Writer: Andy Diggle
Art: Roberto De La Torre
Colorist: Frank Martin
I have to tell you up front that this issue contains some fairly large spoilers. Continuity-wise, this issue takes place after Secret Invasion. Therefore, certain elements of that conclusion are revealed (beginning with the text page, and continuing throughout the book). The events overall are shaped by the fallout from the Invasion, so I’ll do my best to discuss the issue without giving away the farm.
So . . . thanks to actions that he committed in the closing hours of what I assume will be Secret Invasion #8, Osborn is called to testify on Capitol Hill and to meet with the President. Elsewhere, the members of the team deal with the aftermath of the battles. There’s a burial. There’s therapy. There’s a departure. And there’s betrayal. Heaping gobs of betrayal.
The maniacal approach that Warren Ellis brought to the writing of this series is in safe hands with Andy Diggle. Diggle has a good fix on the established personalities, and he puts them through some pretty twisted paces in this issue. He plays Osborn perfectly as a preening braggart, and his Bullseye is appropriately frightening. The plot points to a larger approach for the series, and Diggle pushes the set-up through with well-timed shocks and some genuinely unnerving moments.
On art, De La Torre brings a style that’s fairly reminiscent of Deodato. Together with Martin, he pulls off some great visuals. Particular stand-outs include Norman’s crowd adulation scene and the tense closing pages. The application of shadow there works on a number of levels, both from a practical standpoint (you’ll have to read it) and symbolically as well.
If you haven’t been a regular reader, you’re likely to be confused by some of the ongoing elements. The “Previously On” page does a good job of catching up potential newbies, but I have to emphasize the spoilage factor as it relates to Secret Invasion. Taking the new issue on its own merits, independent of crossover ramifications, I’d say that the regular readers will likely be pleased, and that new readers who don’t mind starting in the middle will find a lot to admire.