The Skrull Invasion/war continues. There was a bit of a lull for the early weeks in October, but boy oh boy did they catch up over the last two. We can’t really look around without seeing Skrulls now. Lucas is convinced his cats have been using his computer to hack into sophisticated networks, and Troy is positive his sons have been displaying more super-human abilities than normal. And now I’ve said too much. So, SKRULLS!The Mighty Avengers #19: I mean no disrespect to the creators involved here, but I can’t think of a single reason to buy or read this book except to keep up your run. Every meaningful moment here is covered elsewhere. Marvel Boy is out of the prison. Fake Mar-Vell fights Skrulls. Fake Mar-Vell dies in front of Marvel Boy. There you go. Guardians of the Galaxy #6: On the other hand, Cosmo the talking Russian spacedog is awesome. Flipping the script from last time, we find out that our perceived canine traitor is actually running game to protect a group of Skrulls that are conscientious objectors. Apart from that, Drax temporarily kills everyone, Star-Lord’s bonehead mind-push is revealed, and evil Starhawk smiles. Seriously, this is one of the most entertaining books that’s out right now. Everything’s so fast and loose that Secret Invasion could appear tangentially and not screw up any of the long-range stuff. Kudos, Creative Team. Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3: All hell has officially broken loose as the core of the Inhuman family tries to carry out their mission to gather intelligence and tools to take down the Skrulls. There’s a confusing and interesting bit with Triton, where he finds an entire race of beings exactly like him. Medusa and Crystal are about to fight while dressed like cavewomen (after striking a deal with Ronan the Accuser), Black Bolt is strapped to the hull of the voice-amplifying Skrull warship, and Gorgon’s in for quite a fight. The final issue looks to be a lot of fighting, but I don’t see how it will tie up all these loose Inhuman threads. Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D./War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D. #34: Oh yeah, it’s Rhodey in the giant satellite Transformer-stylee War Machine suit. A mid-battle time-spanning training montage leads to Giganto-War Machine rampaging against the orbiting Skrull Armada, taking out all but one ship in his neighborhood. Back down into normal-size suit, Rhodey heads back down to Earth and serves up some Cheese Steaks to the Skrulls (at least that’s what I assume he meant by “South Philly Style!”). He lands in Russia, the Russians refuse his help and leave him to fight the Skrulls alone, he gets his ass kicked, and now Rhodey, who Tony Stark trusted as his last hope, is in Skrull captivity and being dissected. Maybe all those “who is in the War Machine suit in his new ongoing series” hints aren’t just hints afterall… The New Avengers #46: This flashback issue shows The Hood and his gang getting’ their Skrull fight on. In addition to revealing how they became aware of the Skrull threat, it reveals simultaneously that they often have their stuff together more frequently than the good guys. Honestly, this one is more about atmosphere and attitude, with a last page surprise that finally shows how the power in the hood itself is. If you guessed Dormammu, you get the A. (Actually, it’s a sharp parallel, what with The Hood vs. Dr. Strange’s Cloak, but hey, we’re talkin’ Skrulls here . . .) Punisher War Journal #24: This had Skrulls in it, therefore it’s a tie-in. There’s no consequence to the main story. Yup, that’s all I’ve got. Secret Invasion Front Line #4: Here we saw the various survivors finally getting together. After Melanie Crane, her father, and his coworkers tried so hard to get out of Stark Tower in the first few issue, the remaining survivors of the story led by Officer Dawson and Ben Urich made their way into Stark Tower. The Man-Eating Skrull that attacked the Stark Tower workers was beaten by a little girl, when Melanie simply ducked, sending it careening to its death too quickly for it to shapeshift into something that can fly. Dawson and his lady friend find the Skrull’s iPhone, and there’s a special Skrull App on it (I went searching for this on the AppStore for about 45 minutes after reading this, but there is unfortunately no Skrull App that can open blast doors at NYC mega-conglomerate buildings available. He must’ve been using a hacked app) that opens Stark Tower up. Everyone argues for a minute, with the people that were trapped inside wanting out and the people that ran the gauntlet outside wanting in. Here we finally get to see Ben getting the stories of his fellow survivors, as teased back in the first issue before deciding to go back into the insanity and continue to report. Melanie tags along, and at first they see the fighting has all but stopped on the streets of Manhattan. Really, this is the only book that has shown any real progression of an invading army becoming an occupying one, which is something that’s been promised since the beginning of this crossover. With a Booom Booom Booom, Urich and Crane follow Thor’s call-to-arms to Central Park, where the collected Avengers and Thunderbolts are assembling against massively over-powered Skrulls, like the Galactus Skrull. Seriously, the heroes should have no chance against an army that can replicate Galactus, Silver Surfer, and Captain Marvel’s cosmic powers and the Nova and Phoenix Forces. That should be game over. End mini-rant. Thunderbolts #125 picks up with the fight in Washington D.C., as Norman plants a flag, and plants some soundbytes, furthering his candidacy as leader of something post-Invasion. After a disgusting Shlorp-y mess of Skrull cells groups together and is destroyed, they decide to head to NYC for the big battle. Yet more seeds of dissent are sowed within Radioactive Man and Songbird, showing some kind of pinnacle this argument is drawing towards. Now we once again see this coming to the big battle in Central Park (aka the new Captain Skrullvel-Norman Osborn conversation), as several lines and scenes from SI #7 overlap. We see Iron Man’s retreat from this battle from two different perspectives: Norman Osborn’s and the President’s. Osborn is thrilled that Stark leaves, thinking it give him and his Thunderbolts the chance to shine further, and the President is all but ready to hand the Initiative over to Osborn. They take the front line, and the final battle continues. Deadpool #3: The culmination of Wade’s infiltration mission amongst the Skrulls is here. He actually uses his head (Deadpool with real strategy is a scary, scary guy), and handily takes down the big bad “Frosty the Fireman.” He even goes one step further with that whole “brain” thing with some slightly confusing “medical science.” Apparently, without having cancer to neutralize, Deadpool’s manufactured healing factor acts like…cancer…at an extremely accelerated rate, causing rapid tumor growth to the point of explosion of said tumors, and death to their hosts. With the Skrulls all bye-bye, Wade puts in a secret code for some secret data in the Skrull computer to send it to Nick Fury. In his attempt to be Wolverine, Norman Osborn shows up on the last page to intercept the data- the secret to killing the Skrull Queen. Of course, if you keep reading, it seems that ‘ole Clint Barton also found the secret to killing the Skrull Queen… Secret Invasion #7: SKRULL FIGHT! The powers, the bodies, and the quips fly as the heroes of Earth take it to the forces of the not-so-Secret-anymore-Invasion. Let’s page-by-page this baby. Page 1: Half of a two-spread featuring much carnage. New Cap, Refurbished Thor, and F’ed Up Armor Iron Man are clustered together with Reed Richards and Ares, busting green heads and trading strategy and encouragement like a high school football team.
Page 2: Meanwhile, science nerd Peter Parker, alone in a crowd, cracks jokes.
Page 3: Gotta love New Cap. Iron Man is calling out big plays, and he simply noted, “Hit the Spider-Woman!!”. By the way, Thor is pissed. Across the field, Queen Spider Skrull wants Reed Richards dead, even without having been married to him. Nick Fury and Norman Osborn trade witticisms, and we get a caption telling us who the Wasp is, because she’ll probably be important later.
Page 4: Frankly, I’m not really sure what happened between Wasp and Skrullowjacket here. Yu’s fight layouts here are even wonkier than normal.
Page 5: Okay, Faux Hank gets big.
Page 6: Stature gets bigger and lays the beat down. Iron Man’s armor starts to fall apart, and Bulleyes takes aim. At Spidey?
Page 7: No! At Skrullowjacket! Boom goes the right eye, and down goes Fake Pym.
Page 8: Iron Man hauls his malfunctioning ass out of Dodge. Ares likes to be hit. Thor continues speechifying. Black Widow says that she’ll cover New Cap, and though she doesn’t say anything, she’s obviously hurt because he doesn’t notice that she’s wearing her hair differently than she has in like the last year and a half of his regular book. Additionally, a stupid Skrull decides to approach Reed as Sue. Good Lord; where do these alien freaks get their plans?
Page 9: Okay; so piling on a crapload of Sues is probably a better plan. Incidentally, the idea of The Hood and Wolverine teaming up is f@#%ing scary. Particularly if you’re Tigra.
Page 10: Wolverine gets ahold of Queen Spider Skrull, and they dish the mutual hurt. Spider-Man tries to reassure Iron Fist by rather hilariously noting that the fight must be going okay, because The Watcher hasn’t show up to watch.
Page 11: The Watcher shows up.
Page 12: Luke Cage kicks some ass, and Iron Man keeps trying to fight his way out.
Page 13: Jessica Jones finally realizes that Luke actually knew what he was talking about the entire time. We know that she doesn’t become completely self-aware about Bendis’s love for Luke (which would have told her that Luke will always be right), because she hands the baby over to Skrull Jarvis for safekeeping.
Page 14: Ladies and Gentelmen, it’s Jewel!
Page 15: Marvel Boy is here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and he’s all out of . . . oh wait, there’s Norman Osborn. Maybe they should talk for five months.
Page 16 and 17: The Heroes muster another charge, Jessica admits that Luke was right, and Young Avenger Hawkeye gets hurt. This allows for her bow to be picked up by . . .
Page 18: Clint Barton! The arrows start flying like Orlando Bloom’s in the house, and he takes aim at Queen Spider Skrull. Remember, Clint’s still angry about Fake Mockingbird. That, and never getting an explanation as to why a Skrull was running around with the Kree in Disassembled.
Page 19: The sound of an arrow going through both sides of a Skrull Queen’s face is “Chuck”. This will forever change the way that I watch NBC’s Monday programming. The Queen goes down, and Skrulljacket (still alive!) recognizes that it’s time for a big move.
Page 20: The Wasp (hey, remember Page 3?!) starts to get puffy. Dropped in the middle of this page is a flashback to the huge, twice-reinforced bit of foreshadowing about the new growth formula that Skrullowjacket previous gave Jan. This means that every bit of the Skrull’s plan, right up to being on the losing end of a fight with Jan not having been killed or elsewhere so that she’s right there when precisely necessary, has worked like a charm.
Page 21: Skrull Jarvis goes fully Skrully, ensuring that Danielle will definitely need changed.
Page 22: Huge Wasp is surrounding by Kirby Dots, and the major heroes react in pain.
Can you say “Home Stretch”, kids?This episode of Damn Dirty Skrulls is brought to you by the complete loss of desire to see the color green. Ever. Again.