Monday, April 07, 2008

The hell?

In January's New Avengers: Illuminati #5, written by Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed, Tony "Iron Man" Stark convenes a meeting of the so-called Illuminati, the power-brokers who run the Marvel Universe's hero community behind the scenes. Among the group is Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards.

Stark shows the group the corpse of a Skrull that was posing as Elektra, and discusses the fact that it was completely undetectable. Richards suggests they perform an autopsy to figure out how the Skrull was able to mask its presence.





After some talk and a battle with some new Super-Skrulls, the allies realize they can't be sure any of them isn't also a Skrull, and Reed suggests they not only not work together on the Skrull threat, but not even talk to each other about it.







In April's Secret Invasion #1, also written by Brian Michael Bendis, Stark calls together Hank Pym and Richards and shares with them both a "secret": A Skrull has impersonated Elektra, and the Skrull was able to mask its presence. He'd like Richards and Pym to perform an autopsy to figure out how it accomplished this:








So, question time.

Obviously, in these sorts of big stories that spread across so many different titles by so many different creators, wires are occasionally crossed and story glitches arise. But usually that happens in books by two different writers, and a little farther along than the very first issue.

Did Bendis simply forget the issue he'd written a few months previously, and write the script for Secret Invasion in a way that didn't account for it?

Or is this an indication that the Stark and Richards in Illuminati #5 are supposed to be Skrulls? Or that the Stark in Richards in SI suspect the Pym there to be a Skrull and are trying to draw him out?

This is one aspect of this storyline that threatens to make the it more irritating than entertaining—any mistakes or bad writing can be blamed on a story point that likely won't be revealed until the story's just about over.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

After the initial shock Reed and Stark changed their minds? (After all, Reed's solution doesn't make much sense).

That part didn't both me very much. I did think it was weird that Stark explained the nature of the neo-Skrulls again to Reed in SI #1, but decided it was for the benefit of Hank (and the readers, really).

Then again, I have a fairly relaxed attitude toward continuity.

-arch 13

Baal said...

Me, I just assumed that even with the Hulk revealing who shot him into space the existence of the Illuminatti as a long term group has never been revealed. It makes sense then. If you had a cool secret group, even one that fucks up as mucha s the Illuminatti, would you want to let someone like Hank Pym know about it? I wouldn't even blame them for keeping the Busiek or Englehart versions out but I think to escape the Bendis/Millar version they would be tempted to self-amputate limbs to escape that fate. Reed faking no knowlege of the invasion is tame compared to that.

David Uzumeri said...

I'm pretty sure it's just because Hank's there and they'd rather not cop that they've been having secret meetings for 12 years or however long they've been doing it. Which, considering what happened, probably wasn't the worst idea (although considering they had one infiltrating as Black Bolt, futile I guess).

Anonymous said...

Bendis said SOMEWHERE (and he did commentary on Newsarama, CBR, and Wizarduniverse, I think, so I couldn't tell you where) that it was because they didn't want Pym to know about the Illuminati "because he messes everything up" so Reed and Tony were pretending to have the talk for the first time.

Pablo said...

"That Hank. Always messing everything up, with his killer robots and 18 identities and low self esteem and wife-slappin'. One of these days he's just gonna snap and shoot one of us in the head."

Michael said...

Narration captions and thought balloons.

PAGE 2, PANEL 4: Close on Richards eyeing Tony Stark, with Hank Pym in the background.

PYM: WELL, I SUPPOSE WE SHOULD... YOU KNOW...

PYM: GET STARTED.

RICHARDS (thought): Tony, are you trying to bait Hank? Is this why we didn't act before? Or are you not you?*

CAPTION: *Ed. Note: See Illuminati#5 for what Mr. Fantastic is refering to.


And on an unrelated note, comic book scripts aren't limited to the default screenplay format that ships with Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Iron Man couldn't have just said, "Oh, hey Hank, yeah, I already explained this to Reed. Yeah, I called him first because he's always been my closer friend and never smacked his wife around."

snell said...

Even if Tony and Reed are (somewhat unbelievably) role-playing for Pym's benefit, that still doesn't explain Reed's 180--at the end of NA:I #5 he declares they can't trust each other and walks away, now he's happily working with Stark (and agreeing to punk Hank Pym??). And if Reed did change his mind (off-screen characterization changes, off-screen playacting plots...man, Bendis could, you know actually put some off this stuff on the actual comics page, you think?), why wait until the elaborate song and dance to start the autopsy? He could have found the way to detect the Skrulls hours and hours before Pym was brought on board...

Evie said...

I think the entire concept of this story truly working is a Skrull.

Evie said...

Also, nice post title... not sure if you saw my little crabfest on the Newsarama blog, but oh man oh man, how "the hell" pushes my buttons. Bendis sure loves to hear himself talk on the page.

Chris said...

@ Michael - You are right, and Movie Magic Screenwriter has 3 different comic script templates for comic book writers.