Monday, November 24, 2014

Arc of Triumph? Invaders 5,6, Marvel Premiere 29, 30








Karen: This four-parter, over four months, was the introduction of the Liberty Legion, the American homefront WWII super-team full of obscure characters that Roy Thomas plucked out of his old comics and brought back to give modern Marvel some history. I dug it, even if they didn't pop up too often. There were a bunch of artists who worked on these four books: Rich Buckler, Dick Ayers, Don Heck, and of course...Frank Robbins. Any thoughts on this hero-filled extravaganza?

11 comments:

MattComix said...

In general there's something interesting about the idea that there was an age of heroes in the early 20th Century that faded but then a new age of heroes was ushered in with modern times. I love the idea of Cap being the one that lives in both so he's kind of an anchor, a living embodiment of that legacy. Guys like Spidey look to him.

When DC was under its "Post Crisis" continuity Superman and Batman were basically the catalyst for the modern/second age while heroes like the Alan Scott Green Lantern and Jay Garrick Flash were the heroes of WWII. With the origin having Johnathan and Martha creating the costume it's easy to see why that suit is what they came up with if those were the heroes they saw when they were kids.

I kinda hated losing the idea of Superman being THE first but the idea he brings back something that was once lost and needed again is also cool.

Doug said...

True story --

Over the weekend I was trying to think of some storylines that would make a good feature for our Monday comics discussions. This very story was one that came to mind, and later when I went to the queue to set it up -- Karen had it already for roll-out! I guess when you work closely with someone for six years those things are bound to happen.

I loved this story, but wow -- could the art have been better! The covers really don't tell the full story of what lay within. But that's what we often got with Marvel's try-out books (not always).

Overall, I loved the concept, and was happy to see the Liberty Legion return in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One a bit later (a story we've reviewed here).

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

The only one of these issues I ever had was Marvel Premiere #30 (and later I remember getting a hold of #29), but I never read the Invaders installments.
Even so, I remember liking the story well enough, even if I didn't have the whole thing - it was basically Roy Thomas having fun with Golden Age superheroes.

Karen said...

The resounding silence makes me think I'm completely out of tune with the rest of the gang. I was even trying to go for something more mainstream! Ah well.

The entire four-issue arc can be found in the "Classic Invaders" volume one TPB. The first issue(Invaders 5) starts with Rich Buckler art, which was pretty nice, but sort of devolves from there. How I managed to hang with Invaders as long as I did I don't know. I really loved the WWII angle I guess.

There's a great bit in here where Namor sees dossiers on the Liberty Legion and starts ripping on them, calling them two-bit versions of the Invaders. He's especially annoyed by the Fin. Funny stuff.

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, I would add more to the discusion, but like I said, I only ever read half of this tale. And the first issues of Invaders I picked up were the ones immediately following this one, i.e., when Baron Blood and Union Jack were introduced. But I only became a regular reader of Invaders after Robbins left the title. And then it was cancelled about a dozen issues later...

Martinex1 said...

I really liked these Invaders and Marvel Premiere issues. So much was crammed into the story and it was all quite enjoyable. The art as was already commented on could have used a boost and that could have helped the overall impression, but Roy sure did not lack in the imagination. In retrospect, I think the Liberty Legion may have benefitted from some thinning of their ranks. I found Jack Frost and Red Raven and the Blue Diamond to have a lot of potential with their different backgrounds, origins and perspectives. But I never fully warmed to the Whizzer and Thin Man. I liked the Whizzer's appearances in the Avengers, but here the characterizations seemed a bit redundant (and just too many characters to keep all of the balls juggled effectively). The Patriot is obviously a Cap type filler. But I did like Miss America. I think if the team was a bit streamlined, there was a ton of potential. I liked the WWII era comic stories as there was plenty of real history to tap into without a lot of Marvel history to tangle it up. As far as this specific storyline, I thought the Red Skull was near his best/worst here. A little less Bucky may have helped as well; I like Bucky as a sidekick, but when he takes center stage he held less interest for me. I always think of him as a secondary character and not a headliner. Sometimes his characterization bordered on whiny so I never fully accepted him as a "leader" type. There was something about the Invaders though (even with the Robbins art) that had me collecting almost every issue.

J.A. Morris said...

I thought it was a good story, Roy Thomas' enthusiasm for WWII stories really shone through. The art was pretty good except for Robbins. U-man makes an appearance, he was my favorite Invaders villain. You can get all the Bronze Age appearances of the Liberty Legion in this book:
http://bronzeagereprints.blogspot.com/2014/07/thingliberty-legion.html

Graham said...

I loved the Invaders. I really got into the DC Golden Age heroes (via DC's Super Spectaculars and their reprints), so I was thrilled to see Marvel's oldies in action. Unfortunately, I only got two issues of this, the first and last parts, due to distribution in my neck of the woods, but the Buckler art in the first part was great. I did eventually get the in-between chapters much later.

I would have read the Invaders more, but it came around the time that the store in my tiny little town stopped carrying comic books. I hung in as much as I could. It was just a fun and exciting series (so much so that I didn't mind the Frank Robbins art, I guess).

Anonymous said...

Yeah Roy really loved these WW2 characters. I dunno, I kinda liked the Whizzer, Martinex1! The Invaders was one of those titles that invoked the nostalgia factor. Frank Robbins? Well, love him or hate him, at least he was associated with this title!

- Mike 'Is there really gonna be a Deathlok movie! Yesss!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Bruce B. said...

I'm a sucker for superhero comics set in World War II, particularly if Roy Thomas is writing them. So I loved this story arc.

As for Frank Robbins, I'm generally not a fan, but I thought his Golden Age style worked a lot better on a book like the Invaders than on titles set in contemporary times.

BK said...

Encountered maybe one (?) issue of this arc first time around and have only read it in bits ever since. Wonderful Kirby covers and I'm a Frank Robbins fan, mainly because of his run on this book. Invaders is def. one of my top 10 non-Kirby 70s series. Love anything WWI, loved Roy T, and loved goofy Golden Age characters given the "modern Marvel" treatment, a la Cap. Loved that Whizzer and Miss America were once thought to be the parents of Wanda and Pietro.Outside of the high-concept stuff, my memory of the plot and story is that it was a jumbled mess, fairly pedestrian. But still love the new/old character idea.

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