Thursday, May 8, 2008

HOW TO SUCCEED AT SECRET INVASIONS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING

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!

Excelsior!
Smiley

4 comments:

omar said...

Much like the real Stan speaks, you spend paragraph upon paragraph saying something that could be summed up in a few sentences. Kids....A long time ago in a Marvel Universe far, far away, the Skrull came to Earth and did exactly what you are seeing now in Secret Invasion. They impersonated heroes to change public opinion, to cause infighting among heroes, and created super soldiers that had the combined powers of several heroes. What you are seeing now with Secret Invasion is a remix, remake, re-imagining, re-whatever else you want to call it of those old stories. The end.

Now you have plenty of space left to comment of other stuff. Like Ronin's new special ability of accurately throwing nunchucks at people. An item that is not very aerodynamic.

Kevin T. said...

"Much like the real Stan speaks, you spend paragraph upon paragraph saying something that could be summed up in a few sentences."

Your comment is curious, omar. Do you mean that this is a bad thing?

By no means did I grow up when the Smiley One was revolutionizing comics, but through Essentials, I learned all about Stan's hyperbolic speech.

I loved it then, and I love this guy's interpretation of it now.

Never change, fake Stan.

(A little criticism: would Stan really say "Life is pretty damn sweet." as you did last post? I don't think he'd swear, or at least his public persona wouldn't.)

I found your blog via Occasional Superheroine, and it really makes me glad to see Stan-style writing again.

Stan the Man said...

See how fair we are here at Everything's Sunny in Soapbox-Land? We print the knocks as well as the boosts! (The next time Honest Irv lets a comment like Omar's through though, he's fired!)

As for Ye Old Editor, I have to admit I never met a run-on sentence, prolonged pronoun, or histrionic hyperbole that I didn't like! And yes, Virginia... sometimes even your Uncle Stanley can let a calculated curse word or two fly. Just ask my lawyers!

Smiley

Shamus said...

I love this site. One little thing that would make it even better would be to get rid of the justified text, ragged right is much easier on the eye for reading/scanning.