Secret Invasion #8 is out and the reviews are in and…well, they’re not all that bad, considering. Some critics actually seemed to like it, and given all that the series had working against it creatively—five years worth of expectation raising, that crazy “Embrace Change” ad campaign that reflected a whole two pages of the series, the punishing $3.99 cover price for 22-page issues, somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000 tie-ins—“mixed” is probably the best Marvel could have hope for in terms of critical reaction. (As for the reaction that really matters, well, the sales figures speak for themselves.)
Here’s a sampler platter of SI reviews…
“This issue has not just been months in the making, but years, going all the way back to when Brian Michael Bendis launched New Avengers. Not only does it have to end Secret Invasion, it also has to set up the next overarching story, ‘Dark Reign.’ That’s a lot of pressure on a single comic book and a lot of expectation to live up to. Does the finale of Secret Invasion manage to do all of that?
“Let’s be clear: This issue is going to cause a great amount of controversy for all the right reasons. After the dust settles a little more on the events that have unfolded these last eight months in the pages of Secret Invasion, you are either going to see the great story potential that stands ahead or you’re going to swear off the Marvel Universe (while grudgingly still purchasing the titles).”
—Richard Renteria, in a Best Shots Extra review for Newsarama proper.
“Ultimately, if Secret Invasion #8 does anything, it provides a long overdue ending to Civil War, but even that seems like more of a footnote than anything else. The main purpose of the entire series (and the long-running Hood subplot in New Avengers) seems to be to set up yet another new status quo for the Marvel Universe, and while it’s intriguing, it’s far from inspired. A lot of super-hero comics readers have complained as of late of event fatigue. After reading this comic book, it seems as though some creators might have reached that same point.”
—Don MacPherson of Eye On Comics, awarding Bendis and Yu a 4/10 on the effort.
“By the end of Secret Invasion, all $400-or-so of it, nothing of note has really changed (One character died, yes, but another one was revealed to have never died at all, so even that’s a wash). The status quo has been successfully maintained, as has the continuity of fans’ collections the world over. And, most importantly for Marvel, a lot of comics have been sold by successfully baiting and switching readers with the possibility that everything they know is wrong…”
“Yeah, I, uh… I didn’t read this one. Sorry.”
—Invincible super-blogger Chris Sims of The Invincible Super-Blog, who nevertheless presents the crayon and computer generated “Secret Invasion in 30 Seconds,” which covers some of the better SI tie-ins.
“That’s Secret Invasion for you, a comic that never took the time to ask ‘should there be something happening this story, or are we fine just publishing something that’s little more then an idea for a story?’ A series that, technically speaking, did exactly what it was supposed to—provide some ‘event’ so that all of Marvel’s action figures could be drawn in big splash pages, doing stuff together, a series that was hyped a little, then hyped a lot, then hyped so much that it died before it started, only so it could be yanked off the autopsy table and sent out for some more hype. The thing was that there wasn’t anything put back on the corpse afterward—all they sent out was a four dollar comic book made out of editorial skeletons, and then they sat back and watched how little it mattered to the people who buy them. They sent up a weather balloon, and when they got the results back, it said ‘You can convince super-hero fans to buy anything—don’t worry about making it good. Just make sure you’ve got Wolverine in it.’ Then somebody put out a call to Bendis and Yu and told them not to worry. They wouldn’t be needing a story. The pitch was just fine all by itself.”
—Tucker Stone, in this week’s “Comics of the Weak” column at The Factual Opinion
What about you, dear Blog@ readers? What’s your review of the series, now that the dust is starting to settle?