Posted by: Graeme McMillan on August 13, 2008
Here’s the thing. When I got to the last page of Secret Invasion #4, and I saw Thor arrive and the glimpse of Captain America, I thought, okay, so #5 is going to see them getting involved and maybe something will finally happen in the series. Well, SECRET INVASION #5 made half of that come true, I guess. Just the less expected half.
The complete lack of Cap and Thor in this issue just made me concentrate on the incredibly weird pacing of this series so far: What was the point of teasing their appearance so blatantly when you’re not going to show them at all in the following issue? Probably the same point as having nothing whatsoever happening for three successive issues, and then blowing your plot development wad on three climaxes this time around. And, while I’m asking questions, what point did the whole Savage Land plot serve whatsoever, apart from taking the Avengers out of New York? If all of the heroes who came off the Skrull ship were Skrulls – and if Reed Richards can just expose them all by building his Skrull Detector off-panel in a moment of prime McGuffin-ing (“They’re undetectable! No, wait, I need someone to detect them now. Okay, Reed can build a detector, but I won’t tell anyone what his discovery that changed everything actually was.”) – then… okay, I guess? But what purpose did it serve, especially when the fake heroes didn’t actually do anything apart from run around the jungle and get killed?
That’s the problem with Secret Invasion, ultimately; it doesn’t stand up to any real questioning. It’s just a series of moments that probably looked cool in Bendis’ head when he thought of them strung together in some semblance of plot without much thought to the mechanics of how they’d actually work (Of all the Skrulls on the Helicarrier, not one of them noticed that there was another Maria Hill hiding out watching the showdown? Really?). As a big summer blockbuster about explosions and people saying “Oh my God” to tell the audience that this is meant to be important, it works well, but as a story? It’s just turning out to be kind of Crap.