Giant-Size Invaders #1
Marvel Premiere #29
Marvel Premiere #30
Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #13
Dyna-Mite is not a more ridiculous name than the Whizzer.
I'm not sure that the Marvel heroes would have made that much of a difference in World War II. Namor and the Torch are powerful but they have their limits. Now the DC heroes should have been able to win World War II in about five seconds, which is why Roy came up with the Spear of Destiny explanation, and a lot of people felt even that didn't work.
Roger Aubrey, especially under Fabian Nicieza, is an example of a archetype that's been showing up relatively recently- the scheming homosexual who is willing to sacrifice others in the name of what he sees as the greater good. Other examples include Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter and Cyrus from Scandal. I'm not sure what the origins of this stereotype are and if it should be considered homophobic or not.
Posted by: Michael | September 26, 2012 9:21 PM
You know, i agree with just about everything you say. This is the trade where i really got turned off on the invaders. The artwork went from quaint to sloppy, the stories started to get too silly (the way the heroes fly in and out of germany seems a joke).
I dislike the blue bullet too. Iron man was the first fully armoured hero (dr doom beat him by a year). Its annoying to have these retro characters which make iron man look like just another armour guy (the worst is when Roy puts silly armour on the silver scorpion)
I understand the need to add a british element to the invaders but union jack and spitfire are stupid and the crusaders were so boring it hurts. Ill admit master man and warrior woman made good villains.
the only redeeming feature s the absoulutely fun annual. this is what the whole series should have been like (if we had to have the concept of invaders at all). the style was a great throwback to the all winners squad. heroes going on solo missions, encountering non-powered baddies, and the art on the human torch was a dozen times better than frank robbins sloppy stuff.
Of course the biggest sin was placing out Golem in Warsaw. The Golem is from PRAGUE!
Posted by: kveto from prague | September 27, 2012 6:12 PM
I actually like both the concepts of Union Jack and Spitfire, but dislike their backstories/origins intensely. The entire appeaser/Destroyer angle complicates something that doesn't need to be, Union Jack needs something to distinguish him from Cap, and a blood transfusion should not have given Spitfire her powers. It just seems incredibly lazy.
I also agree that armored villains in WWII annoys me as well. Nazi steampunk, weird Vril technology, or something other would work fine.
And Roy Thomas was dumb to never include esoteric Nazism's belief that the original Aryan race was related to Atlantis. That linkage could have been used to a lot of cool use.
Posted by: Chris | September 28, 2012 10:20 PM
The blood-transfusion-grants-speedster-powers origin for Spitfire is presumably Roy's nod to the equally ridiculous mongoose-blood transfusion that empowered the Whizzer. (I wish Roy had just given Jaqueline some of the Whizzer's blood instead -- that would have made more comic-book sense at least.)
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 29, 2012 12:28 AM
Whoops--you already covered the Whizzer homage in an earlier entry. Sorry for not looking before I posted.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 29, 2012 2:12 AM
"Willi Lohmer" is most likely paraphrased from "Death of a Salesman".
The Crusaders story was the Marvel half of a Marvel/DC crossover that nobody figured out until years later. Roy and DC writer Bob Rozakis decided to simultaneously introduce a "Crusaders" team in their books(Bob's being "Freedom Fighters") that mimicked the other company's WWII-era team. So: Captain Wings=Black Condor, Ghost Girl=Phantom Lady, Tommy Lightning=The Ray, Thunderfist=Human Bomb, Spirit of '76=Uncle Sam(and Spirit of '76's costume was mostly lifted from the 1940s Standard Comics superhero Fighting Yank), and Dyna-Mite=Doll Man.
I've probably mentioned this before, but Roy designed the Invaders villains to be parodies of DC characters. Master Man=Superman, Warrior Woman=Wonder Woman, Baron Blood=Batman, and U-Man=Aquaman.
The 1940s DC Agent Axis can be seen in the "Boy Commandos" hardcover from a few years back, and definitely proves that this one was the result of Kirby's faulty memory.
Carl Burgos wouldn't have drawn the Torch chapter even if asked; he was still angry over his failed legal action against Marvel in the mid-1960s over the Torch, and was still working for schlockmeister Myron Fass.
The Prague Golem did show up before in Strange Tales and Marvel Two-In-One.
Let's hope removing Namor's pants was all the Shark did with him while he was out. No way of knowing how long the Shark had been out at sea with no cabin boys(and according to the Golden Age Handbook, there was more than one Shark).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 29, 2012 7:32 PM
OH: and another hallucinatory Agent Axis appeared in Captain America #162.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 29, 2012 7:35 PM
I wanted to like the Invaders back when these issues came out, but I couldn't get past Frank Robbins' horrible art. The goofy intense faces, awkwardly twisted poses, and overall sloppyness was too hard on the eyes. Even when he took over Cap's title for a few issues - yuck! I know, I shouldn't expect every Marvel artist to be as awesome as Romita/Buscema/Adams, but where did they get some of these guys, and how did they stick around?
Posted by: Mike | August 4, 2014 9:25 AM
Regarding Lord Falsworth's "British stoicism" in #10, I believe there's a reference to his having been given some painkillers, which may have done the trick, or enough for him to be able to speak.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | August 5, 2015 10:12 AM
Mark, first of all, ongoing thanks for your many informative comments, which I have often quoted on our Marvel University blog. Second, if we're willing to accept Roy's word (from his "Nostalgic Note" in the annual), Burgos "was even willing to take on the assignment, he assured me over the transAtlantic phone. Unfortunately, at the last moment, he was unable to do so..." Make of that what you will.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | November 11, 2015 4:05 PM
A few years ago, shortly before my mom had her accident, l looked up Carl Pleuffer's name in a database and learned that he was apparently still alive and living in lllinois, aged 107.
Posted by: Anthony Durrant | August 28, 2016 7:33 AM
One of the unfortunate side effect of all the WWII retcons (and character revivals) is that comic shave loads of Nazi war criminals, many of them sight super-powers, running around in the present day. I mean, int he Marvel Universe, the Allies didn't actually stop Hitler, didn't capture the Red Skull, and evidently didn't even get ahold of folks like Arnim Zola, U-Man, Warrior Woman, and Brain Drain.
"Nazi villains" are a classic staple of comics and pulpy fiction before them, but in a shared universe where old characters never really go away, the net effect is that the super-powered version of World War II never really ended.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | September 17, 2016 12:51 PM
@Omar: Probably not fair to blame Roy Thomas for this. Lee & Kirby had already brought the Red Skull into the modern era and revived Hitler as the Hate-Monger. Steranko had revealed Baron Strucker to be the Supreme Hydra.
As far as I can tell, Thomas only ever intended for the various Nazi villains introduced in The Invaders to be used in stories set during World War II. I can't recall him ever using any of them in his own stories set in the present day. It was other writers who brought them all into the modern era.
Roger Stern & John Byrne are the first ones to have used Baron Blood in a story set in the present day, but at least they had the good sense to destroy him almost immediately after (too bad others had to subsequently revive him). It was Byrne again who brought back Master Man & Warrior Woman, and revealed that there was a whole secret society of modern-day neo-Nazis based in Germany who had been awaiting their return. Michael Higgins was the one to inexplicably use U-Man as one of the leaders of the Atlantean army in Avengers Annual #18, and a year later Fabian Nicieza once again used him in in the same capacity in the monthly Avengers book. And then of course Nicieza decided to reveal the pretty much every single hero & villain from The Invaders series who by that point had not yet already been revived were all part of the V-Battalion.
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 18, 2016 9:09 PM
In light of the fact that almost every other villain in the Invaders is based on some Golden Age hero, I think it's safe to assume the Blue Bullet was inspired by the old Fawcett hero, Bulletman.
Posted by: Andrew | December 11, 2016 7:41 AM
That footnote with Roy Thomas saying "you didn't expect me to resist the temptation, did you?" sums up every single thing that prohibits me from ever, ever, ever enjoying his stories or being able to get lost in them. There might be something to Jim Shooter's belief that a writer shouldn't edit himself and this is a great example of it. That's a really bizarre thing to do that really ruined the flow of an already forced story.
Also, Cap adding "what a LINE, that! I must have read it in a COMIC BOOK!" also seems really forced and ruins what could have been a simple, enjoyable scene. I cringe when I suspect that line probably WAS in a Golden Age story at some other time, and Thomas just couldn't resist... Ugh.
Posted by: Wis | January 6, 2017 8:56 PM
The names of at least some the Crusaders were also Golden Age homages.
-Captain Wings was an aviator hero from WINGS COMICS.
-Thunderfist was a Canadian superhero from the Bell Features title ACTIVE COMICS.
-Spirit of '76 was a patriotic superhero who appeared in comics from Harvey. But the costume of the Crusaders version was modelled after Fighting Yank's, as Mark said.
-Dyna-Mite may have be named for Dan the Dyna-Mite, the sidekick of TNT, a DC superhero.
-My best guess is "Tommy Lightning" is a play on "Johnny Thunder" via the name of golfer Tommy Bolt.
Tommy Lightning's costume was modelled after that of Standard's Pyroman, who also had electrical powers.
Half-Face resembles Col. Von Tundra/Half-Man, an early enemy of Sky Wolf from AIR FIGHTERS COMICS. The net tells me "eisen"=iron.
A superhero called Major Victory appeared in comics from Chelser/Dynamic. The INVADERS version's costume was modelled after the Chesler character's.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 2, 2017 2:37 AM
The Nazis never wanted Namor's trunks. The Shark was just hired to ferry the other two baddied around. The trunks were a "ahem" personal interest of his.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 17, 2017 12:28 PM
Dyna-Mite also has some similarity to Doll Man, the Will Eisner creation who first appeared in 1939 from Quality Comics and who years later was revived by DC as a member of the Freedom Fighters.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | January 3, 2018 11:00 PM
Was the Invaders #1 ANNUAL actually Schomberg’s last cover?
Posted by: Rocknrollguitarplayer | June 26, 2018 12:24 AM