There aren’t just too many Marvel Comics I enjoy these days, but there is a subset of Marvel Comics I find myself enjoying very much, namely the titles which re-examine Marvels Golden Age roots (The Marvels Project) and even bring Golden Age characters into the present day (The Twelve, Avengers/Invaders), because I’m able to read those stories from the points of view of those characters cast into the dystopian future the Marvel Universe has become. The most recent of these series is The Torch, which, although it is said to feature the return of the Golden Age Human Torch, picks up with Toro directly following the events of the Avenger/Invaders mini-series.

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The same could be said for Wanda, Quicksilver, Wonder Man, Hawkeye and the rest, yet they all are part of the Heroic Age. I'm just saying the Vision is an integral part of Avengers' history (and our comic-reading history) and he deserves better!
The Vision isn't exactly a "Teen Vision". His Simon Williams-based brain patterns were erased... somewhere... and he got rebooted somehow. He still acts like a competent hero who has been around for a while, and is well-versed with his powers. He just has a different personality. At least some of his pre-reboot memories are intact.

His body is still the same one that was made from the old Human Torch. As revealed in Avengers Forever 12 (!) years ago, Immortus used a time power to create an identical duplicate body when Ultron stole the deactivated Torch body. From that moment on, there were 2 physical bodies in the main MU, the deactivated (and reactivated, and deactivated again, and...) Human Torch's, and the Vision's.

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Wasn't the Vision merged with Iron Lad AKA teen Kang to become Teen Vision?
I don't know about that, but the last time I saw the Vision (in three issues of The Mighty Avengers discussed on this board) he was going by the name of Jonas.

What I got out of Avengers Forever is that Imortus mucked about with the timestream so much that either version of the Vision/Torch relationship is true (or perhaps both); that is, either he's is the Human Torch, or he was made with spare parts ("of forty years vintage") left over from Horton's original lab. I don't want to spark another debate, but personally, I prefer the "spare parts" theory.
I just finished The Torch #1-8, and was delighted to find this thread! It was an interesting read, and I'd like to talk about it some more.

Of extra interest to me are the early remarks, which extend back, and deep, into what Jeff of Earth-J describes as "Marvel's dystopia" of the Dark Reign, about a year ago. Interesting to see reactions THEN, compared to what I'm experiencing NOW, as I experience the series for the first time in the context of the "Heroic Age."

First, the reason it's taken me so long to read it: I screwed up and missed issue #5. The reasons why are unimportant. But I waited until I could get the issue from Lone Star to read the whole thing, which arrived today. Ironically, the issue I received was screwed up -- about halfway through, the pages turned upside down, and there were only three of them. So, after waiting almost a year to get issue #5 to read the whole series, I STILL haven't read The Torch #5, and ended up reading the series pretty much without it! Ah, irony, thou art so ironic.

P.S.: Anybody want to tell me how the FF Human Torch got involved, how the Thinker's lab was found, and why he had anti-Horton cell gas cannisters around to be conveniently stolen and solve the problem? And what happened to the Sub-Mariner? And why the FF Human Torch went home instead of sticking around to help out? Because I'm essentially missing everything after page 10, except for three pages of random insertion. And did anyone else have this problem?

Anyway, like Jeff of Earth-J, I'm delighting in re-experiencing the Golden Age heroes in these new series. That's usual, that we agree, and thrill to the same things. What's not usual is that there's a place where Jeff and I differ, and it's Avengers/Invaders. Man, I thought that sucked. Primarily because it made the Torch act completely out of character, by suddenly acknowledging his android roots and wanting to help other "robots" to the point that he idiotically helps them almost kill his friends. I mean, c'mon. This is a guy who deliberately called himself the HUMAN Torch, even though he wasn't human! Him suddenly, after 70 years, getting all weepy about being a fake human to the point where he does stupid things TWICE that empower his new, killer friend and nearly kill his real friends of decades standing ... well, that's just expositional, puerile plotting and bad characterization.

And I say that, amazed. JoEJ and I are usually so on the same beam that when we disagree, it's almost alarming. Jeff, if you're reading this, let's compare notes and see where we diverge and why. I'm interested, anyway.

Back to Avengers/Invaders, where apparently Toro's new retro-characterization is "stupid as a bag of hammers" and "jealous of Bucky." Bleah. The Torch and Toro were both part of the "Greatest Generation," and making them Jim Kreuger/Earth X-type losers is ill-becoming. And not what I want to read.

So I was extra delighted to see both Torch and Toro re-ignited in The Torch and returned to both full power and heroic status.Yeah, Toro was kinda dumb. But still a hero, and not being petty about Bucky. Just trying to do the right thing, even if he wasn't very smart. Yeah! I can get behind that! Enough feet of clay, already. Time for the Heroic Age!

And this series was all that for me. But then, I expected a heroic ending, and got one. But I can see how someone reading this during "Dark Reign" would expect a bad ending. Maybe I would have felt the same way in 2009. But reading it in 2010, I was rooting for the good guys, and fully expected them to pull a W out at the end. ANd they did! Very satisfying! (Plus, some real characterization for the "Mad" Thinker, who hasn't had any since his first appearance fortysomething years ago. That's very welcome, to make him a believable character in the 21st century AND sets him up for some good stories later AND explains some older ones. Well done, Mike Carey!)

And, yes, I can get directly behind a new Invaders. Sub-Mariner is being handled smartly in the X-books, where he is still a bit of a jerk, but more heroic than I've seen since the John Byrne Namor days. I can now see him working with his old WWII pals, especially since that's an itch I've wanted scratched since 1964. (Why HASN'T Namor sought the company of people who have lived as long as he has? Especially since they fought the Nazis together. I mean, they've got a lot to talk about, all his other friends are dead, and any new ones he cares to meet will die long before he does, so he can't take them seriously. He and Steve Rogers ought to be as thick as thieves.)

My only complaint about the new Invaders is that there's no Whizzer. Or Miss America. I know, that's a weird complaint.

But see, when I was young, there had never been an Invaders in the Golden Age -- that was a retcon by Roy Thomas starting in 1975. What I knew about in 1963, when I started reading comics, was the All-Winners Squad, which had only two published adventures (in All Winners Comics #19 and 21 in 1946) and one unpublished one, all three of which were printed in Fantasy Masterpieces, which my older brother bought, and I read.

So when I started reading comics, in elementary school. THERE WAS NO INVADERS. And there wouldn't be one until 1975, when I was going to COLLEGE. And by then I was fully old enough to comprehend that Invaders was a retcon. I enjoyed it, but I knew it wasn't "real." What was "real" was the All-Winners Squad, which was actually published in the 1940s.

And who was on that team? Glad you asked. It was Timely's Big Three, of course (Cap, Torch, Namor). And the two sidekicks (Toro, Bucky). And the rest of the team? Whizzer and Miss America, who happened to be published in All Winners Comics BEFORE the team took shape in 1946. They belonged there.

So, to me, the "Invaders" is and always will be a construct, a current conceit that only represents the REAL team, which was as described above. OK, I can accept Union Jack and Spitfire, because I hear that the UK was somewhat involved in WWII. *Cough* (Of course, if we're going that way, where are the French and Russian heroes? Especially the Russians! Either the Invaders is an American team, or it's a multi-national team. Why change history to make it Anglo-American, and ONLY Anglo-American? Either go international or leave it all American, as it was originally!)

OK, I'm going way fanboy here. But a series like The Torch really does bring all that baggage front and center. What do we think of our heroes? How long have they been around? Which retcons do we believe? And is a given series fun, or dumb?

For my money -- and, yes, I spent it for this series -- The Torch hit all of my buttons. And I'm looking forward to Toro going back and fixing his new girlfriend's Horton cells so she can come outside. Well, of course, she's not really his girlfriend yet. But she should be, right?
Jeff, if you're reading this, let's compare notes and see where we diverge and why.

I don’t our respective opinions diverge all that much, Cap. Looking back over what I wrote, I lumped Avengers/Invaders into a subset of Marvel titles dealing with revitalized heroes from the Golden Age which “I find myself enjoying very much.” In point of fact, the whole business with the Human Torch and the LMDs is my least favorite aspect of the series, but I think you and I are in “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?” territory. The only difference is, that sub-plot didn’t ruin the whole series for me.

Let’s look at what else Avengers/Invaders has to offer. First, it introduced me to at least one Golden Age character I was wholly unfamiliar with (Challenger), and featured several others I have heard of but never read; second, it provided a previously unrevealed raison d’etre for the golden age Vision which I found to be not only interesting but compelling; third and most importantly, it returned a… well, I won’t say “beloved” but I will say useful character from limbo (“useful” in the sense that I think Ross and company have some interesting things planned). Avengers/Invaders was the set-up, and Torch was very much a transitional story, but if they can keep the momentum building, I’ve very much looking forward to the new Invaders series!

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