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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It's James Robinson writing, of Starman fame, so I expect he will make the most of all tools available. I'd further expect the appearance of characters he can play with, and Spitfire and Union Jack fill that bill. Heck, he may drag in half the Liberty Legion and The Twelve  as supporting characters.

I'd be surprised to see Toro, since he's been dead since the early '70s. Which isn't to say he won't return, but I'd expect a multi-issue extravaganza, perhaps crossing over into all the Avengers titles, were he to be resurrected. They won't just have him appear on the cover of the first issue saying "I wasn't dead, I was only pretending."

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We'll know more soon enough!

Oh Captain my Captain!!

Good news!

Toro has been ALIVE in current continuity (and an adult!) since the Avengers / Invaders series .!!!

He has appeared in that capacity in both the 'Torch' series and the ' Invaders Now' revival.!.!

I do plan to cover all that in this thread - eventually.



Captain Comics said

I'd be surprised to see Toro, since he's been dead since the early '70s. Which isn't to say he won't return, but I'd expect a multi-issue extravaganza, perhaps crossing over into all the Avengers titles, were he to be resurrected. They won't just have him appear on the cover of the first issue saying "I wasn't dead, I was only pretending."

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We'll know more soon enough!

That is good news! I had sorta blocked that whole Avengers/Invaders series out of my head, I confess.

Toro's alive?  I wonder how old they'll make him?

As long as he doesn't keep calling Torch "Pappy", like he did all throughout The Invaders. Re-reading what I have of the first 15 issues it's really growing tiresome!

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

Toro's alive?  I wonder how old they'll make him?

So, I'd forgotten that The Crusaders had gotten their powers through artificial means and aside from Spirit of '76, the rest were never heard from again. Ever. Which surprises me. Roy Thomas, John Byrne, Ed Brubaker...no one ever touched on these characters again. Even to kill them off.

Shocking.

Toto was such an odd character. He was an orphan fire-eater who burst into flames when the Torch walked by, becoming a Human Torch himself. Huh? And calling the Torch "Pappy" is just weird, since the Torch is an android and isn't anyone's father. But that origin is just weird and sketchy, even by Golden Age standards.

I always thought the "Pappy" thing was affectionate ribbing, and not any sort of reference to parentage.  I sort of got the vibe that he was ribbing the Torch about his age rather than suggesting him as a father figure.



Randy Jackson said:

I always thought the "Pappy" thing was affectionate ribbing, and not any sort of reference to parentage.  I sort of got the vibe that he was ribbing the Torch about his age rather than suggesting him as a father figure.

 

The extra gag being, perhaps, that chronologically, Toro was older than the Torch!

INVADERS ANNUAL #1 (1977)
“Okay, Axis—Here we Come!”

Writer/editor Roy Thomas. Illustrators – Frank Robbins & Frank Springer
Also art by Alex Schomberg, Don Rico and Lee Elias & F.Spinger.


Once upon a time – 8 years before this issue’s publication, Roy Thomas wrote a little scene in Avengers #71 featuring his favourite three Marvel/Timely heroes from World War 2.


It was that germ of an idea that led to the Invaders series…and eventually – this Annual!


In a 6 page opening framing sequence our regular at team take our main 5 Invaders and spin them out of Invaders #15 and into this, sideways, adventure.


There is mention in the plot of the missing Spitfire and the mysterious Dyna-Mite and even an editor’s note fitting this tale between #15 and #16 – but in truth, this was clearly produced to be freestanding from the other Invaders issues – but intrinsically bound up in Avengers #71 from 1969!

 

Our heroes have a secret meeting – behind Big Ben’s clock face – with representatives of both the English and the American governments who give them an urgent mission to go after and capture three master villainous spies now working for the Nazis, known to the individual members, The Hyena – beaten before by the Torch and Toro, Agent Axis recently defeated by Captain America and the Shark, clearly a foe for Namor.

With the two youngsters Bucky and Toro kept in England the elder three race off with their individual assignments.

The story is extremely convoluted and based around the short but enigmatic appearance of the three Invaders in the above mentioned Avengers #71. .

 

In the text piece included in the Annual, from Thomas, it is explained why he collected the artists he did for the individual chapters that follow and there is credit due for the authenticity of his choices…but to set the plot so deeply on the particular inconsistencies that have arisen in the depiction of the three from the Avengers appearance to now – is – strained to say the least.

 

The Torch’s chapter is the least ridiculous, his arch enemy intent on getting a sample of his blood – for the German war effort – because they know how it contributed to Spitfire’s powers. (Although that shouldn’t be public knowledge at all!)

 

The Captain America chapter involves a complex origin for Agent Axis and throws in a contrived reason for his losing his round shield and temporarily having his old shield-shaped shield…

 

The Namor chapter is the most ridiculously strained piece of plotting –possible ever – in comics …to explain why Namor was seen in the Avengers in black trunks instead of his more usual green, scaled ones.
It wasn’t enough for Thomas to say that Namor’s other trunks were-in the laundry that day – he actually wrote it into the plans of the Shark to steal Namors green trunks ‘to acquire your unique trunks, to be analyzed by scientists of the third Reich…”
Unique?? Why?? “analyzed” – for what??– and it means that whilst Namor was unconscious the Shark and his henchmen peeled off Namor's trunks and slipped another pair back on him!!

Eeww!!

That’s just not right!?!

 

Anyway, with our three heroes suitably relieved of their various prizes, the Grandmaster from Avengers #71 uses that moment to wisk them from their separate adventures and into occupied Paris to fight three other costumed adventurers representing Kang the Conqueror – as part of their battle – in the old Avengers plot!.

 

At last the mystery of exactly when the war heroes were taken from to battle the Avengers is answered (it appears the Black Panther got it wrong !) and the other – not so much – asked questions of why those three heroes and why Cap’s old Shield and why Namor’s ‘other’ trunks …is finally solved!! Hooray!!

 

The final chapter then is a 9 pager by our regular team that features the Invaders side of the skirmish against the Avengers with guests Yellow Jacket, Black Panther and Vision along with cameos of the Grandmaster and Kang...

 

Not fully aware of the ramifications, our heroes return to their time and as a team defeat their three enemies and return to our usual continuity – with Cap wondering if he could ever join a team like the Avengers, should he ever find himself in the future…!

 

Okay, so Thomas had to really work hard to get this to fit with the Avengers issue – and I think he worked too hard!

The chapters by the old guard creators are fine, if dull, and so much is included here. – but then, so much is missing too!

There is no discussion of any link here between Vision and the Human Torch…mainly because that link – be it same body / similar body / almost same body; / spare parts thereof or whatever the current link is – was not really established yet. It is a shame as this first meeting between the two heroes with so much in common – has no real resonance between them.

 

What are wonderful to see are the Frank Robbins renditions of the Avengers! How I wish we saw more of that!

 

The lack of any Spitfire appearance dates this adventure and also nails the Invaders forever as the original 3 or 5 heroes. – Like the ‘original five’ X-Men and later members Havok and Polaris, Spitfire and Union Jack are never a complete fit are they?

 

The cover…whilst probably legitimate and authentic – is dull! It also has NO link to the Avengers issue – even the Avengers are not named as featured within! This should have been a mirror image or something of Avengers #71 – it is SO important to this plot, a wasted opportunity.

 

Thomas obviously had a blast making this annual – as his text piece shows. but it’s not as much of a blast to read I’m afraid .

For those of you familiar with Invaders Giant-Size Annual #1, and how it ties into Avengers #71... could you please tell me if it's worth seeking out...that is, does it amplify or satisfy more than just reading Avengers #71 alone, as I have done when it came out.

Second, who is the artist on this "sequel" or alternative version?

Third, is the price that one will have to pay to find and secure this version worth it on the after-market resale market. (Oh hell, I'll just say it....Ebay...)?

I refer you to my piece above for content and artists.
But it's just Invaders Annual #1
The Giant-Sized is different.


Kirk G said:

For those of you familiar with Invaders Giant-Size Annual #1, and how it ties into Avengers #71... could you please tell me if it's worth seeking out...that is, does it amplify or satisfy more than just reading Avengers #71 alone, as I have done when it came out.

Second, who is the artist on this "sequel" or alternative version?

Third, is the price that one will have to pay to find and secure this version worth it on the after-market resale market. (Oh hell, I'll just say it....Ebay...)?

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