This miniseries has been a real rollercoaster. Something actually happens in this issue, which is good enough in itself, but it’s also something that signifies that all this might actually be coming to some definitive end, for which we can all be thankful. It’s a great moment for Hawkeye/Ronin and it’s nicely muted amidst the chaos for such a powerful development. The problem, though, is that the main feeling I get is relief that the climax appears to be in sight. Is that really what they were going for?
The problem with the issue is that as the “final chapter” in the TPB, It’s just a giant fight scene. All the way through. It’s far too sprawling to interpret easily, between all the heroes, and Skrulls that look like bits of other heroes, you have to concentrate very hard on each panel to distinguish the characters and discern any specific events besides “big fight”. Yu has his strengths, but he’s no Perez. He’s making an almost superhuman job of cramming everyone onto the page, but the storytelling is suffering massively as a result.
The plot, too, is weaving in and out of other books in a very confusing way. Thunderbolts #125 presents a lot of the same events as SI #7, depicting them slightly differently (though it’s a step up on Civil War in terms of cohesion) while the climax of SI #7 relies on something from Mighty Avengers which receives a half-hearted recap – instead it reads like an attempt to shoe-horn in a last-minute plot twist. If this was supposed to be a big deal, shouldn’t it have been mentioned in the series before now?
I always enjoyed the sound of Secret Invasion, but this close to the end, I feel like I’ve enjoyed it less than both House of M and Civil War. I think it’s because there doesn’t appear to be any character element to it, just the constant threat of OH NO, SKRULLS! With Civil War, it ultimately came down to the ideologies of Captain America and Iron Man. With House of M, it was about Wanda, and her relationship to the X-Men and Avengers. Secret Invasion, though, is devoid of any such centrepiece. It doesn’t mean the stakes are lower, but it leaves it feeling like a plot rather than a story. The closest we’ve had to a main character is Spider-Woman, and even she doesn’t fit the bill now. Issue #7 was enjoyable by the standards of the series so far, but as a whole it’s not been as good as I was hoping.