Current Reviews


Avengers/Invaders #4

Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2008
By: Thom Young

Alex Ross, Jim Krueger
Steve Sadowski
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Avengers/Invaders #4 arrives in stores tomorrow, August 6.

"Book Four: Hell on the Helicarrier"

Marvel Comics' new Avengers/Invaders series is something that has been on my list of things to read for a while now--I guess it's been three months, to be precise. I've been interested in the Invaders ever since Bob Rozakis had them make a two-issue guest appearance in Freedom Fighters #8-9 back in 1977. Those DC analogs of the Invaders were called "The Crusaders."

I didn't know it at the time, because I wasn't reading Marvel comic books, but Frank Robbins had analogs of the Freedom Fighters appearing simultaneously in The Invaders, and they were also called "The Crusaders." Of course, I instantly knew that DC's Crusaders were based on the Invaders. After all, even though I didn't read Marvel comic books on a regular basis, I was very aware of Captain America, Bucky, the Sub-Mariner, and the Golden Age Human Torch (I didn't know about Toro at that time).

Because I enjoyed Rozakis's use of the Invaders in Freedom Fighters, I added Marvel's title to the list of comics I would look for at 7-11 and the other outlets I used to have to peddle my bike to in those days before comic book specialty stores had taken over. I picked up quite a few issues and enjoyed them. I've always enjoyed reading comic books starring Golden Age characters, regardless of which company publishes them.

Anyway, I finally read all four issues of this series to date, and it was an enjoyable reading experience. It's a well-plotted series that relies on the old Timely Comics history as well as current Marvel continuity. It's also well illustrated by Steve Sadowski, who is only listed as the penciler without anyone credited as the inker.

If it's common knowledge in Marvel fandom that Alex Ross is not only co-plotting but inking this series, it's escaped my attention. In any event, if the finished art is being taken directly from un-inked pencils, then all I can say is it looks good and I like it.

I only hope the slightly blurred lines in the issues I've read are due to them being low-resolution PDF files rather than actual hardcopies that were (hopefully) printed from higher resolution files.

The dialog in all four issues is a bit stilted at times, but the dialog in Freedom Fighters and The Invaders back in 1977 was a bit stilted, too--as was the dialog in the comics that these Golden Age characters appeared in back in 1942, of course. The effect is that of reading an Old School comic book that plays with some of the plots that are running in contemporary Marvel Comics.

This series isn't likely to go down in the annals of comic book history as a classic, but it's an enjoyable experience for the 20 minutes or so it takes to read through an issue. Unfortunately, the fourth issue ends on a cliffhanger that I'm eager to see play out, but the final caption indicates that the next issue won't come out until October.

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