Roy “The Boy’ Thomas, is one of my all-time favorite comic book creators. Not only is he one of the best writers, editors, and creators of characters (the two teams I’ll focus on now!), but also one of the best historians of the industry as well (Alter Ego). One of the things I think he did best was create teams that were retcons (retroactive continuity- meaning they didn’t exist in the same time-frame where their stories were written, but during the Golden Age instead).
Whether it was battling the Red Skull, fighting alongside The Thing against more Nazis, or arm in arm with The Invaders in the European Theater, these two teams were always right in the middle of the action! Other than Rascally Roy, these characters were brought to life by the best, including Jack “King” Kirby, Don Heck, Sal Buscema, Frank Robbins, Alan Kupperberg, Frank Springer, Vince Colletta, Joe Sinnott, Chic Stone, Don Glut, and more! Images from Marvel Premiere 28, Marvel Two-in-One Annual 2 (1976), The Invaders 41, 15, 35, 36, and 37 (1976-1978)!
Returning to the corner of the Marvel Universe occupied by Marvel’s first family, I thought it would be appropriate to focus on an amazing annual from the Bronze Age. In FF 169, Luke Cage was under the sway of the Puppet Master, and attacked the Fantastic Four. While he was going crazy, he knocked some Vibranium into Reed’s time machine. It was transported back to WWII era, and into the hands of the Nazis. With this awesome weapon, it looked as if the Allies would be defeated, and the world would live in tyranny. The FF then uses the time machine to hurl themselves back in time to help the greatest team of WWII, The Invaders, stop the Nazis and Baron Zemo!
This era of Marvel will always be my favorite, as Jack Kirby (cover pencils, inks by Joe Sinnott) returned to do some great covers like this one. Not to be outdone, is Mr. editor/writer/everything man, Roy Thomas, as he adds his uncanny ability to write team books. And this one has two great teams in it! One of my all time favorite artists, is “Big” John Buscema (pencils). His pencils are always a treat to see, and the inks of Sam Grainger compliment him well. Colors by Phil Rachelson, and letters by Sam Rosen!
In keeping with the horror theme, I thought I’d throw out another issue featuring that patchwork fellow, Frankenstein’s Monster! In this issue of The Invaders (#31), we see the machinations of the Nazis, as they’ve not only captured the monster, but brainwashed him as well! Their goal (lofty as usual) is to replicate the process by which he was made, and create an army of undead soldiers to conquer the world! They’ve not only captured Cap and Bucky, but also the Human Torch and Toro, too.
This issue (along with the previous two) was written by Don Glut, with pencils by Chic Stone, inks by Bill Black, colors by George Roussos, and letters by Tom Orzechowski! A quirky little story that just adds to the mystique of The Invaders! Overall this series was quite entertaining, especially when under the guidance of Roy Thomas! We saw a couple of Kirby covers, as well as Gil Kane. Interior work by names like Kupperberg, Robbins, and even Don Heck! Check out that awesome cover by the incomparable Joe Sinnott!
The name Alan Kupperberg wasn’t familiar to me until a while after I started reading comics. Maybe he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he didn’t have an extended run on any one title, or possibly because he was busy with other work (different divisions of Marvel and commercial work). Whatever the reason, if you take a look at his body of work, you can see the pencils of a true craftsman that is under-appreciated, to say the least.
His work on The Invaders, is especially nice, but I also own some of his work on Thor, and a couple other gems you’ll find interesting. The man wasn’t limited in his work either, doing some writing, inking, coloring, lettering, and everything else you can think of in the industry. So, here’s to you, Alan Kupperberg, thanks for all of your contributions to the greatest form of entertainment on the planet!
Instead of the usual one issue spotlight, I’ve decided to send off February and Jack Kirby with a bang! Here are four awesome covers by the ‘King’, on one of my favorite series, The Invaders! He did some splendid covers for this book, and with Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins on story and interiors, respectively, you couldn’t ask for a better team effort! So, thank you, Jack Kirby, for your monumental contributions to the comic book industry! Enjoy!
At the behest of the super groovy, Dave Elliott, here’s the cover of the day! Cover artist extraordinaire, Gil Kane, lends his incredible talents to one of my favorite titles of all time! Credits on this issue include- Writer: Roy Thomas -Pencils: Frank Robbins -Inks: Frank Springer! Enjoy!