As miniseries go, Secret Invasion: X-Men has managed to hit just the right balance between stand-alone enjoyment and relevance to the crossover, as the X-Men repel a skrull invasion of San Francisco. Carey’s wise decision not to do another Skrull-infiltration story gave the series a distinctive, militaristic feel, and that is ultimately reflected in the character material given to Cyclops in this, the concluding issue.
Of course, the problem here is that previous issues focussed not on Cyclops, but on Nightcrawler, who was wrestling against the brainwashing of a Skrull “bible”. That plot thread is entirely absent from this issue, as Cyclops’ decision to use the Legacy Virus against the skrulls take precedence. In fairness, it’s a perfectly sound climax to the story, but as an issue, it’s oddly out of step with what came before. The real surprise comes from Carey’s resolution to the plot, as the Skrulls blow themselves up rather than surrender to the X-Men. Presumably, the plan was to get rid of what would otherwise be an inconvenient number of Skrull prisoners without the moral problems of having the X-Men actually kill them, but it’s still a confusing moment.
The artwork from Cary Nord and Ma Sepulveda takes a bit of a downturn this issue, too. Nord’s usually deliberate images seem wonky and rushed, and it all feels like somewhere along the line this issue had to be rushed through a little. Again, it’s nothing overly poor, but after the first few issues there’s a noticeable drop in quality for the final part.
Still, as the definitive answer to what the X-Men were doing during Secret Invasion, it’s ultimately a passable series. Carey’s presence gives the series both consistency and legitimacy, and ultimately it justifies its existance by filling its role in continuity, telling the right story without making too much of a mess of it. It’s not amazing, but if you want X-Men fighting Skrulls, well, it’ll do.