The Invaders. Artists: Frank Robbins and John Romita.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appeared: 1975
Creators: Roy Thomas (writer) and Frank Robbins (artist)
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Comic book writer Roy Thomas made it clear, even back in his fanzine days, that he was fascinated with the superheroes of the 1940s, and with superhero teams. As a comics professional, he repeatedly combined those interests. His first opportunity was when he became Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief. As such, he created The Invaders, which gathered the company's …

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… Big Three of the World War II era — Captain America, The Sub-Mariner and The Human Torch — into a team that he could have fun writing on a regular basis.

This group was so called because it fought World War II the same way U.S. military forces did — by invading Europe. Thus, it wasn't synonymous with the only superhero team Marvel actually did publish in the '40s, The All Winners Squad (which contained the same characters plus Miss America and The Whizzer) because that one wasn't seen until the war was over. The Invaders first appeared in Giant-Size Invaders #1 (June, 1975), as part of a large line of extra-thick comics Marvel published during the mid-'70s. The idea was to do new stories about the group in the front part of the comic, while filling the back pages with '40s reprints starring the separate characters. That plan fell by the wayside early on — in fact, only two months later, The Invaders was launched as a regular-size series.

Thomas (who also co-created The Defenders for Marvel and Arak, Son of Thunder for DC Comics) chose Frank Robbins (widely acclaimed for his work on the Johnny Hazard newspaper strip, tho his comic book work on The Flash and Batman, among others, met with less universal praise) as his artistic collaborator.

The title was only a year old when Marvel's less prominent contemporary characters started appearing — in fact, over a half-dozen showed up in #6 (June-July, 1976), when The Liberty Legion, another Thomas-created retro-group, guest-starred. That same year, new characters set in the same time period, such as Union Jack and Spitfire, began being added.

The series spanned most of the second half of the 1970s, ending with its 41st issue (September, 1979). Thomas moved to DC Comics, where he indulged his interests by creating Infinity Inc. (made up mostly of sons and daughters of The Justice Society of America) and The All-Star Squadron (which contained most of DC's characters from that period).

The Invaders next turned up in a 1993 mini-series. Since then, the group hasn't been seen very much, but it remains part of the back-story of the Marvel Universe.


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Text ©2003-11 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Marvel Comics.