Here’s an interesting tidbit for you: The first miniseries ever was DC Comics’ World of Kryptonin 1979. This new format, which actually evolved from the regular back-up stories that appeared in each comic, allowed writers to tell stories that would not necessarily fit into a monthly title, and would be able to explore different characters or ideas without the obligation of creating a monthly title for it.
If you thought Secret Invasion and its insane amount of tie-ins were enough to satisfy the piggy banks at Marvel, you were wrong! Alex Ross and Jim Krueger co-write Avengers/Invaders #1, a title that probably targets a very specific audience, and is nearly long enough to constitute a “maxi-series” in Marvel’s eyes (one short…darn!).
TITLE: “Old Soldiers, New Wars”
WRITERS: Alex Ross and Jim Krueger
PENCILS Steve Sadowski
COLOR: inLight Studios
The issue begins in 1943 with the entire Invaders team attempting to prevent Nazi soldiers from gaining occult weapons that Hitler has had his eyes on. Amidst the fighting comes this eerie green mist (no, Iron Fist fans, this is not the Prince of Orphans) which ends up transporting Captain America, Bucky, Toro, the Human Torch (Jim Hammond), Prince Namor, and Private Anselm to present-day Manhattan. Before the Invaders actually arrive, however, we see Spider-man going toe-to-toe with the Thunderbolts. Slightly dazed, and much confused, the Invaders proceed to pound on the Thunderbolts, all the while believing that they are Nazis and Hitler is the ringmaster of this little time-displacement. We end with the Invaders leaving the scene to try to figure out what is going on, and Iron Man obviously in emotional turmoil.
To begin with, the cover and title, if only for this issue, is quite deceiving. There was no interaction between these two teams at all; maybe it should have been called Invaders/Nazis/Thunderbolts. I enjoyed Bucky as the mouthpiece for this issue. It gives us a different perspective, along with a short breakdown of each member of the team. The best part has to be the scenes involving Spidey. The first panel is quite clever and begins upside down, Spidey’s perspective. What then proceeds is probably the best Spider-man dialog I have heard in a while. The sarcasm was spot-on! The fighting scene was decent, with little quips adding to the action. (If you were confused about the old-man and his grandson, don’t worry, they relate to the Private that also was time-displaced and there will be more on him in the next issue.)
Notice how I kept using the words “time-displaced?” Well, let’s be honest, time travel has been done before, so what’s to keep this different, refreshing? I don’t want the idea of time travel to cast a negative light on this series. The fact is, this series comes at a great time, where the Marvel U is still in turmoil after Civil War and the death of Captain America (*NOTE WELL: THIS SERIES HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH SECRET INVASION*). What will the emotional impact of Cap’s return be like? What will happen when the New Avengers and Mighty Avengers inevitably meet up to investigate the…displacement, of the Invaders? But to zoom back in on this issue, it does seem to move slowly and is obviously a setup issue. What I wonder right now is, is it going to be dragged out when it could have been done in six issues? Only time will tell. As I mentioned above, the intended audience is most likely those people that are reading Ross’s other work, Project:Superpowers, or anyone that is in a Silver Age fix. I am neither for the moment, but I enjoyed the issue and am looking forward to what comes next.
3 webheads out of 5. The writing and dialog is consistently well done; the art is not the best but fits the Old-School characters well and is certainly better than some of the stuff I’ve seen coming out of Amazing Spider-man. Overall, I would recommend you pick this issue up.
Reviewed by Your Friendly Neighborhood, Spider-Girl