By Ethan Kaye
Imagine waking up one morning and seeing Matt Damon knock a hole in a bank vault to steal money. Or Hillary Duff flying around the Empire State Building during rush hour. Or Eli Manning crushing a car with his bare hands. See, in the Marvel Universe, that stuff happens all the time. And the regular folks in the upcoming 5-issue limited series SECRET INVASION: FRONT LINE see it happen.
"[Super heroes and villains are] like movie stars, rock stars, and the greatest pro athletes in the world, all rolled into one," explains FRONT LINE writer Brian Reed. "The people of the Marvel Universe see Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four on TV every night, but to see them in person is still something amazing to your average guy on the street."
That's what the newest incarnation of the FRONT LINE series focuses on: how normal folks react to the events of this summer's massive Skrull invasion. Unlike CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE and WORLD WAR HULK: FRONT LINE, this series steps away from the familiar faces of the Front Line newspaper staff. Veteran reporter Ben Urich remains the focus of the book, but we also see the invasion through the eyes of a cab driver, a schoolgirl, a marketing executive, a beat cop, and an ER physician.
"FRONT LINE will be taking the point of view of the civilian on the street, but this series will play just a little bit more like a disaster film," promises editor Tom Brevoort. "The [invasion] hits Manhattan, disrupting the lives and goings-on of our assorted protagonists. How they individually band together for survival—some succeeding, some failing—is the thrust of the series."
Spider-Man and the Avengers appear briefly, according to Brian and Tom, but the meat of the series revolves around the regular man and woman on the street. As Brevoort maintains, ever since the landmark MARVELS series of 1994, there's been an interest in the perspective of the regular guys of the Marvel Universe, and how they relate to the heroes.
"I saw the chance to really remind the reader of the sense of wonder that these super heroes would cause in the general populace of the world," points out Reed. "As readers, we're really desensitized to the fact that a guy climbing up walls, or a woman flying through the air, or somebody shooting laser beams from their eyes— that's all pretty special and amazing and if any of it happened in the street right now today, a lot of folks would just pee themselves and pass out. This is a story about the people who have no powers, no chance to call in the Avengers, and how they survive—or don't—one of the worst times of their lives.
"It's one thing for us to hear about explosive devices being detonated roadside in Iraq, but imagine if you were driving to work tomorrow morning and the car in front of you detonated," continues the writer. "That's what it's like to be walking down the street of the Marvel [Universe] and have Doctor Octopus come crashing through a wall, and it's that kind of view of the world that I wanted to focus on in this series."
So the big reveals? "[Previous FRONT LINE writer] Paul Jenkins was a Skrull," jokes Brevoort. "That's why Brian Reed is writing SECRET INVASION: FRONT LINE. We're not sure what's happened to the real Paul."
"We're revealing that The Sentry has been punching the walls of the universe and causing continuity errors," kids Reed.
SECRET INVASION: FRONT LINE kicks off its five-issue run in July, launching between SECRET INVASION #2 and #3.
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