Giant-Size Invaders #1, June 1975

Number one — and the one and only, sadly. This launched Roy Thomas’s baby: a high concept super-hero series set during the second world war. Thomas had grown up reading the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics not long after the end of the war, and for him writing the Invaders was something of a dream job. And it shows: Invaders was a fabulous comic, both in terms of writing and art. The latter was handled with aplomb by Frank Robbins.

Now, Robbins is a bit of a controversial figure. He wasn’t really a super-hero artist — his background was in adventure strips, such as his own Johnny Hazard — and his style alienated a lot of fans. But I loved his stuff, and thought it captured the period perfectly. It was probably fan resistance that meant very few issues of the ongoing series had covers by him, but that did mean we got a nice run of covers by Kirby instead.

Robbins drew most of the first 28 issues, and this giant-size origin issue, wherein Winston Churchill recruits Captain America, Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch to the Allied cause in Europe. After that Roy Thomas soon left too, and the series went into a fairly rapid decline. Issue #41 wrapped up the dangling plotlines before the axe fell.

Cover by Robbins, with the softening ink line of John Romita, Sr.

Image ©2010 Marvel Characters, Inc