Invasion! First Strike


DAILY PLANET INVASION SPECIAL

The final page of INVASION! #1 was the cover of a Daily Planet special edition – the one shown being held on the left. It’s a mixture of text pieces that deal with the effects of INVASION! as well as some lighter pieces.

President Reagan is quoted as supporting Earth’s superheroes, “a marked change in official policy from last year” which is a sly reference to MILLENNIUM, and a White House spokesman says “Honestly … If this alien invasion thing is anything like the last few crises, we’ll probably all forget it in the morning.” which sounds like the writers having a chuckle at DC’s summer events.

There’s also mention that “The alien forces have been on Earth for a week now” which means some of the action in the following issues takes place before this issue and the end of INVASION! #1. The paper reports on the events in DOOM PATROL #17, for example.

Other pages are lighthearted filler, such as the TV listings (which show a Swamp Thing film playing on a cable channel), a page of funnies, horoscopes and sports pages.

CHECKMATE #11

As the Invasion continues, the Alliance reach out to various groups of humans, one of which stages an uprising in the British Houses of Parliament. It is short-lived however, when a Knight of Checkmate manages to take them down.

The group is not defeated, however, and Checkmate finds out they plan to assassinate the Queen. The Knight tracks down the members and manages to take out all but four of them who decide, even with their reduced numbers, to continue the plan.

Attending the same garden party where the Queen will be the target, the Knight manages to foil the assassination attempt and save Her Majesty’s life.

This is something of a Red Skies Crossover issue as the Alliance is mentioned as being an instigator to the rebels but none of the aliens appear.

FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MAN #80

An American infantry troop is pinned down by Khunds in the South Pacific; Mikhail Arkadin in Russia begins his new teaching job; Ronnie Raymond is hanging around wondering what to do with himself. He receives a phone call from a mystery agency who tells him that Firestorm is needed in the South Pacific and to pick up Firehawk on the way.

Ronnie and Mikhail merge to form Firestorm and, after collecting Firehawk, they’re joined by Power Girl who has heard about the invasion. They discover a Khund battleship and break into it, finding a stunned and disorientated Starman who is unsure of how he arrived there.

They use the ship to head to the South Pacific, thus saving their own energies, and Firestorm repairs Starman’s costume along the way.

Just before they arrive, the Khund set out on foot to finally defeat the American troops but are temporarily set back by them. As Firestorm and they others reach the island, the Khund realise the ship has been taken over and blow it out of the sky.

FLASH #21

With the help of Booster Gold and the JL International, the Flash and his friend Chunk get to Washington where they are briefed by the army who have received a transmission from Cuba from an old Manhunter agent – the Flash’s father.

Flash and Chunk head to Cuba but their plane is attacked and they are forced to crash land in the jungle. There they are taken prisoner by none other than Fidel Castro and a band of supporters who have left Havana when Durlans took over the government, impersonating Castro and others. Before the Cubans can shoot them, their guns mysteriously rise into the air. When the Flash’s father arrives, he manages to calm things down and they all plan to work together.

During the night, Flash is almost killed by a Durlan but is saved by someone attacking the alien from behind.

The next morning, Flash takes Castro into Havana and swaps him with the Durlan impersonator who is making a live broadcast; the real Castro, pretending to be an alien, encourages the aliens to reveal themselves, and once they do, Flash swaps him for the Durlan again. With the Durlans exposed and being hunted by the Cubans, things can return to normal.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #22

In the Australian JLI Embassy, the Khunds examine the teleporter they found in INVASION! #1. Using Imskian technology, they shrink down a group of Khunds and send them through to the last destination – the New York Embassy where Oberon and Booster Gold are the only ones in attendance, the rest of the team having gone to the South Pacific.

The miniaturised Khunds take out Booster as soon as they arrive and then chase Oberon through the building, eventually trapping him in Blue Beetle’s room. He finds a spare flashgun of Beetle’s and manages to overload the Khunds with a single flash, rendering them unconscious.

In the South Pacific, the rest of the team are providing a diversion for Wonder Woman who is on a mission of her own to rescue Lieutenant Etta Candy. They manage to hijack one of the Khundian ships in a convoy and plant a bomb on it before sending it back to the convoy where it explodes. The explosion causes a chain reaction which destroys all the other ships.

As Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman mourn the loss of the enemy lives, even as they understand the reasons for the deaths, Beetle informs them of a superhero summit back in America.

MANHUNTER #8

Most of the events of this issue take place at the same time as those of FLASH #21 listed above.

Manhunter is hired by Mary West, the Flash’s mother, to find her son and bring him back home. Finding out the Flash is headed to Cuba, Manhunter manages to hitch aboard the plane he’s on – or at least the exterior of it. When the plane is attacked, Manhunter falls off, stranding him in the jungle. By the time he recovers and tracks the plane’s passengers, he is in time to help them by making the Cubans’ guns rise into the air.

He is attacked and captured by Durlans but manages to escape and, again, track down the Flash and his fellows. Being able to spot the shape-shifting aliens, Manhunter saves Flash from an assassination attempt but is once more captured by the aliens.

Taking out as many of them as he can, Manhunter finally makes his way in to Cuba but is too late to catch the Flash. Instead, he finds the Flash’s father who offers to help him.

WONDER WOMAN #25

Most of the events of this issue take place at the same time as those of JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #22 listed above.

On a South Pacific island, Lieutenant Etta Candy has discovered the Alien Alliance’s codes and is trying to escape with them.

After repelling a Thanagarian attack against Themyscira, Wonder Woman meets the Justice League International at the island and, as shown above, has the JLI run a diversion exercise while Wonder Woman, accompanied by Guy Gardner and Rocket Red, try to find Lt Candy.

Her mission is eventually successful after Wonder Woman saves Guy Gardner from an attack while he, in turn, saves Lt Candy.

As above, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter discuss the horrors of war before Blue Beetle tells them of the superhero summit.

SUPERMAN #26

Superman investigates the latest Voodoo Death in Metropolis before returning to the Daily Planet offices. There he, Perry White and Lois Lane are briefed by Sarge Steel about the alien invasion in Australia and are told to keep things quiet and, if possible, to tell Superman not to get involved at the present time. When Thanagarians attack Metropolis the following day, however, Superman is forced to act, taking on the alien invasion.

Meanwhile, Baron Sunday, the magician behind the Voodoo Deaths, learns of Superman’s interest in his crimes and uses the Thanagarian assault as cover to magically attack Superman from afar. Just as the Hawkmen fire a cannon at Superman, Baron Sunday uses another voodoo doll, the combined attacks sending Superman into the city sewers where he is lost.

Captain Atom arrives to investigate and teams up with Guardian to try and find the Man of Steel. Elsewhere, Gangbuster tracks down Baron Sunday’s accomplice and learns from him the whereabouts of his boss. He attacks Sunday, in the process finding the Superman doll the magician has used and destroys it before leaving Sunday in the hands of the police.

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #449

Trying to find the still-missing Superman, Guardian patrols the streets of Metropolis and instead finds Gangbuster who is beating a man he claims is a child abuser. Preferring the rule of law, Guardian tries to stop Gangbuster beating the man. When the fight turns against Guardian, the Newsboy Legion – who had stowed away in his van – drive the vehicle into them, accidentally taking both Gangbuster and the van into the river. As the Guardian tries to rescue the Legion, he is rendered unconscious by the van’s automatic defences but, at the last minute, he and the Legion are rescued by a returning Superman.

After making sure everyone is okay, Superman heads off when he hears the sounds of Jimmy Olsen’s signal watch. Investigating Superman’s disappearance, Olsen had ended up in trouble but is rescued by Superman. Taking Olsen back to the Daily Planet building, Superman is told by Perry White that the JLI are looking for him and he heads off to Washington DC where he meets with Captain Atom.

Atom needs Superman to broker a cease fire with the Alien Alliance to allow for Earth’s heroes to gather. With that done, he returns to the superhero gathering.

ANIMAL MAN #6

Animal Man and his manager meet at the local zoo to discuss Animal Man’s career decisions when they are interrupted by the arrival of a Thanagarian shuttle craft.

Animal Man chases it down and finds two Thanagarians, one of whom is planting a bomb, the other who attacks him. Despite the warrior gaining the upper hand at first, Animal Man lures her to a nearby lake and, out of her element, she makes a mistake which results in her death.

The remaining Thanagarian has nearby birds subdue Animal Man so he can witness the Thanagarian’s death performance as the bomb will detonate when it reaches a randomly determined point. Once the Thanagarian succumbs to the suicide drug he had taken previously, Animal Man panics as he is unable to stop the bomb counting down towards a detonation that will devastate much of the western coast of America.

Thankfully, the Earth hero Hawkman arrives and switches the bomb off in time.

DOOM PATROL #17

While patrolling the seas near the Arctic, the Sea Devils are surprised to find Aquaman leading an Atlantean army. He informs them the Gil’Dishpan have set up base nearby and they are on their way to attack.

Elsewhere Garguax – who had been thrown out of his moonbase by the Alien Alliance in INVASION #1 – calls a truce with his old enemies the Doom Patrol and leads them to the Gil’Disphan hideout.

The heroes launch a concerted attack against the aliens, forcing them to make a drastic move: by firing their ship’s engines, they will destroy the heroes but also their own troops. As the Sea Devils plant mines along the ship, the rest of the heroes fall back with the exception of Celsius of the Doom Patrol. Going through her own crisis, she no longer wishes to live and so sacrifices herself trying to stop the ship’s engines.

With the heroes at a safe distance, the Sea Devils’ mines are detonated, rendering the ship immobile, allowing the Doom Patrol to collect the body of Celsius and take her back to the surface.

POWER OF THE ATOM #7

The Atom’s long time enemy, Chronos, tells him of the Alien Alliance and its invasion of Australia and proposes that they strike a temporary truce in order to help defeat the aliens. The Atom is unconvinced of Chronos’s sincerity, although he does use him to open a phone line to Australia down which the miniaturised hero can travel.

Once arriving in Australia, Atom quickly finds a group of human captives being made to work for Khunds. Taking the aliens down, the Australians offer to help him get into the nearby work camp in order to free more people.

Though reluctant to take civilians with him, they insist, and the Atom ends up getting into the camp only to be discovered quickly. He takes the fight to the Khunds and rapidly manages to take out most of them, though with some losses amongst the civilian prisoners.

Chronos arrives at the end of the fight and actually saves Atom from the final Khund, again claiming to want to help.

STARMAN #5

Starman has been captured by his enemies, the Power Elite, who want to extract his powers for themselves. Unknown to them, one of the scientists working with them is a Durlan spy who, when he realises how powerful Starman is, contacts the Alliance to have him extracted for testing.

They arrange for a Khund vessel to collect him but during the flight, Starman is able to break free and knock out the pilot, just before Power Girl, Firestorm and Firehawk arrive as shown above in FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MAN #80.

As they arrive in the South Pacific, the Khunds destroy the ship, realising the heroes have taken control of it, but the heroes are able to escape. They join the troops on the ground and help rout the Khund army.

Starman discovers Adam Strange being interrogated and manages to free him. They then receive word of the superhero summit being held in America and Starman agrees to join them.

SWAMP THING #81

The Swamp Thing has vanished, leaving his pregnant wife Abby with their friend Chester.

When they return to the treehouse Abby shared with Swamp Thing, they find almost everything has rotted away and Chester takes this as a sign that Swamp Thing has died, though Abby disagrees.

Abby is captured by an alien and taken aboard its ship where it contacts the Dominators to report success. When the Dominators reveal that Abby is pregnant, however, the alien ignores the Alliance, reveal that it, too, is a mother.

The alien takes Abby to Alec Holland’s original lab in the swamp and, with its ship, pulls up the wreckage of another craft which had lain beneath the swamp waters for ten years. She reveals that the ship holds the remains of its mate and finding this was the real reason she agreed to join the Alliance. Bearing no ill will to Abby, the alien lets her go to meet Chester and flies off.

Guy Gardner arrives looking for the Swamp Thing but, when he sees the alien ship taking off, he destroys it against Abby’s wishes.

This is something of a Red Skies Crossover – despite the appearance of the Dominators, little in this issue deals with INVASION! directly.

CAPTAIN ATOM #24

Captain Atom takes Max Lord to the NORAD mountain where General Eiling and Amanda Waller are putting plans in place to fight back against the Alien Alliance. The Captain reluctantly agrees to be the commander of the superhero force being assembled, though all are unaware of the Durlan spy in their midst.

Steve Trevor arrives to pilot a craft that will be used to point a disabled satellite at the alien armada so that it can be used to destroy most of the alien fleet. Before the launch, Trevor falls ill, forcing Captain Atom to take his place. As he approaches the satellite, a trap laid by the Durlan is sprung as their intent was to capture him all along.

Back on Earth, the unwell Steve Trevor is revealed to be the Durlan and, as Gen Eiling attacks it, Captain Atom returns having escaped the trap. The pair of them force the Durlan to try to escape but Atom notices a flaw in the disguise it chose and is able to kill it.

As the heroes begin to gather, Captain Atom flies off to recruit Superman personally, as seen above in THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #449.

DETECTIVE COMICS #595

Having stopped a heist in Gotham, Batman discovers that the apparent victims were Durlan shapeshifters in an operation to smuggle guns from Cuba to Gotham to establish a forward base before invading.

After tracking the company down, he heads to Cuba by night and attempts to break in to the building. His plan is scuppered by the Thanagarian guards who spot him, forcing him to fight both them and the Khund guards on the ground.

Dealing with the aliens as quickly as he can, Batman ends up in a boat laden with explosives and munitions. He pilots that boat toward the dock-side building he was trying to get in to and escapes overboard before the boat rams into the building and explodes, taking all of the guns inside along with it.

With no clear idea of how to get home, Batman swims off into the night.

THE NEW GUARDIANS #6

The team are relaxing in Moscow when they hear of the alien invasion, not only of Australia but in China as well.

The team – including the critically ill Jet – head to China in an attempt to slow the Okaaran fleet that has already destroyed one village by the time they find it poised above the home town of Gloss. Disguising themselves as natives, the team enter the village but Kilowog and Floronic Man are noticed and expelled, rather than killed, due to their non-human nature.

The rest of the Guardians adapt a plan the villagers had by taking the remains of an Okaaran ship into the aliens’ camp as a peace offering. Once inside, however, they reveal themselves and attack. While they’re able to defeat the small group in the camp, the rest of the fleet quickly mobilises and plans to destroy both the Guardians and the villagers. Jet uses her magnetic powers to destroy the alien fleet but at the cost of her own life.

As the team say their farewells to their fallen comrade, RAM receives a message from Captain Atom regarding the superhero summit.

THE SPECTRE #23

Deadman contacts Madame Xanadu to tell her that the Spectre has called a conference of sorts of magical heroes, and that they should meet in Nevada.

Once they meet up, the Spectre delivers the message from the Lords of Order that he received in INVASION! #1 – that the magical heroes should not play any part in the defence of Earth against the Alien Alliance.

While he has the heroes assembled, he makes use of them in solving an ongoing mystery concerning UFOs and aliens that have been plaguing the nearby towns.

At the end of the adventure, the Spectre again reiterates the message from the Lords of Order, though Deadman angrily rejects it, planning to get involved.

Another Red Skies Crossover issue with only a slight connection to the main storyline.