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Avengers / Invaders #1: Review

May 2008
Jim Krueger, Steve Sadowski

Story Name:

Book One: Old Soldiers, New Wars

Review & Comments

2.5 stars

Avengers / Invaders #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Alternative cover by David Finch.

Avengers / Invaders #1 Review by (September 27, 2013)
Comments: No inkers are credited for the series. Story takes place in the aftermath of the Civil War with Captain America (Steve Rogers) being recently dead, Bucky Barnes as the new Cap, and the Avengers divided into the Mighty Avengers (supporting Tony Stark and the Registration Act) and New Avengers (opposing same).

Review: Promising epic falls flat as the 1940s hero team faces the modern hero team for a badly contrived conflict. Captain America and the rest of the Invaders are portrayed as angry blockheads who won’t listen to reason, while the Avengers don’t come across any better. Meanwhile we suffer through a perfunctory “time paradox” plot (“Oh no, we have to get them back to their own time so they don’t change the future!’) which gives way to yet another Nazi-ruled alternate history (“Cap Lives” from CAPTAIN AMERICA (2002) #17-20 was probably Marvel’s best variation on this theme); both plots seeming to be made up by Ross and Krueger as the went along. Really, D’Spayre and Ultron come out of nowhere and vanish the same way. Steve Sadowski’s art is disappointing, often seeming only a cut above mediocre; his one saving grace is that he is good at composing panels with multiple characters. Young Bucky narrates while old Bucky dances around warning his younger self; meanwhile, old Paul Anselm has absolutely no qualms about filling young Paul on his subsequent history. Comments on individual issues will be made in a more stream-of-consciousness mode.

Avengers / Invaders #1 Review by (September 27, 2013)
This limited series is split into 3 4-issue Acts. The transition from Act 1 to Act 2 isn't sharp, but they could be described as:- 1: the Invaders meet both teams of Avengers and there's a 3-way fight; 2: they combine forces against an uprising of SHIELD LMDs. Act 3 is more distinctive -the Invaders and some Avengers go back in time to prevent the Nazis winning WWII.

The Invaders are sent from the past in December 1943. We can ask the question where this fits into their other WWII activities. I'll leave the placing of Captain America, Human Torch and Sub-Mariner in their Timely lives until #3.

The British team-members Spitfire and Union Jack are easier because they wereinvented in the modern Marvel Age and so don't have Timely apps. Spitfire was introduced in Invaders #7 and appeared in most issues up to the end of the series #41. Then MCP has her in Marvel Comics Presents #89/3, a flashback in Fallen Son: Iron Man, then Av/Inv#1 and Black Panther (2005) #21, etc. There have been several Union Jack's. Brian Falsworth took over from his father in Inv#19, and he too lasted the series out. He is also credited with FS:IMfb, Av/Inv#1 and BP#21 and so on.

However Brian was the hero Destroyer in Inv#18, and that identity *did* exist in Timely comics. He appeared in many comics starting with Mystic Comics #6. So technically he wasn't invented in the modern era. But the Timely Destroyer had another civilian name, and there is an argument as to whether there were 2 Destroyers, and which issues belong to which.

We'll meet up with the modern-day Bucky and Namor later in this series. Captain America is of course 'dead' since the end of Civil War. It will be important to this series that Toro is also dead, since Sub-Mariner (1968) #14. The android Human Torch is in 1 of his dead periods too. He sacrificed himself to save the New Invaders in their 2004 series. His remains will be used by a mad scientist in Captain America (still Bucky) #45-48, and he'll be resurrected by another mad scientist in the upcoming Torch mini-series.

During the battle Spidey says says he deserves a kiss from Kirsten Dunst. By now all 3 of their films together are out, and a 4th film is still a possibility.

The team hear Swordsman's German accent here, and next issue Human Torch adds that Thunderbolts is a typical Nazi name for a group.

We'll discover next issue that the old man is Paul Anselm.

Iron Man's continuity positions this series most accurately. According to the Marvel Chronology Project in increasing focus:- it's between World War Hulk and Secret Invasion; between IM(2005)#28 (the end of the Haunted/Mandarin arc) and #29 (the start of With Iron Hands); between Fantastic Four #562 and #563 (the Official Index doesn't quite agree with this last bit).

Similarly Spider-Man in this series is well into Brand New Day territory; between Amazing SM #567 (the end of Kraven's First Hunt) and #568 (the beginning of New Ways To Die); between ASM Extra #3/3 and ASM Family #2/3.

The Thunderbolts are in this issue between their #121 (the end of Caged Angels) and #122 (the start of their Secret Invasion arc). More specifically between their Reason In Madness 1-shot and Moon Knight (2006) #22.

IM regular Maria Hill has been in Ms Marvel (2006) #21 and X-Force (2008) #2 since #28, and will go from here directly into #29.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers / Invaders #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

December 1943, the Invaders (Captain America and Bucky, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch and Toro, Spitfire, Union Jack) are backed by the U.S. Army on an assault on Monte Cassino to stop a Nazi scheme known as Operation: Time Ghost. Private Paul Anselm is paralyzed by shock when the comrades on either side of him are killed. Union Jack takes several bullets to the chest as his sister Spitfire stays behind to minister to him as they other advance. A green mist suddenly envelops them and….

In modern New York, Spider-Man is on the run from the Thunderbolts, dispatched to take him into custody for violation of the Superhuman Registration Act. As the hero banters and dodges his enemies, an old man—unimpressed with today’s heroes—is stunned to see the arrival of heroes from his day: the Invaders are on the scene. Hearing a German accent from the Swordsman (Andreas von Strucker), Cap leaps to the conclusion that these costumed characters are Nazis and the veteran heroes take them on. Making short work of the modern villains, they rush off to learn where they are. Spider-Man is stunned to see the late Captain America alive again and heads off to tell his teammates. Meanwhile, not far away, a lost soul learns from a newspaper that he is in 2008: young Private Paul Anselm.

At SHIELD Headquarters, Director Tony Stark is reviewing film of the confrontation and is shocked to recognize his late comrade Steve Rogers….

Steve Sadowski
inLight Studios
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes

(James Barnes)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Human Torch
Human Torch

(Jim Hammond)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Karla Sofen)

(Peter Parker)

(Jacqueline Falsworth)
Union Jack
Union Jack

(Brian Falsworth)

Plus: Nazis, Penance, Radioactive Man, Songbird, Swordsman (Andreas von Strucker).

> Avengers / Invaders: Book info and issue index

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