J.S. "Elliot" here subbing for the Smilin’ One today. And it seems that it’s that time of the month once again. Amid the near-constant onslaught of ancillary tie-ins, one-shots, and special issues surrounding Marvel’s summer crossover event, Secret Invasion, comes an actual issue of the Mother-of-all-Skrull books. And I have to say... finally... in Secret Invasion #5 we get some actual plot development. It's almost as if Brian Michael Bendis has been listening to the reader feedback. I'm sure if you, me, or Newsarama asked, he’d maintain that he's had this all planned out in advance since second grade in 1974. Either way, things actually start to pick up nicely in this issue.
*SPOILER ALERT* For example, after being introduced so dramatically to the story last issue as he rode to the rescue of a group of heroes fighting off the Skrulls in New York, Nick Fury finally gets down to real business this issue and... wait for it... watches some cable TV. No, I’m not kidding you. But that dramatic development aside, some real shape-changing waste matter finally hits the air redistribution system. S.W.O.R.D. director Abigail Brand single-handedly flushes an entire ship-full of Skrulls out the airlock and rescues Reed Richards. Jarvis the Gentlesman’s Gentleskrull get’s his metamorphic backside handed to him by SHIELD. It takes Reed Richards all of about five seconds to sort out the four-issue mess that’s been taking place in the Savage Land. And Hawkeye gets a real mad on. Like I said, for the most part very nicely done. This is how a summer crossover event is supposed to read. According to my calculations, by Secret Invasion #5 we’re finally about up to about the same point that I was by page 10 of issue #2 of Secret Wars, but that’s decompressed storytelling for you. If Mr. Bendis can keep amping up the pace as he did in this issue, at least this series will make a wonderful 60 minute read later on when it’s released as a trade paperback. And who knows? Maybe that was the Secret Invasion plan all along...