Secret Invasion #8 hit the stands like a grenade (huge explosion that comes about a little later than you’d like).

And it will send huge ripples across the Marvel Universe.

It looks like a pretty brilliant ret-con for a good dozen-or-so of Marvel’s A- and B-List heroes. You really have to hand it to them… this is the Mother of all Iron-Clad Ret-Cons. Any dead characters can be brought back question free. Anything they did before they died can be explained as the actions of a Skrull who was genetically programmed to act exactly like the huma they were replacing.

So Mockingbird and Spider-Woman are back. Jarvis, too.

But perhaps the greatest moment happened exactly as Your Favorite Blogger predicted. Norman Osborne played a key role in the defeat of the Skrulls — even pulling the trigger on the Skrull Queen herself.

And most importantly, Norman closes the chapter by wresting control of the Initiative from Tony Stark (using politics rather than pumpkins, mind you). Then he stalks to a secret room in Avengers Tower(!) and convenes a meeting among some serious A-list Marvel baddies: the Sub-Mariner, White Queen, Dr. Doom, the newly-feminized Loki and the Hood. It’s a nicely finessed lead-in to Dark Reign, which hits comic shops Christmas Eve.

Mwa-ha-ho-ho-ho.