Home > Marvel Comics > Mini-Marvels: Secret Invasion TPB

Mini-Marvels: Secret Invasion TPB

February 13, 2009

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Conspicuous Invasion and Other Stories
Rating: All Ages

The Skrull invasion of Earth – Mini-Marvels style!

Writers: Chris Giarrusso, Marc Sumerak, Sean McKeever, Paul Tobin & Audrey Loeb
Pencils: Chris Giarrusso
Inks: Chris Giarrusso
Colors: Chris Giarrusso
Letters: Chris Giarrusso
Editors: Nathan Cosby & Warren Simons
Cover Art: Chris Giarrusso
Publisher: Marvel Comics

There are few things in comics right now that are more entertaining than Chris Giarusso’s Mini-Marvels. What began as a short newspaper-style strip that ran on the Bullpen page has become an eagerly-anticipated back-up feature that can show up in any Marvel comic at any time, lampooning current events or telling brand-new stories, and always stealing the show.

This second digest collection of Mini-Marvels adventures begins with Giarrusso’s parody of Secret Invasion. The Skrull invasion of Earth goes somewhat differently in this universe, as the Skrulls’ initial attempt to discredit the Fantastic Four doesn’t work as planned. Can even the amazing Super-Skrull turn the tide? And is he really more invisible than the Invisible Girl?

Mark Sumerak handled the writing on the Civil Wards storyline. Fired from the Daily Bugle after Iron Man got him to reveal his identity to the world, Spidey takes a job babysitting the Power Pack kids. The job turns dangerous, however, when he tries to find them a place to play, only to get caught up in a struggle between Iron Man and Captain America over whether kids should have to register to use the playground. The story is a great little parody, and the way Spidey gets his identity back under wraps in this issue is about a thousand and twelve times more logical – and more entertaining – than the way it happened in the real Marvel Universe.

We get a series of shorts by other writers next – a wonderful Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends story by Sean McKeever, a few Hulk/Power Pack gags by Paul Tobin, and the really funny “Green Hulk/Red Hulk/Blue Hulk” pages by Audrey Loeb. All of these have their moments, and fit just fine in Giarusso’s universe.

The next – and most recent – story in the book is “Welcome Back Thor,” a reprint from this week’s Thor #600. Giarusso gives his take on the resurrection of Thor, from the beginning of J. Michael Stracszynski’s run right up to the most recent developments, and he’s funny as heck as he does it. “World War Hulk : The Final Showdown” wraps up that storyline as well. This is the one slightly incongruous bit in the book – the rest of the World War Hulk parody appeared in the first digest, Rock, Paper Scissors. I’m not quite sure why they felt the need to break it up.

The last story in the book is “Hawkeye and the Beanstalk,” a great series of gags that begins with Hawkeye trying to borrow the weapons of his teammates and concludes with him trying to save Earth from the appetite of Galactus! Giarusso’s version of Hawkeye, is enormously entertaining, second only to his Spidey, so it’s great to see him get a starring role.

The digest wraps up with a series of one-page gags and older strips from the original run of this series. There’s a ton of great stuff here, all funny, all sweet, and all a lot of fun. This is that rare comic that kids will read and enjoy, and that adults will read and laugh for a whole different set of reasons. It’s an awesome, awesome series, and I hope Giarusso gets to keep doing it for a very long time.

Rating: 9/10

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