Captain America & The Invaders: The Bahamas Triangle #1 Review

by Charles Martin on July 03, 2019

Captain America & The Invaders: The Bahamas Triangle #1 Review
Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Jerry Ordway
Colourist: Jay David Ramos
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

It is March 1941. The Nazis rule Europe, America is swaddled in a restless peace, and just days ago, a kid named Steve Rogers underwent a crazy experiment in a secret Brooklyn lab. Now he's accompanying FDR on a secret mission to the Bahamas.

Strap in for a wild little one-shot that covers just about every definition of the term "throwback" you could imagine!

Roy Thomas makes an appropriately crazy pick for scripting duties. This comic is a throwback to the Silver Age, and specifically to the special subset of Silver Age Marvel comics that turned their eyes even further back to the Timely days. Since Mr. Thomas wrote a healthy share of those retrospectives the first time around, he knows what he's about here.

He orchestrates a "ripped from the history books" story that combines the wildest Timely characters with notably accurate historical figures. Baron Zemo - Heinrich, not Helmut - is on his way to the Bahamas, too, planning to kidnap the Duke of Windsor. 

Don't understand the full import of that scheme? Never fear, the comic's script will explain it to you.

It'll also explain a lot of the action that you could/should be picking up from Jerry Ordway's spectacularly detailed art. That's right, it's a 2019 serving of classic 60s "narrative dialogue" in all its charmingly redundant glory! Stan the Man would be so proud!

This is definitely a comic for readers with a taste for the oldies. I am exactly the sort of Marvel-Unlimited-abusing geezer this is written for, so I had a blast with it. 

"Having a blast with it" is exactly what the art team is doing, too. The incredibly intricate visuals are a big plus here. Jerry Ordway goes nuts for 40s fashions, vehicles, and military gear. He truly moves heaven and Earth to bring a bygone era to life in every panel.

The characters and the action look gorgeous, too. This is where colourist Jay David Ramos really comes to the fore. He's working hard all over this book to enhance the details instead of washing them out, but he goes the extra mile to produce cool lighting effects for the fight scenes. Since we have the Human Torch in the mix and Baron Zemo has a death ray, there are plenty of opportunities to play with the lights. Mr. Ramos makes the most of them.

The story resolves itself without ever fully teaming up the Invaders. Yes, Cap, the Torch, and Namor all have roles to play here, but they're working independently. Roy Thomas has lost none of his scrupulous respect for continuity, and he firmly establishes that 1941 is too early for Cap to meet the Torch or Namor. Some coy winks between "sailors" Steve Rogers and Jim Hammond are as far as Mr. Thomas will go.

The ironclad respect for continuity and the old-school dialogue will probably be drawbacks or outright deal-breakers for more modern-minded readers. Truth be told, even with a full understanding of the bygone rules this comic plays by, the isolation of the heroes and the rather inconclusive feel of the ending are still problems. They're reasonable and maybe even lovable problems, but they have a negative impact on the overall reading experience.

Grandmaster Roy Thomas throws us back twice over to share a Silver-Age-style adventure set in the Timely Comics days. While written with great skill and drawn with even greater passion, this comic's adherence to undeniably dated storytelling standards shrinks the pool of readers who will really enjoy it. It's a tasty treat, but one crafted expressly for those with a retro palette.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Kirby cameo? Hell yeah, Kirby cameo!