Retro Review: THE INVADERS #32
- This reviewer missed this particular arc the first time around.
(It's a two-parter and each will be reviewed separately.)
THE INVADERS were a Roy Thomas brainchild, featuring
the World War II adventures of Cap, Subby, and the Human Torch,
aided on occasion by Bucky, Cap's sidekick, and Toro, the
Later RT added Spitfire and Union Jack, two British members
of the team.
The title had been going strong for almost three years when the Real Deal
was featured in what might be the most despicable Thor story ever published.
More after the inevitable for those who prefer to read it for themselves first---
INVADERS Volume 1 #32 September 1978
'THUNDER IN THE EAST'
Writer: Roy Thomas
Art: Kupperberg & Springer
And a bunch of other nice folks.
This reviewer has often wondered when it was that Thor
subtly changed for the worse.
Early-on, particularly during the Kirby era, Thor was portrayed
as a noble, even wise, godling, but somewhere along the line
a new take on the Thunder God's character was portrayed;
one in which, to be tactful, his brawn was highlighted
at the expense of his brains. To put it more plainly,
he started to be shown as not only in need of humility,
but in serious need of intellect.
It might well be that the 'dim-witted Odinson' notion
got its start in this very arc.
In order to concoct a story that would pit the Real Deal
against his babies, RT came up with a
doozy of a concept: Thor is duped by no less than
Adolph Hitler into taking on the Invaders. But as if
that were not bad enough, it turns out that Hitler
sends Thor to kill Joseph Stalin---whom the Invaders
Need it be mentioned that Stalin is historically
recognized as one of the most vicious political
leaders of all time? Or the many atrocities he
And need anything at all be said about Adolph?
The lunacy involved in crafting this tale boggles
The basics: Hitler has a pair of scientists
open a dimensal gateway to Asgard and
bring Thor to Midgard, at which point Hitler
talks Thor into joing the Nazi cause.
Have you ever wanted to see Thor wearing an arm band
with a swatiska on it? These are your issues.
(And for good measure, you'll see the Warriors
The slur to Thor's character is beyond
belief. It depicts him as so unbelievably
arrogant and stupid that he can't see through
Hitler's machinations and blindly goes off to
do Hitler's bidding.
Would Kirby's Thor ever have done this?
But Thomas, who has a track record of rewriting
characters to suit him whether his rewrites
conform to the characters or not, glibly gives
us a Thor who is so gullible, he borders
In fact, at one point, RT has Union Jack
comment that the Norse legends were
right about Thor being 'long on brawn
but short on his understanding of teamwork'.
A veiled slur impugning Thor's intelligence.
But how does Thor fare otherwise in this tale?
If you can overlook the preceding, he doesn't
fare badly, especially in the battle scenes.
But they take place
This issue is mainly the buildup, with Thor
pulled from Asgard and tricked by Hitler.
The art is above average, and there are
two full-page spreads of Thor well worth
There is also a curious development worth noting:
herein for the first time it is revealed that
when Thor speaks Asgardian, Midgardian
mortals hear his words in whatever their
own language might happen to be.
Evidently RT thought this necessary
since he intimates that Thor had not been
on Midgard since Viking times, and there had
to be some way to have Thor and
The only thing wrong with this is that
RT later refutes it in the pages of Thor's
own title, and shows that Thor appeared
in several guises and time periods.
As for the Hitler angle, some will say
'it's only comics', and to take it accordingly.
But IMHO, making a lead character out to
be a major twit isn't exactly the height
of creative brilliance.
Still, on the ol' Mjolnir Meter,
this puppy gets a 9 if for no
other reason than the supreme
oddity of seeing Thor and Hitler
INVADERS issues tend to be
inexpensive, so if you can track
down a copy, you might well enjoy it.
But verily, reality is mondo weird.
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