Guide Part 11 (Secret Invasion)

Secret Invasion: Who Can You Trust?

After Avengers Disassembled, writer Brian Michael Bendis and his New Avengers introduced a strain of mystery and unrest at the heart of the Marvel Universe. Something was rotting deep in the heart of Marvel, and after the catastrophic events of Civil War that rot unveils itself in the form of Secret Invasion. 


Which isn’t to say Secret Invasion is rotten. Although you could easily make a case that the intrigue leading up to the event is Marvel’s true success, Secret Invasion itself has plenty of monumental moments that deeply affect the next phases of the Marvel U. Couple that with some heady political overtones (who’s the real enemy in the age of terror?) and Secret Invasion offers plenty to think about.

Like Civil War before it, Secret Invasion continues the theme of increased tie-in issues, and you’ll see that reflected below. The complete collection of Secret Invasion related trades is ordered first, followed by an issue-by-issue reading order for the more OCD members of the group. As always, hope you enjoy! If you have questions, concerns, or contentions, let me hear about it.

Previous: World War Hulk & Tie-Ins

Secret Invasion Trade Reading Order

  • New Avengers: Illuminati
    • The Illuminati issues are not included in the issue-by-issue breakdown below, but they play a MAJOR role in setting up Secret Invasion. It’s also one of my favorite Bendis penned books of the last decade. For the truly Secret Invasion focused, read only the first and last issues of the trade.

The Official Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited Reading Order

  • Avengers: The Initiative Annual (2007) #1

  • Secret Invasion Saga (2008) #1

  • Secret Invasion: Home Invasion (2008) #1

    • The Home Invasion inclusion here is a bit of a stretch. This arc was a ‘tie-in’ webcomic that ran over the course of Secret Invasion. I won’t be including the rest of the issues in the order, but if you’re interested, you can check out the full trade here
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #1

  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #12

  • New Avengers (2004) #40
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #2
  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #13
  • Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #1
  • Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four (2008) #1

  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #14

  • Incredible Hercules (2008) #117
  • New Avengers (2004) #41
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #3
  • Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? (2008) #1
  • Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #2
  • Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four (2008) #2
  • Incredible Hercules (2008) #118
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers (2008) #1
  • Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #14
  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #15
  • Ms. Marvel (2006) #28
  • New Avengers (2004) #42
  • Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #1
  • Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #3
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #4
  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #16
  • X-Factor (2005) #33
  • Incredible Hercules (2008) #119
  • New Warriors (2007) #14
  • Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #15
  • She-Hulk (2005) #31
  • New Avengers (2004) #43
  • Dark Avengers (2006) #122
  • Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four (2008) #3
  • Ms. Marvel (2006) #29
  • Black Panther (2005) #39
  • Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #2
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #1
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #1
  • Secret Invasion: Thor (2008) #1
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers (2008) #2
  • Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #4
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #5
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #4
  • X-Factor (2005) #34
  • Incredible Hercules (2008) #120
  • Secret Invasion: Spider-Man – Brand New Day (2008) #1
  • New Warriors (2007) #15
  • Nova (2007) #16
  • Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #16
  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #17
  • She-Hulk (2005) #32
  • Black Panther (2005) #40
  • New Avengers (2004) #44
  • Dark Avengers (2006) #123
  • Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #3
  • Deadpool (2008) #1
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #2
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #2
  • Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers (2008) #3
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #6
  • Ms. Marvel (2006) #30
  • Secret Invasion: Thor (2008) #2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #5
  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #18
  • Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2007) #33
  • Deadpool (2008) #2
  • Secret Invasion: Spider-Man – Brand New Day (2008) #2
  • Nova (2007) #17
  • Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #17
  • She-Hulk (2005) #33
  • Black Panther (2005) #41
  • New Avengers (2004) #45
  • Dark Avengers (2006) #124
  • Punisher War Journal (2006) #24
  • Deadpool (2008) #3
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #3
  • Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #4
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #6
  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #19
  • Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2007) #34
  • Secret Invasion: Spider-Man – Brand New Day (2008) #3
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #7
  • New Avengers (2004) #46
  • Dark Avengers (2006) #125
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #3
  • Secret Invasion: Thor (2008) #3
  • Nova (2007) #18
  • Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #18
  • Punisher War Journal (2006) #25
  • Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2007) #35
  • Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #4
  • Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #4
  • Secret Invasion (2008) #8
  • Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #5
  • New Avengers (2004) #47
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign (2008) #1
  • Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #19
  • Mighty Avengers (2007) #20
  • Secret Invasion: War of Kings One-Shot (2009) #1

Next: Dark Reign

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25 Replies to “Guide Part 11 (Secret Invasion)”

  1. Hey, thanks for the guide, really helping me navigate Marvel U.

    I was just wondering where New Avengers 38 & 39 fit into this guide, the trade has them in and the civil war – secret war guide ends at 37.

  2. There is an additional short story line between The Initiative and Secret Invasion; “Secret Invasion – The Infiltration”.

    The first one covers between FF 551 to 553, Captain Marvel 1 to 5, Mighty Avengers 7 to 9, New Avengers 38 and 39, and Ms. Marvel 25 to 27.

    There’s also Secret Invasion, The Prologue, a seven page web comic that ties in directly with Secret Invasion #1.

    1. They’re there. Under the Dark Avengers. I just contacted Dave on Twitter regarding this so I guess hell correct it (funny enough the links lead to the Thunderbolts).

  3. One complaint/suggestion about the issue by issue guide. I don’t see the reason to separate some of the tie ins like Ms Marvel, FF and Black Panther. They don’t give spoilers to the main event and could and imo should be read one after the other. It gives much better cohesion and flow to those individual stories.

    1. I think that’s fair. I often prefer to read stories as part of a whole that way. Definitely the case in my more recent orders like original sin and axis.

      Food for thought!

  4. Hiya, First of all, thank you for this great website. I am a complete novice to comic reading and your website has helped me immensely 🙂 Secondly, about secret invasion reading list, or your reading lists in general.

    There are some characters I do not like to read (mainly the smaller characters). Could I just remove those mini tie in stories and still be able to read the main story arc cohesively using the tie in’s I like (such as spiderman, x-men, ironman etc)?

    Thanks, Lucy x

      1. Thanks for the reply 🙂

        Is the Thunderbolts’ side story pivotal to the Secret Invasion story arc, or just a good side story to read?

        Thanks, Lucy x

          1. Well, I wrote a longer reply that somehow got lost? Me confused now…
            Anyway, what I wrote besides the above is that you should read Thunderbolts Civil War tie in and Deodato’s run (Faith in Monsters). Both awesome and important for understand the Secret Invasion tie in, as well as they lead to developments in Dark Avengers (I think, I haven’t read that far yet.)

  5. I admit that I am mostly only interested in stories that include Thor and Asgard, but I still want to have a good idea what’s going on in general as well (as much as my money allows me anyway).
    So to understand the main story of Secret Invasion do I need more than
    – New Avengers: Illuminati
    – Secret Invasion
    – Secret Invasion: Thor?

    1. You could do that. New Avengers (especially the issues leading up to Secret Invasion) is the biggest player in terms of related continuity. Mighty Avengers would be the runner-up.

      But in general, Secret Invasion isn’t a very thor-centric story, so you could definitely stick to those three and move towards Dark Reign and Siege.

  6. I noticed something that might be a spoiler, depending on how you look at it. The list shows Frontline 5 before secret invasion 8, which has the “final shot” in each. So, in my opinion it would be better to read secret invasion 8 first. It just seems like when I read it, I already knew who kinda finished the battle.

    To be honest, though, I wasn’t really a fan of this event. Except for the Inhumans trade, which was awesome. Also the nova/gotg.

    Really, they could have done more with the skrulls, and I know that sounds stupid, but they were basically shape shifting zombies. Plus- bendis always seems to force spiderman characters where they don’t belong and the ending reeks of this.

  7. I have started to read Secret Invasion, New Avengers and Mighty Avengers following the issue-by-issue reading order above. It seems right to use the issue-by-issue approach for these stories by Bendis and three storylines are acceptable to read in parallel. However, there are many more issues and I have especially noted that Captain Britain & MI13 is part of the Best 100 list.

    Which additional stories are good and essential? Which stories can be read after completing the Bendis storylines of Secret Invasion, New Avengers and Mighty Avengers? When should I read Captain Britain & MI13, after or in parallel?

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