The New Invaders: 0-9 (2004)
Writer: Alan Jacobsen
Artist: CP Smith
What a fantastic series and I am disappoitned that it died. I have a special place in my heart for old heroes from the ’40s and ’50s, and when they are brought back to life in modern settings it is simply fantastic. Alan Jacobsen handles the characters well and his short story arc is the perfect reintroduction to these once amazing characters.
The last decade Johns and Robinson took on the JSA for DC, taking old, washed-up characters and making them relevant again. It was a fantastic run and provided the template for how these old characters could be handled in modern times.
Jacobsen introduces the New Invaders in a similar capacity, picking up where they left off in Chuck Austen’s Avengers story arc. This is a mix of the old and the new featuring Union Jack, Blazing Skull, Jim Hammond, Spitfire, and Namor. The new members include Captain America stand-in US Agent, the Thin Man, and Toro replacement Tara. Fantastic mix of classic character from the early days of comics. US Agent was the one that I wasn’t certain about and I wish the series had gone on as I believe there was some potential character development.
This is a good arc, tying up some loose threads from ages gone by and reintroducing some classic villains like Meranno (U-man), Warrior Woman, and Master Man. Simply fantastic. Also, the teaming of the new Marvel heroes with pasts works well. While I’m for new and making new characters, there is an incredible amount of heroes that were left to rot — time and relevancy killing them off. But as the JSA relaunch proved a good writing team, good editorial team, and good art team can easily make long-forgotten heroes memorable in modern times. Jacobsen and Smith accomplish this in a very short 10 issues, and, given time, they could have established an amazing comic.
CP Smith is another artist that I’ve grown to like. He’s quoted as having a strong manga influence and I can see that, but there is a simplicity that also cries to the Belgian influences that I’ve grown to love. In other words, the art screams to me and I enjoy looking at his artwork.
For fans of the Golden Age, I strongly recommend this series — check it out now on Marvel.com.