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All-New Invaders #1

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By James Robinson, Steve Pugh & Guru eFX

Conflating the Invaders and World War II Nazi mayhem feels like instinct. The legacy left behind the group of freedom fighters is classical, albeit a bit dated. With a new vision of the Marvel universe and a new cohesive character unit, the Invaders seem a bit out of place, especially as WWII character identities are slowly fading into the background. What better way to add some old school flavor to a progressively new school universe than one of the best teams in Marvel’s history.

Fixation on Nazis and their pursuits of the occult make for excellent monster and horror stories. But it seems like the attitude towards the close to century old antagonists is one of exhaustion. So, if a team of World War II crusaders is unable to face their primary adversary, who is a suitable replacement? James Robinson has readers covered and his response is as fitting as it is entertaining. Replace one xenophobic, fascist group with a different group, make them aliens, and you’ve got yourself a task for the Invaders.

Much like the modern revival of Captain America, All-New Invaders deals with heroes, particularly the original Human Torch, seeking redemption. The team’s cast scattered and divided by a lifetime of history and change, Robinson seeks to reunite each Invader by creating a much more relevant threat for the group to tackle. By making the threat reminiscent of their original mission, Robinson is granting the Invaders a chance to reinvent themselves, a chance to make a difference in their world with a whole new angle.

Steve Pugh adds a similar classical newness to the legacy heroes. With a style reminiscent of Dale Eaglesham, Pugh’s characters have fantastic square jaws, their action nice and pulpy, with big swings and even bigger hits. Despite being flat on some panels and having a bit of confusing movement between panels, the overall impact fits the tone and feel of the story and action.

The verdict: All-New Invaders is pretty darn fun. Throwing a galactic conflict on a group more used to dealing with terrestrial threats is an excellent twist, especially if the villains are an echo of the group’s past. This may be one of the first in the All-New Marvel Now lineup, but it’s already setting some high expectations.

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