Original Sin Review: All-New Invaders #6 by James Robinson & Mark Laming

All-New Invaders #6

Written by: James Robinson
Art by: Mark Laming
Colored by: Guru-E FX
Lettered by: VC’s Cory Petit

Published by: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99

Note: This is a review of the digital version which can be found on Comixology.

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

Dear Marvel,

Can we get some editorial consistency here? In the “Previously…” page, it tells us, “Meanwhile, the Watcher…has been murdered, sending out a psychic blast across the Earth, revealing sins and secrets that have been hidden…”

Wait…it wasn’t the Watcher’s murder that did this, this was days later when the Orb blew up one of the Watcher’s stolen eyes. Also, it wasn’t “all over the Earth” the effect was localized to a relatively short range around the blast sight.

I am not trying to be petty here, but if you are doing a recap, you should at least try to ensure it’s consistent with what happened in the main series. If I was only reading All-New Invaders, this would create confusion. That really didn’t impact my enjoyment of this actual issue, but it did annoy me when I saw it.

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts with the introduction of a superhero named Radiance. She’s Japanese-American and pretty big worldwide.  She’s working with a New York PR firm to get her name out there in the United States. At 11:04 AM, the Watcher’s eye explodes , and Radiance is closed enough to get hit with the “Secrets” wave field.

Three days later, the Original Human Torch checks in for duty at the SHIELD helicarrier. Torch seems uncertain of this new direction in his life, especially with how his first mission with SHIELD went…he meets with a psychiatrist to debrief (BTW, I love Human Torch’s new costume).

We find out that his first mission happened when Radiance took a SHIELD base in Japan hostage right after she was Watcher’d. We also find out that Radiance was the granddaughter of a World War II hero named Golden Girl.

Radiance’s demands were to get to talk to Torch, Submariner, and Spitfire…but Torch was the only one available. When he arrives, Radiance tries to attack him, but Torch manages to talk her down. She reveals that she knew the Invaders could have stopped the bombing at Hiroshima and choose not to. She demands to know why.

Torch starts to tell her the story of what left up to Hiroshima, and why the Invaders ended up fighting her grandmother. Radiance didn’t take it too well…

Review: I couldn’t believe this comic was only 22 pages. Robinson really managed to get a lot done here. The opening pages where we really get to meet Radiance (pre-Watcher) and find out what she was all about was a strong way to start the issue. The scenes with Torch being debriefed were also real good character moments.

I liked that we didn’t get a long drawn out fight when the two characters first meet, Radiance tries to attack Torch, but Torch has seen too much to get caught up in that game. We get a flashback to a real cool looking fight sequence in World War II.   Like I said, a lot happens, but it never feels overwhelming.

I thought it was a real brave way for Robinson to go to have Radiance confront Torch so directly on Hiroshima. How would a hero feel about something like that? The whole issue deals with these deep character moments. After the breakneck action of the first arc, this was a great choice. Slow things down and give us a look at the more human side of Torch. I hope Radiance sticks around; she seems like a great legacy character who can be a strong addition to the cast.

Steve Pugh has been doing a great job on Invaders; it’s been one of my favorite comics to look at each month. I actually was surprised when I was doing this review and saw that he didn’t do this issue. Mark Laming did a great job filling in. As I said earlier, I like consistency, and this issue continued the strong art we’ve gotten through the entire series.

I will say that Greg Land’s cover for this issue was a drop off from the work Mukesh Singh had done on the first five issues. And I am not one of those Greg Land haters, I have been a fan of his work since Sojourn. I just thought the style they were going for here wasn’t anywhere near the bright, catchy covers we got from Singh. I am not sure who’s doing the cover for the next issue, but it’s a weird one. I almost want to yell RACISM…

James Robinson’s work on Starman is easily my all time favorite ongoing series. I love how he respects the history of comic book universes while putting a fresh new spin on them. He doesn’t over-romanticize the past. The Invaders were heroes during World War II, but horrible things happened during that war.  Things the Invaders knew about and didn’t stop.

It was similar in Starman where we found out some of the dark chapters to the Justice Society’s history. It didn’t lower these characters down, it humanized them and made you appreciate much more the heroic actions they took.

I don’t remember ever seeing the question “What did the Invaders (or Justice Society) think about the Atomic Bomb?” It’s a powerful question, and a real good use of the Original Sin concept. I don’t really care if Tony Stark paid for the Gamma Bomb, or if there is a second Spider-Man out there…but this can lead to some real good character moments, so I am eager to see where this goes.

That said, All-New Invaders first arc was pretty amazing too. Invaders is a solid read every month, and well worth checking out.

Final Score: 9.0 Other than the “Previously…” page, I couldn’t find a single gripe about this comic. One of the best books Marvel puts out every issue. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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