Marvel's Secret Invasion is losing its luster for me. There's just too many comic books either covering the same ground or revealing back story in tedious fashion.
Mighty Avengers Vol. 3: Secret Invasion Book 1 [$14.99] reprints issues #12-15 of that title with the added bonus of including Brian Michael Bendis' original script for issue #12. Almost all of these issues are "back story" issues: Nick Fury getting his first inkling that the Skrulls have invaded, Nick Fury making some secret plans, something with the Sentry - a character who almost always puts me to sleep - and Hank Pym shagging the Skrull-disguised-as-a-student who replaces him. Being that Bendis is a better writer than most, I found all but the Sentry story worth my time. With the exception of the Sentry tale, I thought the art was pretty good to excellent. But I'm not exactly chomping at the bit for Book 2.
Ms. Marvel Vol. 5: Secret Invasion [$14.99] reprints Ms. Marvel #25-28 by Brian Reed and mostly drawn by Adriana Melo. Here's my problem with this book: Reed has turned Carol Danvers into one of the most unpleasant characters in the Marvel Universe. I find her incredibly self-centered, intellectually challenged, and morally compromised. I don't like her, not even a little bit. Heck, I even think her costume is dumb. So, when she does her super-hero thing, it always seems to me that she's doing it for her own gratification and little else. Whereas she supposed to be this powerful warrior, I see a shrewish tramp with self-esteem issues. Honestly, the only part of this collection I truly enjoyed were the pages drawn by Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema.
Secret Invasion: New Warriors [$24.99] is a grossly overpriced reprint of issues #14-20 of the title. I have enjoyed Kevin Grevioux's writing in the past, but the stories in this book did nothing for me. The renegade heroes get involved in the Skrull invasion, battle their former teammates, travel to the future - or, more likely, an alternate future - and then take their leave of one another. There's nothing wrong with the scripting or the art per se; it's just that these stories were not engaging...though they do close the current Warriors run in reasonable fashion. Perhaps this title is better off concluding until someone can come up with some stronger rationale for the title.
I'm starting to work on my bucket list this week. That's what I was thinking about during my long drive home to Medina from the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention. I considered my place in the world and the comics industry and made some decisions. When I said I had one more chapter to write in my trip report, I planned to write about those considerations and decisions. Instead, let's just see where they lead me. When I have some news to share with you, TOT is where you'll find it.
Besides TOT and my message board, I can also be found on these other online communities. Here be the list:
I may attend a few other conventions this year. However, at this writing, none of those appearances have been finalized. I'll keep you posted.
Although it isn't scheduled for release until November, you can now advance-order my 1000 Comic Books You Must Read by clicking on the title. This book features 1000 comic-book covers from Action Comics #1 through 2008 with information and my commentary on every one of those issues. In addition, the volume features a concise history of the comic-book art form and industry. It took nearly a year to write and, if I may be allowed a moment of immodesty, I think it was well worth than effort. Buy a copy for yourself and buy copies for your friends. The more copies we sell, the more likely I'll get to write a sequel including the terrific comics that didn't make it into this first book.
With the book completed, I am once again available for paying gigs. You can contact me at:
Since the start of the year, TOT has run Monday through Friday with only a few weeks off here and there. By the end of the month, I'll be writing mostly new material for these columns and, towards that end, two final notes...
Comics creators, editors, and publishers should know they have a much better chance of getting their books reviewed if they send it to me at:
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256
I'll continue to review items I purchase myself, borrow from friends, or get from my local library system, but the best way to make sure I see something is to send it to me.
TOT readers can help support this column by making donations to our Tip the Tipster fund. You can send these "tips" via PayPal by clicking on the handy icon found elsewhere on this page or you can mail checks and money orders to me at the same address listed for review items. If you fear I will recklessly spend this money on food, utilities, or the college education of my children, then you can show your appreciation by sending me items found on my Amazon wish list.
That's all for today. Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
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.
Please send material you would like me to review to: