Invaders #12

Invaders #12

The Invaders stage a rescue mission from the Warsaw Ghetto … which is pretty damn grim. Why rescue just one guy? It’s a fine line they walk, in these World War 2 comics, especially if the book itself cites the existence of concentration camps. I expect there is an in-continuity reason why the superheroes don’t put paid to Hitler straight-away. Over in All-Star Squadron I seem to remember something about the Spear of Destiny seizing control of any hero who came too close to it. But still.

This issue also introduces Spitfire, the daughter of Union Jack, who gained her super-speed powers by a transfusion of the Human Torch’s blood. The Torch is sweet on her, but Spitfire only has eyes for Captain America. It is ever thus. Bonus points for a Holy Hannah.

  • Script: Roy Thomas
  • Pencils: Frank Robbins
  • Inks: Frank Springer

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About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on June 4, 2018, in Marvel 1977 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. History is a big problem for any story of present-day superheroes fighting in WWII. Cap can punch Hitler in the face, and the Sub-mariner can go toe-to-toe with entire coastal cities… but they can’t shut down Auschwitz or put an end to the horror of the Warsaw ghetto?

    It would be interesting to tell a tale where those heroes actually did something and put an early end to the war, and how that would affect all subsequent Marvel continuity – a tale suitable for a multi-issue ‘What If’ saga.

    Early issues of The Authority addressed superhero moral responsibility to make a better world regardless of international politics and treaties, and Mark Millar’s Ultimates 2 dealt with global repercussions of using the Avengers to further foreign policy goals. But those were “present day” tales, not hamstrung by decades of established continuity about how a specific war really went. Still, it’s hard to accept that Cap and crew would spend the 1940s punching a spandex vampire bat instead of taking down some real evil like Heinrich Himmler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To me this is another facet of the dissonance experienced when storytelling “breaks the seal” on a taboo, as we discussed last week regarding female heroes in peril.

      To put a pin in it — when a WW2 era book has heroes fighting vampires in spandex, I don’t question while those same heroes aren’t breaking up concentration camps. But when concentration camps are brought into the narrative, then I am left to question why the hell my heroes are bothering about vampires at all.

      When creators “break that seal” they can lead us down imaginative rabbit holes we never knew existed. (Alan Moore once made a career out of this). But we can also wind up with a narrative scorched earth where the old story tropes can no longer function. (And again, we call Alan Moore to the witness stand).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. It’s all fun and games until Cap brings real historical horrors into the mix. Then the bubble bursts. Alan Moore is a good counterpoint to that, since a main theme of Watchmen was the question, “Why aren’t we heroes doing something about total nuclear annihilation?” You know, I was excited to see 1977 getting a focused exploration here, but I didn’t expect it to give me so much food for thought on a weekly basis! Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. And to think that as a kid I thought Frank Robbins drew in this style on purpose to make the title look like a 1940s comic. :/


  3. Yeah, the Frank Robbins art still gives me the shivers.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Agreement on the Robbin’s art; never my cup of tea. Now, that KIRBY cover on the other hand … Hubba hubba! From the samples I’ve seen of Robbin’s writing I think he a better writer then artist.

    I was actually reading the Invaders at the time this issue came out and I thought the inclusion of Spitfire was awesome. We needed a female presence on the team. I also thought Union Jack was cool — GREAT costume.

    My friend Chuck was the big Invaders fan so I guess I kind of read them so we could talk about them.


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