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 never realized that Toro pre-dated Bucky either.  Actually, considering some of the content, I suspect that a lot of the people clamoring for the destruction of comics had at least seen a few of them--it doesn't take too many issues of Wonder Woman's philosophy of "loving discipline" to make you think that something unwholesome is afoot.  Likewise, considering how big Wayne Manor is, why did Bruce & Dick seem to be sharing a bedroom so often?  Mind your, Steve Rogers & Bucky seemed to be sharing a cot!  And if comics weren't a much more widely consumed medium back then than they've been in my lifetime, they'd scarcely have been a viable target as the cause of so many social ills--they were, at the very least, the 1940s equivalent to video games.

FANTASTIC FOUR #4 (05/62)
“The Coming of…Sub-Mariner!”

Writer – Stan Lee Penciller – Jack Kirby
Inker – Sol Brodsky


I don’t have to tell you that cover is by Jack Kirby – do I?


The fact that this is an FF book means that most of the plot is superfluous to us Invaders –pilgrims, but for the completeists….


Johnny Storm, the Human Torch (but not OUR Human Torch!) has quit the Fantastic Four, but his teammates don’t accept that and the Thing follows him, even changing back to Ben Grimm for a short time, but fighting to get the Torch back.


Johnny sulks off to the Bowery area to stay with the homeless and reads a handy 1940s comic about the Sub-Mariner.


The locals produce a ‘stumble-bum’ who is as strong as the Sub-Mariner was supposed to be and mysteriously cannot remember his past.


Johnny gives him the most shown shave ever and drops him in the sea – returning his lost memories…the Sub-Mariner is back!!


Namor races off to find a devastated Atlantis, blames the surface dwellers and vows revenge launching into his full blown super-villain mode he stayed, uncomfortably in for years after!.


Subby summons monster from the deep Giganto and the rest of the FF join in the fray...

The Invisible Girl gets an offer of peace if she becomes Namor’s bride which she agrees to before Johnny sends Namor home in a tornado vortex.
(No, none of this was subtle – or decompressed!)

So, that’s one of the earliest Modern Marvel returns possible for one of our Invaders cast.

If Fantastic Four #1 ushered in modern marvel…we’re only at #4 here!

Interesting… notice - “Coming of…Sub-Mariner…not ‘the’ Sub Mariner…!”


Early Ben Grimm really looked weird didn’t he..? – (Any UK reader remember wrestler Big Daddy?)

Of course, no reference to his time in the Invaders, (I’m talking hero-continuity here, not publication you understand.)

We get the first real link with his war-time adventures in ‘that’ appearance of Betty Dean Prentiss in Sub-Mariner # 8.


He soon remembers the battle with Paul Destine (Destiny?) who used the (first?) Serpent Crown to take his memories and put him out of action for so long but I think it takes many decades before he recovers all his memories.

(That may have had something to do with the chemical imbalance in his blood that John Byrne utilised in his series as well - I'm not sure.)

There ARE links to the Invaders to come, heck, Namor even shows up in our next ‘modern marvel reintroduction of an Invader’……

......next - Captain America returns!

Fantastic Four #4 was the first Marvel comic I remember seeing on the stands. I remember thinking it was weird, with these characters chasing a guy in swimming trunks. Also they are trying to stop him from reaching the water, which he's already splashing in. I passed it up at the time, but bought my first Marvel next issue (first Doctor Doom). Of course it wasn't really Marvel until #14 (first Marvel masthead), which also featured Sub-Mariner.

The Thing looks funny wearing booties! ;-)

The return of the Sub-Mariner with the arrival of the new Human Torch (who never had the status of importance of the Golden Age version) and the upcoming resurrection of Captain America only proves that, while Stan and Jack were innovating original concepts, Martin Goodman wanted to go with what worked before!

Also, I am compelled to point out that I seriously doubt that either Stan as the writer/editor or Jack as the plotter/artist asked Bill Everett if it was okay if they revived his Sub-Mariner. He had neither recognition nor recompense. This, again, is NOT a condemnation but merely a reminder of that how the comics industry worked for the longest time up to today.

"Writer – Stan Lee Penciller – Jack Kirby
Inker – Sol Brodsky"

Try...

JACK KIRBY -- story & art

Stan Lee -- dialogue

Inks -- Sol Brodsky

Colors -- Stan Goldberg

Didn't the Thing wear a helmet for an issue or two in those early days? I seem to remember something like that. I'm not sure what good covering his face would do, considering he's not wearing much else, and looks like -- as Johnny Storm said once in a Strange Tales story -- "a pile of apricot pits."

Captain Comics said:

Didn't the Thing wear a helmet for an issue or two in those early days? I seem to remember something like that. I'm not sure what good covering his face would do, considering he's not wearing much else, and looks like -- as Johnny Storm said once in a Strange Tales story -- "a pile of apricot pits."

In FF #3 (MAR62), Sue surprised the boys with their first costumes. This included a full-head-and-face helmet and a head-to-toe costume for Ben. He ditched the helmet at his first opportunity. By the end of the issue the shirt was gone. In FF #4 he was down to the trunks and boots. On the last page the boots were gone, even though they were on his feet just before that. After that I don't think the boots ever made a reappearance.

Didn't the full-helmet make a bit of a come back circa FF#400s - after the 'Death of Reed Richards' - due to some further disfigurement- ?

I wasn't reading the title then, but there was a bit of use of it during Roger Stern's run leading up to #300.

It's amazing how many Marvel heroes didn't wear much, especially in the early days: The Thing, Hulk, Namor, Iceman, Ka-Zar and Triton.

Well, to be fair, Ka-Zar started in 1939, and looked like Tarzan, who didn't wear much, either.

As a matter of fact, Wolverine clawed the Thing's face, and apparently that was a wound -- unlike all the others -- that wouldn't heal. Because, you know, Wolverine.

Richard Mantle said:

Didn't the full-helmet make a bit of a come back circa FF#400s - after the 'Death of Reed Richards' - due to some further disfigurement- ?

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