Sunday, March 23, 2008

Do we get to win this time?

I'm not reading Secret Invasion (wasn't even planning on reading it prior to my complete boycott of Marvel comics post OMD) so I probably shouldn't even bother commenting on it. But I will [grin]. Not really the event itself, but some of the ramifications.
If you really think about the situation going into the series, you have to ask yourself a question. What is the result of the replacement in regards to the individual who has been replaced? In order for a Skrull to successfully replace an individual (long-term), the individual has to be removed from the playing board. It wouldn't do much good to have the original still active on the board while the replacement is trying to influence things because the duplication would be uncovered in somewhat short order. So clearly, when a replacement is enacted, the Skrulls are taking the original out of circulation. I would have to imagine there is a good deal of surveillance and investigation made prior to a replacement so the Skrull can get the large details and enough of the small details correct in order to successfully pass as the individual in the short-term. Once the Skrulls have a replaced individual in their custody, I would also imagine they have methods for extracting the rest of the information they need in order to make the replacement successful in the long-term (in other words, the rest of the small details the Skrull agent needs to continue fooling the people who are most familiar with the individual who has been replaced).
With that established, we go back to the question at hand. What happens to the individual who has been replaced once the Skrull is firmly entrenched and they have all the information they need? Does the individual have any more use to the Skrulls? My contention is no. Once the Skrulls have successful replaced John Smith or Jane Doe and they've got all the details necessary to make that replacement a 'permanent' substitution, the original no longer serves any purpose. As such, I would expect the original to be disposed of. In other words, killed.
Now, one might be able to put forth the argument that exceptional individuals (read - super-powered individuals) may not be so readily disposed. The Skrulls might want to take some time to study them to see what scientific knowledge could be gained from such an analysis. However, being intelligent beings I would imagine they've read the Evil Overlord List or another document of that nature. Thus, they would be aware of the dangers of keeping their enemies (especially of the super-powered variety) alive. So first, they wouldn't keep them together. They would most certainly house them at separate locations (and since we know these replacement have been taking place over the course of months --- and perhaps years, we know they've had plenty of time to get these individuals not only to different outposts, but outposts on different planets and perhaps in different galaxies). Second, as the Skrulls are capable of interstellar-travel, we know they have advanced technology at their disposal (we've seen it over the years in Skrulls appearances in various comics), so they could certainly do very detailed (down to the cellular level) scans of their subjects and take plenty of DNA samples for testing and whatnot. Which means they wouldn't need to keep the actual subjects for very long. I'm sure there might be some they would decide to keep alive for more in-depth analysis, but I would imagine those would be of the less dangerous variety (in other words, they wouldn't keep someone of the power level of a Magneto, just as an example, alive and thereby still a threat to disrupt their plans if he did somehow manage to escape).
So, getting to the main of my point. Were I reading an event series such as Secret Invasion, in order for it to have any real impact and be considered a well conceived and executed story, I would expect that upon emergence from said event, there would be a lot of permanently dead (well, as permanently dead as one can be in the Marvel Universe, which is to say that they're merely taking an extended nap and will eventually be 'resurrected') characters (both of the human and super-powered variety). In terms of the humans, I would expect that, at minimum, eight-five percent of those replaced would have been disposed of. That percentage would be smaller for the super-powered individuals, but it should most definitely be greater than fifty percent (and I'd say that it should actually be much closer to sixty-five percent).
As an uninterested outside observer (at this point Marvel can do whatever stupid things they want to the entirety of their catalog because they've completely lost me as a reader), the measure of success for this event (strictly as a story in and of itself --- sales figures don't apply) should be measured on whether they have the brass to go through with what would seem to be the natural and logical direction of this plot. If they come out of this event with most of the replaced super-powered individuals still being alive and kicking, those who supported, bought, and read the tale in question should feel cheated and insulted. Of course, insulted is something fans of Marvel comics should be familiar with, especially those who were told to swallow the results of OMD (especially in regards to the 'effects' on the TWENTY years of stories they bought and read prior to Quesada's wet-dream event).

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