SecretFinalInvasionCrisis #1


Ah, the summer. Beaches, grills, picnics and summer comic events. Last year we had Civil War, which was the first time that I made a concerted effort to “get into” the event by purchasing most of the side books that accompanied the main story. While the relative merits of the story have been discussed to death, I think we can agree that it was successful in that it created a new status quo for the Marvel universe and, apparently, helped set the stage for this summer’s Secret Invasion.

(I won’t talk about Civil War‘s unmasking-but-not-really of Spider-Man, because I obviously need to get over my issues with it and ranting about it at this point is not useful, nor will I talk about how some of the spinoffs were totally worthless and, even worse, annoying.)

For me, DC really didn’t have an overarching hardcore super event — like, okay 52, but, comparatively, I don’t think that DC really rocked a Big Deal last year. If they did, I just forgot about it, which is, of course, a truly bad sign that just reiterates my point. This summer of course, DC brings us Final Crisis and now, I humbly offer SecretFinalInvasionCrisis – Part 1: Beginnings.

(Note: I should mention that I just listened to some of this week’s Pick of the Week Podcast after writing most of this and realize that I do make some similar points–sorry for the repetition.)

SFIC will probably be a three part (maybe four, who knows, you know how these things go) series discussing how these particular 2008 events are doing.This installment will cover the main books plus one supporting book, since Secret Invasion is, as of this writing, on book four and Final Crisis is only on it’s second issue.

The First Issue

I was struck by the first issues of both events. The first page of Final Crisis is a one page shot of Anthro, the First Boy, followed by a full two page spread with Metron proclaiming “I am Metron.” Now, I admit, I have never heard of either of these characters, but I thought the whole opening of Final Crisis was pretty great because it focused on the early days of humanity, which really made the story feel important and far-reaching. Conversely, Secret Invasion opens on an alien planet, with decisions being made that would eventually impact our own world, which we get to on the second page, with Iron Man unmasking himself as he reveals the Skrull Elektra to Reed Richards and Hank Pym.

Now, I am not going to go into page by page analysis — these are different kinds of stories about unrelated universes so that would be pointless — but it is interesting to see how both books prepare the reader for the universe shattering, paradigm changing, whiz bang banging ramifications for both of these stories. Secret Invasion very much takes place in medias res (“in the midst of things”), which is a technique that Shakespeare used a lot in his plays. Basically, the story is already very much in motion before we get a chance to tune in, and the audience catches up to the flow of the story rather than watching them unfold at the beginning. And while Final Crisis obviously got some major setup from other books before issue 1, I think Final Crisis is a lot easier to begin than Secret Invasion, which builds on the many, many stories in other books before Tony shows us Elektra’s body. This leveraging of other events from previous (and current) books both helps and hinders Secret Invasion as the story continues.

The first issues also set up the overall tone for the stories. Though obviously things can (and probably will) change, Final Crisis is feeling much more like a mystery, complete with a hardboiled detective (Dan Turpin) on the case, looking for some missing kids. This detective style story is underscored later in the narrative with the Alpha Lanterns basically taking over the investigation of Orion’s murder that Turpin stumbles upon. Like all good stories, there are several subplots, including the Monitors being infected by the passing of time, which leads one to realize she is feeling emotion. Grant Morrison is in fine form; that concept is quite lovely and and I am looking forward to seeing what he does with it. Finally, we see the introduction of the big villain, Libra, who is creating a new Secret Society that will deliver the end of heroes, promising new members “their hearts desire,” resulting in the death of the Martian Manhunter, our first Event CasualtyFinal Crisis, unlike Secret Invasion, does not close with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, but more of a question — just who has this exiled Monitor become? What does it mean for humanity if a Monitor is now walking among them as one of them?

Secret Invasion, on the other hand, moves more like an action movie. The pace, especially in the first issue, is unrelenting, and the whole thing moves like a roller coaster, a complete contrast to Final Crisis #1. While individual main villain is not revealed in this issue, we do have the overall bad guy — the Skrulls — who are very much in control of the story events. While there is a mystery here (who is a Skrull), the crisis is very much one of betrayal, both for the characters and for the readers — most of us are really surprised by who turns out to be a Skrull, all the way to the end, with Skrull Hank Pym betraying Reed Richards (a terrific cliffhanger). These reveals serve as a stream of Event Casualties (which continue to build throughout the series). In Secret Invasion, the Event Casualty is our innocence, our trust — the status quo.

[Not So] Secret Invasion [of Your Wallet]

My wife Whit heard me talking about Secret Invasion and said, “That sounds cool, I want to read it,” which is what Marvel is hoping would happen. No problem, right? Just get her the issues and she’s all set, right? Not at all. I don’t think I have ever been more frustrated, trying to get the “right” issues for her. I mean, despite the name, Secret Invasion is not just happening within the Secret Invasion books, not at all. To really get it, you really have to AT LEAST read New and Mighty Avengers and good luck figuring out the order in which to read all of these books — Mighty first then New? Or the reverse? Does it matter? Probably not, but if so, tell us! Even if you don’t do all of the books that set the stage for the main titles, you are still looking at least 2-3 books to be read concurrently with the main book! So, instead of giving Whit three issues of Secret Invasion, I had, to dig up like six or seven comics that she had to read to “get it” up though #3. Now, okay, you might not think that that’s a big deal, but there is a big difference for someone who does not normally read a lot of comics between reading 2-3 and 8-9 comic books. Not only is the Marvel checklist actually backwards on the website, and there is no real order within the month’s releases. This turns out to be a real problem because Brian Michael Bendis’ tone is so consistent from book to book, it is actually kind of difficult to remember what happened in what book. Like, do you remember the whole Nick Fury “build the team” issue? What book was that? When did it come out? What did the cover look like? (And how come so many of the books have covers of creepy looking Skrull versions of heroes that have nothing to with the contents of the actual book? Argh! We’ll deal with the covers later.

And, as Conor has pointed out in a few of the podcasts, much of the story — even stuff that one might refer to as “the good parts” — is not even happening in the main books! As the book progresses to issue 4, there are all kinds of stories that make the main story more compelling. The story of Jessica Drew? The aforementioned Nick Fury bit? Hank Pym’s fall? The disappearance of Sue Richards? I mean, at the very least, the Fury and Spider-Woman stories should have been in the main story. When I reread the main books last night, I was shocked at how much was “missing” from the Secret Invasion books, plot points that really made the story more dramatic, that really ratcheted up the conflict. I think this is a major frustration and really detracts from the Secret Invasion experience. Look, Marvel: just make the books thicker and charge a buck or two more — really, seriously, that’s what you should be doing. I was looking forward to comparing this with Final Crisis, but I looked at some ad within one of the books and it looks like there are a bunch of Final Crisis side books as well. Blurgh. Maybe we’ll do a roundup of both series of supporting books if there are good ones to call out. But regardless, while it may sound good to have other books support and enhance the story, too often they detract from the impact of the main book.

The Story So Far…

Secret Invasion kind of lost a bit of steam after what was really an exciting first issue. Basically, the teams have been mired in the Savage Land for a long time (long enough for New York to get invaded) and that did not help with the pacing, especially since it basically felt like we went from a small fight in the Savage Land to another (albeit bigger) fight in New York. Yes, Skrull Jessica messed with Tony (…or did she?) and Clint gets reunited with Bobbi and Sentry freaks out (how rare). But really, four issues in, I don’t feel like the main story, as told by the main Secret Invasion issues, is really going anywhere. Even the Who Do You Trust? one shot, which was cool and everything, didn’t really move the action of the main plot forward all that much. Yes, it is important to get some insights into characters and the motivation of the Skrulls and yes, it’s fun to have Nick Fury back, but still, we’ve seen two big fights and what else? We are on book 4 now, so I can only hope that things really start to happen — in the main book, not the other titles!

Final Crisis is reading better as a series of individual, sequential comic book issues. Even though this looks to be a far-reaching story, it’s being played on a very localized, personal level, with far more discussions and less overt action than the summer blockbuster-like Secret Invasion. Though DC does fall into the “support book” trap a bit with the Final Crisis: Requiem one shot, it’s just done so well that it fits. And besides, as of this writing, this is the only “side” book and is of the same quality as the other two Final Crisis books. Issue #2 turns things up a bit, to be sure, with the slow reveal of how characters are being controlled, the kidnapping of Batman and the Barry Allen cliffhanger.

The differences between these two event series strike me similar to the overall differences between Marvel and DC. In my eyes, DC is being a bit more methodical, more structured with Final Crisis, just as it tends to be with its titles. Marvel’s Secret Invasion is more of an explosion of stories and action, resulting in a more thrilling initial experience but also feeling a bit sloppier and disjointed. For my money, right now I am more interested in Final Crisis — it just feels more intense, more grave, probably because the big problem has not been revealed yet, as opposed to Secret Invasion, where the main conflict happens at the very beginning of the story and rest of the book is about how to react to and address the problem. For you Star Trek fans, this is similar to the differences between The Next Generation (spend the episode figuring out problem, solve it in last 10 minutes) versus The Original Series (problem happens at the beginning, spend rest of episode trying to solve it). Neither is necessarily better, just different.

Well, there you have it, the first installment of SecretFinalInvasionCrisis. I wanted to cover more aspects of these titles (covers, for one, and the artists and authors) but I’ll bring this back in a few months and see where we’re at. What do you think? Are you enjoying these books? Are you getting all the supporting books? Are you tired of events, or, are you like my comic book store owner, who says that there are no real events anymore, since they’re all just strung together?

Oh, Whit and I will be joining the crew at Comic-Con this year. I’ll be Twittering and probably do some kind of posting in addition to the Wednesday column. Hope to see you there!


Mike Romo is an actor in LA and would love to see a Skrull version of Jay Leno. He can be reached at


  1. Couldn’t agree more, Mike.

    I’m taking this route – Secret Invasion is The Dark Knight, Final Crisis is Memento.

  2. I’m not a big DC guy, but this crossover does make me wish Marvel had their style. I remember only picking up the Civil War mini last year and having everything feel self-contained. I wish I could do that with SI. Final Crisis has it all worked out: a miniseries with very minimal tie-ins to regular ongoings, and for any loose ends or extra explanations, a few one-shots. That sounds about perfect for the casual reader.

    Good article, and see you at the Con!

  3. You make some really interesting points of comparison in this analysis, and I can only comment on part if this because I’m not reading "Final Crisis."  FC is almost an anti-event for me, because knowing that it was coming has been a factor in my not getting more involved in the DCU over the last year or so.  I’m not that keen to pick up new books with the possibility that whatever I’m reading is going to be Crisis-ed out of existence.  That’s not a criticism of DC, necessarily, it’s just my personal reaction.   

    But as I’ve said elsewhere on this site, I’m not sure what exactly is in the Avengers books that is essential to the main "Secret Invasion" series.  Granted, I’m mostly not reading them, but I’m not reading them because I don’t feel like I need an explanation as to how Spider-Man or Hank Pym or Elektra got to be a Skrull, or where Nick Fury’s team came from.  Maybe I’m just suffering an appalling lack of curiosity.

    Honestly, I found "not enough story in the main series" to be a much bigger problem in "Civil War" than in SI.  When the premise of your series is that characters are going to be arguing about and reacting to a central series of events, it seems to me like a pretty serious flaw that the various tie-ins can’t agree about what actually happened.  "When did Hank Pym become a Skrull, anyway?" is a totally different kind of quesiton than "What does the Registration Act actually say and what methods is the pro-reg side using to enforce it?"  

  4. Oh, umm, Spider-WOMAN is a Skrull.  Not Spider-Man.  That was a fun fake spoiler, though.

  5. I don’t agree that the backstories of how people were replaced belongs in the main book. I also don’t think people who think the "action" isn’t happening in the main book actually understand what the "action" really is. The important shit *is* happening in Secret Invasion; everything else is just backstory or fighting. Fighting is NOT the point, here, and neither is backstory. I’m surprised so many people don’t seem to get that.

    As to which is more new reader friendly, well…let me know if any new readers actually try to read the aforementioned series. They’ll be the ones to know, won’t they?


  6. I’m enjoying both books but hoping that each one does what the other is doing.  I’d like to see more plot development and forward movement in SI, and I would like to see some more action and group activity in FC.  I also hope that FC all comes together at the end like everyone is saying it will, because for the moment I’m on an island on ABC at 10.  As for the tie ins I’m only picking up Mighty & New Avengers, but I was reading those anyway and am immensly enjoying filling in all the holes with them.

  7. Great job on the article! I mostly read DC titles and enjoy Final Crisis but Secret Invasion sounds really exciting, so now begins my journey of picking up some of the past issues to get caught up to the current issues. I plan on grabbing some New and Mighty Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America. Anyone recommend any other titles? Wish my luck……….

  8. Regarding Secret Invasion: I have read only two Avengers tie-in issues, yet I somehow "get it." That point is moot. The rest of your points, especially that of all the "good parts" happening outside of the actual SI book, make sense. Though I must say that issues five and six are looking very promising.

    As for Final Crisis, I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m Marvel-Minded, or maybe Grant Morrison can’t write. Maybe DC’s books are too bound by previous (insane) continuity? Either way, the first two issues did nothing for me except confuse me whereas Secret Invasion has me signed on to the end. That’s the only way I know to compare the two.

  9. I’ll read a good comic no matter who puts it out.  But right now my pull lists don’t have much Marvel in them, and Secret Invasion is really making me think about having less.  Hey at least we are getting Captain Britain from the whole mess.  For my money Final Crisis is THE book coming out right now followed by Marvel 1985.

  10. You articulated my own feelings about these two events perfectly. I’m even considering dropping SI because I’m just not getting anything out of it anymore, and don’t want to have to read 3-4 additional books to get the full story. Plus, and I know it’s been beaten to death, but $4 for a stupid cardstock cover with NO additional pages really annoys me.

  11. Thanks for the comments, guys–OhCaroline: I didn’t mean to imply that Spider-Man was a Skrull, I meant his unmasking in Civil War; I changed the sentence to make it more clear, thanks for that.

     I mean, obviously, you don’t need to read all of the side books in Secret Invasion, but without them, I think the story just is not as interesting or as compelling. Secret Invasion is on issue #4, and all we have seen, really, is the beginning stages of the battle.  That’s a lot of issues for not a lot of story, methinks.

     I guess I was just putting myself in the position of someone who was interested in Secret Invasion, how there experience would be–I think I have a different concept of what "getting it" means because I have read  all of the other books and feel that there is some good stuff in there, but, obviously, if one is not reading the other books, than it’s impossible to judge.

     Paradiddle–I agree  with your notes on the cover cardstock completely, great point.

    And Hawkboy – I am enjoying 1985 as well! I am glad to hear someone else is reading it..



  12. @mikeromo — Oops, sorry, I didn’t think you said that.  I was referring to my own comment right above in which I said "Spider-Man is a Skrull".  Never mind me.


  13. stupid tangent:  Soooo…if Spider-man was a skrull, would OMD be undone? Better yet, would the real Spiderman should show up and say "Whoa, what? MJ over Aunt May? WTF, Skrulls? WTF?"

  14. @OttoBott – Yes, which is why he’s definitely not one.

  15. I don’t see how SI lost any momentum issue to issue. While I do agree much of the key character and plot points are being brought up in the ancillary books (Jessica Drew’s reveal, Nick Fury’s Commandos, the schism of the Avengers teams, the location of the Baxter Building, who to the Hood & crew are, Elektra being a Skrull, et cetera)- all this has happened literally in everything but the main SI book and goes back years in some cases.

    Yet, each issue of SI has managed to up-the-ante for our heroes. Emotionally and physically, between the knock-down-drag-out fights in NYC and the opposing Avengers teams confronting one another and their respective pasts (in a way); SI has been moving at breakneck speed.

    That said, SI is very much the popcorn flick to Final Crisis’ arthouse film. FC is moving much more slowly and is less in your face. Its reveals and tension are not dependent on the tie-ins books. But rather reader’s intelligence and thoughtfulness.

    There were times when I was shocked in re-reading FC as to just how dense and carefully written it is; biblical references, philosophical concepts of individuality and cognition, self-creating realities and an interesting critique of the medium of comics themselves. It really is an astoundingly dense work for a major event.

    I am greatly enjoying both events. They are being written by writers of differing schools of thought and that is fine by me. This is the golden age of event comics. Even the tie-ins have been good!

    That all comic book events were this good.

  16. great article and well defended argument.  I think the differences between the two are actually why they both work for their respective universes, sprinkle in our own individual tastes (or in some cases biases towards said companies publishing them) and the differences in approach offers a nice contrast.  I’m gonna reserve my judgement on which approach worked better until they’re both finished.

  17. I can understand the perception that SI lacks forward momentum– like I’ve said before, I feel like I have now seen every square inch of that Times Square battle twice from every available angle– but I think I’d have to take issue with anyone who said you needed to read the tie-ins to get the whole story. I was thinking about this in the wake of Mike’s excellent analysis when it dawned on me that Mighty and New Avengers have literally been running flashbacks for the last four issues, with the exception of the perpetually nonessential Sentry story. Sure, these flashbacks would certainly be helpful if you were someone who saw Nick Fury’s triumphant return and said, "Why is this important? Is that the guy Sam Jackson played in Iron Man?" but if that’s you, you already made some purchasing mistakes that a few tie-ins aren’t going to fix.

    Come to think of it, that Nick Fury return in SI would have packed a lot more punch if I hadn’t read the tie-ins yet.

  18. The problems I have seen with Secret Invasion: the reader having to be familiar with the history of the Skrulls, if you are NOT reading ANY of the SI: Tie-ins you will be "Lost" (just like the TV show),  Nick Fury was a key figure in WWII and was not frozen in ice (How old is this guy?).The Secret Invasion mini series has not ventured beyond the Savage Land or NYC. (The Skrulls did invade ALL of Earth?)

    To Bendis’ credit, he has brought value to re-reading older issues in my collection.

    Final Crisis should have been the only EVENT at DC.  Batman: R.I.P. is too much eventism.  DC keeps trying to tie everything together, this is not the Ultimate Marvel Universe.  This is the DC 80 year history of comics.  There is no way to tie it ALL together.  If Barry Allen has been out of existence for 20 years, he qualifies as DEAD.  Why bring him back? Is he going to save Dan Didio’s job?

  19. @Labor – Well said.

    @SuperMoore – Marvel released a trade paperback called "Secret Invasion: The Infiltration" that compiles all the supposedly "key" build-up books over the past few years.  Aside from that, reading "New Avengers" in its entirety is probably the best thing to do (perhaps "Mighty Avengers" as well).

     And I would also love to hear from and actual "new reader" who is only reading SI, because I do think that you can follow the story if you just read the main "SI" book.  But, as Labor and I have discussed before, these event books are NOT for "New Readers", they are gifts to longtime fans.

    In a perfect world, Marvel wants "new readers" (and old readers) to pick up SI and say, "Wow, that was fun.  What else can I read about this?"  Of course, I guess that’s the point of ALL tie-ins. 

  20. Also, "Secret Invasion" and "Final Crisis" both follow the broad event philosophy/template each company has historically followed:

    DC’s general event strategy seems to be to write long-reaching "legacy" stories that either alter/fix their continuity.  There’s an air of editorial mandate about many of them, and they seem to have long-term ramifications.  (See: Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, even Armageddon 2001)

    Marvel’s general event philosophy seems to be, "Let’s put our characters in a box and then shake the box!"  Overall, they never seem as deep or well-planned or as "important" as a DC event, but they will have more of that "summer movie spectacle" aspect to them.  (See: Secret Wars, Infinity War, Civil War)

    This is only an observation, unscientific, and there are exceptions to the rule.  Please feel free to deflate this theory.  Commence! 

  21. @RaceMcCloud: I’m pretty much a new reader; I started reading mainstream comics in April (for the first time in my life, at the age of 25, although I was familiar with a lot of the characters from other media), and SI got me excited about reading Marvel.  I spurned DC at first, I think because I knew fewer of their characters.  I remember wondering if there were a series of diferently colored lanterns, and if Blue Beetle had anything to do with them, and how strange that everything was color-coded . . .

     My initial interest was only in finding out what the X-Men comics were like; I guess you could say Marvel saw a payoff from the early nineties cartoon, about fifteen years after it ended.  When I did a little reading online, I was pretty surprised to find that the X-Men weren’t too popular anymore, and that the Avengers were the big thing now.  Surprised and displeased, honestly.  When I first looked at new books on my LCS’ shelves, I didn’t know that the Avengers were different from the British TV show until I examined the covers.  I don’t remember ever having heard of the comics.  So I looked at some X-Men comics, saw that they were really weird, and put them back.  A few weeks later, with more information, I bought the newly released hardcover of Messiah Complex.

    But the first time I looked at mainstream comics, SI got me interested in the greater Marvel Universe, before I had even read a Marvel comic.  I guess I read about what was going on and found that New and Mighty were the seeds of the event, and so first I went back and bought the last eight or so New Avengers books.  I started with 33, a big fight with the Hood’s gang, narrated by I don’t remember what small-time villain.  I had heard that Bendis had a reputation for being a good writer, and I read with an eye for that at first.  It took two reads to figure out what the hell was going on, which I assumed was because I hadn’t read back issues.  Anyway, I read up to whatever was current, I guess 38 or so, and then got and read SI.  I guess I’d say it didn’t feel difficult to follow, but in retrospect it was.  I could tell what the main event was, but I didn’t really know the significance of (or care about) things like why the Skrulls were invading, who the Illuminati was, what all the backstory from events back to Avengers Dissasembled was, etc.  It all felt a bit campy, and not worth the time, effort and money of figuring out.

     I liked SI #1 well enough, and got 2, which I also thought was okay . . . but I wasn’t really hooked.  At this point I was reading a whole slew of Marvel titles, but none of the good ones (Captain America, Immortal Iron Fist, Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Spider Man) had anything to do with the event, and they also didn’t seem to have much fall-out from Civil War and on back (I know Cap died in a CW tie-in, but it didn’t seem to actually come out of that event). 

     Then in June I started looking at DC, with Final Crisis (again weeks after it actually came out).  It was as confusing as anything I’d ever written, and I relied heavily on an annotation website to figure out anything at all, but nevertheless it seemed much more compelling.  The New Gods themselves seemed sort of campy, but it was clear that Grant Morrison understood them as symbolic.  I didn’t know almost any of the characters, and they looked like they had silly origins but were nevertheless being treated seriously.  And so I started getting a whole slew of DC titles, as well.

     Now, to me at least, Marvel has lost.  I still pick up a lot of Marvel titles, but I’ve stopped getting SI; Bendis, honestly, seems like he has idiosyncratic appeal at most, and I just don’t think he’s very smart; and I’m looking at everythign Grant Morrison has written (Invisibles, whew boo!) and very committed to Action and Superman, Batman and all of the Bat titles (I like all of them, much to my surprise at first, and I’m even looking at getting years of back issues of Batman, Robin, Detective, and whatever else comes up as important to the story line), Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Manhunter . . . sheesh, just about everything.  Whereas with the Marvel books, I’m interested in the writers but not so much the characters: mainly Brubaker, Fraction, Aaron, Straczynski.  I’m looking at Powers to give Bendis a second chance, but currently his name woudl actually serve as a deterrent for me.

  22. Hmm.  One more thing, if anyone’s still interested.  In their summer events this year DC just has more character to their characters than Marvel.  The way that they interract is more interesting to me, and they seem more like real people.  The Iron Man movie certainly did a lot to interest me in the character, but in the Bendis books his conflict with the New Avengers seems circumstantial and, frankly, boring.  Really, the characters in MA, New A and SI all seem less interesting for having been written by Bendis.  I still want to give the guy a chance, and I can see that the story he weaved into the last five years of Marvel was well planned and an interesting concept all on its own, but the execution is very lacking, at least for me as a new reader.  I was excited to follow the thread back at first, but I don’t see the events drawing on characters very much, and the whole thing started to seem like a poorly written history book.  FC, by contrast, got me wondering about the previous crises enough to actually start to read them, and although I still haven’t read Crisis on Infinite Earths or Infinite Crisis, I have read Identity Crisis, which made wonderful use of characters, and Batman’s role in OMAC Project led out of that very well.  DC’s recent history reads more like a heroic saga than a history book.

  23. To a certain degree, I think Bendis is writing more for the trade whereas Morrison writes more for the issue-to-issue story.  Final Crisis feels more episodic in its pacing like a TV series where Secret Invasion feels more like you’re getting 15 minutes of a 2-hour movie coming out once a month.  Thus, it feels like Morrison is putting in things to happen every issue so far (the death of J’onn, the attack on the Daily Planet) so that you feel satisfied that something happened for your three or four bucks where it feels more like Bendis is writing without so much worry that something must happens every month.  I think it will probably be better read in trade like Conor said.

  24. I have definitely been enjoying Final Crisis over SI so far because I feel like the story in Final Crisis is dense and has forward momentum.  Yes, SI is the summer blockbuster movie, but I guess I just expected more from it so far.  I mean, I’m enjoying it, but there just seems to be meat lacking from the story.  And as a long time reader, SI is definitely guilty of putting too much stuff into the tie-ins.  I think the only reason I know what’s going on is because I listen to podcasts, which fill me in on what I missed.  I absolutely refused to buy 8-9 books to read one event, and Mike’s point about giving these books to his wife are spot on. 

    Also, I’m applauding DC for keeping FC out of there proper books and just letting them tell stories.  It’s so wonderful to pick up Action Comics knowing that in no way is FC going to sully Geoff Johns momentum.

    My other gripe between the two is this:  both titles are $3.99.  SI is 32 pages.  FC is 40 pages.  SI makes me feel like I’m getting ripped off.

  25. I agree with 100% Mike. SI is’t really going any where at this point and FC is.

  26. You know. I have come to the conclusion that I just don’t care anymore about new readers. I mean its fine that there are new readers. But let that be Quesada or Didio’s job to worry about attracting "new readers".

    I just want my comics to be good. 

  27. I started reading back when both of these events were starting up and for some reason Secret Invasion did’nt attract me. To me in SI I know who the bad guys are, I know their plan the only mystery is who is a skrull and that does’nt interest me.  Instead I picked up Final Crisis and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.  The part I enjoy is that we only know the villians, we know nothing about their plan or what their goal is and I still believe the reveal of Libra’s identity will be a shocker.  And on the plus side, as a new reader I’m getting a crash course introduction to a lot of characters in the DCU (thanks Wikipedia!). 

    I also feel Marvel is ripping off their fans by making them buy tie-in issues if they want to get the meat of the story. While DC has tie-ins they are not necessary to get the story they are merely there for hardcore fans.

  28. My original plan was to wait it out and get the SI trades all together. But there’s no resisting temptation, so I’ve been getting the single issues. Now I’m giving all the singles to my 12 year-old son and I’ll still be buying the trades, thus spending twice as much money. Genius, right?

  29. Secret Invasion is a Michael Bay-like action film. A lot of great fights, but barely any story and good character development. Like the ifanboys, I’m not saying this is a bad series in terms of action. But with plot, it’s moving as a snails pace! Jesus, when are we gonna get off this island, stop showing Sentry crying, and get some either Skrull kicking ass or Marvel heroes kicking ass? Bendis didn’t say in his thousands of interviews that 4 (so far) out of 8 issues would have a time-frame of like 3 hours.

    Final Crisis, on the other hand is moving at a snails pace….but I’m actually liking it. Morrison knows how to write a good and compelling mystery. Whether it’s: How are the New Gods coming back? Or, How the hell is Barry Allen still alive? We get great questions to come back for more. Plus with fucking amazing art, you got yourself a great event.

    Again, SI isnt a bad series by any means…I’ll probably waste more money and buy the trades for it. Yes trades, who doesnt think the New and Mighty stories will be on seperate trades? But with a plot that is listfully going along and no development is happening….your definitely gonna feel cheated for the first half of a hardcover. Even though SI has a two issue advantage, the two issues of FC has been more entertainment in my eyes. I hope for more great story to happen next month.

  30. I boycott most events.

  31. @flaggthecat – Well, you’ve aligned yourself in the DC Camp.  That’s cool, man, I’ll be the first to tell you to read what you like and drop the rest.  So if you like Morrison and FC, read that.  No worries.  Me, the thing that got me back into comics was Bendis’ "Ultimate Spider-Man" *koff brilliant koff* because that was the moment where I put the first trade down and said to myself, "Wow.  They finally got it."  And off I went to get all the back issues (they were only in the twenties at the time so it wasn’t too hard.)  So, for me, Bendis is the gold standard.  Conversely, the only Grant Morrison book I’ve really enjoyed is "All Star Superman", and I actually like Frank Miller’s "All Star Batman and Robin" better.  I dropped Morrison’s "Batman" and I didn’t like what he did with "New X-Men", so Morrison is obviously not my taste.  I got the first FC, didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, the second issue came out on a killer week (fifteen books) and I let it pass.  If it turns out to be have been must-read, I’ll get the trade, but it probably wasn’t for me, as I have an affinity for the Marvel characters that I have for a select few DC characters (Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Robin, Nightwing).  Finally, when you mentioned all of Marvel’s "good" books, most readers would probably put "New Avengers" and "Mighty Avengers" in there, but if you don’t like Bendis’ style, you probably wouldn’t.  For me, he’s hit too many home runs (Alias, Powers, The Pulse, Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man, Fortune and Glory, Daredevil) to not give SI the benefit of completion before final judgement.  I trust Bendis, and I trust SI will live up to its billing when the day is done.  I don’t have that same trust for Morrison, whereas a lot of people, obviously, love FC and love his style.  Again, it is a matter of taste.

    Also, saying Marvel has "lost"… well, I’m not sure what you’re measuring wins and losses by.

  32. @RaceMcCloud – Clearly he is measuring by what he finds the most fulfilling.  That’s where the "to me" thing comes into play.

  33. @Conor – Sure, but to say they’ve "lost"… I’m not even sure what the game is.  Clearly, nobody has lost anything.  Just because I don’t like the Yankees, doesn’t mean they lose a lot.  No matter how hard I wish and hope and pray…  If you want to say they’ve lost the individual battle to get Flagg’s SI/Bendis dollar.. okay, I can go with that.

  34. I believe that’s the loss, yes.

  35. "[Not So] Secret Invasion [of Your Wallet]" 


    The reasons stated about SI being spread out over so many books is why I stopped reading it. I’m not huge into Marvel, but if the story was self contained (enough) I would have read the main SI mini. I guess SI is aimed more at hardcore Marvel readers who read all the books, but Final Crisis wouldn’t be easy for a casual DC reader to follow either, even if it is self contained.

    I personally like the idea of the event being self contained for two reasons: a) Easier to read the full story & b) if you wanna avoid the big event, you have plenty of monthly books to read. It would be pretty hard to avoid SI if you were a hardcore Marvel fan.

  36.  Okay By Themselves?

    A good question to pose here is: does Secret Invasion read well as a stand-alone story? I feel that is does, and even though I was planning to ignore the crossovers until the tpb’s cameout, I’ve found them irresistable. Unfortunately, the high quality of the crossovers may overshadow the main story for many readers. That’s the problem with these event books, the crossovers for Civil War and WWHulk were so inconssequential that we began to expect the main story to be the only one with any merit. Now we’re just frustrated when the stories are all of good quality because it makes the main story look like it’s plodding along. I may be wrong, but that’s how I see it. Oh, and The Sentry needs a good writer, cuz there’s no reason why he needs to be the running joke that Bendis has made.

  37. @Conor and Race: I think I meant that Marvel had lost my heart.  How emo.

  38. @ TheNextChampion

    "Secret Invasion is a Michael Bay-like action film"

    Well it’s not THAT bad. 😉


  39. no, it’s not that bad at all.

  40. great article, Mike. It made me realize that, for all the harping about FC requiring continuity knowledge, it’s nothing compared to SI. I think with FC, like Ron often says about the X-Men, the continuity thing is a crutch- in this case a response to a really really dense story. FC is hard to understand not because of continuity but because, as Labor articulated so well, it contains so many ideas.

    With SI, a huge part of its pleasure comes from continuity knowledge. ‘Who’s a skrull?’ only matters if you know who Dum Dum Dugan, Jarvis, et al are. Those two I mentioned are huge, important characters only if you’re immersed in that world. The other big thing is super-skrull powers. I just read Mighty Avengers and a big part of the reason I liked it was ‘ooh he’s using ghost rider ooh he’s using cyclops ooh he’s using nightcrawler’. Granted, those references are less obscure than those in FC, but I feel like SI depends more on those references than FC. And Morrison already did the combined powers (specifically Nightcrawler + Cyclops) thing in New X-Men. 

    But I’m starting to love SI. I’m just getting over the ‘it’s not all about the reveals’ thing and the last issue got my heart pumping. But there’s no question that FC has better reread value. And that’s the criteria for all my favorite art. My favorite movies i’ve watched a bunch of times, my favorite albums i’ve listened to a billion times, etc.