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 encourage everyone to look at this page about Biljo. His personal story and his great writer/artist work for fan publications are worth a look. Be sure to click on the sample pages. I used to buy fan pubs with his work. The Eye and The Fog were particularly well-done. They had a golden-age vibe, but with consistently good artwork.

The Baron said:

  Is this thread going to cover the Fantastic Four/Invaders team up?  I think it was an annual, and later the Thing teamed up with the Liberty Legion.

Mark, I'm glad you asked.

They are indeed on my list.

I kind of see them being covered in 'Marvel Time' order - in other words - after the main Invaders run....along with 'significant' Invaders related issues through the years...?

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  Is this thread going to cover the Fantastic Four/Invaders team up?  I think it was an annual, and later the Thing teamed up with the Liberty Legion.

Any book without the regular artist always screamed "FILL-IN" to me in those days. Was there any explanation for Robbins' absence? Maybe it was, indeed, a fill-in.

No actual explanation Captain, but, Robbins did complete the regular-comic-sized opening and closing chapters of the above Annual # 1 and I believe it may have been that that used up his monthly quota ?. - Although Springer did the inking on that too and he was around to ink this ish...?

Captain Comics said:

Any book without the regular artist always screamed "FILL-IN" to me in those days. Was there any explanation for Robbins' absence? Maybe it was, indeed, a fill-in.

He may not have been able to pencil any more pages than that in a given month -- not every artist was Jack Kirby!

That may well be the full truth of it - and explain why we never see covers by Robbins.

Captain Comics said:

He may not have been able to pencil any more pages than that in a given month -- not every artist was Jack Kirby!

I enjoyed this issue. I always liked Master Man and actually seeing Uncle Adolph at the end was a shock for me, at the time I read it anyway.

Yes, great cover by Kirby. I actually liked Mooney's and Springer's art here. Easier on the eyes than Robbins/Springer.

Again we have Steve Rogers beginning to explain why they aren't arrested for being AWOL before he's interrupted. I don't remember if he ever finishes explaining or if Thomas just drops it, figuring he's gone far enough in addressing the issue. Further reading will fill in that gap.

Richard Mantle said:

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…?

Mark, I had a similar 'wow' moment there too - I think it was that I was amazed they could feature an actual REAL person!

Mark Stanislawski said:

I enjoyed this issue. I always liked Master Man and actually seeing Uncle Adolph at the end was a shock for me, at the time I read it anyway.

Actually, Hitler and Churchill could have gotten their own entries in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe!
 
Richard Mantle said:

Mark, I had a similar 'wow' moment there too - I think it was that I was amazed they could feature an actual REAL person!

Mark Stanislawski said:

I enjoyed this issue. I always liked Master Man and actually seeing Uncle Adolph at the end was a shock for me, at the time I read it anyway.

  They used Churchill in the title more than they did FDR.

As we saw way back at the beginning - Churchill was the catalyst and inspiration for the formation of the team but somehow featuring Hitler as the Uber- villain seemed even more daring and dramatic. Baron Zemo and the Red Skull were like 'Hitler-substitutes' in the Marvel Universe but he was the real thing!!

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