From the House of Ideas: ‘Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis’ Compiles the Conspiracy

The last few weeks I’ve been focusing on some strong collections coming out of the House of Ideas. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been good new comics being published; far from it, in fact. This past week saw the end of Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four run with #46, which introduced a new character who could be an interesting addition to the family dynamic when Ryan North takes the title over later this year. As well, Zeb Wells and John Romita Jr continue their excellent ongoing work on Amazing Spider-Man with issue #8, that starts entertainingly with Spidey falling from the sky, his web-shooters out of commission, and the ground rapidly approaching.

Both those are books are worth reading, but for me, the title that I was most excited to delve into was a collection of what I think is one of the greatest storylines of the past twenty years, and one that is adapted into a Disney+ series that’s due out next year.

Here’s the log line for Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis: It begins with a brutal battle between the New Avengers and the Hand — one that claims Elektra’s life and reveals that she was – a Skrull! What does this mean for Tony Stark and his Mighty Avengers? Or his shadowy Illuminati? Soon, the whole Marvel Universe will be asking: Whom do you trust? As the Secret Invasion stands revealed and the Skrulls attack Earth, which heroes will be exposed as alien impostors? Can the Secret Warriors turn the tide? And can anyone stop the Skrull queen Veranke — whoever she is?! Plus: Bendis and a murderers’ row of artistic talents reveal how your favorite Avengers were secretly replaced! Collecting SECRET INVASION #1-8, SECRET INVASION PROLOGUE, NEW AVENGERS (2004) #31-32 and #39-49, MIGHTY AVENGERS (2007) #7 and #12-20, and NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI (2007) #1 and #5.

Secret Invasion was a massive undertaking, years in the making and overseen by Brian Michael Bendis when he was at the peak of his Marvel powers. Seeds he’d planted when he began writing the New Avengers finally bore fruit when it was revealed that the Skrulls had infiltrated Earth and were undetectable by virtually all means. This secret invasion put hero and against hero at a time when, following the events of the Civil War storyline, trust was at an all time low between groups.

Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis is a massive, 830 page book that captures all of the Bendis-penned moving pieces from this story, including issues of the Illuminati mini-series and the initial revelation that Skrulls were indeed in the hero’s midst that was revealed in New Avengers. Experiencing this story in a clear and concise collection with an exact reading order without having to figure out where to look next is a pleasure, and highlights just how much effort Bendis put into this epic (not to mention the fantastic group of artists he worked with). While the fact that this reader personally didn’t love how Secret Invasion concludes (I’ll refrain from specific for people who may check it out for the first time here), I do think that overall the series holds up extremely well and offers up a lot of inspiration for the aforementioned Disney+ series.

We’re living in a world today where we see conspiracies on every corner, and that feeling permeates the pages of the timeless Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis.

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