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WARNING: This comic contains the worst Captain America ever – The Invaders #14

November 24, 2011

Slap a Mr. Yuk sticker on this sumbitch. It has some Grade A story-killing poison, and we’re not talking about the dull, static cover from an apparently disinterested Jack Kirby.

I have no beef with Frank Robbins. I’ve enjoyed much of his scripting output (including a Superman tale examined here mere days ago). He was that special switch hitting combo of artist and writer, a dexterity that I’ve always admired no matter who possesses it. But this comic book’s visual component is so off-puttingly grotesque, it must be made known so that it can be quarantined like the last remaining strands of smallpox.

Some of the fault might lie with inker Frank Springer, or maybe it’s a toxic combo of the two pencil and brush collaborators. Whatever. I’m going to lay this one at Robbins’ feet. BURN THE WITCH!

The deficiencies are a particular shame because the issue’s script comes from the master of the World War II retcon, Roy Thomas. No one was better at melding the disparate worlds of tights and swastikas. Here he introduces a British counterpart for the “American” Invaders, the Crusaders. Have a gander at a few of the team members, including the token Yank (IF YOU DARE):

As an aside, I realize the U.S. of A. and perfidious Albion were tag-teaming against the Axis, but I can’t help but get a whiff of Benedict Arnold from the Spirit of ’76. JUST WHOSE SIDE IS HE ON?

You might see some artistic problems with that above scan. Maybe not. Let’s ramp things up with a close encounter with Namor’s batch:

Remember that scene in Patton when the rowdy Russian soldiers are stomping and prancing on the table in front of a victorious George C. Scott and the Soviet generals? Remember the look on Scott’s face? That’s the look I have now.

Now we come to the pièce de résistance:

Cap looks like goddamn Sloth from The Goonies. Worst. Captain America. Ever. The Worst Spider-Man Ever now has some company.

And Bucky ain’t looking all that hot, either.

Once again, no beef with Mr. Robbins. No one bats 1.000, and art is, of course, subjective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Different strokes for different folks. The length of his career would indicate that there were plenty that found his art fine, dandy and delectable (though a simple Google search would turn up plenty of opposition). A lot depends on context, I’m sure. Yet, all that granted, I subjectively loathe the art in this book. I subjectively find it utterly hideous. It looks stupid. FOUR COLOR CLOWN VOMIT.

And on that gastronomic note, enjoy your Thanksgiving.

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