Published January 22, 2019

Drafting the Invaders with Writer Chip Zdarsky

Get the inside scoop on how Namor's war buddies respond to his recent threats.

With friends like these, who needs enemies? That very thought might be running through the heads of Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes and Jim Hammond as they've been watching their old friend Namor threaten the surface world and even kill some of its people in AVENGERS #9.

Now, with last week's launch of INVADERS from Chip Zdarsky, Butch Guice and Carlos Magno, we all get to see how Captain America, the Winter Soldier and the  Human Torch all deal with Namor's war on the surface world individually. Of course, we wanted to get even more information on the brewing conflict, so we talked with the writer himself! The Invaders roster features characters with the most history in the Marvel Universe. Was that a big draw for you to work on this series?

Chip Zdarsky: For sure. The fact that our core characters originate in the WWII era, and have the common experience of straddling the two eras, is super interesting to me as a writer. Sometimes with team books it’s hard to figure out what ties them together, but with INVADERS it’s that.

Invaders #1 page With that history in mind, did you look back to the Invaders' earlier appearances? Were there runs or stories that really stuck out to you?

Chip Zdarsky: Yeah! As a kid I loved the Roy Thomas run, so I revisited a bunch of those before I started writing. And the handful of Invaders books that have popped up in this century as well. I found the AVENGERS/INVADERS miniseries super interesting, playing the WWII Invaders in modern times. And James Robinson’s run was spectacular. We seem to be at a place in history where some of the threats of that era are coming back in different forms. Is that something that plays into this book that jumps between World War II and the present?

Chip Zdarsky: Yeah, Steve makes reference to that in Issue #1, about the world needing some reminding of the war now. But the stuff with Namor is taking precedence for now for our heroes. Thematically, though, a lot of the WWII stuff from our flashbacks impacts the present day stuff. Over the past few years, Namor seems to have returned to his Manhattan-flooding ways. Between this book and the Defenders one-shot [NAMOR: THE BEST DEFENSE #1], you've spent a lot of time with him as a character. What's driving him in that direction?

Chip Zdarsky: Issue #4 is "The Secret History of Namor," where a lot of it is revealed. But even after that, there’s more to come.

Namor’s a complicated character and incredibly fun to write. And while there’s clearly something going on with him, at his core he wants to save his people. And that seems to be harder and harder as the world’s problems escalate. So his plan escalates as well.

Invaders #1 interior How hard is it for the rest of the Invaders to take on Namor having fought so hard alongside him during World War II and even worked with him in the modern era?

Chip Zdarsky: Because he goes between hero and villain, they’re somewhat used to fighting him. But this time they’re fighting to save him. His actions have drawn too much attention, so if they can’t stop him, then it’ll be the Avengers or America’s military that intervenes. And the result of that could mean a lot of dead Atlanteans and Americans. How has it been working with Butch and Carlos on the book so far?

Chip Zdarsky: Incredible! Butch is a legend, and he brings the perfect amount of emotion and gravity to the WWII pages. And Carlos is one of those artists where you can tell he’s going to be huge. A remarkable level of detail. And Alex [Guimarães] on color! It’s no small feat to differentiate the two time periods and adapt to the two artists! This is his first book with Marvel and I’m super happy he’s with us!

To see how the classic heroes deal with Namor's schemes return next month for INVADERS #2 by Zdarsky, Magno and Guice! INVADERS #1 is on sale now, both online and at your local comic shop!


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