We can now officially fill a crate of Skrull eggs, as this is the twelfth edition of this column. What's that you say? Skrulls don't lay eggs? Has that ever been officially established? Let's dive back into Overt Worldwide Invasion, shall we?Secret Invasion #6: Things get rolling right away as Marvel Boy (on a stolen Imperial speeder bike) arrives at a crash site to find Captain Skrull-Vell. Cap gives Marvel Boy the Rocky III pep talk before shuffling off the green coil. Once again, the Skrulls then address the people of Earth, this time accompanied by a nifty montage to show you approximately what’s going on elsewhere (at least according to the event outline). At this moment, the X-Men are fighting the Super-Skrulls, Medusa is screaming, Black Panther squares off against a biiiig Skrull, Zabu protects the Savage Land while Shanna’s top struggles to protect the book’s T+ rating, and Skrulls in Israel appear to be attacking Sabra in a discount computer store. (Seriously; the monitor by her left hand has a SALE tag on it.)
Meanwhile, the Skrull brain trust gets together. The Savage Land mini-arc is referred to as the Savage Land Defensive, an ironic choice of words given certain people’s reaction when you ask them what the hell the Savage Land detour really accomplished. At any rate, Queen Spider Skrull rejoins the group and intimates that even though Reed Richards escaped with the Skrull Lamp and united the Savage Land Avengers, the heroes are still hosed because the Wasp is with them. Raise your hand if you think that goes back to the Pym Particle “gift” that Skrullojacket gave Jan in one of the Avengers books.
On a stolen Skrull ship, the combined Avengers do what they do best: bicker. Spider-Man cracks some jokes, and even Wolverine throws in some funny because even Wolverine is sick of the bickering. Actually, the funniest part is that Wasp nearly says how much time has elapsed since the first issue.
Slide over to the streets of New York. You’ll find some idiots welcoming the Skrulls. They remind me of thejackassesfrom Independence Day who got smoked on the Fox Building. Thankfully, we don’t have to put up with them long as the action shifts to “Nick Fury and the Secret Warriors, and the Young Avengers, and what’s left of the Initiative.” Heh heh. As they lay the beat down on some Skrulls, the Hood and his gang watch. The gang’s ready to join in (or beat up everyone); the Hood wants them to wait, possible to see if Tigra shows up.
Finally, Thor arrives and would have words with New Cap. The Avengers come pouring out of the big ship as the Skrull army appears. The Thunderbolts show up as well, followed by the Hood and his gang, making this into a brewing Battle of Five Armies scenario. It should be noted that Reed still thinks that his family is dead. At any rate, Queen Spider Skrull drops some theology on our heroes, and Nick Fury replies with the sure-to-be-a-meme, “Yeah? Well MY God has a HAMMER!” (It’s no “I’m the Goddamn Batman!” or “I’m the f@#$ing c@#+ jailbait Batgirl!”, but we’ll take it). At that, Iron Man sounds the AVENGEEERRSSS ASSEMBLE and it’s on! Just in time for the issue to end. Nuts.
One question though. Very last page . . . that green beam of light hitting the guy in front of Prodigy . . . where the hell is that supposed to be coming from? The Hood’s ass?
Secret Invasion: X-Men #2: The X-Men fight Super-Skrulls. They appear to be outnumbered. They fight more Super-Skrulls. They make plans. Cyclops is cocky. So are the Skrulls. The Palantir continues to try to corrupt Nightcrawler. Northstar and Aurora show up. Northstar shockingly survives. On page 21, Angel is Angel and propositioning Page (remember this). Nightcrawler gets grumpy, and potentially crazy. The Skrulls want to dissect Pixie, perhaps to figure out why she looks like her namesake here and Tara Patrick in Uncanny. Emma Frost and her girls do their thing. On page 28, Angel is Archangel and ambushing Skrulls with X-Force. Yes, inexplicably, in 7 pages, Angel changes forms (they’re presently covering this in X-Force, but a note for the mystified would be nice). Emma hits psychic resistance and shuts down like an Alaskan governor being asked about the Bush Doctrine. And finally, X-Force delivers Beast and Cyclops a Skrull from whom they can get samples to build a biological weapon. Yay, good guys!
The Stand: Captain Trips #1: This book has nothing to do with Secret Invasion.
The Dark Tower: Treachery #1: Neither does this one, though Stephen King has written two books, Dreamcatcher and The Tommyknockers, that did deal with secret invasions of a sort. What does he know?!
Ms. Marvel #30: It’s poor strategy on an über-Skrull’s part when he tries to kill Ms. Marvel with an attack that cuts off her breathing; I mean seriously, did he see the apparent size of her lungs in this issue? After a brawl that takes them through the Raft, the streets of New York, and several other Skrulls, Ms. Marvel sees that her defeated dance partner has a Hydra tattoo. That skips us into a flash-forward where Carol is one of the surviving Avengers 6, and she’s meeting up with Hurley to visit Agent Sum’s grave. I kid. That skips us into a flash-forward where Carol’s about to beat the crap out of a Middle Eastern businessman while looking for information on The Ascension. Therefore, while Skrulls abound and Reed does a great job of in-fight narration, your overall impact on the overall Invasion here is low.
Secret Invasion: Front Line #3 really doesn’t have much bearing on the overall main storyline. We enter a Survival Horror game in this one, as it continues to tell three parallel tales of people on the street. Everyone but hoochie-daughter gets picked off and eaten one by one in Stark Tower (including daddy dearest who dies after revealing himself as a coward and an a-hole), and her fate is in question as she dove out a high window to get away from Cannibal-Skrull. Officer Dawson single-handedly holds off a few Super Skrulls, seemingly saving his bus full of people, at least for the time being, as they go to hide in the subway. In another subway, Phil Urich and Jonathan Bryant, the cowardly cab driver lead a group of survivors through the tunnels. Just as Jonathan finally shows some cahones, he proves that the cowardly survive and the ballsy get dropped, as a gang decides now’s the time to stake their claim. Do they mobilize against the invaders? No, they go after the prime real estate of NYC’s rat-infested subway system. Maybe they should lure that hungry Skrull down. Two birds, meet One stone.
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers ended not with a huge battle over who gets top billing. Instead, we saw them take on Commander Chrell and Elektra Skrull 2: Elektra Bugaloo. This one had Daredevil, Cloak, and Dagger powers as well. We also see that Chrell has been infused with O.G. Super Skrull powers, as he handily defeats the Runaways off panel. No gigantic revelations in this one, though. Commander Chrell blows himself up inside a Xavin invisi-bubble, and Dorrek/Tommy takes down EDCD Skrull with what will now relace “one punch” in comic book history: One Headbutt. We did see that the Skrulls can be psyched out, and the Young Avengers plan to re-enter the fray with Nick Fury. Tommy and Xavin share a moment, and that’s all she wrote for this one. Oh, Molly continues to be the awesomest character in the history of story telling, so here’s your Molly line o’ the issue: “Oh, No! He’s a PARSELTONGUE!” Thanks, Molly.
Secret Invasion: Inhumans #2 started off with a little Attilan history story. Unfortunately, it was not a pop-up book. Marvel, you’re on notice. You need to start doing more pop-up books. Seriously, if DC can pull off a couple books in 3D, you should do it in ACTUAL 3D. Who’s with me? This is it, the start of the letter-writing campaign for Marvel Pop-Up, the newest line. Just please, no Marvel Max Pop-Up. I digress, after the non-pop-up history of Attilan, Karnak out Karnaks the Karnak Skrull. X-Men Skrull and New Avengers Skrull (um, a little behind on the roster update there, Skrulls) beat down Crystal. Crystal doesn’t take this lying down, as she gets her Ghostbusters 2 on, though she forgot to use a Nintendo controller. After the stone statue of Black Bolt cleans house, it’s up to Medusa to take down- oh yup, that was quick and easy. We shoot to a Skrull ship that wants to use Black Bolt as a cannon, and the scientist tasked with finding out how. Black Bolt stares him down as his head is cut open so the Skrull can look at his brain. After some more Inhuman Skrull-kicking, we find out that Ahura, the son of Black Bolt and Medusa, is being held hostage by what can only be called Scott-Summers-Dream-Come-True-Skrull. Medusa uses the Terrigen Mists to turn her Skrull captive into Snake-Arm Gorilla-Arm Two-Faces Skrull, and finds out the basics of their plan for ‘ole Blackagar. The six Inhumans that people can actually name besides Black Bolt steal a Skrull ship, and leave the Moon in search of their lost king.
That’s it- the Skrulls are definitely evil and cannot be sympathetic characters at all. They want to get rid of organized sports! Deadpool looks to stand against this nefarious plot, dressed as a baseball mascot. Unfortunately, he gets the stuffing shot out of him (heh, stuffing, in a mascot costume- get it? It’s a common phrase, but it works as a literal statement here, too. That’s why it’s funny. Get it? I don’t think you get it…). The Skrulls don’t seem to recognize the Merc-With-A-Mouth, but do see he’s a threat as he’s killing them. After saying “Oh S#!7!” in Skrull-eese a couple times (and no, for the record, there are no black bars over the writing), they deploy a Super Skrull to take care of their new unidentified problem. Unfortunately for them, Deadpool blows up their ship Wile-E-Coyote style, dropping it on the Super Skrull’s head. After all this, and a lot of talking to himself, in his head, with himself, Deadpool takes a surprising turn, telling the General he’s reporting for duty and apparently betraying the human race. Well, crap.
This episode of Damn Dirty Skrulls was brought to you by the letters F, C, J, and B, the color Black, and yet another case when Sharpie Markers could’ve come to the rescue. Sharpie, you haven’t called us yet. What’s going on? Is it cause we didn’t say Sharpie in this edition? Sharpie.