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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  I think as time has gone on writers have been inclined to do less and less research.  Sometimes I think all that they want is the name and then they fill the character however they wish.

Those Secret Avengers issues are on my Invaders list Captain as I do feel they are 'important issues' along with the 'Torch' series there are some odd events for Jim Hammond to come!

NEW INVADERS  #9 (06/05)

“Cruel & Unusual Conclusion”

Writer – Allan Jacobsen    Art – C.P.Smith

Scott Kolins cover shows the Human Torch getting angry.

As with the last couple of issues this was surely part of a one-hero-per-cover stretch that I presume was due to contain all the team over several more issues, but due to cancellation becomes the last such cover – and gets the rest of the team in the background as a montage of last-minute thought.


As for the Torch, this is not a good look, the snarling and the smoldering eyes may have had more significance if we were not aware that he could ‘flame-on’ again whenever he wishes and the ice-cream-cone tee-shirt look has not helped him this series.


So, we start off with a projection of the Red Skull from Human Torchette Tara explaining that Tara had been a plant of his all along, programmed to destroy the Torch Namor and Captain America once they were all together, as they now are.

Not really a great revelation was it?

With virtually no information on Tara since this series began we are neither upset by her betrayal, nor concerned for her welfare or remotely shocked she was anything but a tired plot device from page one issue one.


Tara attacks the Invaders and this spurs the Human Torch into action.


It appears the Thin Man runs away from helping but he just drops off his crew and returns his ship, the Infiltrator, to the scene of the action and it overcomes Merrano’s ship.

Tara and the Torch struggle with the sheer heat of their powers and the Torch appears to absorb Tara’s only to be unable to contain the power and apparently explodes in the sky.!

Spitfire can not feel her bond with him and declares, “He’s gone. He - he’s really gone—“


Later, on UK soil, many Marvel heroes collect together for a funeral/memorial service for the Original Human Torch and an eternal flame is lit at a statue of him in his honour.


Now, this funeral may have some emotional leverage with the readers if it hadn’t all been done so many times before with the Torch.

In the Byrne days he faked his funeral to find himself as a human, and I’ve lost count of how many times he’s been ‘deactivated-presumed dead’.


We also discover that Tara may not be dead but is inactive herself. (I don’t think she’s ever been used or seen again though – has she?)

We learn that Namor will take Merrano and his troops for trial under the briny sea and that the Thin Man apparently went down with his ship…not that Captain America is convinced…

…in a final epilogue we see that the Thin Man is carrying on his vigilante ways in anonymity and presumably could return….. 

…and that’s it!!

End of series!!


Clearly I’m an Invaders fan, but this series, as you’ve read from my missives, had VERY LITTLE to endear itself with anyone, let alone an Invaders fan. 


Ah, let me count the ways…

The heroes centered on were not THE Invaders, not the ‘proper’ Cap, very little Namor and a strange use of the Human Torch that held no resonance with previous groupings of these characters.

Spitfire was here but no longer the breath of youthful air, or even the  restored-to-youth veteran, just a  device for discord among the teammates as she pined for her unattainable love, the Torch, while hanging on to a relationship with the suddenly yobbish Union Jack.

There was no one really in this team to like.!

Nazis, every time we get the Invaders, we get Nazis. Why?

Other than the Baroness Blood story which had a link to the team, the Nazis could have been different villains, even Hydra would have done.

The initial fighting in whatever-that-country-was-called gave hope that the bad guys wouldn’t be Nazis, until we discovered Nazis were behind them!

The Invaders CAN work in a contemporary setting – fight EVIL maybe?

The artworks was the biggest letdown for this series, dark and muddy each heroes’ facial features varied wildly from panel to panel never mind issue to issue and distinction between characters was difficult.

The worrying thing from this series is that it might sour any possibility of a ‘done well’ series of the Invaders being green-lit by Marvel in the future.

What we needed was to be reminded of how glorious the Invaders were in their heyday and how they can still be relevant today…kind of like transplanting wartime Invaders into modern Marvel…?


Come back for…at last!  -- Avengers / Invaders…

I'm glad to see you had the same reaction to the Torch's "death" that I did. I realize I'm an oddity -- I've been reading continuously since the mid-1960s (and have read reprints back the dawn of the Silver Age), so I remember every time the Torch has "died," going back to Fantastic Four Annual #4. (Where he was restored from "death" only to "die" again -- a twofer!) So sometimes I wonder that maybe I'm too aware of continuity, constraining the stories I'm reading currently to 40-year-old events no one else remembers.

Anyway, by the time this issue arrived, a long-time reader like myself had never seen an android die and stay dead, especially the Torch, so simple logic suggest that androids CAN'T die, so we shouldn't ever take the Torch dying at face value. The question that arises is why do the folks IN THE COMICS fall for it every time? THEY have experienced all the stories I have simply read, and should feel the way I do in spades. But, nope, they all mope around like idiots who haven't seen the Torch, The Vision, Ultron, etc., rise from the "dead" umpty-ump times.

  That's why I asked a while back why Logan was still upset at Scott for killing Prof X since they were having a welcome back to life party for Nightcrawler.  At a certain point death death becomes just plain silly.  Even more so with an android.

I'm reminded of the comedic "Supernatural Soap Opera" Passions, where shortly after his introduction, the character played by then-future/now-former Green Arrow, Justin Hartley, greeted his aunt by apologizing for missing  her last two funerals.

In preparation for the beginning of the Avengers/Invaders series I thought I'd post a review of the series trade that I completed after reading the collection....

" Although this collection is marketed as an Avengers vehicle - it's really an Invaders celebration! It brings the Invaders out of the World War 2 period - into 'current' Marvel continuity and back whilst creating a new status quo for the team members. If anything there's too much plot and too many heroes here as the 12 issues rip along at a very swift pace, but there are some very good character pieces among them. The art is functional and better than alot of recent Marvel 'events' but the Alex Ross covers show how monumental this series could have been with a more 'classic' artist. If, like me, you've not been too impressed with recent Marvel, buy this collection! - it gives some hope that solid character-driven storytelling is coming back - and now I'm really looking forward to the 'Torch' series that will follow."

We'll see shortly how that stands up on a closer viewing now...

I think Wolverine hates Scott for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that he was competition for Jean. The death of Professor X strikes me as just an excuse for him to hate Cyclops, one the rest of the world sympathizes with, so that's the one he's using to excuse his petty hatred right now.

But in Wolvie's defense, I don't think as highly of Wolverine as most do, so I tend to see his motivations as less noble than others. I'm sure the writers are writing his hatred sincerely as a thing of nobility based on Xavier's death. Whom, cough, cough, Scott loved much more than HE did, and was certainly more respectful. I don't recall Scott ever calling Xavier "Chuck," do you?

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  That's why I asked a while back why Logan was still upset at Scott for killing Prof X since they were having a welcome back to life party for Nightcrawler.  At a certain point death death becomes just plain silly.  Even more so with an android.


Writer – Jim Krueger  Plot – Jim Krueger & Alex Ross

Art – Steve Sadowski       Cover – Alex Ross

It’s either a beautiful Alex Ross cover – or it’s a bit cramped and indistinct and kind of ‘tries-too-hard’ depending on your point of view.

My point of view is clearly from an Invaders fan’s point of view. As to the Avengers I have been a lifelong fan – but – I really hated almost everything Brian Bendis did to the Avengers and so as we’re right in the middle of Bendis-era Avengers it’s very difficult to like them and not to criticise negatively most of the Avengers throughout this series.

I will try to keep this balanced however, yes, I know a lot of people loved Bendis and praise his work.

The scene has to be set here, there are two factions of Avengers, ‘the Avengers’ who were led by Captain America through the ‘Civil War’ and the ‘Mighty Avengers’ government sanctioned led by Iron Man  and they’re all a little battle worn and  demoralised as Captain America is dead!.

We open with Bucky’s war Journal of December 1943 and so the tale is narrated from Bucky’s point of view, Bucky being the nearest character to an ‘ordinary person’ that the Marvel Universe has so the closer to the reader for them to identify with.

These are the Invaders in their prime, Cap, Bucky, Namor and the two Torches with Spitfire racing alongside and Union Jack (II) firing his gun in the centre of the action.

Firing his gun – no lame-ass electricity-flashes’ powers on show here!

We are told Hitler is after occult weapons and that’s the goal here, stop the Nazis getting the prize.

We get a panel each explanation and introduction to the team members and the expectation is that they will quickly win this day and we’ll move on to the main plot…but no…things turn bad very quickly.

Union Jack is shot... One of the troops working alongside our heroes is clearly traumatised. The horrors of war…

Cut to modern Manhattan…The Thunderbolts are attacking Spider-Man, they’re government sanctioned villains he’s a fugitive hero (?) and a familiar but much older face in the crowd laments ‘real heroes’ he once knew.

Enter a green mist and from the midst of that mist (sorry) our five main Invaders (not including Union jack and Spitfire) appear.

There is disorientation all round and  a battle royal until our Invaders heroes run to hide and Spider-Man is left realising he’s just met Captain America…who should be dead…and the Wartime soldier appears to have come through to the future with our heroes…and Iron Man looks on from his ivory SHIELD HQ tower…Cap is back!.


Main artist for this book is Steve Sadowski who I’ve never heard of before or since and his style is a bit odd, there is cleanness to his art but a slight muddiness to the colouring and his panel layouts are quite busy and frantic whilst his facial expressions can be a tad pained. In general it’s all fine – but how many people were disappointed not to see Alex Ross style interior pages here?

There is a manic-ness to Captain America in the thick of the action that is more like US Agent John Walker than Steve Rogers and after the last series we don’t want to see anymore of that. Grim determination is a fine line from red-mist-madness.

We get more character here, for Bucky, in the opening page than we did for decades of Marvel comics, he actually disagrees with Cap in opinion which is I believe a massive point in his favour that I’d never seen before. This makes Bucky a more rounded guy, he follows Cap but even they can disagree while working as partners.

I loved that.

There was entertaining banter between Toro and Bucky too which was nicely gung-ho and teenagerish.

Such a shame that Union Jack and Spitfire are both sidelined for this series, it appears, as they haven’t come-to-the-future, it would’ve been interesting to see UJ realise he’s dead and Spitfire to realise she’s not …infact…she’s more ‘undead’…


Anyway, so there we are.

‘Current ‘Marvel is in crisis, lets bring in the good guys, the ‘real’ Invaders are back!!


At least he doesn't have them stay in the future in this one.


Writer – Jim Krueger  Plot – Jim Krueger & Alex Ross

Art – Steve Sadowski       Cover – Alex Ross

It’s either another beautiful Alex Ross cover – or it’s an annoying one spotlighting Iron Man’s team of ‘Mighty’ Avengers to the detriment of the Invaders -depending on your point of view.

My point of view is clearly from an Invaders fan's and I quite like the depictions of the Invaders even though they are in defeat. –

The ‘Mighty’ Avengers however have to consist of the most annoying line-up of assemblers ever! –

The Sentry (Thor wannabee) never liked him.

Ares. (Hercules wannabee – never liked him)

Wonder Man – back in his safari suit – why?

And the Wasp – I could see Iron Man and Ms Marvel going along with the ‘establishment’  at Marvel at the time – but I always credited Janet Van-Dyne with  a little more free-thinking and spirit, I never accepted her on the ‘wrong’ side of the Civil War.


Anyway, and by the way, these issues don’t appear to have titles…so straight into the storyline and we pick up as Ms Marvel and Iron Man discuss that regardless of the fact that their world is currently without it’s Steve Rogers, the presence of heroes from the past is incredibly dangerous and the Invaders must be sent back as soon as possible. (Not a sentiment that appears to apply to the Original X-Men in current continuity? - Can anyone explain why?)


The ‘Mighty’ Avengers are assembled to go get the Invaders.

Elsewhere and our five Invaders (I still wish Spitfire and Union Jack had have joined them!) – are getting their heads around where and when they are as the Avengers attack.

The battle is full of ‘It’s for your own good’ and ‘I don’t want to hurt you’ type sentiments but the Invaders are defeated, although Namor escapes, having impaled Ares’s axe in the chest plate of Iron Man.

Looking on and reading of the arrival/defeat of the Invaders is the new Captain America – the Old Winter Soldier – the Old Bucky…..(got that?)

Paul Anselm ( I expected the name to be very significant as it is stressed many times in this series, but I don’t think there is any great revelation about the name…did I miss a reference?) from the past who arrived with the Invaders and went off on his own – visits – current reality older Paul Anselm…

On the helicarrier, captive Invaders deal with their own confinements.

Cap discussed the ethics of the situation with Iron Man, the Torch discovers the SHIELD LMDs, and Toro is experimented on believed to be a mutant while Bucky….Bucky escapes!

This, as the last issue, shows more depth and credit to Bucky than any other series, he’s a vital part of the team, a strategist and a thinker, not ‘kid-sidekick’ at all.

 I like this.

Elsewhere, the hidden ‘underworld’ non-registered ‘Avengers’ collect together to discuss the arrival of the Invaders to their time…and decide to rescue them…

Echo (who? Never understood her story),

Ronin (who I think is Hawkeye…isn’t he?),

Luke Cage, (give him a yellow shirt if not a tiara),

Iron Fist (no, shouldn’t be an Avenger, I agree,)

Spider-Man and Wolverine - who rounds the issue out with a quip of “Okay Axis…Here We Come.”


Artwise and it’s functional  enough, there is a panel where Namor looks like Norman Osborn which causes me a double take every time I see it but otherwise it’s nothing too exciting or depressing and at least the colouring remains brighter than the last series. (I never liked the ‘new’ Captain America suit though…hardly inspired or remotely different.) 


I did expect here the old ‘the only member to escape is the weakest – bah he’s irrelevant!”  (Only to win the day)

might be playing out here. I thought Bucky would escape capture and I didn’t expect an escape from custody quite so quick.

Namor getting away is interesting though…where’ll he go for help…?

There are a lot of characters here but the Invaders are still shining through so far…

Come back…

Regarding the Avengers/Invaders #1 cover: my recollection is there's a similar image of Marvel's heroes parachuting in to attack the Germans holding a castle in Marvels.

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