On Monday Marvel announced the impending launch of a second wave of “Marvel NOW!” titles under the banner of “All-New Marvel NOW!,” and the flagship of this coming initiative would be a new series titled All-New Invaders. The series, which will be written by James Robinson and drawn by Steve Pugh, will follow the classic four members of the original Invaders team but putting them squarely into the present day with a battle living up to their name: an invasion by the Kree. And in a Q&A posted earlier today on Marvel.com, Robinson and series editor Mark Paniccia goes more in-depth about the battles these new Invaders will fight, the worlds they’ll travel, and the members they’ll gain along the way.
In this first interview after the book’s announcement on Monday, Robinson and Paniccia said that the original Human Torch would be a major part of the series. Not to be confused with the Fantastic Four member, this Human Torch – real name Jim Hammond – was the first super-hero created under the Marvel banner way back in 1939’s Marvel Comics #1. The original Human Torch was overshadowed by the introduction of the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch in the 1960s however, and was last seen in the final issues of Rick Remender’s run on Secret Avengers earlier this year.
“…I'm really honored to get a crack at writing [the original Human Torch,]” Robinson says in the interview with Marvel.com. “He's the very first Marvel super hero, but for some reason, he always seems to be getting the bum end of the stick in my opinion; always dying or being deactivated or losing his powers. I think I have a bit of a reputation for taking obscure or under-utilized characters and fleshing them out. I intend to really flesh out Hammond and turn him into a truly compelling character.”
The first threat this united quartet will face is “a new faction” of the alien race known as the Kree, with a new character called Talan the Pursuer whom Robinson likens to the “cops part” of the television series Law & Order. They will come into conflict with the Invaders after the Kree invade Earth, with team retaliating by invading the Kree homeworld.
Although the Invaders name has heavy ties to the historical 1940s era of Marvel history, both Robinson and Paniccia stress that All-New Invaders takes place during the present day and that they’d be facing new threats for the team.
“Yes, when Mark asked me if I was interested in writing All-New Invaders, I course was, but I immediately felt like the book had to have a fresh feel to it,” the writer explains. “Although some were excellent, I felt we'd read every story featuring [the Invaders] that concerned Hydra or Baron Strucker or Nazis or Neo-Nazis or some remnant of World War II coming to life for them to come together to fight.”
In addition to facing off with the Kree, Robinson reveals that the team will be facing down with H.G. Wells’ aliens fromWar of the Worlds that will tie into a future arc where the team invades the alien-infested world of Killraven.
And speaking of long-lost Marvel characters coming to the fore, Robinson dropped several nuggets of information on future recruits into the All-New Invaders book down the road.
"Expect to see Aarkus the Golden Age Vision, a flashback featuring Golden Girl...” says Robinson. “I am looking forward to getting to Union Jack, Spitfire, and the Destroyer down the line. And the team will have a female member, but not who you'd expect.”