Hokay so. Skrulls have invaded, secretly and not so secretly. Iron Man changed suits and SHIELD changed hands. People got angry and said angry things. Hokay so after that, lil' Normie Osborn gets put in the charge of everything other than being the President and he assembles a bunch of ne'er-do-wells and says.... TO BE CONTINUED IN A ONE-SHOT!
Secret Invasion - Dark Reign is so frustrating. This whole summer event has been extremely taxing on my patience and whatever good will that Bendis had saved with Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man. He's just not suited to writing big event comics. They don't speak to his talents. This particular one-shot does speak to his talents, in that it's a bunch of people sitting around a table and talking about things. That's it.
Osborn has assembled Loki, Emma Frost, Doom, Namor and the Hood and he says that the new status quo will be supervillain co-operation. It seems like a fine idea, but isn't Emma a hero now? And, by my research and fact-checking, isn't the Hood totally lame?
This idea is potentially story-rich. But therein lies the problem. Potentiality. How many good writers will take to this and explore what this means? How many will just do a "hero on the run" story for six parts and then completely change the status quo?
But here I am complaining about the idea, rather than the comic. The issue itself? Decent, I suppose. Every character gets a chance to say something, and Emma's development, as she's the point of view character, is painfully superficial. I enjoy Maleev's art normally, but in this issue, everything is so un-murky and characters' faces change shape every couple panels. Maleev's pencils are better suited to dark and dreary colour palettes, rather than saturating the characters in light.
This issue is review-proof, almost, because everybody knows what they are going to get. It's Bendis writing talking heads. The issue isn't central to anything, and nothing happens in the issue that wasn't implied by the final page of Secret Invasion 8. There's nothing important or essential to this comic. Secret Invasion - Dark Reign is plain old boring comics.