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)
This is a wonderful cover to bring us back into this Invaders readalong thread - Winter Soldier Vs Iron Man with Cap and the Torch below.
Wonderfully dramatic enriched by knowing that they are bound to be fighting over Namor - with Iron Man not being happy with him and no-doubt the Winter Soldier/Bucky defending him. Who is right however?
Pre-recorded presentation via TV opens this issue - Roman Peterson confessing he was the one that attacked Atlantis first, in his mind in order to protect the USA by making them oppose Atlantis - "If this leads us to War......So Be It"
We catch up with Cap, in his underwater gear, passing out computer tablets for the now-water-breather victims of the recent weapons strikes and eventually returning beachside asking for evidence to link Roman to Namor. (the spelling isn't good enough then?)
Tony Stark/Iron Man arrives, seething with anger and he and Cap come to blows (again). "... Apple Pie Eating...Moron!"
Bucky/Winter Soldier intervenes - pointing a gun at Stark. (Why does Bucky still wear a domino mask - he has no secret identity to hide does he?)
"Back off, Cap Junior! This is between Me and the old Man!" - although Bucky does intelligently find a chink in the armour - I like that.
Stark goes off to find Namor leaving Cap and Bucky to actually agree with him... "...Namor has to pay."
The United Nations debate the international issues and later Bucky appears to get a message from 'N' asking for a meet...? (Is this Namor or Nay..?)
This launches us into a 1945 flashback where Cap, Namor, the Torch and Bucky search a secret base for their captured teammates Toro and Spitfire.
Okay he's helpless victim here but it's the first time he's even been acknowledged as part of the WWII team.
No idea why we get Spitfire but no Union Jack though.
The heroes are discovered...by the Red Skull no less who we learn has been playing fast and loose with animal DNA splicing it with human subjects etc - claiming it was Namor's heritage that gave him the idea.
This flashback seques back to Namor in the present day and his (imaginary?) advisor Machan and we begin to realise Namor is not acting clear-headedly - he is confused and way too reliant on this Machan character.
Roman, now a blue-skinned water-breather arrives and embraces Namor, grateful for what he see as the gift of becoming an Atlantean.
Roman explains more newly transformed humans are arriving and explains they have come from a Russian test of his weapons ... as Namor authorised.
Namor stops, "...I never authorized such a test." - to which Roman insists he did and wonders why Namor does not remember.
Back on dry land we catch up with the Original Human Torch who is being administered/repaired by Tony Stark - he's been decapitated when we last saw him remember?
He is interrupted by an angry superhuman man at the main entrance - we learn is present-day... "Tom Raymond? Toro?"
Toro is not happy with Stark - knowing somehow that Stark is working on the Torch who he believes wanted to be left retired.
Shockingly the Torch steps up to stop the confrontation - looking like a Transformer cross with a painted-red-version of the Tim Man!
Jim states he needs Namor which sends us back to the flashback as angry Namor wants to kill the Red Skull for his experiments and the other Invaders remind him they are better than that.
Back in Atlantis Namor is unhappy realising that Machan is taking decisions himself. Machan claims he is helping Namor and knows a way to help even more... a chest is brought forward, opened and Namor again holds the Serpent Crown!
Machan convinces Namor that if he wears this crown he will not be susceptible to any telepathic interference and indeed... "With this... you're Invincible."
Namor wears the crown and that's our cliff-hanger!
So, more of the mysteries and flashbacks and excellent artwork, more of the politics and conflicted morality with quality characterisations...and at last...Toro!
What is going on?
What's going to go on next?
Don't you just love this..?
That was a nice series. And yes, it does provide an update on how/why Doctor Doom was in 1940s Germany during the original Invaders series.