Invasion! #1: The Alien Alliance

  • Writers: Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen
  • Pencillers: Todd McFarlane and Keith Giffen
  • Inkers: Joe Rubinstein, P. Craig Russell, Al Gordon, and Todd McFarlane
  • Colorist: Carl Gafford
  • Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
  • Layouts: Keith Giffen
  • Cover Penciller: Todd McFarlane
  • Cover Inker: Al Gordon
  • Editor: Andrew Helfer

Cover: Nice and easy, a Dominator looming over the Earth.

Page 1: The caption tells us there are fifty citizens of Earth that have been abducted ao a planet and made to dress in matching yellow and red jumpsuits. Of the line-up we can see, there are only two to identify: Amos Monroe, third from the page, the African-America with a white goatee; and Moshe Levy, the small child just to the left of him. We’ll meet them again in a few pages.

The aliens in green with yellow heads and red dots on their foreheads are Dominators and will be the main antagonists throughout INVASION! Their race does not use names so identifying individuals will be tricky. Though they appeared in comics published in the 1960s and 1970s, they were facing the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th Century. This, then, is their first appearance in the present DC Universe.

The other speaker in the blue/purple armour, is a Khundian warrior, a race also shown attacking the Legion in the 30th Century.

Page 2 – Panel 1: The Dominators are scientists, of a sort, though obviously ones with very questionable ethics. They are testing to find if there is a “genetic anomaly” in mankind.

Page 2 – Panel 2: And here’s the reason for the test – to explain the large presence of super-powered humans.

Page 2 – Panel 3: Out of the fifty captives, only a single one has even the slightest chance to survive according to the Dominators’ projections.

Page 3 – Panel 1: The Khunds move the captive humans into a Blaster Field.

Page 6 – Panels 2 to 7: The survivors of the Dominators’ test.

Page 3 – Panels 2 to 6: And the ground erupts with various forms of weaponry, all aimed at destroying the humans.

Page 4 – Panel 4: Despite the devastation, a number of humans survived. We’ll meet them in a moment but looking at the silhouettes, the small child is Moshe Levy and the single woman (fourth from the left) is Carlotta Rivera.

Page 5 – Panel 1: Needless to say, the result of six survivors (seven including Moshe’s “gravely wounded” mother) both baffles and infuriates that Dominators.

Page 5 – Panel 2: Left to right are Snapper Carr; Carlotta Rivera; Fritz Klein; the Dominator; Amos Monroe; Dexter Fairfax; and Moshe Levy.

Page 5 – Panels 5 and 6: The Dominator explains to the Khund the meaning of this result – that Earth’s population can generate an astonishing number of super-powered heroes.

Page 6 – Panel 1: The groaning “sow” is Moshe’s mother. The Dominator is somehow able to detect the six survivors have some “meta-human ability“.

Page 6 – Panels 2 to 7: Here we meet the six survivors in a little more depth; Carlotta tries to shield Moshe from the truth of what’s going to happen to his mother; they are all new characters apart from Lucas “Snapper” Carr who spent most of the 60s as the original Justice League of America’s sidekick and mascot. At this point, he hadn’t been around for about eight years.

Page 6 – Panel 8: The survivors are to be sent to the Black Module of the Starlag; more on that later.

Page 7: The Dominators report back to the council and warn them that humanity poses a threat greater than they’d first thought.

Page 8 – Panel 1: The Dominator mentions the Guardians of the Universe and the “greatest evolutionary advance” – this is a reference to MILLENNIUM which had taken place earlier in the same year.

Page 8 – Panel 2: Derek and the Dominators.

Page 8 – Panel 2: A minor castling, signified by the much smaller dot on his head, speaks up. This guy will be a recurring character but, because of the Dominator’s lack of names, I’m going to call him Derek.

Page 8 – Panel 3 and 4: Derek is dismissed without being heard, an all too frequent occurrence amongst bad guys when the lesser known one has something worth saying.

Page 8 – Panel 6: The Dominator introduces the Khund as their allies.

Page 9 – Panel 3: The Dominator mentions that all but four Green Lanterns are powerless; this would (I think) be Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, G’nort, and Arisia. Use the Contact Me page to tell me if I’m wrong.

Page 10: One of the powerless ex-Green Lanterns, D’aran Tuu of El’Sh’Tai encourages his people not to join the Dominator led alien alliance before he is killed by one of the Dominators’ agents.

Page 11: The same story happens on the world of Purdaa where ex-GL Pelle is tracked down and killed by the Khund. While not named here, she is seen in the crypt of Oa, and her name given, in the pages of GREEN LANTERN/SINESTRO CORPS SECRET FILES.

Page 12 – Panel 3: This is Medphyl, a long standing Green Lantern who decides to contact the Omega Men.

Page 12 – Panel 5: And Medphyl is killed by the Khunds.

Page 13 – Panel 1: Thanagar, home of the Hawkmen . . .

Page 13 – Panel 2: . . . who are currently using their alliance with the Khunds to purge their planet of dissidents. Note that the Hawk Police Officer on the left refers to the “stalags” when it should be the “starlags“.

Page 13 – Panel 4: Commander Dral, presumably the leader of the Hawk Police.

Page 14 – Panel 2: The Khund refers, of course, to Hawkman and Hawkwoman.

Page 15 – Panel 1: The planet Rann.

Page 15 – Panel 2: Adam Strange ready for war.

Page 15 – Panel 2: Left to right are Alanna; Sardath; and Adam Strange. Sardath is Alanna’s father, Alanna is married to Adam Strange and currently expecting their first child. Sardath seems determined to fight against the Dominion-led alliance.

Page 15 – Panels 4 and 5: Adam Strange proposes to be offered to the Dominion to save Rann and give him and inside view of the alliance.

Page 16 – Panel 1: The Zeta Beam transports Strange from Rann to Earth and back

Page 16 – Panel 5: And he heads off to surrender himself to the Khunds.

Page 17 – Panel 1: The planet Daxam has joined the alliance in an observatory aspect only, pledging not to fight.

Page 17 – Panels 3 to 5: And Apokolips has stated they want nothing to do with the invasion, apart from insisting that Earth is not destroyed.

Page 18 – Panel 4: Representatives from the alliance have gathered on the Dominion world, helpfully introducing themselves, some of whom we’ve already met, others for the first time in these pages. I won’t go round the table as the next page gives more information on each of them. The globe suspended above the table will, in a moment, display Earth, but for now it either displays the Dominion world, a random world, or Todd McFarlane has no idea of what the Earth looks like!

Page 19 – Panel 2: The Durlans, a race of shape-shifters. In the 30th Century, a Durlan, Chameleon Boy, is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Page 19 – Panel 3: Seated is Commander Dral whom we met on Page 13.

Page 19 – Panel 4: The Gil’Dishpan, the organisers amongst the alliance.

Page 19 – Panel 5: Daxamites, as mentioned on Page 17, are here to observe.

Page 19 – Panel 6: The Warlord of Okaara, from the star system of Vega, who had crossed paths with the Teen Titans more than once.

Page 19 – Panel 7: Citadellians, another race from Vegan space. Again, the “stalag” mention should say “starlag“.

Page 19 – Panel 8: The Psions, a sadistic reptilian race whose origin lay with the Guardians of the Universe.

Page 20 – Panel 1: As mentioned on Page 17, Darkseid does not want the Earth destroyed.

Page 20 – Panel 3: The globe hanging above the table now shows Australia.

Page 21: The Starlag that’s been mentioned or glimpsed is now shown in its full glory.

Page 22 – Panel 4: Prisoners of the Alliance.

Page 22 – Panel 1: The Spider Guild were introduced in the early 80s and became frequent antagonists of both the Green Lantern Corps and the Omega Men.

Page 22 – Panel 2: Adam Strange watches them; true to his word back on Page 15, he has been surrendered to the Alliance in return for Rann’s safety.

Page 22 – Panel 3: Strange mentions a “special sector over in the Black Module” that will be important later.

Page 22 – Panel 4: Strange’s companion is handily named as Garryn Bek whose story we’ll hear in a moment.

Page 23 – Panel 2: The Spider Guild’s involvement appears appears to be purely financial.

Page 23 – Panels 3 to 5: Bek informs Strange that they Alliance are, as we already know, looking for those beings with special powers.

Page 24 – Panel 2: The Black Module is being used to hold all of the “suspected meta-humans” which is causing the Citadellian warder some concern.

Page 25 – Panel 1: The distress call is from Primus, leader of the Omega Men, to Tigorr, one of the team.

Page 25 – Panel 2: Felicity on the left, Tigorr on the right. Tigorr mentions Kalista, Primus’s partner.

Page 26: Individual panel commentary would be redundant here as the ship is revealed to be a collection of Durlan shapeshifters intent on attacking the Omega Men.

Page 27 – Panel 4: Tigorr calls for Elu, an energy being.

Page 28 – Panel 2: Most of the remaining Omega Men. Left to right are Schlagen; Tigorr;Doc; and Green Man.

Page 28 – Panel 3: Broot on the left, Ryand’r on the right. Ryand’r, also called Darkfire, is the brother of the Teen Titans’ Starfire.

Page 29 – Panel 1: The Durlans breach the ship.

Page 31 – Panels 3 and 4: Felicity dies.

Page 29 – Panel 2: The winged figure is Harpis; below her is Ynda.

Page 29 – Panel 4: And a moment later, Ynda is killed by a Durlan.

Page 30: The Durlans overrun the ship, attacking the Omega Men.

Page 31 – Panel 4: While not seen, the caption makes it clear that Felicity is killed.

Page 32 – Panel 2: And the Green Man dies as well.

Page 33: The Omega Men’s ship is destroyed.

Page 34 – Panels 3 and 4: The surviving Omega Men are captured and taken to the waiting Khundian ships.

Page 35: While the individual panels aren’t worth commenting on, this page does highlight the dislike the Khunds, Psions and Durlans share for each other and make clear the Alien Alliance is a temporary thing.

Page 36 – Panel 1: This is Garguax, an alien warlord and enemy of the Doom Patrol. As the following panels show, he is based on Earth’s moon but is forced to give up his strategically important base to the Alliance.

Page 37 – Panel 4: The Dominion, at least, are aware of the fragility of the Alliance as we saw on Page 35.

Page 38 – Panel 3: Garryn Bek and Adam Strange in the Starlag.

Page 39 – Panels 4 and 5: The quiet life.

Page 39 – Panel 4: The Coluan Bek points out is Vril Dox, another prisoner of the Alliance.

Page 40 – Panel 2: Strange is determined to get into the Black Module that holds those prisoners with special powers.

Pages 42 to 44: The various ships of the Alliance gather at the edge of the solar system.

Page 45 – Panel 2: This is the minor Dominator whom I’m referring to as Derek; we last saw him way back on Page 8 when he wanted to tell the other Dominators about his research.

Page 45 – Panel 4: Derek appears to have found a way to neutralise the humans’ capacity for powers which would render them harmless, but the other Dominators are intent upon conquest.

Page 47 – Panel 4: Here, in a nutshell, is the cause for the Alliance and its invasion of Earth – to prevent any heroes being created.

Page 50 – Panel 3: As the invasion begins, this is the first hint that Earth will be given an opportunity to surrender its heroes.

Page 52 – Panel 3: Adam Strange appears on Earth, thanks to his Zeta Beam. His speech indicates that, off screen, he’s been able to get in to the Black Module on the Starlag.

Page 52 – Panel 4: Strange heads off to find his helicopter . . .

Page 53 – Panel 1: . . . but finds it destroyed by . . .

Page 53 – Panel 4: . . . an advance party of Khunds.

Page 54 – Panels 1 and 2: Back on the Starlag, news of Strange’s escape and recapture is delivered by the Citadellian overlord to the other prisoners.

Page 55 – Panel 2: Left to right are Vril Dox; a random prisoner; Garryn Bek; and another prisoner.

Page 56 – Panel 2: Despite the nearby blasts, Dox doesn’t flinch.

Page 58 – Panel 4: Tigorr captured.

Page 57 – Panel 2: The Citadellian wishes to inspect the Black Module, though the Psions have insisted only they should have access.

Page 58 – Panel 2: Within the Black Module, the Omega Men are held. On the left is Harpis; behind the Dominator is Primus.

Page 58 – Panel 3: And in the next cell is Tigorr.

Page 59 – Panel 2: Elu is contained in the cell at the top of the panel.

Page 60 – Panels 1 to 3: As Garryn Bek ponders whether or not Adam Strange had managed to escape, he is joined by a new cellmate . . .

Page 60 – Panels 4 and 5: . . . Vril Dox.

Page 61 – Panel 3: Dox tells Bek that he has been planning an escape for some time.

Page 62: The invasion of Earth begins in earnest with the Alliance appearing in the skies above Melbourne, Australia.

Page 64 – Panel 1: The Khund warriors and the Daxamite observers.

Page 64 – Panel 4: Like Kryptonians, Daxamites receive powers while under a yellow sun.

Page 66: Despite the enormous power they’ve been granted, the Daxamites refuse to use it as they are employed solely as observers.

Page 69 – Panel 1: This is the Spectre.

Page 70 – Panel 1: And these are the Lords of Order whom the Spectre serves at this point in time.

Page 70 – Panels 3 and 4: The Lords of Order will not intervene in the invasion for fear of inducing the Lords of Chaos to become involved.

Page 71 – Panels 1 and 2: The Spectre is charged with preventing the Earth’s other mystical heroes from interfering in the conflict.

Page 73 – Panel 1: The first of Earth’s heroes to be captured is the Tasmanian Devil, in the Justice league International embassy.

Page 73 – Panels 3 and 4: Tas was in the process of summoning other heroes via the teleporters.

Page 74 – Panel 3: The Khund is concerned that the presence of such advanced technology as teleporters may mean things are not as they seem on Earth.

Page 75 – Panel 1: Belle Reve prison, home of the Suicide Squad and its commander . . .

Page 75 – Panel 2: . . . Amanda Waller.

Page 75 – Panel 3: Waller is on the phone to Maxwell Lord, head of the Justice League International.

Page 75 – Panel 6: The President has apparently vetoed the involvement of the Suicide Squad.

Page 75 – Panel 7: The “Turner” Waller refers to is Ben Turner, aka Bronze Tiger.

Page 76 – Panel 2: Martian Manhunter and Max Lord of the JLI.

Page 77: The Alliance offer up their terms and demand the surrender of Earth’s super heroes.

Page 78: The United Nations convene and debate whether or not to give up the heroes to the Alliance.

Page 79 – Panel 2: Perry White behind the desk, editor of the Daily Planet, and Jimmy Olsen in front of him.

Page 79 – Panel 4: Perry is pleased with the politicians’ decision which can only mean one thing . . .

Page 80: . . . The Earth is not surrendering their heroes.