The Skrull invasion of the Marvel universe continues this week with the releases of Captain Britain & MI 13 #2 and Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? Here’s a look at each and a rundown of how they progress the plot and fill in the gaps.
The title character of Captain Britain & MI 13 is absent from this issue after apparently being vaporized by a nuke at the end of issue #1. We all know how comics work, though, and I fully expect him to be back in action within an issue or two.
In Captain Britain’s absence, his team has pressed on in defending Britain against the Skrulls. The Skrulls’ target is the Siege Perilous, which acts as the gateway to magic from our world. The nuke has destroyed the Siege and invaded Avalon, the home of magic for our world. MI 13 presses into Avalon as well, hoping to defend it from the attack. The power of the Skrulls proves to be too great, however, and the aliens soon kill the mythical Lady of the Lake and the Green Knight before pillaging the Green Chapel and robbing it of all its mystical treasures, including the Amulet of Right, the Sword of Might, and the Holy Grail. The Skrulls use their technology to merge all their loot into one golden chain, giving them possession of all magic in the world.
Who Do You Trust?
The Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? one-shot is an anthology spotlighting several characters caught up in the Skrull attack. The stories serve to provide some backstory, as well as to fill in some gaps and answer some questions that linger from the main Secret Invasion series. The characters featured include Captain Marvel, Agent Brand of SWORD, Wonder Man, Beast, Marvel Boy, and the Agents of ATLAS.
In my review of Secret Invasion #3, I raised the question of continuity between the Captain Marvel miniseries and the main Secret Invasion series. At the end of the Captain Marvel series, we learn that the Captain Marvel who has returned from the dead is, in fact, a Skrull whose infiltration has gone awry. He believes himself to be his assumed identity (as seems to be the initial case with many or most of the impostors), but unlike the other superhero Skrulls, his programming to revert back to the invasion mission is flawed. His trigger does not work, so he essentially is Captain Marvel reborn now. He swears to fight the invasion, but then we see him in Secret Invasion, breaking into and destroying the Thunderbolts at their headquarters. This didn’t jive with Mar-vell’s promise to protect humanity until now. In his Who Do You Trust? story, we see that Mar-vell has learned of the Thunderbolts–supervillains now working as a taskforce for the government–and he is disgusted. In order to save the humans from themselves, he goes to Thunderbolts Mountain with the intent of bringing the group down. That is where the action in the Secret Invasion series presumably picks up.
The story of Agent Brand begins with the destruction of her headquarters at the end of Secret Invasion #1 and then jumps back to show her origins with the organization. We learn that she dealt diplomatically with the Skrulls (and many other alien races) in her past. A Skrull ambassador she speaks with tells her of his religious belief as a member of the Dard’van Sect. He believes that “the First One loves us all,” which helps explain the, “He loves you,” line uttered by Skrull agents as they reveal themselves. This Skrull also hints to Brand about the Skrulls’ already having infiltrated humanity at that point, but she only realizes that he was flaunting the plot in her face after it’s too late. Brand, floating in space after the explosion in Secret Invasion #1, manages to latch onto a passing Skrull ship that is bound for Earth and swears vengeance on the Skrulls. Her story ends with, “Continued in Secret Invasion #4,” where we likely will see the triumphant return of Brand, alongside Nick Fury and his commandos.
Wonder Man and Beast
The story featuring Wonder Man and Beast is set just after Secret Invasion #1. The Skrull ship in the Savage Land has been torn open, and a horde of classic-costumed heroes have poured out to face the current Avengers, each side believing the other to be Skrull replacements. Current-day Wonder Man and classic-look Beast end up falling into a cavern and having to fight their way to safety together. The significance of this story is not really the interactions between the two characters, but it’s that we see that this Beast–the one from the spaceship–truly believes himself to be the real Beast. Admittedly, he gives a good argument for his being the genuine one and the cat-look Beast being the replacement. So either there are some real heroes mixed in with the Skrulls on that ship, or these “heroes” are Skrulls who have been programmed similarly to Captain Marvel and are completely unaware of their true nature.
Marvel Boy and ATLAS
The final two stories in the anthology feature Marvel Boy as the warden of the Negative Zone prison, the Cube, and the Agents of ATLAS battling the Skrulls. Neither story seems to have anything overly essential for the sake of the ongoing story, so there’s not a lot to analyze. Marvel Boy is dealing with Skrulls overrunning the prison, while the ATLAS agents resort to subterfuge and seek out aid from trusted Atlanteans in fighting the invasion.
Next Week in Secret Invasion
Next week will see the release of Incredible Hercules #118 and Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2. The Hercules issue likely will follow up on the implication from the previous issue that Athena has been replaced by a Skrull, and SI:FF will continue the story of the Baxter Building being transported into the Negative Zone with Thing, Human Torch, the Richards’ children, and the Sue Storm impostor on board.