Avengers/Invaders #3

Interesting Tidbit Vol. 1 #3: While this may be the first time the Invaders have time-traveled to the 21st century and faced the Avengers, it is not the first time the Invaders and the Avengers have met and fought. In AVENGERS (Volume 1) #71, Captain America and the Avengers were manipulated by alien gamesman the Grandmaster, who sent some of the Avengers back to 1942 to fight the Invaders, including the wartime Cap himself. This issue, published in December 1969, actually introduces the WWII team, created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema. While this may be a complete role reversal, in the words of Yogi Berra “It’s déjà vu all over again!”

Alex Ross and Jim Krueger
Steve Sadowski
inLight Studios

This issue primarily sets up five different plot points. First, Namor is wondering what is going on in Atlantis, acting all melodramatic and crying out “My future is dead!” He follows some strange currents to the R.M.S. Titanic (I loved that movie!). Namor then encounters…*gasp* Namor. A short scuffle ensues because Namor (the 2008 version) does not want to go to the surface to fight what the 40s Namor believes to be Nazis holding Cap hostage. 40s Namor beats the speedo off of 2008 Namor and claims command of the Atlanteans and decides to go to the surface world.

Spider-woman meets with the New Avengers in order to “do the right thing” and give them information to retrieve Captain America and the rest of the Invaders.

The Sergeant that I had mentioned in past reviews continues his talk with himself, gaining answers to such questions as “Who do I marry? Who survives from my company?” Wait, would that not cause a disruption in the space-time continuum, learning certain aspects of your life from your future self?
The Human Torch (Jim Hammond) is talking to the Life Model Decoy that he had previously attacked, explaining that “It’s a hard-knock life” for androids. The LMD then explains that he’s happy Hammond is there to help “us.”

Bucky escapes his cell on the S.H.I.E.L.D. hellicarrier and his actions explain why everyone underestimates him. He frees Cap and then goes to seek out Toro and the Human Torch. Before reaching them, Bucky finds Tony Stark with Cap’s shield and forcibly removes it from him.

Well, when I was thinking about this issue, before I actually read it, I actually thought this was issue #4. The fact that this is issue #3, and little has transpired, is not a good thing. Namor’s perspective is the slowest of them all. His family’s short back story seemed unnecessary, except for the fact that it defines the truce between the surface and Atlantis. This 40s Namor is a cliché for what he used to be like: hotheaded and speaking in iambic pentameter. The New Avengers sequence seems the most confusing mainly because I have no idea where to place this entire series. Jessica mentions her actions in Mighty Avengers #7 in taking the Skrull-lektra corpse, and the fact that Dr. Strange is present…say what? The Sergeant and his future self is the least interesting but the most emotional. There is a lot of potential for this story and the fact that he is the only human that was transported merely augments this fact. The Jim Hammond story actually made me laugh a little bit. Did LMDs always have a mind of their own? Perhaps, the LMDs are being oppressed, and instead of looking for a good union, one decides to find another android to be their savior; i.e. the Human Torch. The final story is the best (which seems redundant, since the Cap/Bucky story throughout this series has consistently been the best). I enjoyed the fact that Bucky knew exactly what was going to happen throughout his escape and still had time to insult the lack of intelligence of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (“the Nazis were smarter”). The interactions between Cap and Bucky were also fantastic (Cap counting to see how long it would take Bucky to get to his cell). The final pages and the confrontation between Bucky and Stark not only mirror the confrontation that those two had in Captain America #33, but also foreshadow it, since the main point of conflict was once again Cap. The final panel is by far the best, showing Bucky holding the shield and saying that only “Only one man deserves to hold the shield.” Hmmm, more foreshadowing?

Overall, this issue was weak, slow, and disappointing. The art is fair, though I think Sadowski could have been a little more creative with the underwater/Namor scenes. There was not really any build-up at all in this issue, just some teases (really, really, tinny teases) and slow movement toward whatever the heck the climax will be. Speaking of which, are there going to be five climaxes, or are all of these stories going to somehow be entwined?

2.0 Webheads out of 5.0 Either I have been poisoned by my friend Morbius, or this series is setting me up for disappointment. I still hold true to the thought that this series probably needed to be 6 issues, not 12. When story points do not seem to add up, the best story of a 32 page comic is 6 pages long, and characters begin moving backwards into their history in a negative way…well, that may be the time to just stand up, tie your shoes, and walk away. Right now, I’m standing up.

Reviewed by Your Friendly Neighborhood, Spider-Girl!

Liked it? Take a second to support the Crawlspace on Patreon!