Sunday, September 21, 2008

Okay, So the Skrulls Win And...

By now, it's pretty clear that Secret Invasion will end with the Skrulls firmly established as overlords within the Marvel Universe. Between the "Embrace Change" television ads (which some people have criticized as not looking professional enough but those people are missing the point: they're designed to be cheesy), and the new Hickman-penned Secret Warriors series and the Dark Avengers, and the fact that Bendis says he'll have to go into hiding after the final issue of Secret Invasion hits, yeah, it's pretty clear that the Marvel status quo will look something like this:

The Marvel heroes will be reduced to various rag-tag groupings of underground resistance fighters, which will serve to make them all underdogs once again (even Tony Stark) and will provide a lengthy lead-in to whatever next summer's event is, probably something called "The Uprising" or whatever. Apparently "Dark Reign" will be plastered all over the comics this winter, much the way "The Initiative" was exploited in the simpler, pre-invasive days.

So when all of this happens, what will become of Brubaker's Captain America, which has avoided cross-over contamination? Or his Daredevil, which is a street-level book anyway?

What happens to The Amazing Spider-Man? Will he stop fighting also-ran revisions of his 1970s rogues gallery to turn his attention to the Skrulls? Will the Skrulls be the villains of every single book for the rest of our comic reading lives?

What about Ghost Rider? Will he join the Dark Avengers and find out that the host of heaven is actually a Skrull plot?

I could be completely wrong about all of this, but I could be completely right, don't you think?

(Also, I like Bendis's work, but he isn't known for nailing his landings. Usually his stories don't end as well as they start. If Secret Invasion does end with, "yeah, the Skrulls won after all. Not much we can do," then that would probably take the prize as the worst ending of a crossover event ever, right? And if the Skrulls don't win, what the hell could possibly fill the void so quickly that it would be a "Dark Reign"?)


Mike Phillips said...

Gotta say though, if I was a Marvel writer, I would love to have an opportunity to write some in-continuity stories in a post-alien-invasion America.

Besides, it'll probably only be the status quo for like 6 to 9 months. I like the idea for this kind of shake-up.

Greg said...

I just get angrier and angrier about Marvel ...

Andrew said...

I think the way that they've set up the Skrull's invasion tactics as similar to most colonizers throughout history (i.e. leave most established structures in place while adding another layer of governance and slowly siphoning off the resources you want) will let books like Capt. America, Daredevil, and Spider-Man continue in their current style (maybe less so Capt. America since he's sucha public figure, but Daredevil and Spider-Man are already fugitives, so being wanted by Skrulls won't stop them from fighting crime)

Vanja said...

I can't help thinking about "Secret Invasion and not compare it to Civil war". I remember reading "Civil war" and most of its tie-ins, and I can't help but feel that "Secret invasion" is a better story in every way.

Yes, you could tell the way "Civil war" ends even around the middle of the story and it definitely changed some of Marvel's stories told after it ended, but this time around I am much more excited about the whole thing. First, the tie-ins are better, and actually develop bits of the story in an interesting way.

Compared to "Final crisis", Marvel's crossover doesn't have the immediacy it did when it started six months ago, and some of the tie-ins seen since have been a bit redundant, especially compared to Morrison's "less is more approach". Still, "Secret invasion", for all its by the numbers approach actually does what it sets out to do, and if that means setting up Skrulls as controlling even a portion of the Marvel Universe Earth, that's fine by me. I liked the epilogue to the original "Annihilation" event, that had Annihilus' troops retain some territories they have conquered, which felt both realistic to me, and a decent idea to set up further stories, which we all know are coming, considering the shared universe context, and the success the crossover's been having.

No matter how formulaic, some interesting stories are bound to appear if Marvel goes the way you propose to.

Vanja said...

I have to add that, after seeing the Embrace change commercial, I was reminded of another Marvel/DC comparison I left out in my post. While DC has once gain gone for full-on superhero fantasy, Marvel has kept their universe tied more into the real world. Just the idea that you can actually explain your current event as something that is one step away from the real world is something that I'm sure they've work hard to retain. Even "Civil war" was something that could be explained to people with little knowledge of Marvel universe.

I don't know how the fallout to "Secret Invasion" will affect all of Marvel's titles, but it's possible that it will not be as climatic as "Civil war" was. Judging by how "Captain America" utilized the time frame the stories take in to completely ignore "World War Hulk", it's completely possible that the "Secret Invasion" end game has as little effect on "Daredevil" and the rest of the more grounded books, as "House of M" had to non-mutant titles.

Chad Nevett said...

Ah, the illusion of change... How wonderful it is... After all, what really changed after Civil War? The New Avengers were fugitives, but rarely dealt with that in any meaningful way. The Mighty Avengers worked for the government, which was how the Avengers were before. Spider-Man had to fight the authorities once or twice, but that's standard. The X-Men kept on being the X-Men. Brubaker used it as a means to advance his story, but it doesn't seem like it changed that much as a result. It was superficial "change" that didn't really alter much (especially when we kept getting scenes where the heroes would put aside their differences and fight a greater threat).

So I'm not worried because the last "big change" didn't really change most books. If there's another "big change," a few books will play along while most will keep on doing their own thing with half an issue spent paying lip-service to the new status quo before never mentioning it again.

Or I could be wrong completely and nothing will ever be the same ever again and oh my god oh my god oh my god!

Timothy Callahan said...

I think Civil War was more than just the illusion of change, but my concern is just that I'm pretty sick of Skrulls. The Marvel heroes as rebels is cool and fun and I'd like to see it, but -- seriously -- I've had my fill of Skrulls after the past six or seven months worth.

ash said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here with a very specific guess. I'm guessing that Secret Invasion ends without the Skrulls ruling Earth. Dr. Doom will somehow eradicate the Skrull threat leaving him in the position of power, and 'Dark Reign' will refer to the reign of Doom...not Skrulls.

Joe Gualtieri said...

I've heard a rumour that "Dark Reign" refers to Norman Osborn being made the new head of SHIELD. After all, Stark can't very well be left in charge when a relience on Starktech was one reason the Skrulls managed as well as they have. Also supporting that are the recent house ads for #125 with the "Saviours of the Universe?" tagline.

Against that is the "Embrace change ads" but personally, I can't help but see them as a mid-series way to try and keep interest up. The Skrulls are trying to get the human population to "embrace change" after all, so they seem more like in-universe ads than anything else.

Going with the suggestion of "someone else coming in" with two issues left though: Dire Wraiths.

Timothy Callahan said...

Hmmm...Doom would be too random. He just shows up and takes over without any foreshadowing? No, that wouldn't make any sense.

The Norman Osborn thing is possible, though. "When heroes can't protect the Earth, turn to someone who will: Norman Osborn. Did we mention that he's motherfucking crazy?"

David Uzumeri said...

Due to January having "villain variants" on most books and that Dark Reign cover shown at I think SDCC? with what Matt Fraction hysterically dubbed the "Illuminaughty", I think that the villains are probably going to take over rather than the Skrulls.

Which is great, because like you, I am really, really, really, really, really, really, really damn sick of Skrulls.

James said...

Yeah, it'll be villains rather than Skrulls. And I don't think Doom's all that random, Tim. He keeps popping up ominously in stuff (Thor, Mighty Avengers, FF) and I think it's leading somewhere. I could see the "Dark Avengers" being the new officially-sanctioned team made up of villains, with Osborn and his Thunderbolts having to turn rogue.

I found The Initiative slightly disappointing for all the reasons chad gives - Iron Fascist nothing, him and Miss Marvel let their buddies off the hook every fricking issue.

So if all this comes true there could be 3 superhero universes with a post-cataclysm status quo (Wildstorm, Marvel, Ultimate Marvel).

kylerexpop said...

didn't bendis claim that he was going to make the hood the biggest supervillain of all time? or something to that effect?

as stated, going off of all the villain variant covers solicited, it's more likely the villains, lead by the hood, either help eradicate the skrulls and then pull a fast one and take over immediately, or switch sides and promise the skrulls the villains will 'embrace change' and give the skrulls earth citizen status if the skrulls agree to acknowledge the villains as their (and the earth's) lords and masters.

because nothing would rehabilitate iron man like seeing what it was/is like on the OTHER side of 'government sanction.'

it'll either be mildly amusing or really, really dumb. i'm leaning towards dumb.