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Essential Captain America

Essential Cap: The Invaders

Part the veil of secrecy surrounding World War II's greatest team of super heroes

With the release of "Thor" on May 6, 2011 and "Captain America: The First Avenger" on July 22, 2011, Marvel.com presents the Essentials, a series of articles showcasing each character's expansive history and mythology  in the Marvel comics.

From character retrospectives to a look at memorable storylines and interviews with key creators, the Essentials will act as the perfect guide for fans both old and new! Look for new Cap Essentials every Monday and Thor Essentials every Thursday as we head toward the release of each film!


The original Invaders
By Jim Beard

World War II: an era of great strife and horror, but also a time when heroes came together to fight oppression and prove themselves on the field of battle. The greatest of these teams became known as the Invaders and they boasted none other than the Sentinel of Liberty himself, Captain America, as their stalwart leader.

Their deeds and actions became legend, living on today as those self-same heroes once again cloak themselves in that title of honor and achievement: The Invaders!

Over There

The Invaders' roster expands
Thankful for the heroes who'd saved his life during a tense situation, wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill recommended the colorful crusaders band together as a team to fight the Axis Powers across the globe. Thus, the Invaders sprang into being and began their mission to bring the raging conflict to an early close.

Initially, the group stood as Captain America and Bucky, the Human Torch and Toro and the mighty Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, but soon its ranks swelled to include Union Jack, Spitfire, Miss America, the Whizzer, the Thin Man, the Blazing Skull and the Silver Scorpion. Their enemies encroached in droves and claimed not only the Red Skull, U-Man and Master Man, but the entire forces of the Axis Powers.

After the war and reeling from the seeming deaths of Captain America and Bucky, the Invaders transformed into the All-Winner's Squad and Citizen V's V-Battalion. All parties served with dignity, honoring their fallen leader and those principles for which he stood.

The Invaders first appeared in AVENGERS Vol. 1 #71 and gained their own series beginning with GIANT SIZE INVADERS #1. That and their subsequent series, INVADERS, may be found collected in INVADERS CLASSICS VOL. 1-4. Also, check out another Invaders adventure in INVADERS: THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION, which collects MARVEL UNIVERSE #1-7.

To Invade Again

The New Invaders
A new team of Invaders entered the scene in modern times, brought together by original member the Thin Man, but in actuality manipulated by U.S. Secretary of Defense Dell Rusk, secretly the team's old enemy the Red Skull. These Invaders boasted a membership comprised of veterans the Blazing Skull and the Human Torch, along with new teammates USAgent, Union Jack and the mysterious Tara.

Eventually, the new Invaders uncovered the Red Skull's ruse after a series of missions, but in the aftermath the team disbanded once they also exposed Tara's ties to their scheming opponent.

The modern-era Invaders first formed in AVENGERS Vol. 3 #82-84 and NEW INVADERS #0, collected in AVENGERS VOL. 5: ONCE AN INVADER. Their follow-up nine-issue series, NEW INVADERS, may be found in NEW INVADERS: TO END ALL WARS.

Out of Time

The Invaders and Avengers unite
After the apparent death of Captain America in the modern era and the so-called Civil War between Earth's super heroes, a strange time portal loosed the original World War II Invaders in present times. A younger Captain America, Bucky, Human Torch, Toro and Namor found themselves not only confronted by the marvels of the "future," but in some cases their older selves.

Both the New Avengers and Mighty Avengers struggled to contain the Invaders and protect them from learning too much of their futures until such time as they could be returned to their own time. Incredibly, the modern heroes returned to the past and, disguised as other costumed crusaders, fought alongside their World War II counterparts to solve the mystery of the Cosmic Cube.

Witness the events of AVENGERS/INVADERS #1-12 in the single-volume AVENGERS/INVADERS collection.

Old Friends Reunite

The present day Invaders
Even now, the original Invaders have come together once again as a team to confront a horrible dilemma from a past mission of theirs during the war. The revived Steve Rogers reunited with the Human Torch, Toro, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Spitfire and his former sidekick Bucky, now the new Captain America.

A pathogen crafted by the devilish Nazi scientist Arnim Zola infected an entire German village, a population of innocent civilians whom the Invaders had no seeming choice but to destroy in order to end the disease's threat. Unfortunately, the sickness now rages again in the present, necessitating the return of the former Invaders. A bevy of their old baddies also waits in the wings to battle to the team anew.

INVADERS NOW! continues as a limited series, issue #3 of which hits comic shops on November 10.


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