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Comic Book / Avengers/Invaders

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Avengers/Invaders is a 2008-2009 Bat Family Crossover between The Avengers and The Invaders. It took place in the aftermath of Civil War (2006) and the death of Captain America.

The Invaders (Captain America, Namor, the Human Torch, Bucky Barnes, Toro, Union Jack and Spitfire) were in the usual chaos of World War II, and the first 5 of them passed through a strange smoke... and, all of a sudden, they are in 2007 New York City, where the Thunderbolts try to capture Spider-Man, who was unregistered. Without realizing that they had time-traveled, they thought that it had to be a Nazi trick, or worse, a Nazi invasion of the United States. Both teams of Avengers, the registered and unregistered ones, try to get the Invaders and find out how to return them to their own timeline. They were captured by S.H.I.E.L.D., liberated and (after a robot rebellion in the hellicarrier) taken to Doctor Strange. The Invaders came to 2007 because of the Cosmic Cube, reacting to the generalized sorrow over the death of Captain America and the general desire to see him return. Strange noticed as well a 6º time traveler, a regular soldier who reunited with his older self. But, before Dr. Strange could erase their memories and return them to the past, this soldier stole the Cube from Strange, to go back in time and use it to save his military unit. It did not end well: they shot him, and he lost the Cube, which was taken by the Red Skull.

In the 2007, reality collapsed, but Dr. Strange managed to send the Invaders and some of the Avengers to the past. Red Skull completely changed reality, even invaded New York. The Avengers disguised as Golden-Age super heroes, and moved to Germany, to try to get the Cube and restore reality as it was meant to be.

NOTE: At the time when this story was written, Steve Rogers was dead, and Bucky (the Winter Soldier) had became the new Captain America. Some time later, Rogers would come back to life, and retrieve his super hero identity. Still, for the sake of simplicity, when you read about "the present" here, understand it as "the 2007 present", and in the context described.

Invaders Now is a sequel of sorts, set after Steve and Toro come back to life.

Avengers/Invaders contains examples of:

  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Reality falling apart after Paul Anselm took the Cosmic Cube. The older Anselm, the modern Captain America, Ares, Echo, Wonder Man, Black Window and Dr. Strange, all died in it. Dr. Strange managed to send the remaining Avengers and Invaders back to the new World War II to try to fix history.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: There is a rebellion of the Life Model Decoys, robot soldiers of SHIELD. This turns out to have been orchestrated by Ultron, Marvel's Ur-Example.
  • Alternate History: In the new timeline, Red Skull is the new Fuhrer, Winston Churchill has been killed, Britain was conquered, the United States was nuked and invaded, the Statue of Liberty broke in half, and the "Aryan Wall" protected all the lands that belong to the "superior race".
  • Back from the Dead: Everyone reacts to Steve this way, while he's just trying to hit them because he thinks they're Nazis. But the final page reveals that Bucky, rather than heeding his future self's warning and saving his own life, brought Toro back from the dead after everything was said and done.
  • Backstab Backfire: When the Avengers fought against the Invaders and defeat them, they ordered Namor, the last one, to surrender. Ares threw his axe to Namor from his back. Namor, who is never distracted, took the axe in a quick movement and redirected it to Iron Man, nailing it to his chest.
  • Berserk Button: As a fellow android, Ultron may have convinced the Human Torch of working with him to "liberate" the androids of SHIELD... but when he made his usual Evil Gloating about his "superior race", then the Torch's gloves are off.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Wolverine saying "Ok, Axis... here we come!"
  • Call-Forward: Young Bucky claims he would give his right arm to see Cap fight again.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The holodeck simulation of Captain America and Namor in World War Two. The Human Torch got inside it, but Bucky and Toro were not real, just part of the simulation. To avoid confussions, except the real characters all the simulated war is coloured in grey (including the fake Bucky and Toro).
  • Comically Missing the Point / Shown Their Work: Bucky got an all-access card for the hellicarrier. And, still thinking he was in World War II, he pointed that the card had the German word for "Strong", per the usual Nazi obsession with power and strength. Which is that word, you asked? "Stark"
  • Continuity Snarl: Weren't all the cosmic cubes destroyed during the The Infinity Crusade?
  • Contrived Coincidence: Bucky throws by accident Cap's shield out of the Helicarrier... and the modern Captain America just happens to be around when it fell in the ground.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
  • Disability Immunity: D'Spayre can subjugate anyone just by giving them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Anyone except Echo, who is deaf.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: First the invaders in the XXI century, and then the Avengers in the alternate WWII.
  • The Future Is Shocking: The Invaders are really confused being in the present day and tend to presume everything they see is associated with fascism, Nazism, and the Holocaust. They especially take notice of the name Stark plastered everywhere.
  • Gilligan Cut: When Iron Man proposed to everybody in the past to use Invader's costumes, Spider-Man pointed that it's not as easy as it sounds, that it takes a very long time to weave costumes. They appear the next morning as Invaders anyway, with Spidey complaining about having been up all night making them.
  • Godwin's Law of Time Travel: Use a reality warping object to prevent a Nazi Victory? Result: Nazi Victory!
  • Gone Horribly Right: Ultron wanted to capture the Human Torch to have actual life. And he succedded. But if you have life, you have death, it comes in the package.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The old Paul Anselm, a random citizen in the street when the Thunderbolts tried to capture Spider-Man. He said that those are not heroes, that he knows real heroes... and then, the Invaders appear.
  • He's Back!: Captain America is back! But don't celebrate: he's a temporal anomaly, and must be returned to his proper timeline at once. Still, it was a huge punch to the face of Tony Stark, who still blamed himself for the death of 2007's Captain America.
  • Here We Go Again!: The Invaders' return to the past, modified by Red Skull and his Cosmic Cube. Again New York, again the wrong New York.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: Namor called Ares a coward for requiring an Axe to fight.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: Once captured, Namor and Captain America were kept in statis, dreaming to be fighting World War II. But if they dream their deaths, they would day, so the Human Torch has to get inside and take them out.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Human Torch, an android, had a crisis over this. He had once liberated a Nazi concentration camp, and saw many similarities with SHIELD's "Life Model Decoys", androids used for risky missions.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Spider-woman declares that the two Avengers teams are just like two little girls, Spider-man retorts: "Are not."
  • Innocent Bigot: It takes young Bucky a while to understand what Human Torch has against him referring to other sentient AI as "just a robot".
  • Internal Homage: The cover of the first issue, by Alex Ross, is similar to an image of the Invaders storming into a Nazi base in Marvels
  • Just Think of the Potential!: D'Spayre had the cosmic cube, but he was not using it, he was just feeding on the national sorrow channeled with it.
  • Kid Sidekick: Bucky and Toro
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The rebellion of the LMD controlled by Ultron was described as "a weird secret invasion". And someone pointed out, did you have to call it that?
  • Meaningful Name: D'Spayre causes despair in his listeners.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Namor and Toro, they only wear a pair of boxers.
  • My Future Self and Me: Namor and Paul Anselm. Bucky Barnes, who became the new Captain America after the death of Steve Rogers, met both his younger self and Steve Rogers (2 Captains America for the price of 1).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Paul Anselm, in his attempt to prevent a Nazi victory, let the Red Skull get the Cosmic Cube.
    • Bucky retrieved Captain America's shield, threw it to him when he was fighting robots on top of the hellicarrier... and missed. The shield fell to the ground, very far below.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: From Bucky's perspective (from ours, it's "Ominous Message From The Present, for someone from the past"). Modern Captain America, actually Bucky himself (he did not mention that detail) warned him that someday Zemo would fire a bomb, and Captain America would ask him to let it go. His message: do as Steve said, let it go. His memory was not erased during the adventure, so he remembered it when the day come. But who knows what destruction would that bomb cause, if left flying? So Bucky had his Dying Moment of Awesome anyway, and history continued as it was meant to.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: Tony Stark, director of SHIELD, is not a man who would see the returned Captain America in a mere TV screen. No, put his face in all screens at once!
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Paul Anselm learned this the hard way
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: During the fight in the hellicarrier (a flying ship), Bucky threw Cap's shield to him... and missed, and it fell to the ground. He received it later, and thanked Bucky for recovering it, that he was sure that he would recover it somehow. He did not: the shield was retrieved by the modern Captain America, who joined the action. But then, the new Captain America is Bucky (the adult and modern one), so he wasn't so wrong after all.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong:
    • All of Anselm's military unit was killed, when he and the invaders were time-displaced to 2007. He tried to use the Cosmic cube to save them.
    • Bucky Cap tries to warn his past self against jumping on that missile, ultimately ensuring that it would happen, because younger Bucky doesn't want to risk changing the past or the outcome of the war.
  • Stable Time Loop: Implied by Namor remembering being his past self meeting his present self. He seems to be the only former Invader remembering, though.
  • Survivor Guilt: Paul Anselm was filled of it
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: D'Spayre gave one to Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Ronin, Spider-Man, Bucky, Toro and Paul Anselm
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: Was it all a big excuse to dress the Avengers as the Invaders? To prevent disrupting the timeline, the Avengers in the past took the costumes of other heroes of The Golden Age of Comic Books.
  • The Team Normal: Bucky points out how he's weaponized being seen as this while he brakes out of his cell on the hellicarrier.
  • Victory-Guided Amnesia: Subverted. Iron Man was about to use the Cosmic Cube to wipe the memories of 2007 from the Invaders, before sending them back, but then Anselm stole the Cube and broke everything. The Invaders returned to their time and the timeline was eventually restored, but they remembered it all.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Human Torch, an android created by a jew and having seen the Holocaust, gave one to SHIELD. He considered that SHIELD's androids are not in a very different situation. This turns out to be Ultron playing on his sympathies to take out the humans and drink his blood.