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Three skrulls menace a prone Nick Fury in Secret Invasion #1 (2022). Image: Ryan North, Francesco Mobili/Marvel Comics

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There’s a Skrull in the Avengers’ unisex bathroom

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Ryan North will soon take the reins on Marvel’s First Family when he and artist Jesus Aburtov kick off their Fantastic Four, but in the meantime, he’s tackling the second-oldest villains in Fantastic Four history: Skrulls. North has promised a self-contained, five-issue alien spy thriller with his and artist Francesco Mobili’s Secret Invasion, and the first issue delivers.

But it also delights, or at least it does me specifically, by showing us the sign on the door to the Avengers’ unisex bathroom.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

Secret Invasion #1

A view of the door of the unisex bathroom for “Avengers Only”, marked with a sign depicting the Hulk and She-Hulk in silhouette. Inside, a revealed Skrull talks to himself in a mirror “That’s not the news I was hoping to hear today,” in Secret Invasion #1 (20220. Image: Ryan North, Francesco Mobili/Marvel Comics

OK OK OK so I know that the reason this is so clearly marked as a unisex bathroom is that if it wasn’t, then it would be a big clue to the reader as to which of the Avengers has been secretly replaced by a shapeshifting Skrull. But look at it. It’s got the silhouettes of the Hulk and She-Hulk on it. It’s perfect.

Poison Ivy #6

Poison Ivy thinks “I tell myself it’s just food. Just muscle and sap and the fruiting bodies of fungi. And for the first time in years, I feel like I can relax,” as she uses her hands to tear Jason Woodrue’s fungal and plant body apart, and stuffs each dripping handful into her mouth to chew in Poison Ivy #6 (2022). Image: G. Willow Wilson, Marcio Takara/DC Comics

I’m so, so glad Poison Ivy will continue for an extra six issues, so that I can get more of the comic in which Pamela Isley defeats her plant-based antagonist, Jason Woodrue — the scientist was the source of her trauma and superpowers — and then devours his form, handful by mycelial handful, to keep him from returning to life.

Sword of Azrael #4

Narration boxes describe Jean Paul valley keeping the Satan angel from his regeneration until he died, as Jean kneels and weeps by the angel’s side in Sword of Azrael #4 (2022). Image: Dan Watters, Nikola Čižmešija/DC Comics

Who is Sword of Azrael for, other than me? I have no idea, I’m just thanking my lucky stars for this Evangelion-inflected comic about Jean-Paul Valley being sad about how the worst and most ridiculous version of the Catholic Church is a mean person who lives in his head and makes him do violence.

The New Champion of Shazam! #3

[Ed. note: Content warning for suicide.]

“Let me tell you what everyone really thinks of you, sneers a creepy dude villain, as Mary stumbles wearily through a black space filled with increasingly larger text. The text is all mean internet comments, calling her ugly, a screwup, a joke, garbage, until finally she falls to her knees surrounded by all-caps block text reading “Why don’t you just go kill yourself?” in The New Champion of Shazam! #3 (2022). Image: Josie Campbell, Evan “Doc” Shaner/DC Comics

I’m so sad The New Champion of Shazam will end with issue 4. Josie Campbell has written a cracking story for it and Doc Shaner... I mean, Shaner is always great. But his love for Mary Bromfield (nee Marvel) comes through in every drawing of her. And this particular sequence, in which she battles a villain who essentially weaponizes what people say about you online, is so devastatingly, beautifully, effectively rendered.


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