Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Barry Kitson
I don’t know why I’m giving into this crossover event, but I am. Secret Invasion is just a lot of fun and I’m enjoying every step of it so far, which is why I decided to pick up this issue of Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four. I don’t follow the Fantastic Four at all, but I’ve read some issues in the past and it’s not like much has changed over the years. However, I’m not really familiar with the whole “I Married a Skrull” story, so Patrick had to fill me in: The skrull Lyja replaced Alicia Masters in an attempt to get close to the Thing, but had to improvise her plans when the Thing didn’t return to the team in wake of Secret War. So she began a relationship with Johnny Storm instead, eventually marrying him and developing feelings. In the end, she turned her back on the skrulls and became a member of the foursome for awhile. So why does this matter? Well, because, as a skrull, Lyja returns to the lives of the Fantastic Four in this three issue mini-series. In Secret Invasion #1, a skrull infiltrates the Baxter Building in the guise of Sue Storm and sends half of the building into The Negative Zone, along with the Thing, the Human Torch and the two children of Reed and Sue. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four does a good job of briefly running over these events before delving into new material, showing Sue being replaced in a prologue, and what occurrs after The Baxter Building is sucked into the other dimension. By the end of the issue, the skrull posing as Sue Storm reveals to Johnny that she is in fact Lyja. Seems pretty out-of-character, but we’ll see how things go. Who knows? Maybe the skrull replacement is actually a skrull…er, a different one. Anyways, I was impressed with the art of the issue by Kitson and the overall quality of the book. Usually it seems that these spin-offs of crossovers are complete throw-away material, but it seems that more effort is going into things with this latest event. I had my reservations about picking this up in wake of last year’s debacle that was Civil War: Runaways and Young Avengers, but it seems that some things can be well-thought out and executed around the main events of a universe-wide battleground. And the Alan Davis cover certainly doesn’t hurt. If the quality remains high on these secondary books, Marvel may just suck me in on spending way too much money, but then it will have been worth it. It’s certainly off to a decent start.