The Revolution has been anxiously awaiting Avengers/Invaders #1 for quite some time. It is no secret that we have fell in love with the what Krueger and Ross have given us over on Project Super Powers. Krueger’s exceptional handling of those Golden Age characters makes me confident that Krueger will do a fine job with the Invaders. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Avengers/Invaders #1.
Plot: Jim Krueger & Alex Ross
Script: Jim Krueger
Artist: Steve Sadowski
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue is narrated by Bucky in the form of journal entries. Bucky talks about how Hitler is searching for occult weapons to make the war go his way. We see the Invaders taking part in a mission named Operation Time Ghost in Italy. The Invaders are backed up by America soldiers. We see them getting into a fight with some Nazi soldiers.
Bucky introduces the readers to each member of the Invaders. Bucky says that Captain America is their leader and the greatest human being ever. Bucky says that the Sub-Mariner is their powerhouse. That Namor hates it when Bucky calls him “Subby” which is why Bucky always calls him “Subby.”
Bucky says that the Human Torch is named Jim Hammond and is not a human. He is a synthetic human. Spitfire is the female member of the Invaders. She received a blood transfusion from the Human Torch and gained super speed powers. Bucky thinks that Jim likes her. Bucky says that he likes Spitfire too since he likes fast girls.
Union Jack is also a member of the team. He is the second man to carry that name. Bucky says that he is like Bucky in that he has no super powers. But, he is unlike Bucky in that he is boring and British. The final member of the team is Toro. He is like the Human Torch except he is completely human.
During the fight with the Nazi soldiers, Bucky thinks how many of the soldiers are like him: just kids. That maybe they fight this war to become men. Or maybe they fight because they want everyone to know that they are not afraid. That they are not the people they fear they are deep down. That they want to prove that fighting this war is about more than just having things to live for. It is about having something worth dying for.
We see the Invaders kicking ass on the Nazi soldiers. We also see many of the America soldiers getting gun down and blown up. We see Union Jack getting shot. Spitfire holds Union Jack and tells him not to die on her. Suddenly, a strange green mist covers the battlefield. Captain America tells the Invaders to hold their breath and to press on.
We cut to modern day Manhattan and see Spider-Man brawling with the Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts inform Spider-Man that he is under arrest. We see an old man watching the fight and telling his grandson that the Thunderbolts are not heroes. That he knew true heroes when he was younger.
Suddenly, a cloud of green mist appears in the street and the Invaders come running out of the cloud and into modern day Manhattan. The Invaders are confused as to what just happened. The Thunderbolts tells the Invaders to stand down. That Spider-Man is under arrest for violating the Super Human Registration Act.
The Thunderbolts tell Bucky to drop his weapon. Captain America says that they are being lied to. That he doesn’t know what happened or where they are, but nothing changes. Captain America knows bad guys when he sees them and he says that the Thunderbolts are bad guys. With that the Invaders start brawling with the Thunderbolts.
The Invaders kick ass on the Thunderbolts and quickly defeat them. Captain America then tells the Invaders that they have to go into hiding until they can figure out what is going on here. They need to find out what Hitler has done now.
Spider-Man is stunned that Captain America is back. Spider-Man says that he has to go tell the rest of the Secret Avengers this news. We then see an America soldier who also got time warped by the green mist. The solider picks up a copy of the Daily Bugle and cannot believe that he has been transported to the future.
We cut to the SHIELD Helicarrier where Iron Man has just found out that Captain America is back. Iron Man stands in front of several monitors replaying the fight between the Invaders and the Thunderbolts. Tony quietly says “Steve.” End of issue.
The Good: Avengers/Invaders #1 was a solid read. Krueger serves up a nice debut issue to what has the potential to be a highly entertaining twelve issue series. Krueger performs all of the unglamorous work of a quality story with this issue. Krueger constructs a proper foundation for this twelve issue story. And, as a general rule, foundation issues are rarely riveting reads. Still, they are necessary evils in order to pull off a technically sound and well plotted story.
Krueger does his job of making sure to properly introduce the modern day reader with the members of the Invaders. Krueger also displays what type of team dynamic that the Invaders possess. I dig that Krueger uses Bucky’s journal entries to frame this issue. This provides a nice opportunity to have an interesting monologue running throughout the battle scene.
Also, Bucky’s introduction of his various teammates on the Invaders gives the reader some insight into how Bucky views his teammates. It also serves as a convenient method to give the reader a bit of back-ground information on each member of the Invaders during an exciting action scene. This allows Krueger not to bring the pacing of the issue to a halt while still giving necessary introductory information about each Invader.
Avengers/Invaders #1 was a well paced and plotted issue. We get an enjoyable mix of drama and action. Krueger definitely does not skimp on the action in this issue. We get plenty of brawling and that keeps this debut issue a lively read despite all of the set-up work that Krueger has to perform. The pacing is pleasant. This is not a slow issue at all as Krueger doesn’t hesitate getting this story off and running.
I loved the World War II scene as it gives the reader a proper feel for the war. Krueger gives us a stark contrast between the World War II fight scene and the brawl between the Thunderbolts and Spider-Man. This gets the point across that the Invaders are not your typical super hero team. That the Invaders are a group of super heroes who engaged in combat and espionage missions.
It is no surprise that Krueger does a fine job with the dialogue in this issue. The dialogue has a good flow. The best external voice belongs to Bucky and that is to be expected since Bucky got the lion’s share of the lines in this issue. Krueger displays a good feel for the various characters and gives each one of the Invaders their own distinct personality in a relatively short amount of time.
I dig how the Invaders violently and quickly dispatch the Thunderbolts. I have no problem with such a quick and one-sided victory. It makes sense that a team that has been fighting together in an actual war would have better chemistry and be more vicious fighters than modern day costumed villains trying to enforce the Registration Act. This scene emphasizes that the Invaders are not simple costumed crime-fighters. This is a team of soldiers.
What Krueger gives us in Avengers/Invaders #1 is the flipside of what JMS is doing on The Twelve. Krueger has obvious respect and love for the Golden Age heroes. While JMS views the Golden Age heroes with contempt and paints them as Neanderthals operating in a society that is inferior to the superior progressive modern society of today. JMS, the aging Baby Boomer, is happily mocking “The Greatest Generation” whose shadow the Baby Boomer’s have forever lived in and chaffed mightily at not being viewed the superior generation.
In Avengers/Invaders #1, Krueger shows that modern day society is not as great as we would like to think that it is. That all the changes that have occurred over the years have not all necessarily been for the better. While JMS has given us Golden Age heroes that are hard to like over in The Twelve, Krueger displays Golden Age heroes in the Invaders that are easy for people to honor and respect as great heroes.
I love the ending to Avengers/Invaders #1. Krueger ends this issue with the reader wondering how in the world the Invaders got shunted to present day America. The first reaction by the reader is to wonder how the 1940’s Captain America is going to react to modern America and the Super Hero Registration Act.
I enjoyed how Krueger handled Tony’s reaction to seeing Captain America alive and well once again. Despite what some writers have done with Tony Stark since Civil War, the fact is that Tony and Steve were extremely close friends. And there are few characters that miss Steve more than Tony does. I am curious to see how Tony reacts to coming face to face with his deceased friend.
The reader gets treated to plenty of strong artwork by Steve Sadowski. Sadowski draws a nice “realistic” look to the heroes reminiscent of what Ross likes to do. What is impressive is that Sadowski is as adept at drawing the Golden Age classic looking WW II battles scenes as he is the modern fight scenes in the urban jungle of Manhattan. Sadowski has plenty of range and can pull off nice dramatic scenes as well as high flying action scenes.
The Bad: I have no real complaints with this issue.
Overall: Avengers/Invaders #1 was a solid debut issue. Krueger does a good job introducing newer readers to the Invaders and giving us a little bit of back-story. Now that Krueger has laid the foundation for this story I am excited to see what Krueger has in store of us with the rest of this story.
I think that Avengers/Invaders #1 is balanced enough to appeal to readers who prefer faster paced stories with plenty of action as well as to readers who enjoy good dialogue and quality character work. I would certainly recommend giving Avengers/Invaders #1 a try.