Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Invaders #1 - A Review

Most of what I know about the Golden Age of Comics came about because of one writer - James Robinson.  It was his work on Starman, JSA and the mini-series The Golden Age that fueled my interest in the superheroes who started it all.  Curiously that interest never extended too far into the Marvel Universe, as Marvel - at least during the time I was first getting into comics - showed little interest in exploring its own history. 

With that in mind, I decided to give Invaders #1 a shot based on the fact that James Robinson was writing it and that the series was about Marvel Comics' first superhero team.  I expected a charming retro series.  What I got was quite different but enjoyable. 

The action of this issue is firmly set in the modern day, centering primarily upon Jim Hammond a.k.a.the original Human Torch.  He's trying to live an ordinary life in small town America but his new life quickly goes up in flames as he is attacked by a member of the alien Kree.  It seems that Hammond had one of three pieces of a device of unspeakable power but he has no memory of this.  More disturbingly, the attack brings back another memory of his adventures during World War II that suggests that his mind has been tampered with and his memories altered.

Robinson's script does a fine job of both establishing Jim Hammond as a likeable protagonist and providing a backstory for those like myself who are unfamiliar with the details of just who all The Invaders are and what they're up to in the modern day.  The artwork by Steve Pugh is of similar high quality, with character designs that are highly detailed yet simply rendered.  Pugh is also a wonderful visual storyteller, whose panels flow evenly and naturally.

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