Comic Name: Marvel Universe
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Roger Stern
Artist: Steve Epting/Mike Manley/Bret Blevins/Jason Armstrong
# of Issues: 7
Release Date: 2010
Reprints Marvel Universe #1-7 (June 1998-December 1998). The Invaders learn that the Nazis might not be the only threat in the world. When a group called HYDRA is unveiled, the Invaders learn that one of Hitler’s allies named Baron Strucker has need of the Manhattan Project for his own world domination…but the Invaders don’t realize that Strucker already has the Manhattan Project and a plan. Plus, when monsters begin popping up around the world, a band of heroes must form. The Monster Hunters are comprised of Dr. Druid, Ulysses Bloodstone, Zawadi, and the enigmatic Jacob Curtiss and uncovering the source of the monsters could expose all their personal mysteries.
Written by Howard Stern, The Invaders: Eve of Destruction is a collection of the short lived Marvel Comics’ series Marvel Universe. The collection follows the formats printed in The Invaders Classic series which ran for four volumes.
I actually read this series off the shelf. I like anthology comics (if they are done well) and had high hopes for Marvel Universe. Invader stories are often rather slow, but the strange combination of the Monster Hunters did have me interested.
The Invaders story feels like a traditional Invaders story. You have the core three of Captain America, Namor, and Human Torch, but they are thankfully joined by the Whizzer for a couple issues. I always liked The Invaders supporting cast more than the big three and it was good (and logical) that the Whizzer would be helping. I also like the blend of World War II and post-WWII in the story with the set-up of HYDRA and events that unfolded after the Silver-Age of the Marvel Universe launched.
The second half of the collection is actually better to me. I always liked how Marvel incorporated their horror and fantasy books into the true Marvel Universe (look at Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy as an example of that). The composition of the team is fun with an early look at Wakanda with Zawadi, an Eternal, another immortal in Bloodstone, and the Avenger everyone hated Dr. Druid (but I kind of liked him). It isn’t the most developed story, but I had hopes that a second Monster Hunters story would be even better…unfortunately it didn’t develop.
To call this The Invaders: Eve of Destruction is rather a misnomer. The Invaders are the first three issues of the book followed by a non-Invaders story. That being said, I really enjoy the Monster Hunters portion of the book. I wish this series had gone on a bit longer in that I like that it explored periods at both the end of World War II and before the “launch” of the Marvel Universe…this window is a missing time in Marvel history and there is tons of room for stories and ideas that never were explored.