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Avengers/Invaders by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Steve Sadowski (graphic novel review).

December 27, 2020 | By | Reply More

I’ve still to catch up on some details of the Marvel Earth’s Civil War, but you do get enough from the precis that Captain America aka Steve Rogers is dead and the Marvel super-heroes are still divided over registration. Tony Stark is director of SHIELD and still has Avengers on his side, not to mention a large resource of Life Model Decoys (LMDs) as his troops. A small group including Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Wolverine are still on the run.

Into this mix, the Invaders from 1941 have found themselves in 2008, believing themselves caught in a Nazi trap, being some of the evidence they’ve seen supports this. Stark, meanwhile, is doing his best not to give away too much of the future to them in case it influences their actions and change the future when they return nearly 70 years down the time-line.

The reaction of the Invaders to our present is very telling as they think they’ve caught in a Nazi trap. The Human Torch sees the LMDs as er…not so much blood brothers, but androids under the skin and them having number tattoos on their arms as akin to what he knew in his own time. Later, he realises he got it wrong, mostly because the LMDs don’t have the AI base that he was built up on. Despite the Avengers trying to keep what the Invaders learn about 2008 to the minimum, the reaction to their fates, especially Toro, has a definite emotional reaction when he discovers his own grave.

I’m having to be careful about how much plot I give away but the twist of a Cosmic Cube being involved shouldn’t be that surprising or the hands or hand it is in and then there is a flip when both Avengers units and the Invaders are propelled into the reality that isn’t what they were expecting neither. In many respects the Cosmic Cube is Marvel’s deux ex machine device and yet no one really considers using it to resurrect the deceased, just restore the current status.

Whether this is a message that none of the super-heroes want to play god with the most powerful device in their universe is a good idea or the writers unwilling to change the Marvel reality too readily. Saying that, this tends to happen all the time with resurrected characters.

The pages themselves are illustrated mainly by Stephen Sadowski with Alex Ross involved in the plotting and doing many of the covers. The Sketchbook after the 12 issues is more to show the preliminary work and alternative covers although I do wonder about showing the script by Jim Krueger as being totally necessary having read the final version with pictures.

There is a massive number of characters used in this story and it would be hard to give them all a spotlight. Bucky Barnes is shown to be the most resourceful making it more obvious why Captain America chose him as his sidekick. Oddly, Spider-Man tends to walk mostly upright and Sadowski points out he had several choice in which way to go with him but Spidey ended up looking too ordinary with a lacklustre costume.

I often wondered why Toro lacked a costume but seeing him heating up all the time, I doubt if he needed to keep warm and probably quite the opposite. Oh, and don’t call Namor ‘Subby’, no matter what age you live in.

An odd curio but an interesting read of combing two different times in the Marvel Universe.

GF Willmetts

December 2020

(pub: Marvel/Dynamite, 2009. Page graphic novel hardback. Price: I pulled my copy for about £12.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-7851-2942-4)

check out websites: www.marvel.com and www.dynamite.com

Tags:

Category: Comics, Superheroes

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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