Review by Ian Keogh
As the title tells us, this collection feeds from Marvel’s 2007 crossover series in which the shapeshifting Skrull race revealed how far they’d infiltrated Earth as part of their takeover plans. Those who enjoy what was once referred to as a slugfest can have no complaints about the final four chapters, which feature little other than Ms. Marvel battering the bejabbers out of numerous Skrulls. This is effectively illustrated by new artist Adriana Melo on a grandly impressive scale.
Before we reach that point Brian Reed takes the time to bring a few of his long-running subplot mysteries to a close, and does so rather disappointingly. The idea that the Daily Bugle is going to run an expose of Ms. Marvel has been dragged through both Operation Lightning Storm and Monster Mash, but because the proprietor has suffered a heart attack, the story’s not going to run. This is not too far shy of treating readers who care about the soap opera elements with contempt. Also dragged through both those books is the secret of William Wagner. This revelation has a little greater refinement about it, although Secret Invasion doesn’t fully involve Wagner. He briefly returns again when Reed remembers, then is completely forgotten, his purpose never revealed in this series. Again, it’s cheap.
Because so great a percentage of this graphic novel is action based, it depends on Melo’s ability to deliver the excitement, and she’s very good with the present day material, although the pages are crowded on occasion. This is mitigated by her instructions asking for the likes of half a dozen Skrulls concealed within a crowd of hundreds in New York. She also effectively shifts her style to present events from feudal China, which is an interesting diversion and decent revelation, but when it comes to attempts at mimicking the style of 1960s Marvel style Melo’s not as good. That’s a shame, not least because this collection opens with several of these pages. André Coelho’s chapter is more static and posed, and he uses thicker outlines at times, which distract.
If all-out, slam-bang, alien-bashing action is what you love about superhero graphic novels then Secret Invasion is the product for you. Anyone preferring more plot might be disappointed. Ascension is up next.