Monday, October 8, 2007

1970's Flashback(s): The Invaders & The Liberty Legion

Roy Thomas loves golden age comics and the many heroes who got their start during the WWII period. In the 1970's while he was a writer/editor at the House of Ideas, Thomas tried twice to recapture the magic of the "golden age" using Timely's [former name of Marvel] original stable of heroic champions.

Giant-Size Invaders #1 (June 1975) regrouped Captain America and his sidekick Bucky, the original Human Torch and his sidekick Toro and the Sub-Mariner as an Axis-busting team who would take the fight right to Hitler's Fortress Europa stronghold on behalf of the Allied Forces. After this single, annual-sized one-shot, The Invaders were spun off into their own series which lasted for 41 issues.

Less successful, but equally appealing, The Liberty Legion, first appeared in back-to-back issues of Marvel Premiere #29 & 30 (April/June 1976). This team was organized by Cap's young partner, Bucky when his Invader pals were struck down by the Red Skull. The Patriot, Miss America, the Whizzer, Jack Frost, the Blue Diamond, Red Raven and the Thin Man all responded to Bucky's wartime radio broadcast for super-heroic assistance. The Liberty Legion never made it to their own mag, but the characters made sporadic appearances throughout the Marvel universe and several later became Invaders themselves.

Note: Roy Thomas would pull the same stunt for DC comics in the 1980's with his All-Star Squadron series which utilized golden age characters from DC's vast stable of similar WWII period heroes.

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