Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hoopla! - Episode 8: Kvetching about those VERDAMMT Skrulls!!!

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

My name is Paul Weissburg and I'll be your host as we journey together into the wonderful world of comic-book mayhem...


Today we ponder that timeless question: Is it possible to be tired of a mega-comic-book-crossover-event before having read a single issue of it?

And the answer is... yes. Yes, it is.

Exhibit A: Secret Invasion.

I generally like Bendis' writing quite a lot and so when I first heard about this whole Secret Invasion thing, I was pretty psyched to read it...

Here we are, thought, just a few months later and I'm thoroughly sick of Secret Invasion without having actually read a single issue of it (still waiting to receive issue #1 in the mail)...

Why? Well, let's take a look at what's coming out in July 2008, in addition to the actual Secret Invasion limited series...


SECRET INVASION TIE-IN! ELEKTRA IS A SKRULL!! Words that have echoed through Marvel Comics for the last two years. But how did this happen and for how long has this been true? THE ANSWER IS HERE!


SECRET INVASION TIE-IN! SPIDER-MAN VERSUS CAPTAIN AMERICA IN THE JUNGLES OF THE SAVAGE LAND! But who is who and what is what?? At least one of these people isn't who they say they are. Plus a huge chapter in the Secret Invasion story as more information as to how the Skrulls set their major plans in motion is revealed...


SECRET INVASION TIE-IN!"The Only Good Skrull..."With the NEW AVENGERS and the MIGHTY AVENGERS trapped in the Savage Land, it's up to the AVENGERS INITIATIVE to face off against the first major strike of the Skrull Invasion! There, on the field of battle, the cadet with the biggest secret has to choose how red (or green) his blood really is. Heroes will fall. Heroes will die. And one shall rise.


Skrull warships fill the skies, and heroes battle for their very survival in the Savage Land, the citizens of New York struggle to survive the worst day of their lives. Brian Reed (CAPTAIN MARVEL) and Marco Castiello bring you a stunning ground-level look at Secret Invasion!




“SEE WAKANDA, AND DIE,” PART 13-part tie-in to “Secret Invasion,” written by guest-writer Jason Aaron (WOLVERINE)!When the Skrulls come to town, it's all-out war in Wakanda. The alien invaders have war ships, advanced technology, super-powered soldiers and an army that outnumbers the Wakandans ten to one. Cake walk, right? Think again. There’s a reason Wakanda had never been conquered – and the Skrulls are about to find out why…the hard way.


SECRET INVASION TIE-IN, PART 3 (of 4)It’s Science Fiction versus Fantasy as the war machines of the unstoppable Skrull army invade the magical realm of Avalon. Can Pete Wisdom and the rest of MI 13 keep the Skrulls from taking control of the world’s magic? And what is Spitfire doing to that Skrull on the cover?


SECRET INVASION TIE-IN!"SACRED INVASION" takes a shocking turn! Betrayed by one of their own, their strategy in shambles, Hercules and the God Squad find themselves marooned on a hostile world with countless hordes of alien slave-deities between them and their final goal of the Skrull pantheon!


Go behind the scenes of the event that will change the Marvel Universe forever! The shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls has secretly infiltrated every super-powered organization on Earth with one goal: full-scale invasion! Now, get closer to the action than ever before! This bonus edition reprints SECRET INVASION #1 in its entirety – plus the SECRET INVASION PROLOGUE, previously available only online, and other choice extras!


SECRET INVASION continues here! Intergalactic war comes to the streets of Manhattan! As Ms. Marvel stands alone before the Skrull invasion, she must find the warrior within and stop an army of invincible killers!


SECRET INVASION strikes Thunderbolts Mountain as Captain Marvel attacks!


The first chapter of a two-part SECRET INVASION story!Skrulls. Shape-changing aliens who have invaded Earth. Impersonating and replacing your friends and family. Maybe even taking the place of a brother. When an army of Skrulls arrives in Manhattan, Donyell Taylor asks: Was the Night Thrasher who died in Stamford, Connecticut really his brother? Or could it have been a Skrull?


Secret Invasion tie-in!


SECRET INVASION tie-in and X-FACTOR crossover issue! It’s double the trouble as our gamma-ray glamazon finds herself on a collision course with the mystery-solving X-Factor and hip-deep in the Skrull infestation! What does She-Hulk’s partner Jazinda – who just happens to be a Skrull – know about the invasion…and is she part of it?


Ever since the dawning of the Marvel Age of heroes, the Skrulls have been known as scheming, conniving, insidious interlopers in the affairs not just of Earth, but the whole universe. Now, get the Skrulls' side of the story! Who are they, what drives them, and what are their ultimate goals? Who are their heroes, and who are their villains? And what will become of their clash between religion and modernity - manifest in their relentless pursuit of the Earth as the final prize - when it spills over into universal mayhem? SKRULLS! helps answer these questions and gives you the clues to ask even more! Featuring detailed information about the full expanse of Skrull history – including biographical data of classic Skrulls through the ages, reprints of key moments from Skrull history and original material that will help form a deeper understanding of the Skrull race...all from a Skrull perspective. SKRULLS! is 64 pages and no ads full of shape-shifting secrets!




That's 18 titles in July that feature the frickin' frackin' Skrulls and their frickin' frackin' Secret Invasion of Earth.

Who needs that many comics about the Skrulls??? Seriously. Who does?

And that's just in one month!!! I also keep coming across articles about upcoming Skrull-related series and storylines... take a look...

As announced by Marvel Comics at New York Comic Con this weekend, Brian Reed will be writing Secret Invasion: Spider-Man, a three-issue mini-series starting in August that focuses on how the cast of Amazing Spider-Man's "Brand New Day" is dealing with the onslaught of Skrulls.Reed isn't new to Skrull stories, having just wrapped up the Skrull-filled Captain Marvel mini-series and writing tie-ins for his Ms. Marvel ongoing, as well as being named as the writer of the upcoming Secret Invasion: Front Line mini-series.


In ancient times people used to fear the sound of thunder believing that it indicated that the gods were mad at them. This summer, the Skrull invaders targeting Earth will have good reason to fear themselves, because it will mean that an angry god is coming after them. CBR News spoke with Marvel Comics editor Warren Simons about the three issue "Secret Invasion: Thor" mini-series which kicks off in August.


The Skrulls have seen some horrific things, from Galactus devouring their home world to years later witnessing the forces of the Annihilation Wave decimate much of the Skrull Empire. But this September, they'll know true horror when they run afoul of an unkillable man who just won't shut up! God help the Marvel Universe, because Deadpool AKA Wade Wilson, the Merc with a Mouth, is back in a new ongoing series and he's going to play a key role "Secret Invasion." CBR News spoke with writer Daniel Way about his plans for "Deadpool."


Marvel’s newest character, Kinsey, made her debut in a live-action MySpace video, in which it was revealed her brother’s a Skrull! Her adventures continue in the free web comic, “Secret Invasion: Home Invasion.”


I know it seems like maybe I made up that last one to be funny (Their newest character is named Kinsey? And she made her debut in a live-action MySpace video???) but, no, that's a real thing and not an example of my razor-sharp wit.

At any rate, we're not even halfway throught the whole Secret Invasion storyline, which is going to be running all the way through November, and already I feel completely overwhelmed by the whole thing.

It's simply too much.

Incidentally, of the 18 Secret Invasion tie-ins that will be coming out in July 2008, I will be purchasing exactly one of them. And that one, of course, is The Incredible Hercules, which I enjoy so much that I am going to pick it up despite the Skrully-ness of the storyline.

Don't let me down, Herc!


On the more positive side, here are some upcoming Marvel titles that I think look just swell and that appear to have nothing at all to do with Skrulls...

Written by PAUL TOBIN
Penciled by ALVIN LEE
It’s probably a bad sign when Hercules comes asking for a favor. It’s juuuuuust a little job that needs doing, but this is Hercules; isn’t he supposed to be REALLY good at doing labors himself? Before they know it, Iron Man, Spider-Man and the Hulk are stuck looking after Orthus and Cerberus, the two legendary hounds of the underworld! Luckily, the dogs learn to behave after chewing up only a few cars, a statue, and Iron Man, and finally they’re obedient enough for the Metro Dog Show! Only problem, Hercules wants the dogs back. Oh no, Herc, not before the Hulk gets his ribbon! It’s two dogs with five heads between them, and all the action you can handle.
32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99

See? Now doesn't that sound nice? And look... no Skrulls!

Meanwhile, here's my favorite cover out of all the Marvel solicitations for July 2008...

I think that's pretty damn cool.

Written by PETER DAVID

Hulk and his traveling buddies (fun-loving teen, Rick Jones androllicking monkey, Monkey) have returned to New York City to find something amiss… all the super heroes have been transformed into ravenous, stumbling monsters! But can even the strength of the Hulk stand up to the unstoppable… MARVEL MUMMIES?!? Fan-fave Hulk creator Peter David comes to Marvel Adventures Hulk with unlucky issue 13, bringing our most mummified issue ever!
32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99

And then there's this...

Penciled by RYAN STEGMAN

Start your engines, Spider-Fans, because Peter Parker is about to hit the highway on one of the most exciting adventures of his young life -- Midtown High's Driver's Ed course! But the road to four-wheeled freedom becomes bumpy when the monstrous Man-Bull stampedes through the city streets! It's high-octane hijinks at the speed of Spidey!
32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99

"High-octane hijinks at the speed of Spidey!"

Now THAT's what I want to read after a long day of banging my head against my frickin' frackin' dissertation... I don't want to read a magnus opus about the goddam Skrulls fighting Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel and the Fantastic Four and Power Pack and Deadpool and Thor and... and... and KINSEY!!! I don't want to read the past four years of Avengers stories rewritten from the perspective of the Skrull infiltrators...

What I want to read is, I want to read "High-octane hijinks at the speed of Spidey!"

Is that so much to ask?

Meanwhile, Jeff Parker's glorious return to Marvel Adventures: The Avengers continues with...

Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by IG GUARA

It's the bottom of the ninth, the Avengers are down by two, two strikes down and bases loaded. The stakes for the Cosmic Pennant have never been higher. How will Galactus call this one? Okay... we admit. We have no idea what's going on in this story. Kirk drew the cover, and now Parker has to come up with something. THAT'S GOOD COMICS!!!
32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99


Yes it is.

Anyway, I've gotta wrap this up for now, but before we go I wanted to direct your attention to another title coming from Marvel in July 2008 that I am VERY enthused about... and, no, it's not another Marvel Adventures all-ages title.

Check out the following, taken from a comicbookresources article...


Stranger Than Fiction: Cornell on “Fantastic Four: True Story”

by Dave Richards, Staff Writer

There’s nothing more satisfying that just diving into a good book. This July, the First Family of
Marvel Comics will do literally just that in the pages of the four-issue miniseries, “Fantastic Four: True Story,” by writer Paul Cornell (“Wisdom,” “Captain Britain and MI:13”) and artist Horacio Dominguez. CBR News spoke with Cornell about the series, which depicts the FF rubbing elbows with some of literature’s most legendary characters.

“True Story” begins with the Fantastic Four noticing a great sadness seems to have settled upon the world’s population. “Sue realizes it's got something to do with the way people interact with story. Nobody's reading anymore. Nobody's going to the movies. It's as if something bad has got into fiction,” Cornell explained. “So Reed has to invent an entire new field of human endeavor: it'll take him a few minutes and he'll need a screwdriver. This is the one where the FF ventures into fiction itself. And it's a bit like ‘Fables’ too. And I'm sure Neil Gaiman's done something with this as well, indeed. Listen, it's *Reed* that's got to invent a whole new field, not me!”

In “True Story,” the Fantastic Four visit and band together the forces of some of literature's most famous worlds to fight a bigger threat. Said Cornell, “It's swashbuckling, it's huge, it's great big galumphing *fun*, but also, gradually, these serious notes start to emerge, because there's stuff in fiction that you really wouldn't want to start having applied to you.”

He continued, “One of the lovely things about this story for me is that I get to play with these characters I love by having them interact with other characters I love. Ben Grimm amongst the Dashwood sisters from ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ But it isn't like a school classics book, this is rollocking fun. Is that a word? And I get to comment on the relationships amongst the FF using the literary characters. Lots of jokes. Lots of cool set pieces. Extraordinary literary violence.”

For obvious reasons, the FF will only get a chance to traverse the worlds of literature’s most enduring works. “Something prevents them from visiting the more recent worlds, a barrier which cuts off about seventy five years after the death of the authors in question. No, I'm not being flippant, that limitation about copyright is very much part of the story,” Cornell said.

Among the public domain characters seen in “True Story” is Dante, the writer and narrator of “The Divine Comedy.” “[He’s] their guide in the world of fiction, and continually annoyed at being so,” Cornell said. “We crash through the walls of ‘Ivanhoe’, ‘Wind in the Willows’, and see, ahem, Dracula vs. Frankenstein! Literally. And many more, as they say.”


"Ben Grimm amongst the Dashwood sisters from ‘Sense and Sensibility.’"

Is there any way in the entire world that that is NOT going to be awesome???

I don't think so, really.

So, there you have it... I may be thoroughly Skrulled out, but I still love ya, Marvel Comics. You're still my drug dealer of choice!!!

[There, there... I like you too, DC. You just need to cut the crap with all your Crisis continuity-incest and stop butchering all my favorite characters...]


As we bring this column to a close, I'd like to direct your attention to something rather remarkable that I stumbled upon earlier today. This is a blog by a comic-book reviewer, Greg Burgas, but it's nothing to do with comics. This is a blog that he's writing about his daughter, Mia, who was badly injured in a car wreck five years ago. This first paragraph will give a good sense of what this is without committing you to anything...

Today in 2003 I was in a car accident. Unfortunately, my daughter was in the back seat with me. Yes, it's the five-year anniversary of the event that changed our lives. As I do every year, I want to focus more on her progress rather than worrying about the event itself. It's just shocking to me that it's actually been five years.

That sounds like it would be incredibly depressing, I know, but that wasn't really how it felt. It's a tragic situation, yes, but... I don't know... the honesty with which he wrote about what's going on and how he and his wife deal with it... I just found it very touching, not in the schmaltzy Hallmark Card kind of way, but in a real way. Reading his brief column seemed like the "real"-est five minutes of my whole day.

Anyway, here's the link... and here's another one titled "Therapists and their motives" that I also found very thought-provoking. And, no, it's not some diatribe or conspiracy theory about therapists... it's just some musing about why the various physical and psychological therapists that are looking after his daughter sometimes seem to have conflicting goals... I thought it was pretty interesting.

At any rate... here's hoping that you are having a wonderful mid-April and that you managed to get outside and enjoy the BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL weather today... it was a lovely day and I'm feeling mighty grateful that summer is--finally!--here.

- Paul

1 comment:

Roger Green said...

Oh, oh. You're gonnaq bust the Internet wqith Greg's story...