Friday, September 10, 2010

Invaders #41 Rarities by Alan Kupperberg

I've been remiss in discussing comics here lately, which is odd considering the fact that I'm certainly reading a lot of them. I have no doubt I'll be babbling about some of the stuff currently sitting on my shelf for months to come. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

One book that I made it through in record time was Invaders Classic Vol. 4. Boy, did it take me back. Though my appreciation of Frank Robbins has skyrocketed in the last decade, I still consider those later 1970s issues of The Invaders drawn by Alan Kupperberg to be among my favorite Marvel Comics. It definitely helps to have both Roy Thomas and Don Glut, two writers I enjoy, masterminding the plotting and dialogue.

A story in this volume that holds particular sentimental value for me is the one from Invaders #41. That double-sized issue was the last of the series, and I still can tell you the exact location where I bought my first copy. I didn't know that the book was already dead, and that this issue was merely a special to wrap up dangling plot threads. In my innocence, I waited to find another one, until I learned there would be no more.

This particular stroll down memory lane is not meant as a review of either Invaders Classic Vol. 4 or Invaders #41. Rather, it is a set-up to links to original art from the latter comic. I am in awe of collectors of original comic art, as this is something I can probably never do for a variety of reasons. But I love to admire from afar, and the Comic Art Fans site affords me plenty of opportunities for that. Two such treasures that I discovered there are from Invaders #41, and so it means a lot to me to able to see the originals.

Invaders #41 p23 does not look like this in the published comic. This is how the page was originally drawn, when it was meant to be the splash page for the never-to-be-published Invaders #42. When I figured out that the comic was really two issues merged into one, I decided that this page must have been the original splash. It's really cool to see it in its intended form at last.

Invaders #41 p46 & 47 DPS just kills me, and is one of those pieces that I sort of envy a little. This double-page spread concluded that final issue, and absolutely knocked my socks off as a proto-superhero fan. I knew many of those characters from my earlier issues, but I had never seen a few before. And just why were some of the "modern" Avengers depicted with all those 1940s-era types?

Gradually, I learned the answers to my questions. But this mini-poster has never left my memory, and remains one of my favorite images from one of my favorite comics.

What's Alan Kupperberg up to these days? Well, check out www.alankupperberg.com to find out!

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