IT'S COME TO THIS: Namor, stripped of his powers, is trapped on a lonely island with Captain America, while Machan - newly made manifest and escaped from Namor's Xavier-addled brain thanks to the evil depredations of the Serpent Crown - plans a devastating final assault on the surface world!
The down time, though, gives these former brothers-in-arms turned tragic foes time to reconnect on a human level. Cap, as ever, remains optimistic about not only their present situation but also that Namor is still a good man. Namor, though, wallows in angry self-pity. In time, though, they discover the island is not so uninhabited as they thought. There is a secret Roxxon testing facility secreted away in the deep of the jungle, with some extremely unethical manimal testing going on...
Steve and Namor quickly win the day, but Namor decides mere victory in battle isn't enough and unleashes the mutates upon the scientists. Finally realizing just how badly Namor has lost his way, Cap decides it's time for some tough love...
Can the Invaders get it together in time to stop Machan? Will Namor listen to reason? Will the other Invaders find them and get them off the island?
What do YOU think?!
Invaders #11 is a bit of an odd detour for the penultimate issue of a series. It zags when it should zig, opting to take a route into body-horror sci-fi when it should be accelerating the pace toward the inevitable conclusion. There is a point to the sidetrack, though: at long last, it forces Steve Rogers to accept that what Namor needs isn’t The Power of Friendship, but rather a swift verbal kick in the ass and a reminder of his commitments to the people who have unwaveringly stood by him.
Look, if that doesn’t get you in the feels, what will?!
Of course, it takes Namor doing some truly brutal and ruthless business to get to this point. But that end-around is in and of itself a means to an end: writer Chip Zdarsky sacrifices a little bit of narrative momentum in order to force Steve to see Namor for who he’s finally sunk to being, and then remind him of who he really is: his ally, his brother, his fellow Invader. This being the penultimate issue of the series, though, it can’t help but feel like there’s still so much left to cover before the big finale next month.
Carlos Magno and Butch Guice are on hand as usual for a top-notch art duo. The modern scenes are handled by Magno, the flashbacks by Guice. Guice – a modern legend in the field – is a perfect fit for the flashbacks. Magno does his usual awesomeness as well, although I will say that there are some awkward shots throughout where either Cap or Namor looks a little thick in the middle, like if Foggy Nelson were trying to squeeze himself into a superhero suit. It’s not a dealbreaker, but it is noticeable enough to be distracting when it occurs. The other details, though, are great: the mutated manimals are suitably hideous, providing a true moment of body horror when they stand revealed. Alex Guimaraes’ coloring is lush and beautiful, accenting Magno’s art flawlessly.
Eleven issues in, and there isn't much more left to say about how awesome Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno, and Butch Guice's Invaders is. The stakes are high but Zdarsky never forgets to keep a beating human heart at the center. Wars come and go, but brotherhood is forever!
Invaders #11: Brothers to the End
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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