New Avengers #44

Background

Several years ago Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Charles Xavier, Black Bolt, Reed Richards and Namor A.K.A the Illuminati confronted the Skrulls on their home world to warn them not to invade Earth. They were captured and experimented on. They eventually escaped but what happened to them while they were captured?

Story Details

  New Avengers #44
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Billy Tan
Inker: Matt Banning
Cover Art: Aleksi Briclot

Years ago we see the Illuminati meeting to discuss a Skrull retaliation. Xavier asks how they would know if one of them had been replaced. They decide between their magic, science and mind reading they should be fine. However the Skrulls know this and may have found a way to remain undetected. Dr. Strange tries to use his magic to reveal any Skrulls but his spell fails. Iron Man asks when was the last time it worked, Dr. Strange says it was when they were on the Skrull ship and then asks how did they escape? No one knows when they escaped, Dr. Strange thinks they are still on the Skrull home world. The others try to use their powers but can't. Xavier stands up and tells them the experiment is over. Xavier changes into a super Skrull and kills the group.

Once the group is dead a team of Skrull scientists debate why the illusion failed. After some debate it is revealed that the "Illuminati" were clones and they cannot use the clones of the group to get the information they need. However a clone of Reed Richards would be enough. Later we see Reed being interrogated. The Skrulls are trying to discover how they will be able to infiltrate Earth undetected, while being interrogated the Skrulls discover that the key to Reeds mind is his son Franklin.

Later Reed is in bed at home, when Franklin enters. Franklin tells Reed that he had a bad dream, about the Skrulls invading. Franklin asks how Reed would know if they did invade. Reed tells him that he would build a machine to detect them. Franklin says Reeds smarter than the Skrulls and he could figure out anything they could do. Later we see Reed tells Sue that he figured out what the Skrulls could do if they ever wanted to invade. The Skrulls then kill Reed. The lead Skull scientist smiles and says "He truly loves us".

General Comments

In this issue we receive the answers to two key Secret Invasion questions:

1 - Where did the Skrulls get the idea from to infiltrate without being detected.

2 - How Reed was able to reveal who the Skrulls were so easily after he was freed

I do like how Bendis was able to reveal these points without taking time away from the main SI book. The art by Tan is spot on and his facial expression work on Reed really stands out in this issue.

Overall Rating

Four webs - Some big SI questions answered, great writing and art