|First appearance||The Avengers #71 (December 1969)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas|
Captain America (Sam Wilson)
The Human Torch I
The Iron Cross (Clare Gruler)
James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes
The Blazing Skull
The Blonde Phantom
Bucky (Fred Davis)
Captain America (William Nasland)
Captain America (Steve Rogers)
The Silver Scorpion
The Thin Man
Union Jack (Joseph Chapman)
Union Jack (Brian Falsworth)
Union Jack (James Montgomery Falsworth)
The U.S. Agent
The Vision I
The Invaders is the name of two fictional superhero teams appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
The original team was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Sal Buscema in The Avengers #71 (December 1969).
A present-day incarnation was introduced by writer Chuck Austen and artist Scott Kolins in The Avengers (vol. 3) #82 (July 2004).
The prototype for the Invaders, the All-Winners Squad, created by publisher Martin Goodman and scripter Bill Finger, was an actual historic Golden Age comic book feature with only two appearances—in All Winners Comics #19 (Fall 1946) and #21 (Winter 1947; there was no issue #20). This team had much of the same membership as the Invaders, but had its adventures in the post–World War II era, the time that their adventures were published. This group was also notable for being the first in which its members did not entirely get along, prefiguring the internal conflicts of the Fantastic Four in the 1960s.
The Invaders team first appeared in flashback stories set during World War II, and comprised existing characters from Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel. Originally, Captain America (Steve Rogers), his sidekick Bucky (James Barnes), the original android Human Torch ("Jim Hammond"), the Torch's sidekick Toro (Thomas Raymond) and Namor the Sub-Mariner were together as heroes opposing the forces of Nazism. When these superheroes saved the life of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from Master Man, the thankful Churchill suggested that they should become a team, known as the Invaders.
The Invaders fought the Axis powers over the world until eventually finding themselves in England, where they met Lord James Montgomery Falsworth, the original Union Jack. He joined the team and provided them with a base of operations in England. Eventually, Falsworth's children Brian (Union Jack II) and Jacqueline (Spitfire) became members. The team later added Miss America (Madeline Joyce) and super-speedster the Whizzer (Bob Frank), during a battle with the Super-Axis. Later, against the threat of the Battle-Axis, the team was assisted by the Blazing Skull and the Silver Scorpion.
The team continued to fight against several threats, (including a Nazi occupation of Atlantis and the emergence of HYDRA backed by a time-traveling Baron Strucker) and faced an emotional trauma with the apparent deaths of Captain America and Bucky in a drone aircraft's explosion near the end of World War II, as first described in The Avengers #4 (March 1964). After the war's end, several members—including the second Bucky and Captain America (respectively, Fred Davis and William Naslund, formerly the superhero known as the Spirit of '76)—created a new team, the All-Winners Squad. When that team dissolved, Marvel retconned several members, having them join Citizen V's V-Battalion.
After the Invaders' introduction in the pages of The Avengers, the team appeared in its own try-out title, Giant-Size Invaders #1 in 1975, followed by the ongoing series The Invaders later that year, and a single Annual in 1977. Issues #5–6 of the series introduced another retconned World War II team, the Liberty Legion, in a two-part story arc, "The Red Skull Strikes", interlaced with another two-part story in Marvel Premiere #29–30.
In 2004, a new Invaders team was created in the four-issue story arc "Once an Invader...", beginning with The Avengers (vol. 3) #82, written by Chuck Austen. The revived team was spun off into its own title, The New Invaders, running 10 issues (August 2004 – June 2005) beginning with issue #0. It was written by Allan Jacobsen with artwork by C. P. Smith.
The new team consisted of the Blazing Skull (Mark Todd), a mysterious flame-generating girl named Tara, former Liberty Legion member the Thin Man (Dr. Bruce Dickson), the U.S. Agent (John Walker, a.k.a. Captain America V), Union Jack III (Joey Chapman) and returning members Namor and Spitfire. Later, the ageless android the Human Torch I joined the team, feeling an affinity for Tara, who had been revealed as an android herself. The Invaders were also assisted by former Golden Age hero the Fin and his Atlantean wife Nia, although they did not officially join the team.
They were formed by the putative U.S. Secretary of Defense Dell Rusk—in actuality the Red Skull—who coerced the Thin Man into gathering this new team, which the Skull intended to use for his own goals. The new Invaders eventually learned of the plan, however, and thwarted it. The apparent "death" of the android Human Torch resulted from the betrayal of the Skull-planted Tara. The majority of the members quit the team after this incident.
The 2007 12-issue crossover series Avengers/Invaders saw the original WWII team of Captain America I, Bucky I, Namor, the Human Torch I, and Toro (leaving Spitfire and a wounded Union Jack II in the past) brought to the present-day Marvel Universe by the Cosmic Cube, which had fallen into the hands of the demon D'Spayre. His use of it to draw on the grief generated by Captain America's death had unintentionally caused it to grant the wish of those who wished for his return. Upon arriving in the present day, the Invaders battled the Thunderbolts and The Mighty Avengers, believing them to be Nazi agents. Eventually, the Invaders came to trust the Avengers teams (both Mighty and New versions) and agreed to go back to where they belonged. The teams collected the Cosmic Cube and an American soldier who traveled into the future with the Invaders. However, the soldier took it upon himself to steal the Cosmic Cube and save his dead friends in the past. This triggers a new timestream to emerge. Most of the Avengers are wiped from time. Doctor Strange manages to send the Invaders and the surviving members of the Avengers into the past before being wiped from time himself.
In the past, the soldier raised his dead friends and healed a dying Union Jack. The soldier then attempted to destroy the Nazis with the Cosmic Cube, but lost it when he was attacked by the Red Skull I's henchman. The Red Skull I later came into possession of the Cosmic Cube and transformed the world into one made in his own image. Elsewhere, the Invaders and the Avengers arrived in the past, but found that it had dramatically changed. The Avengers took up identities of Golden Age characters so that they could fit into the past without giving the Red Skull I too much information about the future: Luke Cage as the Black Avenger, Iron Man as Electro, Ms. Marvel as the Black Widow, Spider-Man as the Challenger, Spider-Woman as the Silver Scorpion, and Wolverine as Captain Terror. The Wasp uses her powers to stay hidden from sight. They put an end to the Red Skull I's reign of terror and restored the timeline to normal.
At the end of the series, Toro is revived in the modern era, thanks to Bucky I's temporary acquisition of the Cube. His story continued in the eight-issue limited series The Torch, which dealt with the resurrection of the original Human Torch. In the series, the two Golden Age heroes battle the Mad Thinker and the Inhuman Torch.
In September 2010, Marvel launched Invaders Now!, a miniseries starring Captain America (Barnes), the original Human Torch, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Captain Steve Rogers, Spitfire, and Toro. The Invaders are all reunited by the original Vision and Union Jack to face a resurfaced threat from World War II. This threat manifests as a disease that mutates those infected, causing horrible deformation, granting superhuman strength, and driving the victim insane with pain and rage. Those infected are driven to attack and thereby infect others. In World War II this pathogen was created by Arnim Zola, as his last project before suffering the wounds which necessitated his consciousness being transferred into his robotic form. To contain the plague, the Invaders had to kill the entire population of a village in the Netherlands, including some who had been infected, but had not yet transformed. Now, the infection has returned in the modern era.
In 2014, Marvel launched a new series written by James Robinson and starring Captain America who is eventually replaced by Sam Wilson, Winter Soldier, the original Human Torch, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. A Japanese heroine named Radiance (the granddaughter of Golden Girl) joins the team during the book's second arc, and the daughter of Iron Cross joins in issue # 10.
In January 2019, Marvel launched a new series written by Chip Zdarsky that saw original members Captain Steve Rogers, the Winter Soldier, and the original Human Torch reunite to stop another original member, Namor the Sub-Mariner, who has become a global threat and mentally unstable/deranged.
The stories have been collected into trade paperbacks:
|All-New Invaders Vol. 1: Gods and Soldiers||All-New Invaders #1–5, material from All-New Marvel Now Point One #1||August 2014||978-0785189145|
|All-New Invaders Vol. 2: Original Sin||All-New Invaders #6–10||December 2014||978-0785189152|
|All-New Invaders Vol. 3: The Martians are Coming||All-New Invaders #11–15||June 2015||978-0785192473|
In the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain America: The First Avenger, the Invaders as a concept are hybridized with the Howling Commandos. This group is depicted as a hand-selected Special Forces infantry unit under Captain America's field command, and with Bucky Barnes and James Montgomery Falsworth among its number.
The Invaders appear in the video game Captain America: Super Soldier.