"Secret Invasion" Secret Invasion 1-8 (2008)
"Running the Asylum" Thunderbolts 122-125 (2008) *
* Reprinted in Secret Invasion: Thunderbolts
Reader Rating: Average
Summary: The Skrulls have spent years slowly replacing promiment humans with undetectable Skrull lookalikes -- including numerous heroes. Speaking of replacements, Andrea Strucker suddenly shows up at Thunderbolts Mountain.
The Skrulls launch their attack on Earth by crashing a ship full of imperfect duplicates in the Savage Land. While the Avengers investigate, the Skrull invasion force strikes SHIELD, SWORD, and various bands of superheroes around the world -- including the Initiative and the Thunderbolts.
The T-Bolts are attacked by a Skrull creation who believes himself to be Captain Mar-Vell. After Osborn deflects the attack, the T-Bolts head to Washington D.C. to ward off Skrull forces.
Battles continue in space and on the ground until earth's heroes (including the T-Bolts) join forces to batter away the Skrull invasion force. The revived Andrea Strucker and the Wasp are killed. A number of heroes are discovered imprisoned on a captured Skrull ship, including Mockingbird.
Osborn ingeniously manipulates events to get full press coverage during the Washington DC skirmish, and to prominently take the shot that kills the Skrull queen in the final battle. Iron Man, his technology and leadership discredited, is removed from power -- and "all that fell under the SHIELD banner, including the Avengers and the Fifty-State Initiative now falls under the Thunderbolts initiative" -- and the control of Norman Osborn!
Thunderbolts: Bullseye, Moonstone, Penance, Radioactive Man, Songbird, Swordsman, Venom
Avengers: Ares, Clint Barton (Ronin), the Black Widow, Luke Cage, Captain America, Echo, Jessica Jones, Henry Pym (Yellowjacket), Iron Fist, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Thor, Wonder Man
Fantastic Four: Mr. Fantastic, The Human Torch, The Invisible Woman, The Thing
Initiative: Diamondback, Gauntlet, Gorilla Girl and many others
Secret Warriors: Dr. Druid, Nick Fury, Phobos, Quake, Stonewall and others
SHIELD/SWORD: Abigail Brand, Dum-Dum Dugan, Countess DeFontaine, Hill
Young Avengers: Hawkeye, Hulkling, Patriot, Stature, Wiccan
Other appearances: Armadillo, Black Panther, Cloak, Cyclops, Dr. Doom, Emma Frost, The Hood's Syndicate of Criminals, Ka-Zar, Mandrill, Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr), Medusa, Molecule Man, Nightcrawler, Shanna, Shockwave and others
Continuity: The main story cuts in and out with the Thunderbolts subplot. The first 4 pages of Thunderbolts 122 take place during "The Death of Mark Spector" (2008/08/01). Continuity commences here on page 5 and continues through Captain Marvel's attack. Corresponding scenes appear in Secret Invasion 1 and 3. From the point where Norman offers Marvel a drink, the story continues through Tbolts 123, the end of which aligns with pages 1-2 of Invasion 4. The team finishes its own skirmish in Tbolts 124-125, then joins the main force of heroes near the end of Invasion 6.
The first evidence of the Skrull invasion was the discovery that the "Elektra" killed by the Avengers was a Skrull (see "Revolution", 2007/08/01).
The return of Andrea appears to be the work of Arnim Zola, paying off his debt to the Swordsman from "International Incident" (2007/10/02).
Penance flies, a new ability perhaps unearthed during his recent counselling with Doc Samson ("Caged Angels", 2008/07/01).
Clint finds two different opportunities to claim someone else's bow and arrows.
Comments: The Skrull invasion plan and Brian Bendis' main story arc are equally incoherent and incompetent. The return of Mockingbird requires us to believe that there's a Skrull in Hell pretending to be Mockingbird for all eternity. And the death of the Wasp is gratuitous and meanspirited. Fortunately, the T-Bolts side of things is much stronger as Norman learns that, sometimes, the roads to redemption and power are parallel paths.
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This page was revised on April 4, 2009
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