The Invaders is a Marvel Comics series about a team of superheroes that fought against the original Axis of Evil during World War II. The team originally consisted of Captain America and Bucky, Jim Hammond/the Original Human Torch and his sidekick Toro, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. They first appeared in The Avengers in The '60s, debuting in #71 (December, 1969). They were co-created by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, Bill Finger, and Martin Goodman. They later gained their own comic book series in 1975. The original series lasted for 41 issues (August, 1975-September, 1979). It was followed by a miniseries of the same name which lasted for 4 issues (May-August, 1993).
A newer series was published in the early 2000s, in which several of the surviving Invaders came out of retirement and joined up with some new members to fight terrorists inspired by their old enemies. This series was called New Invaders and lasted for 10 issues, including #0 (August, 2004-June, 2005).
Although the team's members have varied several times, the most widely-agreed lineup (as seen in the page image) consists of Captain America, Bucky Barnes, The Original Human Torch, Toro, Namor the Sub-Mariner, the second Union Jack, Spitfire and the third Mighty Destroyer, as well as Golden Girl and Human Top forming the Kid Commandos with Toro and Bucky, plus the Whizzer, Miss America and Blazing Skull as unofficial members.
A new volume dubbed All-New Invaders was launched in 2014 as part of the All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, featuring several of the surviving members reuniting to deal with mysterious events linked to their past. All-New Invaders lasted fifteen issues, with the finale published on March 2015.
In Captain America: The First Avenger, this team was combined with the Howling Commandos. Essentially it's the Howlers but includes Captain America, Bucky and James Montgomery Falsworth (who was the first Union Jack in the comics).
Tropes found in the original series and the 2000's revival include:
- Absolute Cleavage: Lady Lotus.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Jim Hammond had a humongous crush on Spitfire, but she only had eyes for Captain America. Davey Mitchell, the Human Top, was strongly implied to be crushing on Golden Girl, but decided to be friends regardless.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: The members of the Super-Axis are all Expies of members of the Justice League of America. Master Man is Superman, Baron Blood is Batman, Warrior Woman is Wonder Woman, and U-Man is Aquaman.
- Badass Normal: Union Jack initially had no superpowers whatsoever, only his training and combat skills. It's Deconstructed, however, by that he feels weak and inadequate compared to the other superpowered Invaders and even considered retiring during a mission in Russia.
- Battle Cry: Ok, Axis... here we come!
- Bury Your Gays: Poor, poor Roger Aubrey. His hidden romance with Brian was going perfectly fine until the fatal car accident killed Brian. And even when all the Invaders were revived, Brian stayed dead.
- The Cameo: The Howling Commandos show up in Issue 34 in Times Square, admiring Namor, Cap and the Torch outside a theater.
- Darker and Edgier: The short-lived 2000's revival, which dealt with topics like The War on Terror.
- Dragon Lady: Lady Lotus again.
- Frozen in Time: The series will always be focused on World War II, but Marvel has given many different explanations on how these characters survived in the modern day era.
- Kid Heroes: The Kid Commandos, a team which consisted of Bucky, Toro, Golden Girl, and the Human Top. They were pretty dangerous on their own, too-and as All New Invaders revealed, wrecked the Invaders in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- Legacy Character: U.S. Agent (the fifth Captain America) and Joey Chapman, the third Union Jack.
- Manly Gay: Both Brian and Roger Aubrey are excellent examples of this trope.
- The Mole: Tara was created by the Red Skull to infiltrate the modern team.
- Multinational Team: We've got Cap and Bucky on the American side, of course, but also Toro, Miss America, The Whizzer and the Human Top. The British team has Union Jack, Spitfire and the Mighty Destroyer. Then there's Namor and Jim Hammond, who's a completely synthetic android. And Golden Girl was Japanese-American.
- One-Hit Kill: In Issue 33, Thor, Brainwashed and Crazy because of Adolf Hitler, managed to one-shot Namor.
- Remember the New Guy?: Golden Girl and the Human Top were retconned into being allies of Captain America and Bucky, but didn't actually exist during the real life Golden Age, until the actual run of the Invaders in the 1970s began. Although there were Golden Age heroes with those names, they were completely separate from these versions.
- Retroactive Legacy: The series revealed that the Destroyer, an obscure Golden Age hero Marvel published during the '40s, was actually Brian Falsworth before he'd donned the Union Jack costume. Later series solved the discrepancy of the Destroyer having a completely different name ("Keen Marlowe") by saying it was simply an alias Brian had used while infiltrating Nazi Germany. Although Marvel has been inconsistent on whether or not there really WAS a Keen Marlowe Destroyer active at the same time whose name Brian had used... the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe indicates that there was, as does the Destroyer MAX series, which has questionable continuity.
- Robot Girl: Tara, Jim Hammond's successor.
- The Baroness: Warrior Woman.
- Shock and Awe: Thor reviving Brian Falsworth after nearly killing him gave Brian the ability to fire beams of lightning as Union Jack.
- The Smurfette Principle / Ms. Fanservice: Spitfire fills this role while still being as badass and lethal as the others.
- Super Breeding Program
- Super Speed: Spitfire's power.
- The Heart: Jim helps keep the team together and is practically the emotional center of the group. And in Issue 11 of All New Invaders, Namor even names this trope as his role.When we were the Invaders of World War II, I was the team's might, and Steve, the strategist and natural leader, was its brain. You were the heart, Jim.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Axis of Evil only grudgingly work together-in particular, Warrior Woman views Master Man as a dunderheaded oaf. Hitler's attempt to make them marry each other after their first meeting didn't help either.
- Token Enemy Minority: Golden Girl, before she was retconned into a hero.
- Undignified Death: As part of Warrior Woman and Master Man's wedding celebration, Hitler has the weakened Invaders dragged out to be machine-gunned in public. Apart from Cap and Spitfire, the rest are barely conscious and are slumped against the wall. This nearly succeeds until Union Jack violently interrupts the wedding.
- Unfinished Business: The miniseries Invaders Now! implies this is the reason for all the various freezings, deagings, and resurrections that allowed Namor, Captain America, Bucky, Spitfire, Torch, and Toro to make it to the present day. Aarkus explains that he'd been steering their various reemergences and resurrections because he sensed that an unspeakably terrible mission of theirs was going to have consequences due to a magical force being invoked around it. It becomes this trope when Aarkus says that he can't reach the second Union Jack, Brian Falsworth, because his soul is at peace. Brian turns out to be the only one of the Invaders who flat-out refused to participate in that mission.
Tropes found in All-New Invaders include:
- And Now For Something Completely Different: The new series is set in the present rather than World War 2.
- Band of Brothers: And they're not ashamed of it, it's not at all uncommon to see the characters address or refer to each other as "my brother."
- Big Damn Heroes:
- During 1944, the Axis of Evil finally defeated the Invaders, but unfortunately, they forgot about Namor.◊
- Jim pulled one off too, for Phil Coulson's grandfather at Omaha Beach. His grandfather's unit was annihilated by a German machine-gunner, and Phil's grandfather was an instant away from getting gunned down too...until Jim flew by and blew up the machine gun nest and its occupants in a hit-and-run attack. Phil thanks him for this, as if Jim wasn't there, Agent Coulson wouldn't exist.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: What the God's Whisper does to whatever deity it controls-it simply lets the wielder use the god as a weapon, until the device is dropped.
- Cast Speciation: Metatextually, this is why Toro has only been shown in a flashback so far: he, the original Human Torch, and the Fantastic Four's Human Torch all have the exact same powers. James Robinson has said in interviews that one of his goals is to make it so that if you saw Jim Hammond and Johnny Storm standing right next to each other with their flames on, you'd be able to tell them apart, and part of this will apparently involve redefining Toro's power set as well.
- Eventually it was revealed that Toro is a latent Inhuman whose heritage was partially activated by his blood transfusion where his powerset allowed him to subconsciously mimic Jim's. His new appearance is him with purple flames on and his new abilities include chemical transmutation of himself and the air around him.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In order to stop the Invaders from sinking Japan with a giant tsunami, the remaining Kid Commandoes-Toro, Gwenny Sabuki and Davey Mitchell-attacked the Invaders' boat. The Invaders expected to win, but they were furiously curb-stomped by the Kid Commandoes until only Gwen and Namor were left fighting. Despite Namor's various powers, Gwen actually defeated him.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Ryoko Sabuki, aka Radiance.Human Torch: Anyway, Japan's love for Radiance borders on hysterical worship, especially amongst a certain demographic of young men and women.
- Faux Death: The Winter Soldier pulls one in issue #5.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: "Friend" is definitely pushing it, but Namor is this to the Marvel heroes at large. Even Cap admits that most people hearing he'd been captured by the Kree would say good riddance, the Kree can keep him. Jim actually seems to be the only classic Invader who still tolerates Namor, but that's only him.
- Heroic BSoD: Jim, as revealed in Issue 11, has lots of guilt over the countless things he's done-most notably helping with the bombing of Hiroshima and abandoning Phineas Horton, his creator, to a life of poverty and robbing him of the fame the scientist deserved, and not being able to defend him from Ultron, who murdered Horton.
- Namor, too, has several-most notably when he thinks that he got Bucky killed and how his infamous second assault on New York killed thousands of people in the tsunami.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Over time, Namor and Jim Hammond have become this trope, and they are very fond of each other, which is really something considering Namor's past actions.
- Legacy Character: Tanalth the Pursuer, the female successor to the Kree villain Korath the Pursuer.
- Radiance, the granddaughter of Golden Girl.
- The new Iron Cross, as well.
- Memory Gambit: In order to hide the location of a device that allows its user to control Gods, the members of the original Invaders all allowed themselves to be Mindwiped.
- Mythology Gag / Shout-Out / RetCanon: Bucky fakes his death using a drug developed by Bruce Banner to control his Hulk-outs. Ya know, exactly like Nick Fury does in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In Original Sin, we learn that the Invaders are partially responsible for use of the A-Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as the Kid Commandos sabotaged a previous attempt to defeat Japan without having to use nuclear weapons, and they refused to try again. Radiance is not pleased when she finds this out.
- Oh, Crap!: Bucky, Namor and Jim have a big one when Major Liberty, their best hope at defeating a Brainwashed and Crazy Hela, gets killed trying to attack her.
- Older Than They Look: Thanks to long stints as a Human Popsicle, being an android, having a blood transfusion from an android, being an Atlantean, and straight-up coming back from the dead, the Invaders are all chronologically in their 90s, but not a damn one of them looks a day over 25. 30, at most.
- Remember the New Guy?: Major Liberty, a previously-unseen member of the Invaders who died during his first mission with the team. The character was actually an existing Golden Age hero, just a rather obscure one who hadn't appeared in decades, and was not part of the original Invaders series.
- Radiance is stated to be the most popular hero in Japan, even beating out the Big Hero 6 and Sunfire from the Uncanny Avengers. She'd also never appeared at all before the issue that made that proclamation.
- Retcon: One that contradicts years of calling Toro a mutant to making him an inhuman with partially activated powers, much like Quake.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Namor (as always) and Tanalth have quite the ego. Major Liberty also appears to have let fame go to his head near the end of his career.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Major Liberty, after beating the crap out of several thousand Nazis, is confident enough to go after Hela directly. This results in him getting Killed Off for Real.
- Taking the Heat: Namor, after the Invaders refuse to use their powers to send a tsunami at Japan, knowing he's known as a wild card, takes the heat for the team.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Jim Hammond went into retirement after angrily quitting the Secret Avengers, but is forced to reveal himself as the Human Torch once the Kree attack.
- Token Minority/Affirmative Action Girl: Radiance, a Japanese heroine who will be joining the team in the second arc.
- Wham Episode: Issue #5 ends with the revelation that The Eternals have found Galactus, who was cast out into the Negative Zone after the events of Cataclysm, and are planning to control him with the God's Whisper to get revenge on the Kree.
- The Worf Effect/Dropped a Bridge on Him: Fang from the Shi'ar Imperial Guard is shown dead in the first issue, just to underscore that the Kree soldiers aren't playing around. For the matter, they had to empty their guns into him three times to make sure that he actually died.