Marvel is bringing back the Invaders, the World War 2 heroes who love them some flashback story conventions whenever they pop up. Sure it’s a convention that’s used way too much, but what do you expect from heroes whose whole schtick is that they used to fight Nazis? I am skeptical, but hell, is it good?
All-New Invaders (2014-) #1 (Marvel Comics)
This issue opens with the original Human Torch, a robot; he’s living in Illinois as a mechanic and his powers are unknown to the townspeople. Probably a stupid move, considering how close he’s become with the town. The issue follows him through the town and we see he’s generally liked.
Then an alien shows up and starts killing said people.
The issue moves rather quickly between this alien fight sequence to a World War 2 flashback that Torch doesn’t seem to recall. A few things are set up in these pages, one of which is the vague intentions of the bad guys, but also a new hero that’s similar to Captain America. Tantalizing!
Writer James Robinson does a decent enough job juggling the flashback even though we’ve seen this Human Torch’s flaky robot memory exploited for plots sake so many times. This new hero is the real interesting piece, partly because it could have implications as to Captain America’s origin, but then again we’ve seen that before too. That’s right, Captain America and Bucky by Ed Brubaker and Francesco Francavilla played around with the same concepts of memories remembered, but heck maybe my suspicions are off and this will travel in a new direction. At face value though this issue doesn’t seem to bring much new to the table.
Interesting if that’s true.
It also spends a lot of time showcasing some meaningless panels of Torch and this alien sparring. Steve Pugh does a good job, particularly how the colors pop with his lines, but his style is a little too similar to Greg Land for my tastes. Namely the facial expressions look like they were traced from magazines.
Bucky is looking pretty psychotic here.
Is It Good?
This issue doesn’t bring anything new to the Invaders we haven’t seen before. I’d still give it an issue or two to flesh out the concept because we don’t know enough, but this issue feels done before.