By Brian Bendis (story), Leinil Francis Yu (pencils), Mark Morales (inker), Laura Martin (colors)

Once again, Brian Bendis (one of my favorite comic book writers) fumbles the ball on yet another Marvel event. If you thought House of M and Secret War was lame, well, feel free to lump Secret Invasion right along with those titles. Sure, the series had some great highs, but the conclusion is so anti-climatic and uneven that I couldn’t help but shake my head the entire time. What a waste.

Right from the get go the on-going narrative/conversation speaks to the reader in past tense. The war is over by all accounts and the plot moves along, connecting the dots as if Bendis is running down his checklist of things to scratch off. The fate of The Wasp? Check. The rescue of the captured humans? Check. Tony Stark made the scape goat? Check. The rise of Norman Osborn and the most ridiculous status quo change to ever hit the Marvel Universe? Check. Oh yeah, and all this goes down in one day. This wasn’t a war or invasion. It was a skirmish.

It’s amazing to see how far Marvel has fallen over the last year. With continuity problems running amuck, the screwing of Spider-Man’s marriage, and now the undoing pretty much everything Civil War set up (not to mention the inevitable cover price increases to $3.99), well, let’s just say I’m at the edge of my rope here. I think it’s time Joe Quesada stepped down and Marvel put some editors in place who won’t let writers run wild with ridiculous ideas. Secret Invasion started off with a bang and ended as a farce.

Sorry guys but Dark Reign is an incredibly stupid idea.

Grade: F (FAIL)

– J. Montes

A Second Opinion

As I have mentioned a few times before, Secret Invasion is really my first experience with an event series. As such, I don’t have any lingering disappointment from something like House of M or Civil War to compare my thoughts about the conclusion of Secret Invasion to. That said, I am disappointed with Secret Invasion #8…just not to the extent my colleague Jason is.

Deep down, the fanboy within me wants to address and argue every single negative about the book mentioned in the main review. I woke up this morning to find the review and instantly thought to myself “it can’t possibly be that bad.” And you know what? It really isn’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that my critical side actually agrees with nearly every point that Jason makes above. In many ways the event’s conclusion is a big disappointment from start to finish. Now, after reading that I imagine many of you are wondering what’s with the fairly good score then. Allow me to explain.

While S.I. #8 mostly fails as the conclusion to a big, bloated, far too lengthy event, I believe it really succeeds as a mechanism for riling up the masses for the new status quo of the Marvel Universe. Truth be told, outside of a few new books set to launch (especially the Jonathan Hickman/Stefano Caselli Secret Warriors title), I really didn’t have a whole lot of interest in Dark Reign prior to today. Now, I simply can’t wait to see what happens next. That is why I absolutely must give credit where it is most definitely due. It is far from perfect, but it also does what was needed extremely well. And that counts for something.

Grade: C+

-Kyle Posluszny