How Do You Solve A Problem Like Namor? Invaders #1 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

We return to a scene from World War II, where Namor, dehydrated and weak, attempts to advance the line to save a pinned comrade named Tommy. Namor is unsuccessful in this venture, and it shakes him badly. In the present, Namor plans is next step for conquering the surface world which involves finding a band of separatist Atlantean warriors called the Sea Blades. Meanwhile, Jim Hammond, aka the original Human Torch, is planning a book about the Invaders, and he’s interviewing Captain America. Cap himself is ready to try and reach out to Namor, and he thinks it would be best if the Invaders reassembled to accomplish this task.

Invaders #1 cover by Butch Guice and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Invaders #1 cover by Butch Guice and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Invaders reunites the classic Marvel Comics superheroes to talk down one of their own from starting a world war.

It shows a crisis of conscience and friendship among the old guard heroes. Cap is initially more ready to write off Namor after the atrocities he’s committed, but Jim Hammond manages to convince him that there may be still be hope for the Sub-Mariner.

It’s a compelling read that fuses Band of Brothers with Ed Brubaker-era Captain America. Chip Zdarsky is often known for his more comedic-minded comic book writing (as well as his excellent artwork), but he shows here that he can craft a heavier drama with ease.

Bucky isn’t in this issue enough, but that will hopefully be rectified in issues to come.

Invaders #1 art by Butch Guice, Alex Guimaraes, and letterer VC's Travis Lanham
Invaders #1 art by Butch Guice, Alex Guimaraes, and letterer VC’s Travis Lanham

Carlos Magno gives the art to the present scenes while the great Butch Guice lends his pen to the WWII flashbacks. Both artists contribute impeccable work to the book, with each scene given the grit and gravitas they deserve. The scenes of Cap training with the Iron Man bots look especially great. Color artist Alex Guimaraes brings a balance of grim browns and grays balanced by the bright blues, greens, and red-oranges of our heroes.

Invaders #1 is an explosive yet emotionally resonant start to this tale of heroes grappling with what to do about their rampaging friend. Do they treat him like any other threat, or do they give him one last shot at redemption? Only time and Chip Zdarsky will tell. In any case, this one gets a strong recommendation. Give it a read.

Invaders #1 comes to us from writer Chip Zdarsky, artists Carlos Magno and Butch Guice, color artist Alex Guimaraes, letterer VC’s Travis Lanham, cover artist Butch Guice with Romulo Fajardo Jr., and variant cover artists Mico Suayan with Dean White, Alex Ross, Joe Quesada, Kevin Nowlan with Richard Isanove, and Frank Robbins with Morry Hollowell.

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