A ‘Giant-Size’ beginning, 41 regular issues ,one Annual, from the 1970s, a follow up 4-issue mini-series and some significant tales in Captain America and Namor before a mini revival in the new millennium…!

 

We will be starting in June 1975 – with Giant-Size Invaders #1 , a 30 page special written by Roy Thomas with art in the individual style of Frank Robbins and inked by Vince Colletta.


World War Two heroes Captain America and Bucky, the android Human Torch and partner Toro and Namor the Sub-Mariner find themselves thrown together against the Nazi villainy of Master Man and no less a figure than Winston Churchill helps form the …Invaders!

 

I’d love to know what memories anyone has of this series before I summarise it issue by issue….anyone up for it? (I’ll wait a bit for people to locate their issues if you’d like…)

 

(First question I’ll throw out there – anyone else notice the mistake on the cover of Invaders classic tpk #1)

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Why go to all the trouble of a new - old cover and get it so wrong though...?

Philip Portelli said:

It's actually surprising that Marvel reprinted a non Simon & Kirby Golden Age Cap story. I think that's all they did in the late 60s.

Mark mentioned that The Invaders went monthly with #8. That's probably why we have this filler but at least they reprinted something really old.

INVADERS #11 (12/76)
.” NIGHT of the BLUE BULLET!”
 Writer/editor Roy Thomas. Artists – Frank Robbins & Frank Springer

So, as previously discussed, after the well written in to continuity reprint fill-in last issue – the action gets going again.


Following on really from the storyline beginning in #7 – Jacqueline Falsworth, in a coma after the effects of Baron Blood’s vampire bite is rushed to hospital, as is her father, the now crippled venerated hero Union Jack, who gets his costume removed to maintain his secret identity (why?).


At that point, watching the reaction of the Human Torch concerned over the pretty lady, Captain America realises (finally!) that the Torch is in love with Jacqueline! And emergency operations are began all round.

 

Causing chaos is the effect of the bite on Jacqueline – her blood keeps changing type – making treatment and a transfusion impossible! – Enter the distraught human Torch – a ‘universal donor’ and a lifesaving transfusion is completed – despite a dramatic and unexplained power cut in the hospital.


The Torch watches as the object of his love recovers from the operation, he has saved her life and her first words and thoughts are of…Captain America! (Oh the humanity!)

 

The Invaders discover that the reason for the lack of power was experiments of certain Prof Gold centered on his invention of a human rocket – ‘the Blue Bullet’ – a very bulky and unrefined invention – not very reminiscent of either Iron Man or Nova.

 

It is confirmed that while Lord Falsworth will recover – he’ll never walk again .

 

Suddenly – the rocket suit powers up and the Blue Bullet attacks the Invaders. The Human Torch tries to defend Jacqueline – but passes out and as she lunges to help him Jacqueline streaks past with great speed – and discovers herself changed by the Torch’s blood – into a speedster !


After the Blue Bullet is stopped and revealed to be Prof Gold (wow, shock surprise!) he mysteriously announces ‘Everything that happens from this moment forward – is your responsibility!” prompting both Cap and the readers to wonder…”Now what’s that supposed to mean?” – what it actually means is that Thomas is linking this story to the next, continuing the ‘ongoing adventure’ subplots.

 

Jacqueline proudly announces she will take over her father’s mantle as a super heroine and join the Invaders.

 

That’s the last straw for the Torch who has a hissy-fit and leaves.

 

Ok, so the bad-guy in this was awful, both in concept and in depiction, the ‘Blue Bullet’ may sound dramatic – but looks ridiculous and why have a ‘human rocket’ character in a tight-confined corridor of a hospital setting?

 

Characters of the team here are solidified really well, Cap and the Torch being rivals for the affection of Jacqueline (although from this point on it seems like Cap never was all that interested, was he just being polite to his teammate – he seemed interested in her before he worked out the Torch fancied her…

 

The Human Torch becomes a swooning melodramatic wet week. – All this ‘poor me – I’m only an unloved android’ is to be repeated many times – when the Torch comes back as the Vision after the war. (If that continuity still counts.)

 

Why a villain who is all about speed…Blue Bullet …and a new heroine – all about speed in the same tale?

 

How does the Torch’s blood and the vampire bite equate to super-speed? – the only link to the Torch’s flame being the flaming wind left behind her as she races by…and the hint of future identity as Bucky remarks, “moving as fast as a British SPITFIRE!”

 

This speed motif is rendered well by Robbins, the flaming long blonde hair of Jacqueline becoming the trail behind her – in an almost Carmine Infantino style!

 

So, Union Jack is gone. (That was shorter than the Black Widow’s tenure in the Avengers)
The Torch has quit.
Jacqueline has new speed powers.
The bad guys are still ugly.


Come back for next issue #12 An Invader’s Baptism of Fire!” – “To The Warsaw Ghetto!”

I always thought that Spitfire was just combining the Whizzer (super speed through a weird blood transfusion) and Miss America (high-energy female member). Plus Roy wanted British super-heroes and needed a woman on the team.

Still, what DID Professor Horton fill the Human Torch with?? Could the Torch somehow designed to activate the superhuman potential in people? He did kickstart Toro's powers, too!

This was so nearly addressed many decades later in the 'Torch' series - but it wasn't a good explanation. What I don't get is the rejuvenation effect her second transfusion has on Jacqueline in the Byrne 'Namor' series..!
...yep, I hope this thread gets there eventually!!


Philip Portelli said:

I always thought that Spitfire was just combining the Whizzer (super speed through a weird blood transfusion) and Miss America (high-energy female member). Plus Roy wanted British super-heroes and needed a woman on the team.

Still, what DID Professor Horton fill the Human Torch with?? Could the Torch somehow designed to activate the superhuman potential in people? He did kickstart Toro's powers, too!

At the time I guessed that it was like Superman giving a transfusion to someone and them getting some of his powers; it was just the way things worked. Thinking about it now I can suspect that the Human Torches artificial blood had to carry a lot more oxygen to generate his flame and that this somehow transfered to Jackie. That's about all I can think of. I think later in an annual where the Torch, Cap and Namor faced three GA villains the blood of the android was one of the things stolen because it did create Spitfire. I can't remember the exact issue, but a villain had to steal Cap's shield, Namor's pants and the Torch's blood.

That happened in Invaders Annual #1, Mark. It also had three surprise guest-stars.

But that does beg the question: Was the fact that the original Human Torch an android public knowledge? IIRC, it was very seldom brought up in the actual Golden Age comics. But in context of The Invaders series, a lot of people seem to know yet not be freaked out over the existence of an artificial man in the 1940s.



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

 I can't remember the exact issue, but a villain had to steal Cap's shield, Namor's pants and the Torch's blood.

 

 

Sounds like he was planning a party.

Best Scavenger Hunt Ever!!

The Baron said:



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

 I can't remember the exact issue, but a villain had to steal Cap's shield, Namor's pants and the Torch's blood.

 

 

Sounds like he was planning a party.

I think the main reason for that is that he looked very human. Yet even in an early issue of the Invaders -when they had to rush down to the Bermuda Triangle- they went to an army air base to get a plane and had to fight their way in. During the fight Cap thinks something like "It must be easier for the Torch to fight these guys, he's an android after all". So there was some hesitation to think of him as human at first. But the kind of machine taking over mentality didn't really come along until the office automation of the 1950's (the Desk Set being a good film of that). I think the kind of robots people thought of in the 1940's were the ones from the Saturday morning serials.

Philip Portelli said:

That happened in Invaders Annual #1, Mark. It also had three surprise guest-stars.

But that does beg the question: Was the fact that the original Human Torch an android public knowledge? IIRC, it was very seldom brought up in the actual Golden Age comics. But in context of The Invaders series, a lot of people seem to know yet not be freaked out over the existence of an artificial man in the 1940s.



Philip Portelli said:

Best Scavenger Hunt Ever!!

The Baron said:



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

 I can't remember the exact issue, but a villain had to steal Cap's shield, Namor's pants and the Torch's blood.

 

 

Sounds like he was planning a party.

 

Was this the story that was used to explain why Namor was wearing the wrong trunks in an earlier Avengers crossover?

Yea it was, and to explain why Cap was using his original shield. I can't remember the specifics though.

Because Cap's foe, Agent Axis, stole his round shield yet gave him his original one and Namor's foe, the Shark, switched his "water resistant" green trunks with black ones. Awfully decent of them, I would say, for Nazi scum!
 
Mark S. Ogilvie said:

Yea it was, and to explain why Cap was using his original shield. I can't remember the specifics though.

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