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Secret Invasion #5: Review

Aug 2008
Brian Michael Bendis, Leinil Francis Yu

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Secret Invasion #5 Review by (October 4, 2016)
Captain Marvel's state-of-mind here is at odds with his tale in SI: Who Do You Trust. There he had already chosen his Earth-friendly CM side, and only went after the Thunderbolts because he believed them to be villains even though they worked for the government. He only *pretended* to join the Skrulls.

Skrull-Jarvis presumably escapes from the helicarrier because he'Captain Marvel here differs from SI: Who Do You Trust. There he chose his Earth-friendly CM side and only *pretended* to join the Skrulls. He attacked Thunderbolts because he believed them really villains.

Skrull-Jarvis must escape from the helicarrier because he'll be back in #7.

Things which tie-in to this issue:-

Thunderbolts #123(p1-3) copies the chat between CM and Norman Osborn.
Mighty Avengers #19(p6-14) occurs between CM's 2 appearances in this issue. He fights Super-Skrulls but still conflicted. Then he picks his Kree side and goes to space.

Nova (2007) #17(p4-24)-18 Nova sees Skrull broadcast. He lends the Xandarian Worldmind to Project PEGASUS to free Quasar from a cosmic flask. They help security head Darkhawk fight Skrulls. And then new Nova Corps members arrive.
Incredible Hercules #116-118 Herc and Amadeus Cho attend a meeting of pantheons (not including Asgardians) because Skrull gods are backing the Invasion. Ajak, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, Atum and Snowbird accompany Herc and Cho to fight them. They steal a map of the Dreamtime from Nightmare. And we learn that Cho's coyote pup Kirby is really a Skrull.
SI: X-Men #1-2(p1-4) After the Skrull broadcast they attack San Francisco. Some X-Men defend the city. Skrull Dreamers block Emma Frost's mental coordination. Nightcrawler finds a Skrull Holy Sphere which talks to him.

Deadpool (2008) #2(p7:5-22)-3 Skrull's use DP's DNA to create Super-Skrulls with ultra-healing. But they die because the healing factor doesn't have his cancer to balance it out. Then DP does the job Nick Fury sent him for, to transmit Skrull bio-data that will enable NF to kill Veranke. But the data is intercepted by Norman Osborn.

Tb#123(p4-22)-124 Because the 'Bolts use OsCorp tech rather than StarkTech their equipment hasn't been affected by the Skrull virus. They fly to defend Washington but are faced with Super-Skrulls specifically designed against them, including freeing Bullseye and Venom from their leashes. But the TB are victorious and NO makes sure the cameras only see the good bits.

SI: Home Invasion #4(p14-15)-6 Kinsey and Ethan go to Hank's ESU mentor Prof Mustek who explains that her brother created a wormhole through which he got tech that made him a superhero - tech which the Skrulls want. Kinsey now has these wristbands and uses them against Hank's Skrull replacement. But Ethan is severely injured.

Punisher War Journal (2006) #24(p8-22)-25(p1-30) Punisher is killing Skrulls, but getting in SHIELD's way. G W Bridge comes after him but they have to fight a Super-Skrull together. Stuart Clarke kills Skrulls in his non-StarkTech Rampage armour too, but also seeks revenge on Frank Castle. But he joins in fighting the SS. They kill the SS but are pinned down by Skrull snipers with a bazooka. They defeat these but Clarke is injured and Castle escapes.

SI: Who Do You Trust #1/5 The Agents of Atlas have lost control of the Atlas Foundation (due to the StarkTech virus?). They capture a Skrull leader for study his body. They cut his head off but keep it alive and mentally link to it. They discover the Skrulls believe it is their divine destiny to rule Earth for the good of humans. The Skrulls were also somehow behind the dispersal of Atlanteans in the Sub-Mariner: Revolution mini-series. But Namora can connect the team with some Atlanteans in the North Pacific to give them a base of operations. They won't actually make any more apps in SI. But in Dark Reign: New Nation they'll decide to oppose Norman Osborn's rule.

SI: Front Line #4(p15-17) Ben Urich and others are climbing the emergency stairs inside Avengers Tower. They rest on the 23rd floor while Ben goes up to the 30th to check it's safe - that was where Melanie's group were attacked by a Skrull who fell out of the only unshuttered window. He finds everyone dead and sees the devastation outside. He returns and starts recording the interviews that are scattered through this series.

She-Hulk (2005) #32-33 She-Hulk and the Skrull Jazinda arrive in Minneapolis where they see a Skrull ship capturing humans. Shulk brings it down and frees the prisoners. Jaz steals a smaller Skrull vessel from inside. They intend to take their captive Skrull holy talisman Nogor to Jaz's ship under Lake Winnipeg and communicate with the Skrull armada - halting the invasion by threatening to kill him. But Jaz's father the original Super-Skrull has been tracking her and crashes through he windscreen throwing the ship out of control. Shulkie takes the fight with Kl'rt outside, but Nogor's neural inhibitor has been knocked off and he attacks Jaz as they crash into a lake. Both survive and go through a chase/fight as various Earth creatures (reminiscent of some ancient folk tales). But in the end it is Kl'rt who shoots his daughter. But then he prevents Nogor from ripping her open to retrieve the sacred jewel that would bring her back to life. Super-Skrull takes Nogor away with him and leaves Jaz with Jennifer to recover.

Black Panther (2005) #39-40(p1-6:1) Skrulls attack Wakanda expecting their infiltrated agents to have made the country easy prey. But after the exposure of the Skrull Brother Voodoo BP has uncovered (most of) the others. He has a plan. A secret weapon destroys all Skrull heavy weapons, but the Skrulls reply in kind. A hacking war follows. The Skrulls shut down all power in Wakanda but our side fries their computer systems and crashes their ships. What remains is hand-to-hand combat with primitive weapons. Storm and the Dora Milaje fight alongside the men, and for some reason BP's plan requires his wife not to use her powers. Then a Super-Skrull singles out the Panther.

MAv#19(p15-20) We see more of CM's fight with the Skrull armada, until defeated he falls to Earth. As he burns in the atmosphere he reviews 'his' life as a hero of Earth.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Invasion #5 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In Thunderbolts Mountain Captain Marvel has just defeated the Thunderbolts (#2) but hasn't killed them. Now Norman Osborn psychoanalyses him. Norman has deduced that Marvel is a Skrull fake who was programmed to initially believe his Kree identity. Now his 2 natures are at war - Osborn understands this only too well. CM heads up and away. Osborn gets the team organised for war.

In Nick Fury's secret base we find some of the Initiative trainees and Young Avengers after Fury's new Howling Commandos rescued them from Skrulls in Times Square last issue. (Stature has a reunion with her YA pals. Vision seems OK-ish after his blasting in #2.) Daisy Johnson finds that all communications are down world-wide.

Until multiple broadcasts by the images of famous people and superbeings tell the humans that they are now part of the Skrull empire. The Skrulls wish us no harm if  we cooperate - they are here to save Earthmen from their own follies. The final message is that the Skrull god loves us.

Abigail Brand has broken into a Skrull warship in space, but she's been discovered. Her time in SWORD has taught her alien languages including Skrull. She bluffs her way into getting hold of a gun and then starts shooting her way through the ship until she gets to where Mr Fantastic is being held. She opens all the airlocks and ejects the remaining Skrulls into space.

Then she frees Reed Richards. (The Skrulls kept him alive because they needed his brain for something.) He quickly discovers that StarkTech has been hit by a Skrull virus (#1) (causing the worldwide comms failure amongst other things) and the top floors of the Baxter Building are gone (#1 also). Then he hatches a plan.

Maria Hill is on a SHIELD helicarrier ditched in the Bermuda Triangle (#2) surounded by SHIELD Agents who turned out to be Skrulls. Skrull-Jarvis has just asked for the surrender of the Earth (#3-4). But 'Maria Hill' explains that she's actually an LMD, on the recommendation of Nick Fury (Mighty Avengers #12). The real Hill starts shooting Skrulls then leaves by jetpack after initiating the helicarrier's self-destruct.

Meanwhile the Brand/Richards Skrull ship is under attack from others who have noticed the ejected crew. Until those ships in turn are attacked by Captain Marvel. Reed gets Abigail to fly the ship while he gets on with his plan. He wants her to head to New York to save his family, but she insists on a diversion 1st.

In the Savage Land Tony Stark is sick (literally). The Skrull virus not only crippled his armour but it attacked the Extremis in his body. (And Spider-Woman (Skrull Queen Veranke) tried to persuade him he was a Skrull last issue.) Black Widow and Wolverine are with him. They are joined by Ka-Zar, Shanna, Spider-Man and Zabu (from New Avengers #43), and then by several other characters. Everybody suspects everybody else might be a Skrull. Except Ronin (Clint Barton) who is sure that the Mockingbird who came off the Skrull ship (#1) really is his ex-wife Bobbi Morse.

White Queen from the Skrull ship arrives and claims her mental powers tell her exactly who's who. And Spider-Man for 1 is a Skrull. The arguing continues until Thor from the ship invokes the power of his hammer Mjolnir. And a 'thunderbolt' strikes the ground in front of him.

But it's not a thunderbolt, it's a blast from a weapon wielded by Mr Fantastic. And suddenly all the fakes, including Thor and White Queen, are revealed as Skrulls. (So that's what he was working on.) But they still believe they are human.

Bobbi is a Skrull, and Clint grabs a gun and shoots her in anguish. Reed Richards faces his 'wife' Sue. All the Skrulls are killed.

Spider-Woman isn't there, but Black Widow says she's a Skrull. It's confirmed by Echo who SW attacked in #3 (but who obviously didn't die).

Abigail Brand joins them and wants to fly them to New York. Ka-Zar elects to go with them. Shanna stays to mop up any remaining Skrulls. Distraught Ronin swears vengeance on the whole Skrull race.

Leinil Francis Yu
Mark Morales
Laura Martin
Gabriele Dell'Otto (Cover Penciler)
Gabriele Dell'Otto (Cover Inker)
Gabriele Dell'Otto (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Peter Parker)


(James Howlett)

Plus: Abigail Brand.

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