Best Shots Extra: Secret Invasion #8
Secret Invasion #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Lenlil Francis Yu
Inks: Mark Morales
Colors: Laura Martin
From: Marvel ComicsVery minor spoilers follow. As usual, major spoilers via the mainstream press, this time, The New York Times, here. Let’s be clear: this issue is going to cause a great amount of controversy for all the right reasons. After the dust settles a little more on the events that have unfolded these last eight months in the pages of Secret Invasion, you are either going to see the great story potential that stands ahead or you’re going to swear off the Marvel Universe (while grudgingly still purchasing the titles). Love it or hate it, one thing is certain; that last page reveal is sure to make readers take notice that The Powers That Be are serious about change in a real manner within the Marvel Universe. A lot of events transpire in quick succession this issue as Brian Bendis utilizes a debriefing as the framing device. As threats are quickly dispatched, some with a vow of vengeance, and Tony Stark makes a surprise (if a bit convenient) discovery, Secret Invasion comes to a satisfying conclusion. The hero of this story though, at least in the eyes of the general population of the Marvel Universe, is the person that you would least expect (unless you read Thunderbolts). If you go back and look at previous issues, Bendis made sure to check in on the central figure of this issue, Norman Osborn, frequently. At first, those moments made no sense to the larger story. The fact that I, like other readers, have always seen Osborn as a Spider-Man character rather than a general Marvel Universe character, made the scenes at first seem unnecessary. Now, with this issue’s release, we see a much bigger picture. The art by Lenlil Yu worked perfectly for the story by capturing not only the big action scenes but the small quiet moments. With so much happening throughout the issue, it falls to Yu to engage the reader in a plausible manner. By utilizing a mix of panel layouts to grab and hold the reader’s attention, along with his ability to relay emotion, Yu makes the art succeed on multiple levels. There are times when some of the panels feel cramped, but thanks to the fluid inking style of Mark Morales, the focus of the scene is never lost. One notable scene this issue that really worked thanks to Yu’s art is the moment between Thor, Iron Man and Captain America, which was rendered with the appropriate amount of importance; here, a key member of the Marvel Universe realizes that things have changed and his actions and decisions were a catalyst to the carnage surrounding him. The most surprising element of Yu’s art continues to be his ability to relay emotion in a simple yet convincing manner. Complimented by Laura Martin’s vibrant colors, the overall visual package of the storyline is only further enhanced. There are a lot of interesting moments strewn throughout this issue. From the status of SHIELD to Fury’s reaction upon seeing Dugan and Valentine, each moment hints at a bigger story waiting to be told. The best moment of the issue for me though was finally seeing Clint “I am the real Hawkeye” Barton find a moment of happiness. Was this a perfect issue? Well, that depends on your perspective. If you walked into Secret Invasion expecting Marvel to fix every character twist or continuity hiccup that has happened since Avengers Disassembled, you will be sorely disappointed. If you walked into this event hoping to finally experience an event that creates actual change within a shared universe, you need look no further. The storylines that are set-up this issue have great promise. I especially look forward to seeing what Tony does next and whether or not Stark Enterprises can survive. The possibilities coming out of this issue alone are endless. Much like Tony Stark, I am sure there are a lot of people out there who thought that once the Skrull menace was ended, everything would go back to normal. In the world of spandex heroes, the cliché line of any major event is “and things will never be the same.” Those are words that cause most fans to roll their eyes; the end of Secret Invasion has brought about actual change you can believe in.
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