The opening recap page is more clinical than most, which, thankfully is not the case for the entire issue of “All-New Invaders” #3, written by James Robinson with art by Steve Pugh, colors from Guru-eFX, letters courtesy of Cory Petit and sporting a credit towards Tim Leong for design work. Part three of “Gods and Soldiers” opens with Namor’s story prior to the Mondrian-lite title page. The image slips in a minor spoiler for the issue’s cliffhanger, but Robinson and company keep things moving nicely afterwards to bring readers to that cliffhanger before it can spoil too much.
Namor’s involvement with the Kree’s search for “The Gods’ Whisper” involves a sky-bound brawl with Tanalth the Pursuer and an eventual confrontation with the Supreme Intelligence. Through the Intelligence, Robinson makes note of the historic nature of that confrontation, saying, “It’s somewhat surprising it hasn’t occurred sooner.” In addition to making history, as Robinson does so effortlessly, he references history while adding depth and detail to the grander Marvel Universe. That leads to Aarkus, the original Vision, joining Captain America, Torch and Winter Soldier in action. Between Namor’s original appearance the gathering Invaders making their way to their comrade’s aid, Robinson provides plenty of explanation, through conversation between Cap and Torch, Aarkus and Winter Soldier and even a cameo (albeit via monitor) from Thor.
By the end of the issue, Robinson has given artist Steve Pugh a magnificent array of locales and characters to draw. Like a grand tour of the Marvel Universe, this comic includes a visit to Hala (twice), a layover at Avengers Mansion and a journey through the passageways the Golden Age Vision uses for travel. Other than a gaggle of stereotypical homeless guys in cardboard boxes under the expressway in a rather unimaginative perception of Detroit (really, there is more to see here) Pugh handles “All-New Invaders” #3 with deft precision. Pugh pours detail into the work, taking care to visually describe Namor’s ankle wings through his boots, and providing mind-numbing detail in the passageway between and beyond. His storytelling is strong, if not flashy, and his characters are strong enough actors to carry the scenes nicely. Guru-eFX provides intensely bold colors that would be more apropos for a cartoon as opposed to a film. In a world filled with gigantic disembodied leaders, blue-skinned warriors and shape-shifting aliens, Guru-eFX’s palette is well served. Cory Petit gets quite a workout, especially in the Avengers’ Mansion scene, but he manages to keep the lettering clean and strong, rounding out the visual trio quite nicely.
My biggest gripe with “All-New Invaders” is that this issue only has nineteen pages of story for the four-dollar pricepoint. Granted, Robinson jams a lot of information into those pages and Pugh pours the detail into the panels, but page count is critical when bang for the buck comes into play, especially at $3.99. That said, “All-New Invaders” #3 is a nice, solid read, with a good deal to thrill readers and satiate long-time Marvel-philes. Robinson and company have provided a strong start to this series and this issue is a fine example.