Comics : Secret Invasion: Prologue (Digital Only)

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

The Earth has been systematically (and secretly) invaded by the shape-shifting intergalactic warrior race of Skrulls. Apparently, this has been going on almost since the very beginning of the formation of the Marvel Universe itself, only the Heroes are only just discovering it now. This is the back-story of that (secret) Invasion.

In Detail...

"Who Do You Trust?"
Secret Invasion: Prologue (Digital Only)
Jun 2008 : SM Reference
Summary: Spider-Man reference (Skrull version of Spidey appears on cover)
Editor:  Tom Bervoort
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Leinil Francis Yu
Inker:  Mark Morales
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Review

A number of off-duty SHIELD agents are sitting in a "cop" bar drinking heavily in the wake of the death of Captain America. One agent has obviously had way too much to drink and is (very loudly) mouthing off as to how all of this is Nick Fury's fault, because he ran off and left all of this in his wake. The agent feels that if Fury were still around they would be hunting down criminals and not working as cape-killers hunting down unregistered heroes.

Another agent attempts to calm (and quite) him down, as Dum Dum Dugan, Fury's long-time friend and second-in-command is sitting in the bar, and obviously feels the same way. The loud agent doesn't seem to care. Dum Dum eventually has enough, throws his beer at the mirror behind the bar, and stalks out of the bar, to the waterside dock on which the Bar sits. While her is out there, moping, he is approached by fellow SHIELD agent (and long-time Fury girlfriend) the Countess Valentina Allegra DeFontaine.

The old friends embrace, and Dugan asks Val where she has been, she tells him that she has been in Madripoor looking for Fury, Dugan is surprised, as he figured that the two of them were together. She asks if Cap is really dead, to which Dugan says, yes, that Cap is really gone. Whereupon Val pops Wolverine-like claws and guts a very surprised Dugan.

As the veteran SHIELD agent slumps to the deck, bleeding out, Val reveals herself to be a Skrull, by first morphing into her true form, and then transforming herself into a version of Dugan. She then tells him that Fury loved him, and walks off into the night.

In General...

This story gets high marks for its brutal and frank storytelling. Sure it is all set-up for the entire Secret Invasion Saga (and it is actually not even necessary to read to get the full story), but it is powerful nonetheless. Still, this story has all of the earmarks of having as much impact on the Marvel Universe as any of the recent events (Avengers Disassembled, Civil War, and The Initiative).

Overall Rating...

Bendis has been accused of padding out stories to make them better suited for graphic albums. In this story, he has literally six pages to set up the Secret Invasion, and does it as well as anyone. This is a nicely-told tale.

Footnote...

As stated, this is a digital comic that is only available online at Marvel's website. Plus only registered users can view the full story. As a rule, you have to subscribe to the Digital Comics service to read the comics, but Marvel made this particular comic free. Obviously Marvel is attempting to leverage this story to get their fanbase to subscribe to the company's line of Digital comics. It might even work.

If you are interested in checking out the comic, the web address is:

http://www.marvel.com/digitalcomics/titles/Secret_Invasion_Prologue.2008.1

Copy that into your browser window, follow the prompts, and enjoy yourself.