New Avengers 8: Secret Invasion—Book 1

new avengers volume 8 secret invasion book 1 cover review
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 6/10

Some ok stand-alone issues

Story doesn't flow and reward monthly readers

Comic Info

Comic Name: New Avengers (Volume 1)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Michael Gaydos/Jim Cheung/David Mack/Billy Tan

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2009

new avengers #38 cover secret invasion

New Avengers (1) #38

Reprints New Avengers (1) #38-42 (April 2008-August 2008).  The Skrulls have infiltrated Earth and the first people that need to fall for their plans to work are the Avengers.  With sides being picked, the New Avengers could be over as they are just starting…and Luke Cage could find the ultimate betrayal from Jessica.  The New Avengers have had a Skrull in their midst from the beginning, and the traitor could be revealed!

Written by Brain Michael Bendis, New Avengers Volume 8:  Secret Invasion—Book 1 is a Marvel Comics event series crossover with Secret Invasion.  The collection features art by Michael Gaydos, Jim Cheung, David Mack, and Billy Tan.  The issues in this collection were also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis:  The Complete Collection—Volume 4, Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis Omnibus, and Jessica Jones:  Avenger among others.

While I didn’t love Civil War, Secret Invasion was really a breaking point for me.  I didn’t enjoy the story choices, and I didn’t like how everything played out.  New Avengers 8:  Secret Invasion—Book 1 demonstrates the problems with comic books today and how loyalty from readers is punished.

First, the positives about the collection.  I like the Echo issue because I thought Echo was an interesting and good choice for the Avengers though she was poorly used.  With a character who has the skill needed to be a fighter but not the experience, the character had a lot of potential for interaction with other members of the team…but much of Bendis’ run eliminated the interaction that always made Avengers a fun book.  In addition to the Echo issue, the Spider-Woman issue helps kind of outline the Skrulls’ hodgepodge plan, but it still is far from being great.

new avengers #42 cover secret invasion

New Avengers (1) #42

Spider-Woman is a good example of where Bendis’ writing went wrong.  Spider-Woman was a great and interesting character that he warped and twisted into something bland and uninteresting…is she an Avenger, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, a HYDRA spy, or a Skrull?  By the time Secret Invasion finally rolled around, I didn’t particularly care.  He did the same thing to Jessica Jones who continues to be misused here.  While I believe Jessica would have strong words about the Registration Act, I don’t think that she’d see it as the logical way to protect her child…It is played as melodrama in this volume, but it comes off as laughable.

The biggest problem I have with this collection and many of Bendis’ crossover events is that it isn’t reader friendly.  If you were reading New Avengers at the time (which I was), it lost all sense of storytelling.  It was one-offs that didn’t feel they connected to each other.  The goal of “event series” like Secret Invasion is to draw in more readers and push them to new books.  Likewise, you don’t want to alienate loyal readers by making the books they have hung on to less readable…they should be drawn to the big event series.  It is a tricky slope, and Bendis never mastered it.  He just continued to jack-up his series and others.

New Avengers 8:  Secret Invasion—Book 1 is just the first book in a long string of Secret Invasion issues that really killed my interest in the Avengers.  The comic has its moments but largely it is forgettable like the confusing and almost unreadable Secret Invasion.  New Avengers 8:  Secret Invasion—Book 1 is followed by New Avengers 9:  Secret Invasion—Book 2.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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