Here’s the Secret Invasion reading order

Secret Invasion Cover
Image via Marvel Comics

Marvel history is full of shocking special events. Ones that totally shake up the status quo and leave the audience on the edge of their seats. And one such story is 2008’s Secret Invasion, which has cemented itself as one of Marvel’s largest and most beloved events. And it seems likely to only grow in popularity now that it’s been confirmed that the 2023 miniseries Secret Invasion will bring the storyline into the MCU

But how do you read the comic book version of the story? 

What is the story of Secret Invasion

After the bloody war between the Kree and the Skrulls ends, a group of heroes (Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Namor, Black Bolt, Professor Charles Xavier, and Doctor Strange) forms, calling themselves the Illuminati. This group attacks the Skrulls and warns them that future attempts to invade Earth will not be tolerated. However, the Skrulls capture them and study them before sending them home. 

Princess Veranke, one of the Skrull’s royal line, claims that a prophecy said that the Skrull homeworld would eventually fall. She gets exiled for this but is proven right when Galactus destroys the Skrull Throneworld. And as Veranke was in exile, she was the only surviving member of the royal line, making her the new monarch. 

Veranke now plots an invasion of Earth, using the data gathered from the Illuminati. Several Skrulls go to Earth and take the place of famous heroes (for instance, Veranke poses as Spider-Woman) so they can undermine the Earth’s defenses. 

This isn’t as easy as first thought as the various Skrulls keep getting pulled into Earth superhero drama, forcing them to bide their time. However, once the Civil War storyline ends, the Skrulls put their plan into motion. They start spreading distrust within the superhero community and begin damaging important organizations, hoping to weaken Earth so the rest of the Skrull can invade. Setting off a war between the Earth’s heroes and the Skrull. 

How do you read Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion Cover 2
Image via Marvel Comics

Reading Secret Invasion is quite complex as this storyline is featured in all of Marvel’s major comics, and also had its own spin-off material. Because of this, to read everything related to Secret Invasion, you’ll have to go through nearly 100 issues. 

Main Reading Order

Secret Invasion Cover
Image via Marvel Comics

According to Marvel, the official reading order for Secret Invasion is: 

  1. New Avengers (2004) #31
  2. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #7
  3. New Avengers (2004) #34
  4. New Avengers: Illuminati (2006) #5
  5. Secret Invasion (2008) #1
  6. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #12
  7. New Avengers (2004) #40
  8. Secret Invasion (2008) #2
  9. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #13
  10. Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #1
  11. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four (2008) #1
  12. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #14
  13. Incredible Hercules (2008) #117
  14. New Avengers (2004) #41
  15. Secret Invasion (2008) #3
  16. Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust? (2008) #1
  17. Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #2
  18. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four (2008) #2
  19. Incredible Hercules (2008) #118
  20. Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers (2008) #1
  21. Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #14
  22. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #15
  23. Ms. Marvel (2006) #28
  24. New Avengers (2004) #42
  25. Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #1
  26. Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #3
  27. Secret Invasion (2008) #4
  28. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #16
  29. X-Factor (2005) #33
  30. Incredible Hercules (2008) #119
  31. New Warriors #14 New Warriors (2007) #14
  32. Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #15
  33. She-Hulk (2005) #31
  34. New Avengers (2004) #43
  35. Thunderbolts (2006) #122
  36. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four (2008) #3
  37. Ms. Marvel (2006) #29
  38. Black Panther (2005) #39
  39. Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #2
  40. Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #1
  41. Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #1
  42. Secret Invasion: Thor (2008) #1
  43. Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers (2008) #2
  44. Captain Britain and MI: 13 (2008) #4
  45. Secret Invasion (2008) #5
  46. Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #4
  47. X-Factor (2005) #34
  48. Incredible Hercules (2008) #120
  49. Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man (2008) #1
  50. New Warriors (2007) #15
  51. Nova (2007) #16
  52. Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #16
  53. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #17
  54. She-Hulk (2005) #32
  55. Black Panther (2005) #40
  56. New Avengers (2004) #44
  57. Thunderbolts (2006) #123
  58. Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #3
  59. Deadpool (2008) #1
  60. Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #2
  61. Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers (2008) #3
  62. Secret Invasion (2008) #6
  63. Ms. Marvel (2006) #30
  64. Secret Invasion: Thor (2008) #2
  65. Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #5
  66. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #18
  67. Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2007) #33
  68. Deadpool (2008) #2
  69. Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man (2008) #2
  70. Nova (2007) #17
  71. Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #17
  72. She-Hulk (2005) #33
  73. Black Panther (2005) #41
  74. New Avengers (2004) #45
  75. Thunderbolts (2006) #124
  76. Deadpool (2008) #3
  77. Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #3
  78. Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #4
  79. Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) #6
  80. The Mighty Avengers (2007) #19
  81. Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2007) #34
  82. Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man (2008) #3
  83. Secret Invasion (2008) #7
  84. New Avengers (2004) #46
  85. Thunderbolts (2006) #125
  86. Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #3
  87. Secret Invasion: Thor (2008) #3
  88. Nova (2007) #18
  89. Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #18
  90. Punisher War Journal (2006) #25
  91. Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2007) #35
  92. Secret Invasion: X-Men (2008) #4
  93. Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008) #4
  94. Secret Invasion: Front Line (2008) #5
  95. Secret Invasion (2008) #8
  96. New Avengers (2004) #47
  97. Secret Invasion: Dark Reign (2008) #1
  98. Avengers: The Initiative (2007) #19

Marvel also suggests that readers start the Dark Reign storyline to see the fallout from Secret Invasion, suggesting that readers dive into: 

  1. Invincible Iron Man (2008) #8
  2. Dark Avengers (2009) #1
  3. Secret Warriors (2009) #1
  4. Dark Reign: Hawkeye (2009) #1
  5. Spider-Woman (2009) #1

Extra Reading

Secret Invasion cover
Image via Marvel Comics

While the Marvel list does cover nearly all of the Secret Invasion storyline, there is some side-content it omits. If you wish to read everything linked to Secret Invasion, you can include the following things. 

  • Secret Invasion: Home Invasion – This was a tie-in webcomic that follows a regular girl as she deals with events linked to the invasion. This was collected into one trade paperback. 
  • Secret Invasion: War of Kings (2009) – Set after Secret Invasion, this sees the Inhumans fight the Skrulls. This sets off the War of Kings crossover event.
  • Fantastic Four #2 (1962) – The first appearance of the Skrulls. While not really necessary reading, it is fun to see where these creatures originally came from. 

Collections

Secret Invasion Cover
Image via Marvel Comics

Obviously, this is a lot of single issues. However, a lot of Secret Invasion was collected into various trade paperbacks. These paperbacks are a great way to read most of the storylines. However, some are very hard to find today, so you’ll need to look around to collect them all.

The paperbacks available are: 

  1. Secret Invasion: The Infiltration
  2. Secret Invasion: Home Invasion
  3. Secret Invasion
  4. Secret Invasion: Front Line
  5. Secret Invasion: Who Do You Trust?
  6. Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man
  7. Avengers: The Initiative Volume 3: Secret Invasion
  8. Black Panther: Secret Invasion
  9. Captain Britain and MI13 Volume 1: Secret Invasion
  10. Captain Marvel: Secret Invasion
  11. Deadpool Volume 1: Secret Invasion
  12. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four
  13. Guardians of the Galaxy: Legacy
  14. Incredible Hercules: Secret Invasion
  15. Secret Invasion: Inhumans
  16. Mighty Avengers Volume 3: Secret Invasion Book 1
  17. Mighty Avengers Volume 4: Secret Invasion Book 2
  18. Ms. Marvel Volume 5: Secret Invasion
  19. New Avengers Volume 8: Secret Invasion Book 1
  20. New Avengers Volume 9: Secret Invasion Book 2
  21. Secret Invasion: New Warriors
  22. Punisher War Journal Volume 5: Secret Invasion
  23. Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers
  24. Secret Invasion: Thor
  25. Thunderbolts Volume 3: Secret Invasion
  26. Secret Invasion: War Machine
  27. X-Factor Volume 6: Secret Invasion
  28. Secret Invasion: X-Men
  29. She-Hulk Volume 8: Secret Invasion
  30. Nova Volume 3: Secret Invasion

The Omnibus 

Secret Invasion Cover
Image via Marvel Comics

One of the best ways to quickly get through the main beats of the Secret Invasion storyline is to read the Secret Invasion Omnibus. The Secret Invasion omnibus collects: Secret Invasion 1-8, New Avengers 31-32, New Avengers 39-49, Mighty Avengers 7, Mighty Avengers 12-20, New Avengers: Illuminati 1, and New Avengers: Illuminati 5.