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Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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for Monday, June 1, 2009

Secret Invasion: Inhumans

We return to Marvel's Secret Invasion to look at three more trade paperback collections of that epic event...

Secret Invasion: Inhumans [$14.99] is one of the better mini-series of the Invasion. Written by Joe Pokaski with art by Tom Raney, it succeeded in doing something for me that no Inhumans series within memory has achieved: It convinced me that the title characters are something other than human...and I don't mean that in a derogatory way. When I've read previous Inhumans stories, Black Bolt and his people never struck me as all that different from the other Earth-born Marvel superhumans. But this series drove home to me that our concerns are not those of the Inhumans. For the first time, their culture seemed truly different from our own. I have not been a big Inhumans fan in the past. Indeed, because of their enslavement of their homegrown Alpha Primitives, I have considered them villains. But, with that unpleasantness apparently ended, I can now appreciate them for what they are...which is not like us. Points for Pokaski.

The story itself is exciting stuff. The Skrulls invade the Inhumans' home on the moon while Medusa and the Royals head off into space to rescue Black Bolt. There are nifty surprises and, while this series does end on a satisfying note, it also leaves me eager to see what happens next to these characters. More points.

Secret Invasion: Inhumans - which also includes two short "origin" stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby - is a good buy for your bucks. It earns an impressive four out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers [$12.99] was less impressive. It collects the three-issue series by Christopher Yost with art by Takeshi Miyazawa...and adds 19 pages of Marvel Handbook-style information on various characters to fill out the rest of the trade paperback. There's nothing really wrong about this series, its writing or its art, but there's also nothing very notable about it. I got the feeling this series was done because a member of each team is connected to the Skrulls and, because of that, it was felt the teams should be involved. But, the accidents of birth aside, the series doesn't add anything to the event.

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers picks up a disappointing two out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony

Secret Invansion: Who Do You Trust

Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? [$19.99] is a mishmash of various SI tie-ins. There are five short stories that originally appeared in the one-shot from which this collection takes its title. Of them, only the Agents of Atlas tale by writer Jeff Parker and artist Leonard Kirk is a satisfying story.

As for the other tie-ins...Secret Invasion Saga has Iron Man narrating an overview of the pre-Invasion history of the Skrulls and basically making excuses for being a fascist jerk...Skrulls has Marvel Handbook-style info on various Skrulls and pretty much drowns readers in minutia...and Marvel Spotlight: Secret Invasion is a basic promotional booklet. In short, while you get lots of stuff for your twenty bucks, most of it just isn't interesting.

Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? earns but one Tony, and I think I'm being generous with that.


More Secret Invasion reviews to come.



Today is your last chance to vote in the third and final round of our "They're Not Dead Yet!" Comics Idol competition. We started with twenty comics writers from the 1970s, and subsequent rounds narrowed that down to the five finalists you'd most like to see again write their signature features on a regular basis.

Today is also your last chance to vote on two "Tony-centric" questions we added to the mix.

You can cast your ballots here:

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

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Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.

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