All-New Invaders #4
By James Robinson, Steve Pugh & Guru-eFX
James Robinson is no stranger to writing Golden Age heroes. His 1993 Elseworld mini-series The Golden Age was a well written deconstruction of superheroes transitioning from one era into another. Robinson’s Starman captured the trials and joys of maintaining one’s own identity while living up to a family legacy. Robinson is an excellent choice to bring the Invaders back into publication, these are characters that could use some of the magic that Robinson performed on Starman and The Golden Age.
Cap, Namor, Human Torch Jim Hammond, the original Vision and Bucky have been captured by the Kree. Using the God Whisper to enslave the deities of the Marvel Universe, the Kree have enslaved Ikaris of the Eternals as their champion. The Invaders are setting up their campaign to take back the God Whisper from the conniving hands of the Kree. This issue is fully packed featuring a 1944 flashback , a royal grand rescue and glimpses of strategic plans and battles.
Invader and Golden Age fans will not be disappointed by Robinson’s tale. Robinson has a good plot in place for this story arc, bringing characters together and providing a challenging purpose for the heroes. This issue has a lot to offer fans of the Roy Thomas 1970’s series of the same name. The dialogue and exposition slow the pace of the book, there is a lot of telling and overkill in Captain America’s dialogue, Bucky’s reactions and the Supreme Intelligence’s pontifications. These interactions and speeches come off forced and a bit overwhelming. The choppy and over explaining dialogue puts this title out of place with the other Marvel NOW offerings. This could be intentional, giving readers a tone and style different from the updating origins or new character takes that have been a part of the Marvel NOW launch. The Invaders are in costume for the entirety of the issue which is another divergence from other Marvel NOW titles. With a degree less of exposition and forced dialogue, this golden age style of storytelling is refreshing and fun.
Steve Pugh’s art is beautiful, it has a warmth that captures the mood of the book. The splash pages are frame worthy. The splash page that covers pages 3 and 4 captures not only the moment and action but also adds to the intended reveal. There is a good amount of detail in just about every panel. Pugh’s skill captures the golden age feel and is a selling point of the book. The backgrounds in some sequences bring the story to life. The detail on page 7 depicting Aarkus imprisonment is a good example of bringing the text to fruition. Action is displayed nicely, there is a little bit of characters appearing in one place then immediately in another in span of one panel. This style of art elevates Robinson’s plot and script.
Invaders is a unique title and has great potential under Robinson and Pugh leadership. Pugh’s art captures the golden age theme beautifully. Robinson weaves a creative plot to produce a classic costume super hero adventure.