Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Nothing-But-Business Tearing Down Of The Marvel Universe"

Comedian Patton Oswalt on his good buddy Brian Michael Bendis' Secret Invasion (found via Blog@Newsarama)

Brian’s already let me read the first three issues of SECRET INVASION, which is Marvel Comics’ big summer dust-up.

After COUNTDOWN and CIVIL WAR, I was going to take a break from these big summer crossover thingies. But this SECRET INVASION…holy sh**.

This is not a big, disposable, multi-issue donnybrook. This is a blitzkrieg from page one. Bendis basically worked out a remorseless, nothing-but-business tearing down of the Marvel Universe. And it’s clear the story has been set up…for…years. And the deaths are treated so off-handedly, with no appeal or remorse — and this is three issues in.

So far, each issue has also ended with a sh**-your-pants, ’Wait, what in the F***?!” moment…after, of course, about three or four what-the-f*** moments tossed off during the course of each story.
This confirms what I suspected about Secret Invasion, that it would be a bit of a scorched-earth ass-kicker that would truly shake up the Marvel Universe. Of course, having not read the book myself, this sort of confirms nothing. And then there is the issue of reader "event fatigue."

But good sound-bytes, this.


  1. Eh, I've heard the hype before... it's most likely going to end up being yet another "Everything you know is wrong, this is what REALLY happened in that one story fifteen years ago" story.

    Seems like an odd direction to take after "Civil War", though, considering that event was all about affirming that This Is How Things Are Now... suddenly we have yet another event that's actually attributing all sorts of (bad?) creative decisions to shapeshifting aliens...

  2. I heard this blurb from Oswald earlier in the week and it drum it my interest in SI. Both for the aspects of that seem to hint at this being Marvel's COIE style status quo shake up and to see if Bendis can actually pull it off.

    As I said elsewhere, I love Bendis when his writing is personal and gut-wrenching. Not so much love for Bendis blockbusters.

    How are people tired of events? This is exciting stuff, Crises and Invasions!

  3. I don't really know why people seem to think that tons of character death make for a recommendation, or even a good story.

    If that's all there is to recommend it, it sounds like another necrophiliac circle-jerk(TM) like Infinite Crisis, which did not impress me a whit.

  4. I'm sure his enthusiasm is honest, but I can't say it sold me any more on the series.

    Look at it this way: do you think he'd have been willing to post about it if he'd been disappointed?

  5. Consider me fatigued, after having so many events in a row I'm punch drunk from it all, just give me some good stories and some good art. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against change, but it has become excessive and things done for pure shock value lose their power when done to often.

  6. Despite Oswalt's comments, I'm really not expecting a Crisis-level overhaul. I am expecting a rip-roaring good story, though, and it sounds like it's delivering on that.

  7. I'm sorry I just don't buy the premise this "event" is built upon. I'll check it out, but I have a gut feeling that when all is said and done this is going to be more "Maximum Security" than "Infinite Crisis".

    Oh yeah prediction number two, all the Skrulls are really Space Phantoms. does that blow your mind or what?

  8. Im really looking forward to this, more so than countdown, though "the blackest night" is a must buy for me.

  9. Patton Oswalt posting this on his myspace was what caused me to vote 'Secret Invasion' in your SI vs. FC poll the other day. The Invisibles may be my favorite series of all time, but Alias and Ultimate Spider-Man are right up there. Add this level of excitement from someone whose judgment I trust, the fact that Marvel's books continue to feel strong across the line, and suddenly I can't wait to read this.
    I hope that Final Crisis knocks me on my ass and gets me charged for DC again. If anyone can do it it's Grant Morrison.

  10. Juan, event fatigue wears in when we never have a status quo, when we have things going from SHOCKING REVEAL! to NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME! to SHAKE ITS VERY FOUNDATIONS!

    Now, that being said, I'm excited for Final Crisis since I like Grant Morrison and I'm one of the few who liked Infinite Crisis. But still, one of the problems of some books is when we never settle down and just have a status quo. Books are starting to stabilize now and there's fear that that stability will be thrown out the window in favor of more ZOMG EVENT!

  11. Last time I heard Patton talking about a kick ass story he was talking about Meltzer's Justice League.

  12. I tired of events in general a long time ago.

    I miss having comics that focused on character development as opposed to setting up from or denouement from that latest "Big Thing Event".

  13. You know, if Secret Invasion truly makes me sh** my pants? That's the last issue I'm buying of it. And you can forget about the trade, too.

  14. Is this meant more as a reward for old fans or as a jumping-on point for new fans?

    I've read nothing but Japanese stuff (and Spider Man Loves Mary Jane) for a decade and a half; if I suddenly find myself in the market for a comic book in which Iron Man acts like Robert Downey (which I have reason to believe I may), will this help or hurt my chances?

  15. The hyperbole comes across to me like viral marketing more than fanboy excitement. Marvel seem to be getting better at pushing their 'event' books outside the normal fanboy audience, so hopefully this will do well and help promote comics in general.
    In comparison, Final Crisis sounds more 'traditional', but then DC plays it (LCD) safe these days.

    Not that anyone will have to buy a single issue of either series, of course. The whole thing will be spoilered to hell by the internet.
    Anything truly great or earth-shattering that happens will be covered in the news like Spidey unmasking and Cap's assassination was.
    (I tried to think of an equivalent DC event that got such news coverage recently, but Superman dying was fifteen years ago)

  16. Garry, if you need to scratch that itch after seeing Iron Man you ought to look out for the Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas mini-series coming out soon. It's written by (Iron Man director) Jon Favreau and free of Marvel continuity.

    I'd guess Secret Invasion will be more rewarding for those who have followed the stories leading up to it, including the last few years of Avengers books.

  17. I'm still looking forward to this. The only thing that my Event Fatigue is kicking in in reference to is Final Crisis. I'm kind of sick of reality in peril stuff.

  18. ummm I'm just sick of people being shot in the face and nothing happening.

    It says to me guns don't kill people.

    How many in the past month have been shot in the face and lived? It's getting to be ridiculous.

    IE someone who gets shot in the face in Secret Invasion...

    I am not going to spoil it outright, but he's one of the Illuminati... and he's met the Skrulls before...

  19. While I'm still more excited about Final Crisis, I realized on the walk into work this morning that there is indeed something about Secret Invasion to sort of peak my interest: For the first time in a while, a Marvel event will have their heroes fighting, y'know, actual villains.

  20. The funny thing about "OMG! Things will never be the same!" is that so many of the big shakeups lately (One More Brand New Day, Infinite Crisis, Civil War) have been about returning old status quos (Single Spidey, Multiverse, Marvel Universe where heroes don't automatically team up when they meet). The more things change, the more they stay the same...

  21. Anonymous3:40 PM

    I'll never get why I'm supposed to read quotes like that and think "Massive character deaths! Yay!" The whole reason I'm here at all is because I like these characters, or at least I used to. Why would I want to see them dead? I have other things to do with my pop culture consumption time than count bodies, thanks.