In Five Favorite, we ask Marvel creators to nominate their top picks from a chosen theme. This time around, we spoke with ALL-NEW INVADERS writer James Robinson about Marvel characters from the Golden Age.
Robinson decided not to include Captain America or Namor the Sub-Mariner because “their place in the Marvel universe has to a greater degree transcended their Golden Age origins.” With that in mind, check out his picks!
First Appearance: U.S.A. COMICS #1 (1941)
Created by Stan Lee and Frank Giacoia
Jack Frost’s origins remain a mystery. He emerged from the frozen Arctic tundra with extraordinary powers over ice and cold. At first he used them to terrorize mankind, but in time he became one of humanity’s champions as a member of the Liberty Legion. Jack Frost stands as one of Stan Lee’s first creations for Marvel.
James Robinson: “This is a character that, although he isn't particularly unique—he's basically an ice-version of Sub-Mariner in a lot of ways—I'm fascinated by his potential. I was really interested in the hints that he might in some way have ties to the Frost Giants of Marvel's Thor mythos.”
First Appearance: RED RAVEN COMICS #1 (1940)
Created by Joe Simon and Louis Cazeneuve
An orphaned human child adopted by the winged inhabitants of a floating island named the Aerie, Red Raven grew to adulthood beholden to his adopted people. Fearful that the war might reach his race, Red Raven signed up with the Liberty Legion to fight the Nazis using mechanical wings to attack from the air.
James Robinson: “Anyone who knows me knows I love winged super heroes [like] the Angel [and] Hawkman. Red Raven has a great name and really weird mythos that no one has really done much with. That's something I intend to change if ALL-NEW INVADERS is a hit and I can get to the arc I have in mind to involve him.”
First Appearance: MYSTIC COMICS #5 (1941)
War reporter Mark Todd gained strength, healing powers and an immunity to fire from a race of strange men with burning skulls, who told him he would be a champion for freedom. Unfortunately, after several years held captive and being tortured by enemy combatants, Blazing Skull has lost his grip on his sanity.
James Robinson: “Even back in the Golden Age Blazing Skull came across as utterly bad ass! He has a great look as well, and I like that ‘crazy’ element that he has now too. I like [fellow Golden Age character] the Destroyer for a lot of the same reasons.”
First Appearance: DARING MYSTERY COMICS #1 (1940)
Created by Dean Carr
Super strong and hard to kill, John Steele fought in the American Civil War, World War I and World War II. He recently returned to action on the wrong side, brainwashed by the villainous Shadow Council; Steve Rogers rescued his old ally only to see him die at the hands of Max Fury.
James Robinson: “John Steele was a fourth rate Golden Age character until Ed Brubaker worked his magic on him in THE MARVELS PROJECT, turning him into Marvel's very own eternal/immortal soldier. I love the idea of a super hero defined by the wars he's fought, which, yes, is somewhat what Captain America is too, but I feel more so applies in John Steele's case. It's the kind of material I love to mine. Unfortunately Rick ‘the Butcher’ Remender killed him, so Steele's dead. Or is he?”
First Appearance: MARVEL COMICS #1 (1939)
Created by Carl Burgos
Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch: an android that burst into flames on contact with the air. The Torch soon learned to control and manipulate the fire, and fought alongside Captain America and the Sub-Mariner as part of the Invaders during World War I. He’s back in the pages of ALL-NEW INVADERS #1.
James Robinson: “He's the first Marvel hero. Also, despite his importance in Marvel history, he's has very little baggage in terms of back story. He's a relatively blank slate, which excites me as a writer, equally in terms of his past, personality and powers. The three P’s! I also like the fact that—despite some writers not stating this properly—he's an artificial man with artificial blood and organs and internal workings, which fascinates me.”
Pick up ALL-NEW INVADERS #1, on sale now!