New year, new It Came From The Longbox column! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but I’ve missed it and was only waiting for the right time to do another one. Well, the right time seems to be now so let’s dust off the intro and get to it:
Deep within my collection there are books long forgotten, either by chance or by choice. It Came From The Longbox is where some of these books will find a new life, if only for a single review…
Over in IDW, they seem to be having trouble with some pesky Martians who have made their way into the various realities that make up the IDW Universe. From Popeye and KISS to The Real GhostBusters and The Transformers, many realities are being attacks by Mars and it’s exciting and messy. Even IDW’s own Zombies Vs. Robots is under siege.
So that got me to thinking about other alien invasion comics and what one could be the focus of the first Longbox review of 2013 and only one seem to come to mind: Invasion!
Published in 1988 (25 years ago!), this book was told in three issues. Each book featured 80-pages, like the Giant-Size books DC did back in the day, and also featured only story, no ads. The plot was by Kieth Giffen with a script by Bill Mantlo. Art was done by some pretty big names: Todd McFarlane worked on the first two issues, Bart Sears worked on all three including doing the covers, and Giffen himself worked on the layouts. Inking was done by such talents as P. Craig Russell, Dick Diordano, Joe Rubinstein, Tom Christopher, and Al Gordon. It also crossed over into some 30 DC Universe titles. It was a massive undertaking considering it was only 3 issues!
The Invasion was the idea of a group of aliens called the Dominators. They formed a coalition of some of the universe’s most powerful alien races, including the Khund and the Thanagarians, to invade the Earth in order to stop the spread of ‘meta humans’ or super heroes. During their invasion, they abduct different humans and perform tests and experiments on them in order to figure out what triggers the ‘meta gene’ that turns humans into super humans.
However, as the invasion progresses and heroes defend the Earth from various places around the globe, it becomes obvious that destroying the Earth wasn’t in the plans of the Dominators at all. Their real plans are to control the superhumans, most likely in an effort to dominate the whole universe.
From there the story progress to the inevitable defeat of the invasion and the retaliation of one Dominator who detonates a ‘gene bomb’ that remove the powers of some of the super heroes, and villains, and slowly begins to kill many of them. This leads to a reverse invasion as some of Earth’s heroes led by Superman (who didn’t want to return to Earth after the gene bomb was set off, fearing that if he lost his powers then all hope would be lost as well), on the Dominator homeworld to find a cure for Earth.
So, in the end, this turns into a rather massive one-and-done story that kind of holds up after fairly well after 25 years. The only real problem for it is the constant rebooting and ret-conning of the DC Universe. It would seem the recent New 52 reboot has all but negated this entire story. That doesn’t make it any less entertaining but I imagine it would be far more entertaining for those who have a true love for the DCU. For someone like me it was an alright read. I’ve owned this book for over a decade and this was really the first time I read it all in its entirety
If you’re reading and enjoying the current Mars Attacks IDW story but would like to have an alien invasion that impacts popular superheroes, then this is the story you should check out. Just keep in mind that it’s 25 years old and a LOT has changed in the DC Universe since then, and not always for the best. Entertaining and interesting, an invasion event long time DC fans should love!