Mike Carey (Writer), Cary Nord (Artist), and Dave McCaig (Color Artist)
This book is a prime example of how Secret Invasion can occasionally feel like an event that’s sorely lacking in forward momentum. While I appreciate the chance to see all the different battles taking place throughout the world, there is no need to repeatedly show the moments leading up to the opening strike when they all play out in nearly the same way. To be honest, only about a quarter of this issue felt like something I hadn’t seen before though I must say that the quarter does create some interesting storytelling potential.
Do I really need to spend the time detailing what this one is about? The Skrulls launch an attack on San Francisco and are surprised to find that it is populated by more than just humans. The invaders find themselves face to face with a recently reunited mutant population and a fairly entertaining battle ensues. While the gist of the issue deals with the battle, an interesting plotline develops involving Nightcrawler and an element of the mysterious Skrull religion that keeps this one from being a total waste of time. While this tie-in could go either way at the moment, I am interested enough to stick around for at least another issue.
I have always enjoyed Mike Carey’s work on the X-Men, but can’t really say a whole lot about his work here. He writes the Skrulls well and I like how he uses Nightcrawler to inject the religious elements into the story but, for the most part, the writing takes a back seat to Cary Nord’s unique visuals.
That said, however, my main complaint about the visuals is how Dave McCaig’s color work makes everything look washed out. Very little in the book has any visual “pop,” as all the colors feel quite muted leaving the action feeling rather dull and lifeless. While the style compliments Carey Nord’s work well, it doesn’t fit well given the action-heavy tone of this tie-in.
Secret Invasion: X-Men #1 is dangerously close to falling into the “skip” category. The Nightcrawler elements make this one worth it for X-fans, but all other had best keep their expectations in check. (Grade: C)