and some characters that made it out of their romance books OR go back to timely comics and Captain America et al. Any way you slice it, it's a loooooong story that's been written by a lot of writers who run the gamut from pretty darn good to astoundingly awful. The longer a long form story goes on, the harder it gets to do anything new and the more absurdly ornate the backstory becomes. Any writer is free to ignore whatever backstory elements they choose to, but they're still there.

Long story short, my theory is, the longer a longform story is, the better a writer you need to add to it and have it be anything but awful. Because you are either treading well trod ground, in which case you really need to have a new angle or be a very good writer; or you're trying to move the plot forward in which case you have to try to cope with an ever more absurd, clanky backstory. The longer the longform goes on, the harder it gets to tell, the more frequently it sucks.
Last of the Time Lords
Jun 2nd, 2008, 06:52 PM
You know what I miss in Marvel stories these days? Crime fighting.

When is the last time you saw any of these guys stop a mugger, foil a bank robbery, etc? They do nothing but fight each other now and the occasional supervillain whose plans are never about stealing money or anything, just about fighting the good guys.

you know what I think? They are ALL Skrulls. The real superheroes have been off somewhere all this time helping cats out of trees and old women cross the street.
The Goddamned Batman
Jun 2nd, 2008, 07:26 PM
I've got to agree, Max, though I don't think I'd rate this quite as low as you did. The first issue I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt, but after NOTHING WORTHWHILE AT ALL happened in the second issue, I am more than a little annoyed at this story. This has "clusterfuck" written all over it.
Jun 2nd, 2008, 08:34 PM
I saw it coming a mile away.
The Magnificent Bastard
Jun 2nd, 2008, 11:02 PM
Max, please do address the problem in a "Hey Dork!" column. It's my favorite feature on the site.
Smooth Operator
Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:30 AM
I have to admit that I was actually excited for this story. I'm a lifelong marvel fan, and I had just returned to comics (after a brief hiatus)when New Avengers started up. I've read all the story arcs that tie into Secret Invasion, and I was pumped for it to start. But the first two issues of this series have been a let down. Honestly, who the fuck cares about Mockingbird? Hopefully as it moves along the dots will all get connected, and it will all make sense in the end. But knowing Quesada, it'll probably just be a convoluted mess that heralds the return of Uncle Ben (who was replaced by a skrull before the burgler shot him).
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:47 PM
This is why I read the Ultimate universe. The clone saga was only slightly convoluted.
Virgin Forum
Jun 7th, 2008, 10:59 AM
After reading 'Ultimate Origins' I am now terrible afraid of its future. Im also surprised it took Bendis this long to put a Luke Cage in that continuity (the other one doesnt count) even if its Fury. I live for Max Burbank comic articles.
Jun 10th, 2008, 12:38 AM
I just can't follow the stuff anymore, any of it. I'm also pretty sick and tired of "reboots" and "re-imaginings" (i.e. ultimates). How hard is it to simply sick to the backstory of the character and not do anything so drastic as to screw it up? If they want to bring people back from the dead then just write it in a believable manner and leave stuff like clones, skrulls, alternate realities and what-not out of it.

Didn't these writers learn anything from Bob Newhart? If it goes bad make the whole thing a dream sequence! How about Dragon Ball? Wish to the magic boogallo in the sky and your dead friend comes back! They are dirty tricks but they are certainly more preferable to convoluted multiple character variants that we have to pretend don't exist to keep our heads from exploding.

My theory:

All the heroes now are cloned skrulls. The skrulls were pretending to be the superheroes since the 40's but were recently eaten by the marvel zombies via a dimensional rift. Luckily the survivors had extensive cloning technology and samples of all the heroes, but unfortunately the skrulls of that dimension had killed and replaced the heroes years ago. Thus cloned skrulls. As for the real heroes, they are in dimension Z, just left of the Bizarro dimension, but none of that is going to matter because when the 369 dimensions merge it will cause a time-space paradox that'll make half of the stuff never happen anyway, unless it turns out to be unpopular, in which case it was a cloned dimension and not the real omniverse.
You'll thank me later...
Aug 5th, 2008, 01:29 PM
I'd like to take a moment to THANK YOU for being one of the 5 other people in the world that realizes Jean Grey wasn't the Phoenix.