Written by Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak
Art by Rafa Sandoval
Remember last issue's cliffhanger? No, not Hercules shacking up with Snowbird (although that was awesome). I'm talking about Kirby, Cho's coyote pup, being shown eerily watching Herc and Snowbird getting it on while being drawn with green "Skrull eyes".
Well, turns out Van Lente and Pak didn't want to beat around the bush with that subplot and the coyote is revealed as a Skrull from the outset with a brief flashback showing when Kirby was replaced and even a quick Skrull prophecy flashback to explain why they replaced the lowly mut (the Queen claimed the prophecy foretold of Earth's gods being undone by their lowliest companion, which is a coyote pup I guess).
After some awkward (and hilarious) morning after moments between Hercules and Snowbird, the Skrull Kirby makes his move and takes control of the God Squad's Godmobile (I so made that name up and you know you want a Godmobile now) and steers it off course, smashing it upon the Skrull gods' memorial of other races' fallen deities.
Atum promptly biting the head off of Kirby.
Before they can fight over who is or isn't a Skrull, the God Squad is attacked by the combined might of the absorbed pantheons from the world's that have fallen to the Skrulls already. Cho helps the team coordinate their attacks to great success, but they are clearly outnumbered and losing ground quickly.
Snowbird, unwilling to lose another team (most of Alpha Flight was killed a few years back), sacrifices herself by transforming into Neooqtoq the Ravager, the deadliest of the great beasts of the north. I have no clue if that existed before now, but she becomes a giant tentacle monster thingy that starts tearing everything in its path apart. The rest of the God Squad is forced to leave her behind or risk being killed by her as well. I'm not sure what happens after this, but she and all of their attackers start drifting away on some rock in the Dream Time and then just blink out of existence. Whether she's dead or not is a mystery for now.
With all of their obstacles out of the way, the God Squad approaches the Skrull gods' temple and are confronted by Kly'bn, God of the Skrulls. I didn't know if they were going to do this or not, but apparently this is the guy who loves everyone and to whom the Skrulls are all referring to when they say, "He loves you.". And here I thought the identity of "He" would be a big reveal for Secret Invasion. Maybe Incredible Hercules will be a more important tie-in than I thought?
Verdict - Must Read. Lots of great moments, such as the dialogue between Snowbird and Hercules at the start, and some great action scenes along the way. Not sure how big a part of Secret Invasion this will end up being, but based on how great this title has been since Herc took it over, I don't think anyone will be complaining about this being a cash-in or cheap marketing tie-in.