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Exclusive: James Robinson clues us in on the return of the Invaders

Posted By: Wonder Worlock
Tue, 11/12/2013 - 21:23


We learned today that writer James Robinson will be relaunching Fantastic Four with a new #1 in February, but the scribe is already hard at work on another notable team of Marvel history.

And we mean history!

Captain America, the original Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner fought the Axis powers during World War II, and their adventures were legend. Those adventures were later dusted off for a modern audience in the title Invaders.

In January, Robinson and artist Steve Pugh will launch the All-New Invaders, the adventures of those WW II heroes today!

To find out how this is possible, Cosmic Book News M.E. Byron Brewer caught up with the new FF author in a time warp and exclusively posed the following queries.

Cosmic Book News: James, The Invaders was, of course, Roy Thomas’ love letter to the team of Cap, Namor and the Torch who, along with Bucky and Torro, fought against the Nazis in the 1940 comics of his youth. How does All-New Invaders carry on that Timely/Marvel legacy?

James Robinson: The new Invaders comic features the core team of Captain America, Namor, Winter Soldier and the Torch (with Toro to come later) and although their adventures will be very much set in the modern Marvel Universe and what's going on in it now, that sense of legacy and brotherhood from their time during WW II will obviously be a factor in the team.

CBN: Were you a fan of either the ‘40s comics or the team book by Thomas and Frank Robbins?


James Robinson: I was as much a fan of the Golden Age Marvel stories as I could be.  Remember, back then there wasn't a lot of them reprinted.  I think the main source back in the day were when you were lucky enough to find old beaten up copies of Fantasy Masterpieces which used to reprint them.  The most I knew about them back then was through that one issue of Avengers by Thomas and Sal Buscema where the GA Cap, Subby and Torch appeared and of course the end of the Kree/Skrull War when Rick Jones conjures versions of some GA heroes up.  Back then Marvel's golden age wasn't as well represented as DC's was where the the JSA and Earth 2 had been integrated into on-going continuity.

However when the Invaders book came out by Thomas and Robbins I loved it.  Robbins's art style was for some people a bit hard to take compared to other artists at that time.  It definitely felt like it was from a by-gone era.  However, having already gotten used to his style through his work on The Shadow over at DC, I was more inclined to like it.  I felt it was perfect for the Invaders, having a dynamic and for that or any time, singular quality but also felt of that earlier era -- the 1940s.  This was especially true when Frank Giacoia came on inks.  That was superb.  I also thought it was a smart move on Thomas' part that he established that the golden age stories were comics published at that time in the comic book world too, this giving him some leeway with some of the odd/conflicting continuity that those original stories had.

CBN: I understand they will be going into space after the Kree? How can this be after the Avengers just freed Hala from the Builders and fought together with Ronan and the Accusers against Thanos in Infinity?

James Robinson: That is something I'll be addressing in the first arc.  Especially in issues 4 and 5.


CBN: Will we see any other heroes from the 1940s, or modern versions thereof?

James Robinson: Yes, you'll see Aarkus the original Vision in the first arc and then other heroes, both in the present and in flashback, as the series progresses.  My intention is to keep the main cast small so I can really focus on them but have other characters coming in and out for this issue or that arc as needs be.  Don't worry, Union Jack, Spitfire, Toro, even the Blazing Skull and Golden Girl.  They'll all be showing up sooner or later.

CBN: Most of these characters are quite busy in other books as well. Will there be a “focus” character like, say, Vision in Avengers A.I. or Jubilee in X-Men?

James Robinson: Absolutely.  I intend to really focus on Jim Hammond the original Human Torch, to further humanize him, following on from the work done by other writers, while weaving all his Byzantine continuity into one fluid history.  He's a lot of fun to write.  I'm going to make him an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. too to really push him into the heart of the Marvel Universe.  But don't worry, I'm also having fun with Cap, Subby and Winter Soldier so we'll see plenty of their interaction too.

CBN: Any new big-bads (aside from those damn Kree), or any uber-Nazi threats returning?

James Robinson: Well, Tanalth the Pursuer is a new female Kree super-soldier.  I don't want to reveal too much more than that for now, so I don't ruin the surprises.  Oh, I will say that the Invaders will be facing H.G. Wells' Martians before too long, alongside with a certain group of Freemen.

CBN: How will this team be structured? Organized (Avengers), loose knit (Defenders), more a “family” affair (Fantastic Four, something you will be dealing with yourself soon enough), or something different from all those?


James Robinson: Somewhere between loose knit and family.

CBN: What can you say about the art of Steve Pugh? Why is he right for such a legacy book?

James Robinson: Because he's brilliant.  Seriously, this art of wonderful.  Anyone who has any misconceptions that Steve is only good at one kind of story are in for a big, pleasant shock.

CBN: James, any projects new or future you would like to discuss?

James Robinson: Well, [as you said] Fantastic Four #1 comes out the following month and there's my new creator-owned book Saviors, published at Image.  They're both amazing so please check them both out.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank James Robinson for answering our questions. We would also like to thank Marvel’s own Chris D’Lando who helped make this interview possible.

“All-New Invaders” #1 hits stands in January!