The New Avengers #43 *Secret Invasion Tie-In*


Interesting Tidbit Volume 2 #4: Thanks to my muffin-loving friend Will, I caught the vintage references within this issue, concerning Skrull-aptain America’s memories. THE AVENGERS #14, a part of the legendary Roger Stern/John Byrne run, and FANTASTIC FOUR #19, both issues released in 1985 are alluded to. Ah, She-Hulk! What a wonderful addition to the Fantastic Four! Thanks Will! You are so handy for obscure references that no one else could possibly know…and you make good muffins too!


THE NEW AVENGERS #43

WRITER:
Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS:
Billy Tan
INKS:
Danny Miki
COLOR:
Jason Keith

PLOT:
This issue actually takes place directly after NEW AVENGERS #41, with “Captain America” interrupting a debate between Spidey, Ka-Zar, Shanna, and some Savage Landers. “Captain America” wishes Ka-Zar to somehow bring him back to the mainland, but after getting no help and accused of being a Skrull himself, he decides to walk off. A short scuffle ensues and after getting hit with a couple poison darts, Skrull-aptain America reveals himself, foaming at the mouth like a rapid raccoon. As he lies on the ground, his history is revealed to us. I always enjoy flashbacks. At least in comics it’s easier to tell when a flashback is occurring than in that movie MEMENTO…Anyway….Skrull-aptain America is really Pitt’o Nili, a Skrull who ends up sacrificing his life to become “a pink one” in order to further the empire’s goals, and because his family was, tragically, killed. Another blood ceremony occurs, with the onslaught of rushing memories causing the new “Steve Rogers” to freak out. A Skrull Priestess utilizes the information that the Skrulls have gathered from Tony Stark and Reed Richards to compose a new memory that relates to a Skrull War that had occurred in the past. Fast-forward to a conversation between a Skrull warrior and the Queen on why messing with memories and complete impersonation is so important. Pretty much, the Queen wants to break down the hearts and minds of the heroes of Earth before the complete invasion takes place. Fast-forward once again to a whole slew of heroes shackled on a Skrull ship (this is pre-SECRET INVASION #1). Emma Frost and Jean Grey talk to all the heroes via the mind, and they all manage to get free…only to not know how to fly the ship and end up crash-landing in the Savage Land. Huh, where is my Skrull tech-manual when I need it? And so, we come full circle back to a rabid Skrull-aptain America who is then killed by Shanna after he yields no answers to their probing questions.

REVIEW:
This is a letdown for me after the fantastic previous issue, and it seems to be one of the weaker ones I have read. Up to this point, we have read issues revealing the origins of IMPORTANT Skrulls: Hank Pym (big player in the Initiative), Elektra (the Skrull that started it all in a sense), and Jessica Drew (the Skrull Queen, and certainly the biggest player). Why is this Captain America so important when all he did was come out of a ship at a very confusing time? He’s not. I suppose this is just a way to tease those of us wishing the real Steve Rogers was still alive. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Could this have been a filler issue? Perhaps, since it also seems to be a buffer issue between two important reveals. I also missed Cheung’s art. Tan’s art was not terrible, but I think I got spoiled from Cheung’s double-page spread in the previous issue.
On the plus side, it was nice to see a hot male again, rather than all the females that have been dancing across the pages. Of course I say that, and I immediately think of the Skrull Queen wearing that revealing robe. Getting into character quite a bit, isn’t she? At least this issue continues informing readers about the invasion. We know how they manipulate memories, from where they got those memories, and why they are going to such lengths to completely transform their operatives. I still want to know where they are getting the blood for the ceremonies though.

RATING:
2.5 Webheads out of 5. It took a dive from last issue. The art is okay, and the writing is tolerable. Really the best writing comes out of the Queen’s mouth when she is explaining her motives. I just question the need for this issue and wonder what the point of it really was.

Reviewed by Your Friendly Neighborhood, Spider-Girl!