Saturday, March 29, 2008

ARTWORK: Jim CheungARTWORK: UnknownARTWORK: Alex RossSince I usually try to tie Saturdays to posts during the week, there was really only one option for this week. Not that I'm complaining! Actually, despite the relative absence of the series, message board hangover has me still considering myself as something of a champion for the under appreciated series, New Invaders.

While DC has earned a reputation for capitalizing on nostalgia value in their aged characters; Marvel's association with the Golden Age has been tenuous, even at the best of times. It's really only the Invaders who have endured into the Marvel Age that began in the sixties, chiefly the trinity of; Cap, Namor, and Human Torch.
Right now Marvel has opened the floodgates to it's long forgotten classics! Following the success of Agents of ATLAS, Marvel now presents, The Twelve, as overseen by J. Michael Straczynski.

Of course, a Golden Age reneissance at Marvel without the Invaders, just wouldn't be complete! With a great deal of their history as a team established in the mid-seventies, it's hardly surprising to see their story continues to evolve. Alex Ross, Jim Kreuger, and Steve Sadowski prepare to add their touch to the mythos with the upcoming Avengers/Invaders; a twelve-issue maxi-series that details the journey of WWII-era Invaders displaced in a post-Civil War contemporary Marvel. Reactions to internal division within the superhero community, the death of Captain America, and attitudes towards violence will be issues prominently explored in the issue, diving into the evolutionary process that made these soldiers into superheroes.

While this week's Cover to Cover is far from a complete guide to the Invaders, I invite you to take a look at some of the reviews that have chronicled their journies into the modern age. This includes not only the actions of a brand new militant Invaders, but also emerging influences like Namor's shocking return in the 1960's Marvel Universe, and the recent death of Steve Rogers.

X-Men #6 (July 1964)
"The Sub-Mariner joins the Evil Mutants" Lee/Kirby

He's the pink-skinned ruler of Atlantis, with the power to fly, and the strength of one hundred men, but how did he come to be?
Learning of Namor's return to the modern world, Professor Charles Xavier makes the radical hypothesis that the WWII anti-hero may in fact be one of the world's first mutants! Alas, Xavier is not the only man to have formulated this theory, and deep within the kingdom of Atlantis, the astral projection of Magneto sees about luring the Sub-Mariner to the cause of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!

The recruitment race is on as the Sub-Mariner is forced to choose between two sides in a brand new war that will shape the future -- for better or worse. Will the scion of the seas be swayed by the plight of his fellow mutants, or will it be all above sea who feel his wrath?

New Invaders #0 (August 2004)
"Once an Invader..." Jacobsen/Austen/Smith

When the Invaders receive information from United States Secretary of Defense, Dell Rusk, they are compelled to come out of retirement to intervene in the tribulations of the oil rich republic, Mazikhandar.

Unbeknownst to the team, and their leader, Thin Man, the Invaders are little more than puppets in the manipulations of a disguised Red Skull! The Nazi war criminal's true motivations are to aid the Axis Mundi, who require the mysterious Kahlarian technologies of the Thin Man to construct the ultimate inter-dimensional weapon!

Aware of Red Skull's schemes; the Avengers assemble to stop the Invaders' rampage in the Middle East, but when Captain America comes face-to-face with his former allies, does he have the full story, or are the Invaders about to avert International disaster?

New Invaders #1 (October 2004)
"To End All Wars" Jacobsen/Smith

With Atlantis pledged to a sovereign alliance with Mazikhandar; Namor and the Invaders call in the aid of an old friend in the interest of protecting the oil rich nation, and expanding their battle with the villainous Axis Mundi!

The original Human Torch, Jim Hammond, joins the team in an alliance that sees the Invaders become an army thanks to the recruitment of Hammond's V-Battalion; a team comprised of descendants of Second World War veterans!
Hammond and his Battalion soon find they've reached the frontline when their transport is attacked by synthetic agents of the Axis Mundi - the Pterrorists! Will the insectoid swarm prove too poweful for these vintage heroes, or are they the perfect disposable threat for the old guard to work-out the rust of battle? The story starts here!

New Invaders #6 (March 2005)
"Oil and Water" Jacobsen/Lucas

After being murdered and resurrected by the Hand, Wolverine has become a controlled assassin for the terrorist organization, Hydra. Hydra's association with elements of the Axis Mundi has prompted them to lend their assassin-drone to the cause, and so, Wolverine is deployed to Mazikhandar where he joins the effort to interfere with the efforts of the new Invaders!

After killing Namor's trusted right hand, the Atlantean diplomat Sulumor, the battle turns personal as the Atlantean monarch excises his tempers on the invincible mutant! The battle that ensues sees each man lay waste to the other in what is a showdown between two of Earth's oldest, and most powerful mutant menaces! Perhaps the greatest casualty is Mazikhandar, but when push comes to shove, the Invaders are there to back the Sub-Mariner up! Enemy of the State tie-in!

Captain America #25 (April 2007)
"The Death of the Dream" Brubaker/Epting

In the wake of the superhero Civil War; Steve Rogers is to be put on trial for his crimes as an anti-registration rebel. This WWII patriot, once a hero to generations, is about to become a bargaining chip in government pleas to a public in shock after a disaster that saw the destruction of school. Flaunted before the courthouse, Captain America is exposed, and when the Red Skull launches his plan, Captain America is dead.

Now his thought-dead protégé, Bucky Barnes, must dig deep within himself to turn against decades of Russian programming, and seek vengeance for his murdered mentor. The hunt is on as Falcon and Winter Soldier launch independent attacks on Cap's sniper - Crossbones - but will they bring the killer to justice, or is the true villain lying right beneath everybody's nose? Here is the issue that changed the landscape of the Marvel Universe forever!

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