Here we go, Marvel's big event of the year starts now. The Skrulls have infiltrated the Avengers and the Marvel U to a deep extent. Black Bolt and Elektra are prime examples of the replacement going on. But how did they do it? Where are the missing heroes? Does the death of Captain America have anything to do with it? Where's Nick Fury and what has he been up to? Who can you trust?
I've already stated that I'm jazzed for this series. It was set up intricately from New Avengers number 1, and has been slowly revealing for like 3 years. That's commitment on a great level. Bendis' strength as a writer is his very complex plotting that moves back and forth in time, slowly revealing and sometimes going balls-to-the-wall. This time, he's teamed up with Leinil Francis Yu, who worked with him on New Avengers for awhile. I was nervous about that because Yu's pencils can be overly scratchy and rendered, and his panel layout is sometimes confusing. I was also nervous that Bendis wouldn't learn from the mistakes he made with House Of M.
But, I was wrong.
I am not going to spoil the issue in question. At all. What I will say is that both the Secret Avengers and the Mighty Avengers make an appearance. There's a couple reveals on who's a Skrull (and logically who isn't a Skrull based on the reveal), and the sh*t hits the fan in a major way.
So, Bendis did learn from his mistakes so far. This issue really has it all. There's fighting, there's funny dialogue, there's reveals, there's explosions, there's everything you could want in a comic book, practically. He sets up the conflict very effectively, so now we're in for a rumble, and hopefully the schism between Avengers gets resolved.
Yu's pencils are cleaner, crisper, the colours less murky, the panel layout easy to follow. It's like Bendis and Yu have spent some time understanding why readers have been criticizing their work on the Avengers and have responded with Secret Invasion. While I don't think that Yu is ever good enough for a big frigging event on this scale, this issue is sort of calming those fears down. He manages to get the epic scale of the sh*t hitting the fan, while at the same time, getting some emotion from his characters' faces.
I really liked this comic and I'm still digging heavily on this event.
But now the bad things.
The final reveal isn't really that shocking. It's not really a character with that much heft in the world. It's really just a bunch of little reveals that add up to a "holy spit, this is big" feeling. The staccato rhythms of Bendis-speak is distracting when it used to be awesome. Not everybody talks like that. When somebody says a phrase, most people don't simply repeat the phrase. Sometimes they do, but it doesn't happen all the time, as with Bendis' character. Here's a panel example:I just wasn't taken with his dialogue this time. There's also that strange tendency to monologue that Bendis does, where his characters make grand speeches on issues and themes. Yeah, that's the first page. Oh well.
These are all small little things. It's still a great read, and this is shaping up to be a great event. Recommended.