New Invaders #0: Review

Aug 2004
Chuck Austen, C P Smith

Story Name:

Once an Invader (part 4)

Review & Comments

4 stars

New Invaders #0 Review by (June 4, 2021)
This is the concluding part 4 of the Once An Invader story arc in Avengers (1998) #82-84. Chuck Austen (the scripter of the Avengers issues) and Alan Jacobsen (who'll handle the rest of the NI series) co-wrote this issue.

This issue calls Wasp Giant-Woman, which is appropriate because she currently prefers growing rather than shrinking, but I don't think anyone else uses that name for her.

The new Captain Britain's in this issue too but doesn't do anything noticeable.

US Agent gathered the new Invaders membership (except Thin Man) in the Avengers issues.

Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton) was a member of the (retroactive) WWII Invaders. She got her speed power via a blood transfusion from the original android Human Torch, and in the Marvel Era was rejuvenated by another such transfusion.

She served in the WWII Invaders with her brother Union Jack (Brian Falsworth). The current UJ is his successor Joey Chapman.

Blazing Skull (Mark Todd) was active in WWII in Timely Comics. He joined the Invaders for their 2nd (mini-)series. He's kept out of the limelight since the 40's but he's lately spent a long time a prisoner of Arab terrorists, which has driven him somewhat insane. He's still alive because he's got 1 of those healing factors.

Tara seems like a female version of the android Invader Human Torch but we don't yet know her origin. Like HT initially, she spontaneously bursts into flame on contact with oxygen.

Sub-Mariner, also an original Invader, teamed up with these new Invaders because they both had a problem with Mazikhandar. But it seems that he's going to hang around for the rest of the series.

Thin Man has only revealed his involvement this issue. Bruce Dickson had his origin and only Timely app in Mystic Comics #4, but he's been made a member of the WWII Invaders spin-off Liberty Legion. He too joined the Invaders for their short 2nd series and has been declared a member of the post-War V-Battalion. He resurfaced in modern times when he hunted down and executed Nazi war criminal Agent Axis in Marvel Comics Presents #34, where Captain America arrested him for that murder.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

New Invaders #0 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Continued from AVENGERS (1998) #84.

On orders from US Secretary Of Defence Dell Rusk U.S. Agent has formed a new team of Invaders in Av#82-84. He seemed to be blithely unaware until the end of Av#84 of the scandal when Rusk was revealed to be Red Skull. They worked with Sub-Mariner and his Atlanteans to effect regime-change in Mazikhandar, and succeeded despite (or actually aided by) the interference of the Avengers. But it went sour when their replacement ruler General Rafiq killed the ex-dictator Hassan.

The Avengers have US Agent in custody and now Captain America confronts Namor to demand Rafiq stand trial for murder. But John Walker is getting a message from someone called the Thin Man asking for a distraction to enable him to 'salvage the specimen'. USA breaks his bonds and counter-demands that the Avengers leave because this was a mission sanctioned by the US and British governments (2 of the Invaders are British). Hawkeye was guarding him and now shoots an arrow into his buttock. The teams start to fight, which satisfies Thin Man who has appeared on top of the Capitol building and now disappears ...

... to reappear inside where Hassan's body is rapidly decomposing. He admonishes Rafiq because the deal he made with him was for Hassan to be delivered to him alive. Rafiq protests that they both know this wasn't the real Hassan. Thin Man agrees that Dell Rusk  had Hassan assassinated and replaced with this synthetic being, but he needed the 'specimen' alive to study. At that point Blazing Skull gets knocked in through a window. He recognises Thin Man from WWII and after (they worked together in Invaders and the V-Battalion). Then he dashes back out to continue fighting She-Hulk and admiring her cleavage, but a bit later we see him stuck with some of Hawkeye's arrows. TM leaves Rafiq to his fate.

Cap and Iron Man enter the building in search of Rafiq. An Atlantean Sulumor makes to attack them but his liege Namor stops him. He accuses Sub-Mariner of bowing to the wishes of air-breathers again so Namor knocks him down. But Thin Man pops in to suggest Sulumor might have a point. Subby agreed to invade Mazikhandar because its actions were polluting the oceans. TM suggests that the villains behind 'Hassan' are still a menace to Atlantis while Rafiq's people will be their allies. But Rafiq himself is a liability. So Namor and Sulumor find Rafiq and 'persuade' him to surrender.

Tony Stark suggests to Steve Rogers that the Invaders they know, especially Spitfire and Union Jack, wouldn't normally get involved in stuff like this. So he wonders if they're being controlled by Red Skull. Then Thin Man does his appearing act again. Cap asks why Bruce Dickson isn't still in prison for murder (Marvel Comics Presents #34). Dickson replies that the government released him to 'clean up Dell Rusk's mess'. The heroes try to leave but TM's elastic limbs whirl them about.

Meanwhile outside Blazing Skull has toppled the giant-size Wasp, nearly squashing his team-mate Union Jack in the process. Another Invader, the flying, blazing (and to Mark Todd's enjoyment, naked) female android Human Torch Tara, swoops in to carry BS to safety. And UJ is confronted by Cap who TM has just painfully transported through sub-dimensional space (that's how he does his disappear/reappear). But then Dickson whips him away again.

Iron Man has I think also been thus disoriented by Thin Man, enabling US Agent to beat him up a bit. Tony asks John what's really going on but Walker claims it's classified. Stark points out that he's the Secretary Of Defence, so he'd better get some answers. He repulsor blasts him but Spitfire and Union Jack step in with guns to stop the fight. Thin Man appears overhead with Cap and Iron Man blasts *him* and he collapses.

Namor and Sulumor turn up with Rafiq in tow. Sub-Mariner announces that Mazikhandar is now a protectorate of Atlantis, and Sulumor has been appointed its Atlantean 'advisor'. Rafiq will be prosecuted for murder. Political prisoners will be released and human rights established. (He doesn't actually follow this with the usual 'democracy will be installed as soon as it is safe to do so'.)

Cap tells Dickson he'll be keeping an eye on them, and the Avengers leave in their quinjet. Walker says that he enjoyed fighting the Avengers but maybe things would have gone better if they'd told them what was really going on. Thin Man quotes 'need to know'.

C P Smith
C P Smith
Chris Walker
Scott Kolins (Cover Penciler)
Scott Kolins (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Sharpe.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: Joe Quesada.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Jacqueline Falsworth)
U.S. Agent
U.S. Agent

(John Walker)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Blazing Skull (Mark Todd), Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh), Human Torch (Tara), Thin Man, Union Jack (Joey Chapman).

> New Invaders: Book info and issue index

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