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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Anyone out there remember the excellent issue in modern-day Marvel that saw the return of Betty Dean then called Prentis - also written by Thomas??

I do remember the return of Betty Dean Prentis, but I also remember her final fate. I think she deserved better.

Regarding issues #3-4, the third issue was more like it! I think I would have been more enthusiastic about the series had I missed issue #2 (I had already missed #1), and followed GS #1 with #3. I really liked the way Thomas played with the group dynamic, having Captain America’s sidekick pair off with Namor at the end.

Unfortunately, I would have to wait several years to read the resolution to this story, as this is the last issue of Invaders I was to buy until I completed the run as backissues in college. :(

Read #4. Good issue. Why did U-Man need a mask? It's the Marvel Universe, man! EVERYONE wears a mask!

Did some research on Betty Dean because, not knowing who she was, Thomas made it seem as if she was important and had been around before. I guess she was a semi-regular in the Sub-Mariner comics of the '40's! She's tough also as she gets hit by U-Man not once, but twice!

In reading the letters pages, it seems The Invaders was a controversial book for Marvel as letters came in chastising the publisher for racial stereotypes and racial slurs uttered by our heroes! The Invaders also went from bi-monthly to monthly and back to bi-monthly in a span of a couple issues. Whew!

Mark Stanislawski said:
"In reading the letters pages, it seems The Invaders was a controversial book for Marvel as letters came in chastising the publisher for racial stereotypes and racial slurs uttered by our heroes! The Invaders also went from bi-monthly to monthly and back to bi-monthly in a span of a couple issues. Whew!"


Well, in all fairness, he was basing the stories in the Second World War and a lot of what would be unthinkable to say now or even in the 70s was commonly used back then. It isn’t right. It is just the way it was. Roy ran in to a lot of the same criticism during the run of All-Star Squadron. It is kind of like having historical Viking raids and just overlooking the violence because it could offend sensibilities. I am not looking for a documentary but don’t sugar coat it either. It was what it was. As far as the publishing schedule, the same thing happened to The Champions, The Invaders just came out the other side better (Champions changed 3 or 4 times in its 17 issue run of course the change of creative team practically every issue didn’t help The Champs either)

I hated the way Roy Thomas portrayed Betty Dean.  He treated her life like a tragedy.

Later, in SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP (another one of Roy's brilliant ideas), Betty got killed off at the end of an issue.  It's like someone was determined that every single person in Namor's life should meet a violent death.  WTF???

But IN BETWEEN...  Namor's creator, Bill Everett, brought Betty Dean back in HIS run of the book.  Despite clearly being older, Betty was still very beautiful, the way Everett drew her.  She also had a strength of character that made her infinitely likable (except for certain moments by a teenaged Namorita with no sense of patience...!).  It still boggles my mind that I never read any of those 1972 Everett comics until about 10 years ago.  They were BETTER-written than 90% of what Marvel was putting out at the time.  And to think, this was the guy they wouldn't "let" back on HIS OWN creation, because they considered him "too old fashioned".

Wow, I didn't know that Henry thanks - i learn so much on this forum!

What I was refering to was Sub-Mariner 8 (I think) where he fought the Thing for the Serpent Crown, drawn by Buscema (I think) - and effectivly narrated by an older Betty Dean/Prentis - I remember thinking it was really profound!  !

Henry R. Kujawa said:

I hated the way Roy Thomas portrayed Betty Dean.  He treated her life like a tragedy.

Later, in SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP (another one of Roy's brilliant ideas), Betty got killed off at the end of an issue.  It's like someone was determined that every single person in Namor's life should meet a violent death.  WTF???

But IN BETWEEN...  Namor's creator, Bill Everett, brought Betty Dean back in HIS run of the book.  Despite clearly being older, Betty was still very beautiful, the way Everett drew her.  She also had a strength of character that made her infinitely likable (except for certain moments by a teenaged Namorita with no sense of patience...!).  It still boggles my mind that I never read any of those 1972 Everett comics until about 10 years ago.  They were BETTER-written than 90% of what Marvel was putting out at the time.  And to think, this was the guy they wouldn't "let" back on HIS OWN creation, because they considered him "too old fashioned".

Yes, Richard, I knew that was the one.  If memory serves, somewhere, I have a reprint of that... I think it was in a TREASURY EDITION.  (I could look it up, but... you know.)  Roy's comics were always too serious for their own good, I felt, and of course, when his pal Gerry Conway took over (mainly because Roy got too busy to do it himself), it got worse.  Betty was shown old and lonely and miserable, Dorma got murdered on her wedding day, Namor gave up the crown, Leonard McKenzie got murdered right when Namor managed to find him, and the last straw was Namor getting a bout of amnesia.

My impression is, sales were dropping, and Roy probably figured by then, oh well, might as well let Everett have a shot, WHAT MORE HARM could he possibly do?

In his 1st issue, Namor was cured of amnesia within a couple pages, and we were introduced to Namor's cousin Namorita.  This flew in the face of one of the things Stan Lee "hated" about comics-- KID SIDEKICKS!  But just like Batman when Robin was introduced, she brought a spirit of youthful JOY and excitement to every page she was on. And nobody ever drew her as cute as Everett did!

A couple issues later, Namor told her he was living alone by choice-- and SHE had no choice but to do what HE said, which was to live with someone ELSE who could look after her.  And that's when Betty came back into the picture.

Before long, Everett also had another character he used to do make a guest appearance... VENUS, Goddess of Love!

What a GREAT book that was for awhile... such a shame it didn't last.  In a better world, Everett would have taken over at least 49 issues earlier...

You make a hellova case for some more Namor collections. (Why only one paperback masterwork and one Essential?!)

And yes, That Treasury was where I first read and have that tale - but more recently in the Roy Thomas hardback where the fantastic artwork looks as good as it should.



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Henry R. Kujawa said:

Yes, Richard, I knew that was the one.  If memory serves, somewhere, I have a reprint of that... I think it was in a TREASURY EDITION.  (I could look it up, but... you know.)  Roy's comics were always too serious for their own good, I felt, and of course, when his pal Gerry Conway took over (mainly because Roy got too busy to do it himself), it got worse.  Betty was shown old and lonely and miserable, Dorma got murdered on her wedding day, Namor gave up the crown, Leonard McKenzie got murdered right when Namor managed to find him, and the last straw was Namor getting a bout of amnesia.

My impression is, sales were dropping, and Roy probably figured by then, oh well, might as well let Everett have a shot, WHAT MORE HARM could he possibly do?

In his 1st issue, Namor was cured of amnesia within a couple pages, and we were introduced to Namor's cousin Namorita.  This flew in the face of one of the things Stan Lee "hated" about comics-- KID SIDEKICKS!  But just like Batman when Robin was introduced, she brought a spirit of youthful JOY and excitement to every page she was on. And nobody ever drew her as cute as Everett did!

A couple issues later, Namor told her he was living alone by choice-- and SHE had no choice but to do what HE said, which was to live with someone ELSE who could look after her.  And that's when Betty came back into the picture.

Before long, Everett also had another character he used to do make a guest appearance... VENUS, Goddess of Love!

What a GREAT book that was for awhile... such a shame it didn't last.  In a better world, Everett would have taken over at least 49 issues earlier...

I thought they originally did a hardbound Masterwork?  (Or was that only the the ASTONISH run?)

After DC finally got it right with their WONDER WOMAN ARCHIVE (all her stories from ALL-STAR, SENSATION and WONDER WOMAN collected in a single chronological run-- SUPERMAN and BATMAN should have always been collected this way), I long hoped Marvel would follow suit with SUB-MARINER.

Nope.

At my last check, they were up to 22 Golden Age Masterworks books featuring SUB-MARINER stories.  Most of them anthologies, of course.  But apart from Subby & CAPTAIN AMERICA, I have no interest in reading any of the other series involved.

There we go... MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #9 -- "Giant Superhero Team-Up".

Ah yes, yes, yes!!
I loved that treasury!!
That embodied all that was Marvel to me!!



Henry R. Kujawa said:

There we go... MARVEL TREASURY EDITION #9 -- "Giant Superhero Team-Up".

Guess what? I was just paging through the latest (AUG) Previews catalog and saw a solicitation for Marvel Masterworks Sub-Mariner Vol. 5! It will reprint issues #25-38, so we’re not quite to that classic Bill Everett run yet, but getting closer!

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