Freedom Fighters Pt. 13: The Invaders #15
Now that we know a little about the Invaders and why I’m writing about a Marvel Comic on a blog called, DC Comics Guy, let’s look at Marvel’s version of the Crusaders...
Marvel’s Crusaders were based on DC’s Freedom Fighters, albeit with less clever names than DC used for their Crusaders. Roll call:
Captain Wings (counterpart of Black Condor)
Dyna-Mite (counterpart of Doll Man)
Ghost Girl (counterpart of Phantom Lady)
Spirit of ‘76 (counterpart of Uncle Sam)
Thunder Fist (counterpart of Human Bomb)
Tommy Lightning (counterpart of the Ray)
While they were introduced in The Invaders #14, we don’t know much about Marvel’s Crusaders. Let’s see if that changes after we look at The Invaders #15…
Following the events of issue #14, the Human Torch says:
It’ll be a cold day in Hell, Cap -- when I gracefully bow out as honor guard to the King of England -- to turn the job over to a group nobody ever heard of just a few days ago!
Who are they -- appearing thus out of nowhere?
Meanwhile, the Crusaders meet, seemingly as unaware of their purpose as the Invaders.
The cab driver, Alfie, then enters and it’s revealed that he works for the government and is their liaison officer.
Alfie then accuses the Invaders of being Nazis, offering as evidence a series of photos taken out of context (and from back issues of The Invaders.) He purposely drops a hint that he’s with His Majesty’s Navy and leaves, but then…
Betch’a saw that comin’! So did Dyna-Mite, who was hiding in Alfie’s pocket. After a daring escape, he manages to warn the Invaders.
You must prevent his majesty from christening the H.M.S. Hornblower this morning -- or, this afternoon, Great Britain will be without a king!!
The Invaders arrive at the ship just in time, but have to waste time with an obligatory battle against the Crusaders. However, when the Crusaders learn that the bottle with which the king was going to christen the ship is boobytrapped, they realize they’ve been duped by Alfie.
Alfie makes a getaway, but the Human Torch is close behind and…
The Crusaders are happy to dispose of their equipment, which is useless now, anyway, following Alfie’s demise. They then disappear, never to be seen again.
It’s a fun story, similar to DC’s in several ways. Most notably, both teams are recruited by bad guys masquerading as good guys. They do bad guy things, but then realize the error of their ways and choose to return to “normal” life.
I won’t provide much commentary because I’m familiar with neither The Invaders nor their comics history. However, I do want to note that issues #14 and 15 were written by Roy Thomas. I’m familiar with Thomas from when he worked at DC and wrote All Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc.
Thomas writes history-packed stories that are sometimes very dense. You see a little of that on the splash page for #15. I’m not aware of any other comic book writer (of the superhero kind, anyway) that would include details like the names and models of German WWII airplanes:
Title: The Invaders
Issue #: 15
Cover Date: April, 1977
On Sale Date: Jan. 14, 1977
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciller: Frank Robbins
Inker: Jack Springer
Editor: Roy Thomas