Written by James Robinson
Art by Steve Pugh
Published by Marvel Comics
With James Robinson’s focus on assembling the modern roster of the Golden Age team, the Invaders, issue #13 comes off rather strange. Simply, it’s an entire issue with mostly dialogue between supporting characters of the series. It’s not bad as it fleshes out the scope of the book and is being used for Robinson to explore the multi-faceted cosmic side of the Marvel universe though it does risk alienating some readers.
The issue is a meeting on a giant ancient chessboard floating through the void with the play-pieces all representing alien races, some well-known and others lost to the sands of time. The characters are the new Tanalth the Pursuer and the Eternal and Golden Age hero Makkari. At the risk of death, they meet for they sense something is very wrong in the universe as both the Kree and Eternals are acting strange. This issue is clearly set up and exposition for whatever James Robinson has planned, much like last issue with the even older Freedom’s Five. Robinson is well known for his planned long term stories, and this one appears to be no exception. Hopefully, with Marvel’s rare tendency to let a title that isn’t Avengers, Spider-Man, or X-Men related continue, this series can stay the course as it’s clearly building up a compelling mystery.
This latest issue really lets Steve Pugh loose on the beauty of outer space. Like Nicola Scott and Yildiray Cinar, he has a clear and crisp look to his art that makes the expanse of star fields breath-taking. He hits a tone between old pulp adventure and contemporary comic art that really shines through. The serious artistic highlight of this issue is by far the giant chessboard. With pieces towering over the characters, it’s something legendary, an ancient graveyard that’s been forgotten to time. It’s a fascinating setting straight out of classic Doctor Who. Though this series will likely never have many locations such as this, it’s a wonderful treat. It’s rare that a simple background can make an issue dedicated to exposition into a thrilling experience.
For anyone looking for action or major plot developments, this is a difficult recommendation. It is likely only for dedicated fans as it seems skippable in terms of narrative. James Robinson can sometimes function that way. However, it’s helped by the stunning visuals and high concept setting. Whatever the plans are for All-New Invaders, here’s hoping for many more issues to come.