Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? #1: Review

Aug 2008
?, ?

Story Name:

(multiple titles)

Review & Comments

3.5 stars

Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? #1 Review by (June 20, 2016)
Continuing the pre-Secret Invasion timeline from comments on SI Saga, based around the flashbacks in Mighty Avengers #12-17 and New Avengers #40-46.

(Nick Fury's Secret War)
MAv#12fb(p1-3)~Secret War #5fb(p27-29) A NF LMD apologises to the heroes. NF's been fired from SHIELD.
NAv#14fb(p16) NF tells Veranke (the Skrull replacement for Spider-Woman) he's going underground.
MAv#16fb(p19-22) Pagon (the Skrull-Elektra) stops the Hand from becoming part of Hydra. She kills the Hand leader and succeeds him.
MAv#12fb(4-12) NF is in Mexico in disguise. Val de Fontaine comes and tells him she and all his associates have also been fired from SHIELD, except Dum-Dum Dugan (who will later be a Skrull). But NF discovers she's a Skrull, who's been sent to get the codes to his private files. He kills her. (She hasn't actually replaced the Contessa, who's still in SHIELD and will be replaced by another Skrull.)
MAv#12fb(13-17) NF breaks into new SHIELD Director Maria Hill's quarters to warn her she's surrounded by enemies. But he doesn't say Skrulls. He suggests she start using LMDs of herself.
MAv#12fb(18-22) NF meets with SpW/V. She complains that he set her up as a secret double agent in SHIELD and Hydra and then ceased contact after Secret War. SHIELD fired her, leaving her stuck in Hydra. NF tells her to beg her way back into SHIELD, and report to him on both organisations. He does tell *her* about Skrulls (not knowing she already is 1).
NAv#42fb(p8-11) V meets with the Skrull version of Contessa (replaced 2 days ago - not the 1 who was killed by NF) and others including a SHIELD agent who can get SW back in SHIELD in a low but key job. They plan to get more Skrulls in SHIELD and Hydra. and go after vibranium in the Savage Land and Wakanda to destroy it. NF is out of the way, but they need to do something about mutants (especially Scarlet Witch) and the superheroes. They plan to foment dissension and hatred.

MAv#15fb(p1-5) Hank Pym and Jan van Dyne are in England trying to rebuild their relationship, but it hasn't worked. Hank is buried in his work while Jan is out partying/networking. She leaves him.
MAv#16fb(p1-2)~NAv#1(p1-2) Pagon/Elektra and some Hand hire Electro to cause the Ryker's Island breakout.
NAv#42fb(p12-14)~NAv#1-2 & 3fb(p3-9) V/SpW has been put in place there. Electro triggers the breakout. But they accidentally cause the Avengers to reform.
MAv#15fb2(p6-16) Hank sleeps with a girl student. They have a brief affair until she reveals herself as a Skrull and captures him.
NAv#3(p1-2, 10-16) Iron Man and Captain America agree to form a new Avengers and set about recruiting the heroes who were at the breakout.
MAv#15fb2(p17-18) V turns the 'girl' Skrull (later named Criti Nol) into Henry Pym.
NAv#3(p17-21) Cap asks SpW/V to join the New Avengers. Jarvis-Skrull accepts his old job back at Avengers Tower.
NAv#42fb(p15) V and CN discuss the situation. New Av Sentry is an added danger. SpW wants to be an Av to uncover the secrets of StarkTech. She now has to square it with Madame Hydra.
NAv#42fb(p16)~NAv#3(p22) SpW/V meets with MH who tells her to accept the Av job and spy on them for Hydra.
NAv#42fb(p17-18)~NAv#4(p1-5.2) SW accepts the Av job. She learns that Scarlet Witch is with Magneto after her Av Disassembled breakdown.
NAv#4(p5.3-22) NAv discover that the Ryker's breakout was engineered (by Electro under orders) to free Sauron.
NAv#5 They follow Sauron to the Savage Land.
NAv#6(1-13) They are attacked by SHIELD Agents led by (non-Skrull) Yelena Belova. Then NAv discover a SHIELD-run vibranium mine.
NAv#41fb(p7-18.1) Ka-Zar & Shanna find the SHIELD camp making Savage Landers mine vibranium. They are Skrulls led by a Skrull Contessa.
NAv#41fb(p18.2-20)~NAv#6(p14-17) NAv attack the base. Then the SHIELD helicarrier obliterates it.

NAv#6(p18-23) Maria Hill says this was a rogue SHIELD operation. (So the Skrull Contessa wasn't the replaced 1 who still works for SHIELD.)
(House of M)
--HOM#1~NAv#42fb(p19-23) Av & X-Men decide to deal with mad Scarlet Witch while Maria Hill grills SpW/V about her past connection to Madame Hydra. ScW changes reality.
--HOM#2~NAv#45fb(p1-12) V/SpW and CN/HP find themselves in the HOM reality aware of what's happened. V intends to kill ScW.
--HOM#7~NAv#45fb(p13-19) V/SpW finds ScW, but only watches the meeting between ScW, Hawkeye and Dr Strange before Wanda says "no more mutants" and reality changes again to Decimation which drastically reduces the mutant population.
--HOM#8(p4-5) Some Av remember HOM, others don't. (V/SpW pretends not to.)
NAv#45fb(p20-23) Skrull meeting. They were all aware during HOM. Wanda has solved the mutant problem for them via Decimation. But V's also heard about the Annihilation Wave destroying some of the Skrull Empire. (The 2nd of the 3 prophecies has come true.)
NAv#14 V as SpW has to explain her triple agent role working for NF infiltrating Hydra and pretending to infiltrate SHIELD and the Av for MH. NF calls to confirm her story.
NAv#15(p5-9)~MAv#14fb(p8-9) At a gathering at Av Tower before the public announcement of the team Jarvis-Skrull persuades Tony Stark to give him access to all the Avengers' files. He learns about Sentry's mental problems, including his other half the Void.
MAv#14fb(p10-12) Skrull meeting. They talk about the demands to do something about the Hulk after his destructive rampage in FF#533-535. This sparked off the Bill to create the Registration Act. And it leads to Hulk being sent off to space and Planet Hulk. Both will split the superhero community. Jarvis tells them of his research and that they can take out Sentry any time they want via the Void.

Av:Initiative #15fb(p13.1-13.3)~Marvel Team-Up (2004) #23/2fb(p??) Skrull spy gone native Z'reg meets new superhero Freedom Ring who uses a ring made from a Cosmic Cube. He explains who he is and trains FR, and also takes on his own super identity Crusader.
Av:I#15fb(p13.4-13.5)~MTU(2004)#24/1 The 2 help the Avengers (including SpW/V) defeat Iron Maniac, a Tony Stark from an alternate timeline. FR dies and Crusader takes the (Freedom) Ring.
Av:I#15fb(p14.1-14.2)~MTU(2004)#25 Crusader uses the Ring to help various heroes defeat Titannus (who is also actually a Skrull). Captain America congratulates him.
(Civil War)
--HP/CN, Reed Richards and Tony Stark lead the pro-Registration side and invent stuff for them like the Negative Zone prison.
--Black Panther #18 A Skrull Brother Voodoo arrives in Wakanda for the BP/Storm wedding and stays. (The replacement of BV happens this early according to the Marvel Wiki.)
--NAv#23 shows what's happening to V/SpW. IM doesn't trust her because of her connections with Hydra, and sends SHIELD after her. Hydra rescues her, but she turns on *them*. Then she allies herself with Cap's anti-Registration rebels.
--CW: The Return has the original (and dead) Captain Marvel returning, and being put in charge of the NZ prison. What we (and he) don't know is that he's another Skrull plant.
--Skrull replacement CN is himself replaced by anti-Registration agent Hulkling to let all the the NZ prisoners out.

This will continue in the comments on SI Prologue.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Story 1: Captain Marvel: Farewell
Writer: Brian Reed, Artist: Lee Weeks, Colourist: Matt Milla, Letterer: Cory Petit


In Civil War: The Return the original Kree Captain Marvel was apparently pulled forward through time from before his death. Iron Man asked him to stay hidden as Warden of the Civil War Negative Zone prison, actually to keep him safe so that he could eventually be returned to his own destiny. That all ended when the prison was breached in CW#7.

He went into hiding until after World War Hulk, then chose to become active in his own 5-issue series. But Tony Stark asked him to keep a low profile again, and appointed SHIELD Agent Heather Sante as his handler. Then he was attacked by Skrulls, 1 of whom accused him of being a Skrull too. Mar-Vell didn't believe him.

During this series he interacted with his old love Carol Danvers as Ms Marvel. And met his son Teddy Altman as Hulkling in Young Avengers Presents #2.

At the end of the series CM and Heather independently found their way through portals to a Skrull base. They both discovered that this 'Mar-Vell' was actually Skrull Khn'nr who had been turned into a duplicate of CM, complete with cancer, Nega Bands and his powers except cosmic awareness, as part of the upcoming invasion. But a bodged job allowed him to escape believing he really was Captain Marvel.

Sante wanted to arrest him, but he convinced her that whatever his body he really is Mar-Vell inside.


Captain Marvel and Heather discuss plans she found in the Skrull base. But SHIELD doesn't think they are plans of a real invasion, they're too incomplete. CM disagrees. But meanwhile he is unhappy about the way the government is using the criminal Thunderbolts to arrest Unregistered heroes.

Mar-Vell leaves Heather a note asking her to trust him no matter what he seems to do. He goes back to the Skrull base and offers himself as a warrior in the Secret Invasion. But his 1st act is to attack Thunderbolts Mountain, to do a bit of good in the guise of evil. He seems to expect to die in the attempt.

To be continued in SI#1.

Story 2: Agent Brand: In Plain Sight
Writer: Mike Carey, Artist: Timothy Green, Colourist: Nathan Fairbairn, Tom Chu, Letterer: Cory Petit


Abigail Brand is head of SWORD, the division of SHIELD that deals with alien threats. She featured in the 1st half of the 2004 Astonishing X-Men series - the extended Breakworld storyline

She has already appeared in SI#1 where SWORD detected a Skrull ship crash in the Savage Land. The Mighty Avengers went to investigate. Then SWORD's orbital base, the Peak, was destroyed and a Skrull armada appeared.


Brand is floating in a gelatinous survival pod waiting to be possibly rescued.

She remembers various encounters with Skrulls in the past and realises they have been flaunting clues at her which she now recognises. Tapping on a copy of The Iliad to indicate a Trojan Horse manoeuvre. Statements like "Enemies acting as friends", "You cannot be insured against a disease you've already contracted" and even from a Skrull TV program "My war against you did not begin when it was declared". All these indicate a long-running infiltration.

We also see a mention of a Skrull religion that plays a big part in SI. Including a belief that other alien races can be brought into their fold because the '1st One' loves them all.

At last Brand makes it to 1 of the Skrull warships. We'll see what happens next at the end of SI#4.

Story 3: Wonder Man & Beast: Seems like old times
Writer: Christos Gage, Artist: Mike Perkins, Colourist: Raul Trevino, Letterer: Cory Petit


Beast and Wonder Man became good friends in their time together in the Avengers. Beast mentions Red Ronin from Av#198-199 and some yellow creatures in the sewers in a solo adventure they had in #203. They teamed up many other times, and even had their own limited series in 2000.

In SI#1 the Mighty Avengers including WM went to the Savage Land to investigate the crashed Skrull spaceship. A much earlier version of many Avengers including Beast and another WM popped out claiming that they had been abducted by Skrulls and kept in suspended animation - so the current Avengers must be Skrull replacements, even if they've been brainwashed not to know it. In SI#2 they fought.


A dinosaur interrupts the battle between the MAv (including Iron Man) and old heroes (including Captain America and Thor). Beast and the current Wondy fall down a big hole which separates them from the rest. Beast doesn't know which Simon Williams it is because current Wonder Man is back in his old red safari jacket outfit. But Beast is obviously from the past because current Beast looks very different.

Simon makes it known that he's the modern version, and tells Beast a lot of the changes that have happened since his day. All while they fight various prehistoric oversized creatures. Wondy admits they still make a great team, and has come to accept that they both believe they're the real deal. But Beast traps him in the hole while he himself escapes, because he can't take the chance that Williams is unknowingly a Skrull.

Apart from a viewscreen shot from this battle in SI#4 we won't see Wonder Man again until SI#6. By then we'll have learned that it was Beast's crew who were the Skrulls programmed to believe they were real Avengers, to sow confusion and distrust. In New Avengers #43 we see the fakes being prepared, and being allowed to think they escape from captivity. And in SI#4 Beast and others revert to Skrulls when they die.

Story 4: Marvel Boy: Master of the Cube
Writer: Zeb Wells, Penciller: Steve Kurth, Inker: Drew Hennessy, Colourist: Gutu eFX, Letterer: Cory Petit


This Marvel Boy is Noh-Varr, a Kree from an alternate universe. The rest of the crew died when their spaceship crashed on Marvel Earth. After various adventures in his own mini-series where he declared a 1-man war on Earth he was captured and imprisoned in the Cube, SHIELD's jail for alien criminals.

In NAv:Illuminati #4 that group visited him in jail and tried to convince him to become a hero instead. But in the Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways limited series the Cube's Warden sent him under mental control to arrest the Runaways. But the YA intervened and broke the Warden's control. That ended with MB taking over the prison, declaring it the capital of a new Kree empire.


Marvel Boy uses the remnants of his Plex AI (which looks like the Kree Supreme Intelligence) to control the Cube using an Omniwave broadcast that turns prisoners and guards alike docile. He keeps the Warden unaffected so he can suffer, except when he needs him to report to Maria Hill at SHIELD. Suddenly the Omniwave shuts off and the mingled guards and aliens start fighting. Noh-Varr finds 1 of his ancient enemy the Skrulls responsible, and the Warden dead. He kills the Skrull and sets out to fight the Secret Invasion.

We'll see the result in MAv#19 and various issues of SI.

Story 5: Agents of Atlas: The resistance
Writer: Jeff Parker, Penciller: Leonard Kirk, Inker: Karl Kessel, Colourist: Michelle Madsen, Letterer: Nat Piekos


The team debuted in their 2006 mini-series but were given a backstory which said they were previously briefly active in the 1950's. Led by Jimmy Woo they mainly fought his enemy Yellow Claw.

Woo later became a SHIELD Agent and got old. In the mini-series he fought the Atlas Foundation. The long-lived rest of his team reassembled and Jimmy got rejuvenated. Claw turned out to be the head of Atlas, but all of their clashes had been designed to make Woo worthy of taking over the Foundation, which is a centuries-old secret society. Jimmy accepted in order to use the group as a force for good. His team became Agents of Atlas, and the whole lot remained secret. They've since appeared in Spider-Man Family #4.


This occurs after the full-scale invasion in SI#5. In Portland Oregon the team fight back. Their undercover nature means the Skrulls weren't expecting them (but the general paranoia campaign means that the Agents don't currently control the rest of the Atlas Foundation). Namora has been captured after killing a Super-Skrull (with the powers of all of Alpha Flight?). Gorilla Man and the robot M-11 rescue her. It was all a scam to capture a Skrull leader.

They take him to Marvel Boy's flying saucer. (This is another Marvel Boy, Bob Grayson now known as the Uranian to avoid confusion.) BG decapitates the Skrull. Keeping the head alive he dissects the body. Jimmy Woo takes the other 3 with him to hold off attacking Skrulls. Then the Uranian uses his mental powers to link the Skrull's brain to that of Venus (actually a Siren). Her carefully chosen song compels the attacking Skrulls to drown themselves in the river.

But she can't go through with it because she senses the enemy isn't evil. Grayson confirms that the captured Skrull believes that their god wants them to take Earth over for the humans' own good. So M-11 kills them all with his death-ray instead.

The Skrulls also believe they have nullified the Atlantean threat by causing them to be dispersed (presumably they were somehow behind the events of 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.

Phil Jimenez (Cover Penciler)
Phil Jimenez (Cover Inker)
Christina Strain (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)


Plus: Abigail Brand, Red Ronin, Super-Skrull, Uranian (Bob Grayson), Yellow Claw.

> Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?: Book info and issue index

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