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