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Retro Review: THE INVADERS #32

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  • drobbins
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2003
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      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
      Torch's protoge.

      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
      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
      are protecting!!!

      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 mind.

      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
      Three 'Nazified'.)

      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?
      Absolutely not.

      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
      on idiocy.

      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
      next issue.

      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
      Hitler communicate.

      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
      striding side-by-side.

      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.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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