ITEM! Well Fearless Front-Facers, it’s another month and that means another issue of Brian Michael “Mind-Bending” Bendis’ brainchild, Secret Invasion. Try typing THAT three times fast. Let’s see... where were we? As you’ll recall from our recent rollicking rant, in issue #1 of Secret Invasion, the Skrulls impersonated our heroes as a preparatory prelude to a mass invasion of Earth — not at all like the plan they used in their very first Lee-Kirby appearance in Fantastic Four #2 (Jan. 1962). This month, in Secret Invasion #2, the Skrulls augment their invasion plans by sending in specially-enhanced Skrulls that each have multiple powers based on our heroes’ powers — again NOT AT ALL like their second Lee-Kirby appearance in Fantastic Four #18 (Sept. 1963). You don’t exactly need concentric Spider-Sense squiggles emanating from your head to see where this is going, pilgrims.
Your Uncle Stanley probably should be flattered, and when Marvel pays me to be, I will probably act that way and say some very complimentary things about the All-Seeing Eye of Aga-Bendis in the forward of the expensive hard bound collection of this predictable exercise in repetitive storytelling that is sure to come. But that will be then, this is now. I mean come on... this is sequelitis at it’s finest. It’s like the stifling and stupefying studio-think we run into in Hollywood all the time. How can we make the exact same James Bond film 22 times in a row? That kind of thing.
While I’ll admit that some younger and less-well-read Marvelites may geek out at the scene of scads and scores of scabrous Skrulls with mix-and-match powers scampering around the battle-scarred cityscape... what a mess! A Skrull with the combined powers of Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic? Oh wait — he's the Illuminati-Skrull. I get it. How is that supposed to work? He casts a spell and the second he utters “by the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak” he levels half his own forces with a vocal sonic boom? Maybe he’s supposed to stretch an armored hand over his mouth and try to shush himself! A Skrull with the powers of Sandman, Electro and Doc Ock? Points for pulling the powers of three of Spidey’s biggest baddies into one Skrull, but what happens the first time you throw a bucket of water on this guy? He shorts out his own mechanical arms while simultaneously fusing himslef into glass? Whaaaat? If that happens he better stay away from the smashing-slashing-blasting Skrull with Wolverine, Cyclops and Colossus’ powers! You start to see my point. Even I don’t know if Skrulls have toes, but if they do they’re gonna be stepping on ‘em faster than Spider-Skrull can say “Walloping Web-Snappers!”
Man alive, I’ve gotten myself a little worked up over this. It actually feels better than double-doses of St. John’s Wort! Maybe I should get cranky more often. Anyhoo, it’ll be worth it to your Uncle Stanley to pick up Secret Invasion #3 just to see if a Skrull impersonates Franklin Storm just like they did in their third appearance in FF #32 (Nov. 1964). I’ll be taking any and all bets via the Sock It To Stan emailagebox!