Foilball’s Review Roundup #31 – More Secret Invasion Tie-Ins!


So far, to pretty much everyone’s surprise, the tie-ins to the main Secret Invasion mini-series have been made of pretty high caliber stuffs. Especially, in my opinion, MI-13 and the Fantastic Four spin-off mini. This last month’s crop of books, of which I will review quickly here today (and which Desiato already did over here), have been no different.

First, I fricking love these covers, especially the Mighty and New Avengers “homages.” They really help give them that “everything ties into everything else” feeling. Second… let’s skip ahead to the individual reviews:

• Avengers: The Initiative #14 (****): This was a great issue of The Initiative, and I guess that’s mostly due to the fact that Dan Slott came on to co-plot this baby. He handled the Pym flashbacks/reveals expertly and his use of the 3-D Man was retro but at the same time very, very cool. I hungrily await the next installment.

• Fantastic Four: Secret Invasion #2 (****): The Fantastic Four mini has to be the most surprising of all the tie-ins. Although Aguirre-Sacasa is uber-talented and has done a fantastic job with the FF in the past, I don’t think anyone was expecting this one to be the great read that it certainly is. I think the quality has to be chalked up to AS’s obvious affection for these characters. The way he writes “The Brief Loves of Johnny Storm” is evidence enough of this, not to mention the touching make-out scene in the Negative Zone. I don’t know about you guys, but I really felt for these two characters caught on opposite sides of this holy war. I’m hoping maybe Lyja and Johnny get their happy ending… although, with Millar on the main title, I won’t hold my breath.

• Ms. Marvel #28 (*****): I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but… Ms. Marvel is my favorite of the bunch. WOW. Finally! We get some action! Some suspense! This one was epically written! There are not enough exclamation points in the memory of mankind to express how much I loved this issue!!! Her attitudes on war, murder and purpose? Loving this shit!

• Runaways/Young Avengers: Secret Invasion #1 (****): I love how, in the absence of the series’ creator, Marvel is keeping the Young Avengers franchise alive. Just like the Young Avengers: Presents, this crossover fills that YA fix nicely. Also, thank God that awful Whedon arc is over so we can get back to enjoying good Runaways comics. As far as the issue’s plot, I’m glad we finally find out what it is those freaking Skrulls were saying to each other over in Secret Invasion #3, and… what Teddy and Xavin’s respective roles will be in SI.

• The Incredible Hercules #118 (****): Not much to say here, besides pointing out how impossibly well written this book continues to be. Oh, and how about that Snowbird/Hercules hook-up? JEEZ! Herc sure does get around! AND, OH… Skrully coyote!

• The Mighty Avengers #15 (*****): The sordid life of Henry Pym… you know what? EFF that! Janet is such a ####! She totally left his ass, so like, he’s totally in the right to sleep with the first student/Skrull infiltrator that happens by… like, good for him, except, you know, when he gets beat up and replaced by an alien invader. That was kind of bad. And probably his fault. But, whatever. Screw, Janet!

• The New Avengers #42 (****): Jim Cheung is godly on the art. GODHEAD. Also, special thanks to one Mr. Bendis. The pieces finally fit. Everything fits! She’s been a Skrull since before the breakout? WHA!?!? …awesome. Now, all he has to do is explain that Skrull that showed up in one panel of Disassembled. Then, I shall be satisfied. Maybe.

So, yeah. High quality shit right here. This shipment of books has totally restored my faith in this event. I think the main action of Secret Invasion won’t really happen in the main book till we pass the midway point. Bendis is slow-rolling the hell out of this one. Which, I’m okay with, as long as the payoff is huge. Not talking “No More Mutants” huge. I’m talking “Death of Captain America” huge. Know what I’m saying?


13 thoughts on “Foilball’s Review Roundup #31 – More Secret Invasion Tie-Ins!

  1. …that’s a lot of tie-ins. I hate tie-ins. It often ends up being an excuse for laziness on the part of the writer, and that’s kind of how I feel about SI right now. The tie-in issues have been so much better, with cooler reveals and better stories and all that, while the main story has left the tie-ins to fill in why everything in the main story is happening.

    I hate tie-ins, but many of the ones I’ve seen for Marvel are actually notably better than SI itself, which isn’t surprising. The kind of story SI is does MUCH, MUCH better when shown on a personal level. As a blockbuster, it’s a bit lackluster. In my opinion.

    Then again, I am still extremely tempted by the concept of the story. I always will be.

    Have you ever read Ed Brubaker’s Point Blank/Sleeper?

  2. see, i think the big problem for the main mini is that it isn’t epic enough. it doesn’t feel earth-shattering and it should (like FC does). yes, the human drama is perfect for the tie-ins, and they are doing it well, but the big BOOM-EXPLOSION shit needs to be happening in the main mini. so far, we’ve seen more Super Skrulls in that one issue of Ms. Marvel then in all three issues of Secret Invasion. i want Iron Man kicking ass! i want Thor to show up and BRING THE THUNDER! i want Bucky to hit the streets and fuck their shit up… oh, well, according to the cover of issue #6, i have to wait till September for that. lame.

    yes to both and i loved them. especially Sleeper.

  3. I’m actually reading SI because of Sleeper. It was pitched to me as a superheroic sleeper story, and it was right after I had finished re-reading Sleeper and wishing that SOMEONE else would do something like that, and I was like, “Bendis can do crime drama – maybe he can do this!”

    Seriously, though, imagine if this was a Rucka/Brubaker collaboration. It would be twice as good and likely sell half as much.

  4. We’ve got a Beyonder mention in Mighty Avengers. Not sure if we’ve gone over this on the blog, but between that, New Avengers Illuminati 3 and the fact that they’re soliciting a Secret Wars II Omnibus for December, I wouldn’t exactly be shocked if we find out that the Beyonder is the one pulling the strings for the Skrulls and helping them actually pull off a plan successfully for once. It seems to be the one piece of the NA: Illuminati mini that has had no bearing on the event so far (You could claim the Infinity Gauntlet story as well, but I’m POSITIVE that the Skrulls used the Space Gem to transport their armada past those blockades and way points mentioned by SWORD in the Agent Brand story from Who Do You Trust) This could be something that comes out of the Hercules tie in that would completely blow this thing wide open.

    This is one of those situations where I made a conscious decision to buy all the tie ins, and I’m better for it. There’s no way this series would be reading as well as it is for me if I didn’t know what was going on outside of the main book. It’s a decision that will probably piss a lot of people off, but I’m operating from the perspective of being fully in the know, and I’m having a blast.

  5. I don’t know. See, that’s the thing – when doing a bajillion tie-ins actually works, and all those issues have a big sales boost, companies take that to mean that this is a Good Thing. Thus, we get things like Secret Invasion, where there’s actually more happening in the tie-in issues that relate to the main story than in the main story itself, making it an almost impossible read for the casual fan.

    DC, bless their idiotic souls, listened to what the fans SAID they wanted, and did a minimum of spin-offs and no tie-ins at all. And they will suffer for it, when it comes to the price. Because as much as comics fans SAY they hate Big Events, and SAY they hate tie-in books…they buy ’em nonetheless. I, quite honestly, have no idea what DC was thinking when they made that call, but I will love them forever for it.

  6. You know, I don’t have a lot of things to do at work today, and some of us are getting out early. Maybe I’ll throw together an article about the pros and cons of tie ins so we can get some conversations started.

  7. SeventhSoldier,

    SI is a million times better than Final Crisis.

    I read two tie ins in addition to the main title. New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. And I don’t feel like I am missing a thing. I know people who read only the main title, and people who read only a few tie ins. The tie in issues are exactly what make SI huge. Marvel works with a shared universe, so doesn’t it make absolutely sense that if there was something major happening it would be reflected in the other comics? After all, everyone was upset that Mephisto erasing Spider-Man’s marriage has had no effect on comics outside of Spider-Man.

    I’d be much less excited about Secret Invasion if the New Avengers comics were about the New Avengers fighting Mole Man. Lame.

    Meanwhile, Final Crisis is one of the worst written comics I’ve read in a long time.

  8. Seriously? SI #1 was okay, but 2 and 3 were just flat-out, no-holds-barred dull, Tony ‘reveal’ included. I’ll give you FC #1 as being purely average, but FC #2 was ridiculously exciting.

    And there’s a difference between having other things a story in a shared universe show impact without making other books a must-read in order to enjoy the story.

    Take Doctor Who for example. In the most recent storyline, we see the characters and cast from every other show in the Doctor Who setting make an appearance, because the event is so huge. However, I don’t have to go watch Torchwood to make sure I catch this batch of plot twists, and I don’t need to see The Sarah Jane Adventures to make sure that I understand why Harriet Jones is back, and on the Doctor’s side. However, if something major does happen in this story, I trust that Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures will reflect the events from this arc.

    Let’s face it: tie-ins to big events are used for one thing only: to boost sales. They generally hurt the story, because you generally have three choices with ’em – either the characters do something in their own book as well as in the main book, in which case you’re missing out on important events by only reading the main book, the characters do nothing but deal with window dressing of said event, in which case, that book has just become filler until the Huge Event is over, or the book has absolutely nothing to do with said event, and just about everyone is upset.

    It takes an enormously gifted writer to walk the line well enough to keep the book satisfying without making it’s reveals and twists overshadow or merely cover those of the main book, and I feel that Marvel’s been failing miserably at that…for most of the books. Some have been undeniably well-done.

    I’d honestly rather just the individual books continue on their individual ways until after the event is over, and then have the new status quo involved. If there were ‘tie-ins’, I would have them be so far at the fringes of the event, like Captain Britain, which I’ve heard nothing but good things about and I’ve also heard that it has almost nothing at all to do with the main SI title.

    Oh, and from what I could tell, most people were upset because Mephisto’s deal was one of the most ham-handed editorial mandates in the history of comics, carried off in perhaps the most unbelievably cheeseball way possible.

    We’ve never seen eye-to-eye, Cap, so I’m not surprised. But, seriously, calling FC one of the worst written comics you’ve read in a long time? SI is a million times better? Hyperbole much? You may not enjoy this particular brand of epic storytelling, but flat-out denying the craftsmanship that’s gone into it thus far is just silly.

  9. You know what? I love both the events. I didn’t think SI 2 or 3 were dull at all. And while I was frustrated by FC 1, the second issue sure as hell grabbed me. Final Crisis has those crazy, high concept ideas that really make you work to understand and appreciate, while Secret Invasion is this awesome, escapist, tension filled book with all that suspense and tinges of conspiracy that reminds me of one of those science fiction B Movies with a more modern sci fi sensibility. There is so much depth to both of these books. They’re both good events so far, and they’re both very different events so far, so let’s all sit back and enjoy the different rides.

    Oh, and I wrote the first installment of my analysis of various kinds of events, and I managed to forget to email it to my Gmail, so it’s basically stuck on my work desktop until Monday, so sometime next week I’ll get it up on the blog.

  10. Meh. I’m a bit burned out on this event. I’ve only read the New/Mighty stuff too which has been good. I’m just kind of bored with it though. As for the issues of the main series, one was good, two was dull, and three was good. Also, Bendis just seems too predictable right now. Oh well, hopefully I’ll sing a different tune when the next issue comes out next week.

  11. I doubt anyone checks old articles for comment updates (I didn’t until today!), but….

    Sorry 7thSoldier, it’s not hyperbole. Secret Invasion has been downright exciting and fun every second of the main issues.

    Final Crisis is convoluted and meaningless. Especially after Infinite Crisis was *supposed* to do the same thing.

    However, I don’t think I can convince a DC fan that his comic publisher’s event is bad. Unfortunately.

  12. FC has been far from meaningless, if anything it’s packed with WAY TOO MUCH meaning for the casual reader. probably not such a good idea for a summer event book, but whatever.

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