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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"the most ridiculously strained piece of plotting –possible ever – in comics"

Yeah, that's Roy Thomas all over.

"It wasn’t enough for Thomas to say that Namor’s other trunks were-in the laundry that day"

That could have been fun...

"Different trunks?"

"The regulars are in the laundry."

"But... you're ALWAYS in the water..."

"Hey, try not to think about it too much, okay?"

"is dull!"

It's ALEX SCHOMBURG!!! I think it's beatiful.  (What, would you prefer one by Gil Kane?)

I re-read this a few years ago, when I supplied Roy a scan for "THE MARVEL VAULT" book. I recall having to severely adjust the skin tones, they were all dark pink!  I also recall loving all the guest-artists... and HATING the Robbins-Springer art, which was far worse than I remembered Robbins normally being on the book. Damn shame he didn't ink his own pencils.

Henry R. Kujawa said:

"is dull!"


It's ALEX SCHOMBURG!!! I think it's beatiful.  (What, would you prefer one by Gil Kane?)
----------------
Sorry but yeah, Kane's a favourite!

But I really think a trick was missed not linking the cover to the cover of Avengers #71 - even a 'homage' by Sal Buscema to his own cover would have satisfied . To not even NAME the Avengers on the cover seems sad.

As for Robbins and co's art - what was missing here is any female forms to lighten the lines..!

I have this book. I read this book. Clearly, I forced all knowledge of it out of my brain. And very shortly, possibly later today, I will do so again.

...You mean the Invaders Annual ?

Captain Comics said:

I have this book. I read this book. Clearly, I forced all knowledge of it out of my brain. And very shortly, possibly later today, I will do so again.

Perzackly. I do not want to think about Nazis taking off Sub-Mariner's Speedo. I REFUSE TO THINK ABOUT IT.

The use of Agent Axis in the annual is another continuity nod. In the Captain America instalment in Tales of Suspense #82 Cap has hallucinations of a number of his old foes, including Agent Axis. There was a Golden Age Agent Axis, but he appeared in Boy Commandos, not Captain America's series. Thomas's story is thus the hitherto-untold story of Cap's first encounter with the Marvel Universe Agent Axis. I'd like to credit the source that explained this for me but I don't remember what that was. 

 

According to the GCD, the Boy Commandos character appeared in Boy Commandos stories in Boy Commandos #1, #3 and Detective Comics #85, #88. Apparently, the first of those issues is in the recent Boy Commandos archive, and the story was also recently reprinted in Titan's The Best of Simon and Kirby. Wikipedia's Agent Axis page has a major spoiler for the Boy Commandos tales.

Luke Blanchard said:

The use of Agent Axis in the annual is another continuity nod. In the Captain America instalment in Tales of Suspense #82 Cap has hallucinations of a number of his old foes, including Agent Axis. There was a Golden Age Agent Axis, but he appeared in Boy Commandos, not Captain America's series.

According to the GCD, the Boy Commandos character appeared in Boy Commandos stories in Boy Commandos #1, #3 and Detective Comics #85, #88.

So Marvel appropriated a DC villain? Wow! I'm surprised I never heard this before. Maybe Kirby inadvertently used him in TOS because he remembered him, forgetting he was used in DC stories, not Timely.

INVADERS # 16
(05/77) “The Short Happy Life Of Major Victory!”
Author/editor-Roy Thomas.
Guest artist-Jim Mooney
Embellisher Frank Springer.

Believe it or not – 16 issues into this series and writer Roy Thomas introduces another (fifth?) patriotically named/garbed hero (– kind of )– in ‘Major Victory’.

 

This guy however is a fictional comic character created to boost the propaganda of the allies war effort.

Because of his character’s origin being so similar to Captain America’s Super-Soldier serum the Nazis wonder if it’s all based on truth and the character’s artist is a scientific genius – so go capture him!

Indeed - Private ‘ Biljo White’ (that’s just GOT to be an ‘in-the-know’ reference…anyone get it?) is kidnapped by Nazis right under the noses of Cap and Bucky.

 

After yet another discussion of how their real exploits are translated into comics for the masses the Invaders race off to save the writer.

 

It’s all very ‘Earth Prime’ with the ‘real life super-heroes being reported in comic books – although in the Invaders case they’re living on the same earth.


I don’t really know why Thomas feels the need to keep stressing this point – maybe he’s just forgot that he had quite a lengthy exchange between Bucky and Toro before on the subject and I’m sure Cap is always going on about it…

 

Anyway, by the end of the issue the Invaders are attacking Hitler’s personal fortress behind German lines – in an attempt to locate and free the writer chappie- and run straight into a battle with old enemy Master Man.

 

Master Man boasts that he is so much more masterful than previously and it must be said, defeats the Invaders pretty easily.

 

Our five heroes are (again) held in bindings individually catered to their talents and all looks dire especially upon the arrival of… Adolf Hitler himself!

 

Jim Mooney does the pencils in this issue – although is still inked by Frank Springer who usually teams with the love-him-or-loath-him Frank Robbins.

 

Mooney is not one of the most individual or stylised of artists and it either Springer’s influence or a deliberate effort by Mooney to draw like Robbins but there is clearly an attempt to minimise the change to the regular team.


It doesn’t work.


Mooney-Springer’s Captain America looks constipated and angry and there is none of the charm of Robbin’s crazy anatomy.

 

I will applaud Kirby’s cover for once though, I think it’s his best depiction of ‘our-team’ yet, even though his Toro looks very ‘Fourth-World’

 

The main interest in this issue is the ongoing sub-plot regarding Dyna-Mite, his missing memories and his links to Lord Falsworth and Spitfire.
We were promised an update before the break in storyline for the indulgent Invaders Annual #1 – but there is not a breath of them in this issue at all!!

 

In fact, this is almost a fill-in issue cobbled together from other set-pieces and made into an almost coherent story.
The Cap and Bucky save the comics guy and the traitor woman and the eventual cut to the briefing could come from a completely different story than the Major Victory scene – with changes only in dialogue and the final third of the book, where the Invaders attack the castle, are defeated by Master man and are confronted by Hitler – need have no background – it is almost interchangeable with any Invaders storyline isn’t it?

 

Was Roy Thomas just going through the motions? Were these scenes originally meant for other storylines or even the Annual before his eventual plot foir that celebration took hold?

 

Am I just reading far too much into the fact that it all feels a bit disjointed – and not much linked to what has come before?

 

Anyone…?

Aha!

Thankyou Mr Baron Sir.

The Baron said:

I will say that it's glaring when Robbins is not the penciler. Robbins style is so distinct and so dynamic that the shift just shows how much you're missing.

Master Man seems a good villain, but a lot of wasted potential.  He does show a level of strength that wouldn't be truly seen in the marvel universe until years later when the Hulk and Thor showed up.  What amazed me in this and other issues was how anyone would follow Hitler, the guy as written in the comics didn't seem to have a lot going for him.

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