All-New Invaders #12

"All-New Invaders" #12 opens with a faux newspaper story flying under the "Recap Chronicle" banner as writer James Robinson sets readers up for a modern-day exploration of Martians attacking the Earth. No stranger to the adventures of the Marvel Universe, the Martians make their presence known in the past and the present. The "Recap Chronicle" feeds right into the story beyond as artists Barry Kitson and Marc Laming (with inks from P. Craig Russell) unravel a flashback tale that stretches plotline tendrils into the modern-day adventures of the Invaders.

In the first two-thirds of "All-New Invaders" #12, Robinson regales readers with the post-World War I attack of the Martians on London. There the Martians -- and readers -- encounter Freedom's Five. Slightly different from their original 1970s appearance, the Five as they appear in "All-New Invaders" #12 are: Sir Steel, Ned Chapel; Union Jack, Lord Montgomery Falsworth; the Crimson Cavalier, Jean-Luc Batroc; Iron Fist, Orson Wells and the Phantom Eagle, Karl Kaufman. Robinson covers the swap out of Iron Fist in the place of the Silver Squire, doing so in the memoirs left from Falsworth, which also bridge the gap in time from 1922 to present day.

In that journey of nearly one hundred years, Robinson plays with a number of characters in the Marvel Universe, and makes some intriguing connections around the theme of invasion. Robinson has alluded to Martian appearances in this comic, and "All-New Invaders" #12 certainly delivers. Of course, where there are Martians in the Marvel Universe, one of their greatest opponents cannot be far behind. Before the end of "All-New Invaders" #12, Robinson also delivers on that, setting up an exciting adventure in the issues to come.

Marc Laming returns to the art chores with "All-New Invaders" #12 and he pulls double-duty, inking himself in the present day and being inked by P. Craig Russell in flashbacks. Barry Kitson even chips in on a couple pages of flashback artwork, giving this story a fine array of visuals. Russell's inks provide deep, rich black areas to balance the rest of the visuals off. This comic is filled with battles, drawn from a distance as well as close up. Cory Petit punctuates the story with cursive text for the memoirs and hits the points of impact with the necessary sound effects. Lovern Kindzierski colors the flashbacks with brilliant vibrance and Guru eFX dials it back a bit for the modern day.

Michael Kormarck's cover promises a bombastic battle that Robinson and company deliver on the inside. While no present members of the Invaders are on the cover, the presentation and trade dress showcase the connection to the rest of the series and cement the adventure solidly within the Marvel Universe. Lapsed readers might be a little shaken by the team inside, but "All-New Invaders" #12 sends the Invaders in a bold new direction, promising plenty of developments along the way. Robinson and company make "All-New Invaders" a fine blend of historic Marvel Universe and brand-new adventure, with rich history to add depth to the story.

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