|ALL-NEW INVADERS No.1, March 2014|
As something of a devoted fan of the late Seventies “Marvel Comics Group” title “The Invaders” this was really something of a ‘must-buy’ comic book as it advertised the return of the original roster as created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema. Admittedly however the cover by Mukesh Singh is not the most enticing of illustrations as it depicts a painfully grim-faced Captain America, an unnervingly smiley Sub-Mariner and a grotesquely distorted Human Torch.
Fortunately British comic book artist Steve Pugh provides the artwork for the interior of the issue and very nice it is too. There’s a real sharp clean look to his pencils which works especially well with his drawing of the Human Torch and the somewhat oversized Kree Amazonian, Tanalth the Purser. However it is most definitely his ‘flash back’ panels showing the Invaders tackling Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Hela, Norse Goddess of Death, during the Second World War which really provide a visual treat. Ably assisted by the subtly muted colouring of GURU-eFX.
Besides being well-drawn, Issue One of the “All-New Invaders” is also very well written, with James Robinson telling the story through the eyes (and mind) of Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch. Indeed such is the intimacy that one shares with the world’s first synthetic human, as he walks through the quiet town of Blaketon, eating pie and sipping coffee, that the interruption to his meanderings by a sudden Kree attack is all the more rude and impactive. I certainly found myself being quietly content simply reading about the mechanic going for a spot of lunch and enjoying Pugh’s detailed artwork.
Obviously such an idyllic lifestyle was never going to exist for long but the British writer really produces a shock moment with the appearance of Tanalth and the slaughter of Hammond’s garage-owning boss. It is really very easy to take an immediate dislike to the over-muscled Kree warrior, and Robinson makes it easier still by giving her an atrociously over confident and overbearing personality. In fact I can’t recall disliking a villain so quickly and so intensely, and became surprisingly desperate to see the Human Torch give Tanalth the beating her hubris so clearly deserved.
Equally I’ve not felt that a super-hero needed to get such a dramatic and final come-uppance as Major Liberty does when he feels the withering fatal touch of Hela. So much for the arrogance and excessive pride of a former history teacher who can summon up the ghosts of past American patriots.