Today's titles include such hits as Secret Invasion: Fantasic Four #3, Ms. Marvel #29, Black Panther #39, and a special look back at Avengers #133. Let the siege continue!
Look at that. Part two is ready. Set. Go B)
The usual drill: for more Secret Invasion goodness, you can check that "Super Reads SI" link on the left. Live it, learn it, love it like a child.
Let the hits start hitting:
Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #3
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Penciler: Barry Kitson
This issue begins with what I'm gonna give you anyway. A recap. This one, for the record is Franklin Richard's drawings of what has happened (with art by Kalyn Sotomayor unless I'm reading the credits wrong).
Here's the deal: Skrulls have captured Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. The Baxter Building has been plunged into the Negative Zone by Johnny Storm's ex-wife, Lyja (don't be fooled by them calling her an ex-girlfriend-- the were totally married), who is one of those New-fangled Super Skrulls nowadays. To get out, they need someone to fix the teleportal. Franklin reminds them that there's probably someone to help them on Mr. Fantastic's Super Prison, conveniently located in downtown Negative Zone. Parking is adjacent.
So the Thing, the Human Torch, Franklin, and Valeria take the Fantastic Four's bathtub out to get themselves an evil mad scientist. We all know how this goes down because it's your basic plot. On the way to the prison, they are going to be attacked by some N-Zone monsters.
Look, there they are! Looks like these guys are bat-lizards. They nab the kids while Thing and Torchie aren't paying attention. Worst babysitters EVER. Johnny is able to rescue Valeria but before he can go back for Franklin, he gets rescued by Lyja. Looks like someone woke up. Johnny and Lyja go off to work out their... issues while Ben takes the kids to a prison.
To get in, Things gonna have to break a lot of things so while he's doing that let's all watch the drama of Lyja and Johnny unfold.
The History of Lyja the Lazerfist:
Turns out when Johnny rejected her for lying about who she said she was, Lyja decided to stop being Alicia Masters and to start being Laura Green. Laura Green worked at a bookstore and studied up on earth culture hoping to one day fall in love again. The Skrulls found her and took her back in. Veranke even let her have the honor of killing Johnny, Ben... anyone left in the Baxter Building after Reed and Sue were captured.
You'll see that no one's dead yet. That's because Lyja talked Veranke down and was able to convince her to let them be exiled to the N-Zone instead. I honestly don't know how easy that was since most Skrulls have a mad-on for killing the entire FF. Still, Lyja kept the remaining FF alive with her little teleport trick.
Meanwhile, Ben is smashing. The field trip to Prison 42 is probably going to be one of those emotionally scarring deals that will haunt Franklin for the rest of his days. Valeria, though, seems pretty cool with it. Ah youth... and the fact that Valeria is secretly brilliant according to recent issues of the main series.
Finally, they reach The Tinkerer's cell. Tink's retired in recent years but since he was unregistered (and probably wanted) he ended up arrested while getting ice cream with his grandkids. Hopefully the Capekillers got the kids home safely but they didn't look all that concerned. Anyway, he's not all hype to be helping friends of the jerks that locked him up and took him away from his family but with a little coaxing from Val and Franklin, he tears up and probably remembers that if his grandkids DID make it home they're probably in a hell of a lot of trouble what with the Skrull Invasion. Having Thing and Johnny back in that world to help would probably be awesome. So he agrees to fix the teleportal.
Johnny's still not all that cool with Lyja. Y'see, when your best justification is that you didn't KILL you ex... merely exiled him and his friends to another universe, well, you don't earn any points. Because of this (and the fact that allowing the remaining FF back into the Positive Universe would ALSO put her at odds with Veranke and the Skrulls) she opts to stay in the Negative Zone. Johnny, being the conflicted dude he is, vows to come back for her.
Tink fixes the blamed porter. He and the current Fantastic Four return to the Postive Zone on top of the remains of the Baxter Building. They see this:
Johnny promptly forgets ever having met Lyja who will now be in Neg Zone limbo until someone remembers her again. See ya Lyja! It was fun.
Ms. Marvel #29
Writer: Brian Reed
Penciler: Adriana Melo & Paulo Siqueira
Still fighting in the Battle of Manhattan, Ms. Marvel is protecting the innocent and killing some Skrulls. Wondering about that whole scene in Secret Invasion where Fury knocks a Ms. Marvel away and when questioned calls her a Skrull? Me too. We're not getting our answers here, though, because it doesn't even mention it in passing.
Coulda been a different Ms. Marvel. They're are about four running around as it is.
Anyway, Ms. Marvel is dealing with the fact that, hero though she be, she can't save everyone. The odds are really overwhelming and every building knocked down causes casualties. And those casualties piss her off.
She takes out a Giant Man New Super Skrull and makes sure he doesn't land on anyone. When that bit of dirty business is finished up, she meets up with Agent Sum and a bunch of civilians. Some of whom she rescued last comic by knocking them all out with a low level use of her powers. They haven't forgiven her and she doesn't feel like explaining the whole deal to Sum. Besides, they have Skrulls to kill and people to save. Which they do.
Carol tries to find a refuge for these people. Stark Tower is no good because, with the virus affecting Tony, all his tech has gone wonky and everyone inside Stark Tower is actually locked in. They're also being featured in another Brian Reed title: Secret Invasion: Frontline. Check out their story there if you're curious or watch me talk about it on here if you're awesome. With the Tower off limits, they decide to take them to the Raft (another prison, if you're counting) which just seems like a bad idea to me but whereyagonnago?
Everyone loads onto a bus while Ms. Marvel and Sum deal with the guys below.
Looks fun, huh? Carol does some major distracting while Agent Sum takes off in the bus. She's starting to get a handle on what New Super Skrull has what powers and aims herself at a Nitro New Super Skrull. That Skrull, in his tactical brilliance, blows up taking every surrounding New Super Skrull with him. Ms. Marvel, of course, survives to live another day.
She meets up with Sum and his bus, picks it up, and flies it the the Raft and all it's criminal goodness. Now, the Raft isn't as safe as you, me, or those innocent civilians would have guessed. It's not the criminals you have to worry about. It's the carnage. Someone went through the place doing a lot of killing and stringing dead bodies up. Kinda gruesome... and according to the statistically required only surviving SHIELD Agent, it's some made freakish thing that even scared the Skrulls (yes, they've already been here). We just went from action movie to horror movie in the course of three pages. With that bit of creepiness, the issue ends as the expectant deaths will rise rapidly next issue.
Black Panther #39
Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciler: Jefte Palo
Commander K'vvvr is a bit tired but that's OK. This is his final battle before retirement. He's saved up some money and is ready to settle down somewhere quiet with his wife and maybe just watch the grass grow. He's just gotta see this battle to completion.
Yes, Commander K'vvvr is not going to live through this thing. Mark me.
Anyway, he leads the Skrull army sent to take down the only nation in Africa that has never been conquered by an outside force. An area that is technologically superior to every other nation. One of the few places on earth that has a mining operation for vibranium, which if you weren't paying attention to The New Avengers #42 is one of the only substances that the Skrulls don't have a defense against.
What I'm saying is this isn't a minor skirmish and the Skrulls should have known that going in. Let's see what happens, shall we?
The first thing the Skrull Invaders see is the heads of their comrades on pikes. The Wakandans found out about their infiltration and killed the infiltrators. This is the first sign that they should just hit orbit and blast the entire area to cut their losses. The Skrulls continue.
When the Skrull ships get in range, Black Panther orders a nice special attack that somehow destroys all the skrulls guns through the magic of technobabble. Or lack thereof. This is the second time to leave and scorch the earth. Instead, the Skrull return the favor and destroy the Wakandan's gun armories.
Of course, the Black Panther expected that.
While getting the next part of his plan rolling, the Skrulls knock out Black Panther's power grid. Using auxiliary power, the Wakandans shut down the Skrull's ship before even aux power shuts down. So crashing ships.
OK, if you're counting, Wakanda has leveled the playing field. Except they really haven't. Every Skrull is a shapeshifter. Every Skrull can turn into a living weapon or a fellow Wakandan. Their biggest advantage is making the Wakandans not know who the enemy is. That's the whole point of the Secret Invasion, right?
Well, apparently this is the moron force of the Skrull Armada.
Yes, they're going to fight them with hand weapons. There's also an extreme lack of New Super Skrulls going about. It's facepalm time.
Still, Commander K'vvvr give a nice rousing speech before everything goes to hell. It's just too bad that Wakanda is damn good at defending themselves from outside invaders. BP is worried because this is a threat that, if they were thinking clearly, could completely destroy his nation. Luckily, as mentioned, they aren't the smartest Skrulls ever... and Skrulls aren't all that smart anyway so there ya go.
Big combat scene and if you look VERY closely you'll see Storm dressed up in Panther attire. She and her husband have a talk about tactics where he tells her to stick to the plan. They both kiss and then they part for their own bits of the plan.
Finally, one of the few New Super Skrulls in this combat finds his way to Black Panther. The battle isn't shown, but based on the rhetoric thrown around, the New Super Skrull isn't gonna win.
Commander K'vvvr orders a withdrawal to regroup and maybe to rethink the whole "not using your shapeshifting as an advantage" thing. When one of his junior officers asks why they haven't called for backup, K'vvvr basically won't because of fear of punishment... and pride. Still, it's not over yet. They could always remember that they're shapeshifters and... dun dun DUN! There are still a few Skrull infiltrators that haven't been caught yet. We'll see how this goes down in our next installment of 300,,, um, I mean BLACK PANTHER. Huh... 300... where did that come from? :p
The Avengers #133
Writer: Steve Englehart
Penciler: Sal Buscema
And now a look at the beginning... of the Kree-Skrull War! Yes, the eternal conflict whose beginning is lost to the rigors of time is about to be remembered just for us!
But first a moment where Agatha Harkness is teaching a less crazy Scarlet Witch how to do things that she probably shouldn't do with her powers. She's not at the point of raising the dead yet, but she's moving inanimate objects. Agatha is totally playing with fire here but before Wanda can whisper "no more mutants," we switch scenes to Limbo.
How low can you go? Do you even know?
Immortus is grateful that the Avengers have defeated his earlier self, Kang (this is before Immortus's origin is fully learned in Avengers Forever). So happy is he that he's willing to let them learn not one but TWO secret origins!
Who will it be? Thor? Iron Man's nose? Hawkeye? How about Vision and Mantis?
Fine, we'll go with them but I still want to know the secret origin behind putting a damn nose on the Iron Man costume. I blame marketing.
Now, only Vision can learn his origin because it's a super secret so he grabs his special talking travel rod and whooshes off to the recent past. Mantis's origin, though, is a feature attraction that is open for all. It's also more relevant for us and hasn't been contradicted by Cranky John Byrne. Yet. Give him time people. He'll contradict all your origin stories.
Meanwhile, Moondragon heads to Avengers Mansion in the place of an absent Captain Mar-Vell. Don't worry, this won't become important to our discussion and won't be on the test.
Neither will Vision's origin which, as I mention just above, has been altered quite a bit from what's written here both in West Coast Avengers and later in Avengers Forever. Still, it's a tale to tell that I'll give a brief summarization of. Basically, Vision is the Original Human Torch, so what you get here is the Original Human Torch's origin. Yes, the Original Human Torch has made appearances since this revalation so Vish isn't THE original Human Torch but... it's complicated and irrelevant to our Skrully intentions...
Oh, the headache. Someone should just Crisis over this and tick everyone off. :D
The Original Human Torch, arguably Marvel's first superhero, was created by Professor Phineus T. Horton. He was a synthetic man that, through a major flaw in design, burst into flames when exposed to oxygen. This freaked people out, so Horton buried him in a concrete tomb until he could work out the kinks. Horton was a cheapskate, though, and used cheap supplies. Eventually air seeped into Torch's prison and he burst into flame, freeing himself. After some crazy adventures and at this point had a very innocent nature. He ended up trapped in a criminal's pool with the glass cover put over it.
But that's not really what we're here for. We're here for Skrulls. Delicious Skrulls. So let's visit Hala, the home planet of the Kree at the dawn of their civilization.
Hala was the home of both the Kree and the Cotati. The Kree were hunters, humanoid, and meat eaters. The Cotati were peaceful tree-people. Neither payed the other much attention until the day when the Skrulls came for a visit. Lead by the first Emperor, Dorrek, the Skrulls were arrogant but peaceful. They had already mastered space travel and were willing to share their technology to other races for their obedience.
The problem is, they weren't going to share with both the Cotati AND the Kree and then have them bicker over who was the favorite. No. That would be cool at all. They would rather just pick a favorite and share their secrets with them and let the other cry about it. Thus, a contest was began.
The two races would pick 17 representatives to be brought to a desolate planetoid. Each would have a year to make something of themselves. The people that impressed the Skrulls the most would be added to the Skrull Empire. The loser would sulk about it.
The Kree were brought to Earth's moon. They were taken to an area that was supplied with air for them to work in. Their leader, Moraq, lead them to build what we all know as the Blue City in the Blue Area of the moon. And that's the secret behind that mysterious area. The Kree basically worked until they dropped, slept, then worked until they dropped again and again. Their finished work DID impress the Skrulls... but then they saw the Cotati's work.
The Cotati, who originally dealt with terrible, terrible homesickness, ended up creating a world filled with life from a barren, dead rock in space. They used their powers to find water and seeds and to promote their growth. All in all, they made beauty while the Kree made order.
Now, the Skrulls never get a chance to render their decision because when Moraq believes he's wasted a year of his life just to lose the contest, he and his people go on a killing spree. No Cotati escapes with his life. When Emperor Dorrek sees what the Kree have done, he is appalled and refuses them access to the Skrull technology.
Unfortunately, the Skrulls aren't just peaceful but incapable of defending themselves and the already war lusting Kree make short work of them.
So, yes, the Kree-Skrull War is all the Kree's fault.
At this point, the Skrull Empire doesn't know that their Emperor has fallen. They just believe him lost. Decades later, the Kree had masters many secrets from Dorrek's space craft, reached back out into space, and started killing Skrulls. Skrulls wished for revenge and war raged eternal until so much time had passed that the actually beginnings no longer mattered. The animosity between the two was all that mattered.
And that's all I have for today. Remember kids: don't kill someone just because you think they might not share their fabulous technology with them. That may start an eternal war amongst the stars. Until next time: Who do YOU trust?
Posted originally: 2008-08-21 16:10:46