Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"There's a Skrull in my sub...!"

Today, I am announcing my intention to read...

Secret Invasion.

From some company called "Mar-vel". I think they're a Timely imprint.

Anyway, you may be wondering why I decided to sign on in advance for this particular ride. Several reasons...

While I've certainly read Marvel comics, I've never read any of its big crossover events. Such events seem more important to the Marvel Universe than in the DCU. Marvel Events seem like small-scale affairs that still have a real longer-term impact on the regular storylines. DCU Events are generally ENORMOUS in scale, but have little real long-term impact (other than sparking "Yeah, he was dead, but that was before Event Z" conversations and lines of collector figures).

The subject is intriguing. Civil War seemed like just another hero-on-hero slapfest; typical Marvel situation where the heroes' problems are not with villains and serious outside threats, but lie with their inability to get along with one another or with normal people.

In many ways,
Secret Invasion is just such a Marvel-ous story. It's about an inside threat, not an outside one. Friends turn out to be enemies. It's a story stemming from paranoia and fear of betrayal; the emotions of adolescence and the Cold War, the fertile soils in which Marvel found root and grew.

So what's the difference? Mystery.

As I've mentioned before, one of the reasons I prefer DC to Marvel is that DC storylines tend to be detective/crime stories. Secret Invasion seems like more a mystery; Who is a Skrull? Now, perhaps that will all be revealed straightaway and the whole event will simply unravel into another slapfest among heroes (some of whom will be wrongly accused of being Commies, er, I mean, Skrulls). After all, that's what happened in Marvel's greatest "mystery event", Identity Crisis, which began ostensibly as a mystery with intimations of an outside threat, a matter quickly overshadowed instead by internal conflicts among heroes and their supporting casts.

My interest in Secret Invasion is that it seems to work in reverse. What began as an internal conflict among heroes -- Civil War -- may be revealed to be, in fact, the result of machinations by an outside villainous threat (the Skrulls, finally being used to their full potential). Instead of raising questions about characters acting uncharacteristically, it may answer them.

Of course, you may find the whole concept a cop-out, thinking it sad that what was once an honest exploration of societal and political conflict among well-meaningpeople with varying viewpoints will degenerate into a sci-fi B-film about fighting Little Green Men.

Maybe. But I'm also thinking it's going to be a lot more fun... .

24 comments:

darknessatnoon said...

I love Skrulls. They are simultaneously campy and threatening! The event is very exciting, however, my anxiety is that while the main storyline is a mystery a long-time in the brewing, spin-offs and tie-ins are going to water the whole thing down.

Time and the reading will tell.

totaltoyz said...

I haven't read a word of Civil War or any Marvel comic in years and years. But my longtime favorite character is Iron Man; and from what I understand of Civil War (from what I've read on the Internet), not only did they turn him into a total jerk, but asked fans to believe he's always been that way; that ever since the Kree-Skrull War, he's been manipulating events behind the scenes to establish some kind of "self-governing body" in the super-hero community, with himself as one of the leaders, if not THE leader (going on at the same time as those excellent stories by David Michelinie, wherein he acted completely the opposite of that). Yeah, right.

Saying that there were actually two Tonies Stark at the same time, and the manipulative jerk was a Skrull, is a nice exit strategy for this nonsense.

Dolphus said...

Clearly, Scipio has been replaced by a Skrull - this decision is entirely uncharacteristic of the Don of DC. The real Scipio is no doubt being held against his will in some sort of Amalgam prison, awaiting rescue by Vibe.

Ross A. McIntyre said...

Cylons, anyone?

Will said...

Existentially, aren't we all in an Amalgam prison awaiting rescue by Vibe?

Mike Noga said...

Boyoboy! When Cap breaks out of that Skrull prison ship to reclaim his shield, those little green dudes are gonna pay!!

totaltoyz said...

Existentially, aren't we all in an Amalgam prison awaiting rescue by Vibe?

Not me. I'm awaiting rescue by Dream Girl. Or better yet, for her to be imprisoned as my cellmate.

Timothy Burke said...

The problem is, if there's one character who can't be a Skrull, it's Iron Man, because they've done thought bubbles of the douchebag-version of Iron Man in which he vows to fight the Skrulls to the bitter end, etc. Unless they go to the fairly-bullshit lengths of saying, "Some Skrulls don't know they're Skrulls, the Skrull plan is that good", there isn't a way back for Iron Man through Skrullery.

Though there is a good opportunity for character growth: they could have the character say, "Ok, I got played by the Skrulls and helped foment a war among superheroes because I was so certain of my own beliefs: time to go back to being the non-douchebag that I used to be."

Doctor Polaris said...

I am dismayed, Scipio. Still, I will not use my awesome magnetic powers to stop you... Provided you reject and denounce Magneto!

Dr. Manhattan said...

One of the (many) reasons I love this blog is the insightful commentary about the differences between DC and Marvel.

Even though I grew up on Marvel and not DC, I completely agree with Scipio's argument on what makes the two publishers/universes different. I wonder if editors and writers at DC and Marvel are also aware of that - and whether they consciously try to adjust their writing.

totaltoyz said...

The problem is, if there's one character who can't be a Skrull, it's Iron Man, because they've done thought bubbles of the douchebag-version of Iron Man in which he vows to fight the Skrulls to the bitter end, etc. Unless they go to the fairly-bullshit lengths of saying, "Some Skrulls don't know they're Skrulls, the Skrull plan is that good", there isn't a way back for Iron Man through Skrullery.

Though there is a good opportunity for character growth: they could have the character say, "Ok, I got played by the Skrulls and helped foment a war among superheroes because I was so certain of my own beliefs: time to go back to being the non-douchebag that I used to be."


But aren't they saying he's always been a douchebag, or at least since the Kree/Skrull War, howevermuch it conflicts with comics published from 1972-2000?

Maybe the "thought bubbles" were to hide his true Skrull nature from telepaths like Professor X?

Matt said...

Of course, you may find the whole concept a cop-out, thinking it sad that what was once an honest exploration of societal and political conflict among well-meaningpeople with varying viewpoints will degenerate into a sci-fi B-film about fighting Little Green Men.

More like "heavy-handed political propganda." I'll be happy to be rid of it, if that indeed is what this story is setting up.

-M

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Tim - the "Sleeper Skrull" idea is exactly how I think they are going to explain Luke Cage being a skrull (as that's the only reasonable skrull baby explaination. Not that that I expect the explaination to be reasonable)

Bryan-Mitchell said...

Secret Invasion seems like more a mystery

But see, it isn't. A proper mystery has clues. It has ways for readers to figure out who the bad guys are. Not this. They have made the Skrulls completely undetectable. Can't smell them. Can't mentally probe them. Can't do anything but kill them in order to find out. So literally anyone could be a Skrull because there's no way to rule someone out as not a Skrull. That's not a mystery. That is just an excuse to "surprise" the readers by picking anyone at any time to reveal themselves as a Skrull. So anything any character ever does can just be written away with, "He or she's a Skrull!" Even if someone fights against the Skrulls they can still reveal that person as a Skrull by saying, "Pretending to fight the Skrulls was all just part of the plan to confuse us!"
It is crap.

Jacob T. Levy said...

"Marvel Events seem like small-scale affairs that still have a real longer-term impact on the regular storylines. DCU Events are generally ENORMOUS in scale, but have little real long-term impact "

Yep. It's very odd-- has something to do with the gravitational force of the "icons'" typical status quo.

lou said...

I just about fell over and died of shock when I read this post.

Scipio said...

Clearly, Scipio has been replaced by a Skrull - this decision is entirely uncharacteristic of the Don of DC. The real Scipio is no doubt being held against his will in some sort of Amalgam prison, awaiting rescue by Vibe.

Funniest possible reply!

Existentially, aren't we all in an Amalgam prison awaiting rescue by Vibe?

Even funnier. Yes; we are all in an Amalgam prison awaiting rescue by Vibe. I think they may be the entire point of this blog...

Dave "The Knave" White said...

You know, I don't like the big events either, but you can't try to blame "Identity Crisis" on Marvel. What is this, Fox News?

Scipio said...

I don't like the big events either, but you can't try to blame "Identity Crisis" on Marvel.

That was intended as a sarcastic reference to my thesis asserted in earlier posts) that Identity Crisis is story written in the Marvel-style but using DC characters.

Truly, we are all in an Amalgam prison, awaiting rescue by Vibe.

SallyP said...

I'm a little bit leery of the new Marvel Secret Invasion, having been burned badly by Civil War. If it comes out, and you all say that it is the best thing since the Sinestro Corps War, then perhaps I'll give in and succumb. However at the moment, I'm treating Marvel like an ex-boyfriend.

One that owes me money.

Matt said...

However at the moment, I'm treating Marvel like an ex-boyfriend.

One that owes me money.


Oh, snap!

-M

David page said...

I have read secret invasion before!!!

seriously!

except it was published by dc

had manhunters instead of skrulls

and was called millenium

totaltoyz said...

I have read secret invasion before!!!

seriously!

except it was published by dc

had manhunters instead of skrulls

and was called millenium


Best. Comment. Ever.