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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Probably because he wanted The Invaders to feature Timely Comics' Big Three of Cap, Namor and the Torch*. He didn't even include Bucky and Toro in Avengers #71. Also he was going to keep the team mainly overseas and wanted to spotlight his new forthcoming British heroes Union Jack and Spitfire so he eventually had his seven members.

Besides the Whizzer was a featured character in The Avengers by that time as seen here after his initial guest appearance in The Invaders.

* That is, of course, unless he was asked NOT to use any other Timely characters. Roy's power was waning after 1977 so much so that his only notable books were The Invaders and the Conan titles.
 
Richard Mantle said:

But why then, Philip, did he not make the Invaders  his Justice Society in the first place?

The 'All-Winners Squad' later suposedly featured Whizzer and Miss America, why didn't he put them in the Invaders from the get go? That would have been 7 members.?

Philip Portelli said:

Roy Thomas wanted seven members for the Liberty Legion because the Justice Society had seven members in the stories he read as a child.

I remember with the Liberty Legion thinking that a lot of superpowered types were on the side of the Allies and the Axis didn't really have a lot.

So are you saying Philip, that Thomas had Union Jack and Spitfire planned as team members right from the start?

If that was right - then surely the demise of Union Jack was equally planned....leaving six members...?

As for the lack of Bucky and Toro in Avengers #71 - I was thinking it was that combination of the big-three that led to his creating the Invaders later - but he just used the three for that segment - and if I remember rightly, they don't talk like they're an existing team in that appearance.

(Continuity problems abounded with fitting in that appearance - as we WILL see when we get to the details of the Invaders Annual #1.!)

Philip Portelli said:

Probably because he wanted The Invaders to feature Timely Comics' Big Three of Cap, Namor and the Torch*. He didn't even include Bucky and Toro in Avengers #71. Also he was going to keep the team mainly overseas and wanted to spotlight his new forthcoming British heroes Union Jack and Spitfire so he eventually had his seven members.

Besides the Whizzer was a featured character in The Avengers by that time as seen here after his initial guest appearance in The Invaders.

I think that Roy Thomas planned a lot in advanced for The Invaders. The emergence of Union Jack was no whim. He wanted British heroes on the team. Not to get too far ahead, the fate of the first Union Jack was supposed to have his daughter Jacqueline become Union Jacque but the costume did not work on a female form so she became Spitfire instead. Yet having no powers, the seeds were already planted for a new Union Jack.

In a very convoluted way. Weaving through the Golden Age, Stan Lee and Doll Man!

Very true Mark,
New Axis villains introduced so far - - Master Man, Brain Drain and the U-Man , and yet a treasure trove of Allied heroes for Thomas to re-launch.
I guess the bad guys being nazis was enough to need good guys to be superheroes!


Mark S. Ogilvie said:

I remember with the Liberty Legion thinking that a lot of superpowered types were on the side of the Allies and the Axis didn't really have a lot.

See if you notice anything a bit....familiar about many of Roy's Nazi villains, Richard.

I'm guessing that the Nazi villains are some form of a thinly disguised versions of a DC Villains' group?

(I have to confess that I really cannot stand Frank Robins art.  Seriously. It's worse than Art inked by Chic Stone.)

'familier'...?
Do you mean their similarities to DC or Marvel heroes?
U-Man - Aquaman / Namor
Master Man - Cap / Supes. . . . Etc...?

But then isn't it true there are only a few categories ALL heroes fit into...
Spidey, Batman or Superman or characteristics from each?



Philip Portelli said:

See if you notice anything a bit....familiar about many of Roy's Nazi villains, Richard.

Well Master Man was pretty dangerous having Hulk-level strength far before it was fashionable. That was actually a good character.

Richard Mantle said:

Very true Mark,
New Axis villains introduced so far - - Master Man, Brain Drain and the U-Man , and yet a treasure trove of Allied heroes for Thomas to re-launch.
I guess the bad guys being nazis was enough to need good guys to be superheroes!


Mark S. Ogilvie said:

I remember with the Liberty Legion thinking that a lot of superpowered types were on the side of the Allies and the Axis didn't really have a lot.

Invaders #6 “…”And Let the battle Begin!”
Strory – Roy Thomas (with John Costa)
Art Frank Robbins and Vince Colletta


The recap is frantic and efficient , other than Bucky, the Invaders have been captured and brainwashed into working for the Red Skull. Bucky has appealed to other superheroes to rally to his cause and the Liberty Legion has been formed.


With Bucky, promoted from ‘mascot’ of the Invaders to Liberty Legion leader the team start making inroads against the Red Skull’s machinations, much to his annoyance.


This month’s ugly-german (footnoted as the same ugly-german from Giant size Invaders #1) explains the technology that keeps the good-guys entralled is down to old enemy Brain Drain as the Skull kills off his lackey to make a point about his power and his evil.


The annoyed Skull announces that his pawns the Invaders will fight the new team in three different locations to prove them superior. – “It could be a trap but we’ve got to take the chance right?”


At the statue of liberty, Namor is put on ice by Jack Frost, but the Blue Diamond allows his short temper (?) to ruin the plan and Namor gets away.


At the Liberty Bell, Captain America fights the Patriot and Miss America, who fail to capture him but do help to explain that although the Invaders have been hypnotised into believing they are on the side of right, they’re not actually firing on all cylinders and maybe that’ll be a help in defeating them..!


Finally, at the Lincoln Menorial, the two Torches are well matched by Red Raven and the Whizzer, indeed Toro is captured by the good guys leaving the Human Torch to get really mad and fly off to attack Bucky at his base….next ish!- to be continued in Marvel Premiere #30!

 

A couple of things here, firstly, the shooting of the german lackey, on the orders of the Skull. There is a strange dichotomy in two panels here, the second shows the shooting, the fear and relief of the german who survives and the ruthlessness of the Skull and the horrors of this war. The frame before it, however, is drawn in an almost cartoon-like ‘quaking in their boots’ style that belies the seriousness of this scene.
Bad writing, bad art or Comic Code intervention – you decide.

 

Oh, and Bucky introduces the new Liberty Legion team, ‘clockwise’ and lists the characters drawn in an anti-clockwise order. Just strikes me as really jarring and annoying – why make the distinction ‘clockwise’ if you're not going to abide by it…it threw me for a while, thinking it was some secret code I’d missed!

   By this point it is clear that this new team, the Liberty Legion, is nothing different, indeed very 'by-the-numbers' and it's equally clear they won't be worthy of their own title - whatever the hopes of the Marvel Premiere issues, but it's a good enough wheeze.

 

Was it brave to show the heroes of such a new title as this Invaders (this was only #6 remember) in such a sidelined manner - or were the core team here too dull to run a title on their own and thus the need for constant guest-stars...because there's no end of them still to come...!?

...Oh, and other than after his return as the Winter Soldier, has Bucky ever had a better depth of character...?

I think that in the Invaders I read the best depiction of Bucky that I'll ever read since I refuse to read Winter Soldier.  He was headstrong at times and even sided with Namor against the rest of them once.  I always thought that they did a good job of depicting a young man from that time period.

Definatly Mark, although I think he got a bit 'wet-teenager' towards the end of the run when he fell for the 'Golden Girl'.

I always felt he was never given enough credit - after all - no super-pwers, no 'super-soldier-serum' - not even a shield!

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

I think that in the Invaders I read the best depiction of Bucky that I'll ever read since I refuse to read Winter Soldier.  He was headstrong at times and even sided with Namor against the rest of them once.  I always thought that they did a good job of depicting a young man from that time period.

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