Secret Invasion #7

What a week for new comics - Superman: New Krypton Specoal, Final Crisis #4, and Secret Invasion #7, among a myriad of other fine titles.

Secret Invasion #7 continues to lay out the dramatic, sprawling fight scene, and it even finds room for some even more dramatic character moments.

After six months of meandering character sequences and setup with intermittent spurts of action, the blows are thrown aplenty in this issue. Writer Brian Michael Bendis choreographs a knockdown drag-out fight that is worthy of summer event reading.

The skirmish provides a great deal of high points for readers, as Wolverine sets his sights on the Skrull Spider-Woman. During the fight, Clint Barton picks up a bow and reminds readers that he should be swathed in purple and bow slinging. Hank Pym and Wasp go at it again, in a conflict that plays through the entire issue and recalls their recent history. We see the seeds of Secret Invasion as they were planted years ago around the time of Avengers: Disassembled, when Wasp was given the ability to grow as well as shrink.

Noh-Varr makes an appearance, which addresses the seeming displacement of his story in last week's "Mighty Avengers" #19. The inclusion of this character seems to set a milestone in the road out of Secret Invasion for Marvel. While last week's story seemed misplaced under the Mighty Avengers title, it definitely did fill in any questions I might have personally had about Noh-Varr's sudden appearance.

Some additional moments illustrate Bendis's ability to balance far-flung fantastic adventure with more personal interactions, as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have a reunion on the battlefield. During the melee, Spidey makes a flippant comment about it not being that bad, because Uatu hasn't shown up. Turn the page and there's Uatu, The Watcher. Now the Invasion has moved into a monumental event.

Leinil Yu's art is as it has been throughout the series, which is saying something in this day and age, as Marvel's summer event has only one more month to go while their rival's tale has been delayed to a 2009 finale. Yu brings a grittiness to this book that is not only welcome, but necessary. That said, he can be smooth and polished when he needs to be as well — check out the page where Barton picks up the bow, for an example. Conversely, the grittiness can be jacked up when necessary too, as shown on the last page of this issue.

“Secret Invasion” #7 sets up the final issue in the series rather nicely, but leaves me wondering how all of the pieces are going to be wrapped up. One thing is for certain, though, I will be picking up the final chapter to find out what happens.

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