NEW AVENGERS #43
Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Billy Tan
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this issue. It was still just another "filler" issue that goes into great detail to explain things that don't really need explaining, much like every Secret Invasion tie-in has done, but I really liked what Bendis did with the Captain America Skrull and his "origin" story.
I didn't particularly like how this issue began, though. Skrull Captain America starts attacking all of the Savage Land inhabitants and we get the typical, "maybe he really is Cap", speech based on how he's fighting.
This was all pretty much pointless, though, as Cap gets hit with two poison darts and starts foaming at the mouth before outright dying. I really don't see how this worked because one hit him in his chainmail costume and the other hit him right in the orbital bone, which should have just bounced off or barely did anything to him. Cap can metabolize any poison, too, making this a rather easy way to tell if he's the real Cap or not. Add in the fact he dies almost instantly from the dart and Spider-Man just lets them "test" the poison on him to see if he turns green or not and we're stretching the limits of my disbelief.
We've seen the naked rag on face ceremony a few times already, but, this time around, Bendis let's us in on how these Skrulls obtain the memories of their hosts, which makes this issue less of a filler than every other tie-in Bendis has done so far.
Apparently, they are using the brain scans of the Illuminati to obtain the memories and experiences of each hero and then use those, combined with their own data, to implant the new identites on each Skrull. The Priestess of the Mind is used at this point and helps to alter the memories to explain where the fakes have been. In this case, they use an old Skrull story with the Avengers and Fantastic Four and have it so that the Avengers didn't escape this battle and that is where all the 70's heroes on the ship in Secret Invasion came from and what their backstory was.
It was also interesting to see this Captain America Skrull having difficulty adjusting to his new state. This wasn't a cliched, "Cap's too pure and his memories turned the Skrull good", deal like with Captain Marvel's conflicted state. No, he just couldn't accept the fact he was a human and "pink" now and it was neat to see that the process wasn't perfect for everyone.
Verdict - Check It. There's still the fact this is a rather pointless story that didn't need to be told, but it was much more enjoyable than many of the other Secret Invasion tie-ins and I don't regret the purchase.