After rescuing Namor from Tanalth the Pursuer and the Kree Empire and disposing of the God’s Whisper in the first arc of this exciting new series with an old school flare, ‘All-New Invaders’ joins the epic crossover event ‘Original Sin’ with the latest issue from James Robinson and Mark Laming. Now, Jim Hammond must answer for the sins of his former team when Radiance, the granddaughter of World War II hero Golden Girl, comes looking for answers after the Watcher’s eye triggered a truth bomb the revealed some deep, dark secrets to various people nearby.
This issue chronicles the original Human Torch’s first official mission as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and is told with flashbacks within flashbacks. After he returns to Earth and settles into his new job, we catch up with Hammond as he meets with Agent Nick Fury and Dr. Derek Malloy to be debriefed about his encounter with Ryoko Sabuki, the Japanese-American hero known as Supreme Radiant Friend in the Land of the Rising Sun who learns that the Invaders could have prevented the bomb dropping on Hiroshima. With Namor and Spitfire unavailable, the Torch steps up to meet Radiance’s demands to meet with the Invaders about this secret in order to quell a hostage situation. However, the revelation of this secret isn’t the only explosive element that Jim has to deal with on this mission.
First of all, I love Jim Hammond’s new uniform. It’s obviously reminiscent of Steve Rogers’ attire from the time period when he was the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. that was passed on to Nick Fury Jr. upon his introduction to Earth-616. Every hero needs a nicely designed logo and I feel like Torch’s new symbol fits him very well. When he stands next to Fury, it’s like a fire and ice look to the pair, which could lead to some visually pleasing scenes in the future.
And speaking of costumes, I’m a fan of Radiance’s look as well. In fact, I’m a fan of the hero in general. I like her backstory that paints her as one of the premiere heroes of Japan, even moreso than Sunfire and Big Hero 6. Also, she’s Japanese-American hero, which is something that you don’t get very often. I love that she’s identified in that manner because representation matters and Marvel is totally killing it on that front, especially with Asians. I’m not finding stories such as this one or the ones in ‘Deadly Hands of Kung Fu’, ‘Avengers World’, or ‘Iron Fist: The Living Weapon’ in any other medium at the moment, so I hope that film and television take a page from comics one day soon.
As for the story itself, I’m totally on board. In fact, I even found myself getting just as mad at the Invaders as Ryoko for this secret. At first, I wasn’t sold on the flashbacks within the flashbacks, but Robinson really crafted a compelling story with really interesting and fully formed characters. He didn’t bog the story down with too much exposition and things kept moving at an action-packed pace. I’m calling it right now: James Robinson could be a contender for ‘Avengers’ when Jonathan Hickman wraps up his run in 2015.
In terms of the art, Laming does some extremely stunning work. It’s like he has a balance between Jamie McKelvie and Jim Cheung, which would explain why I like it so much. His version of Jim Hammond is very dreamy and Radiance oozes of grace and beauty. So from both sides of the creative team, this book is killing it.
Overall, this is the start of an awesome ‘Original Sin’ tie-in. ‘All-New Invaders’ was a fun book already, but things have been taken to whole other level. It’s too early to tell, but it might be my favorite title connected to the crossover. If you’re not checking it out, do yourself a favor and add it to your pull list.
ALL-NEW INVADERS #6
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Laming & Guru-eFX