First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast Ep.34: Invasion #3

We’re here! Invasion #3! Follow along with Bass and Siskoid as they chronicle the events that result from the detonation of the Dominators’ gene bomb in this massive episode, as the show enters its third act!

Listen to Episode 34 below (the usual filthy filthy language warnings may apply), or subscribe to First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: First Strike ep.34 Supplemental

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16 responses to “First Strike: The Invasion! Podcast Ep.34: Invasion #3

  1. Congrats on making it through the series proper guys. I think you uncovered my ultimate problem with the 3 issue mini itself, and honestly, a lot of Giffen’s writing. He focuses on the part of the story that’s LESS interesting, while the stuff you really want to see is only briefly mentioned or given a panel or two.

    Sure, in hindsight, we now know the DC of a few years from this would have given us a “Batman: A Cure for Arkham” one-shot special or mini-event across the Bat-titles. But even in 88/89, it would have been nice to have seen some of these very interesting plot points fleshed out.

    Still, I have fond memories of this book. I really enjoyed Bart Sears’ roided-up art at the time. I don’t care for it as much now, but he executes that style very well. And he gave Captain Atom one mean mullet. And yes, it WAS a mullet, no argument there.

    As for meta-genes…yeah, I didn’t care much for their introduction. It was around this time in the Spider-Man titles that they jokingly started heralding him as “The Non-Mutant Super Hero”. That tells you how prevalent Mutant-mania was in the late 80s. DC was really just jumping on the bandwagon here. To me it’s another example of DC forsaking their own unique identity to be like Marvel, much like Crisis.

    But over time, the word “metahuman” becomes a unique DC brand, so in the long run, I think it KIND of works. I think it actually works better on the TV series, selling these strange powers and fantastic coincidences to the general public. It’s easier to swallow in a lot of ways. But Dr. Fate being a meta? No. I could buy Zatanna as more of one, given her parentage, actually.

    Fun show as always!


    1. Agreed. That list issue in particular felt like all the good pages were missing. On the whole, I quite enjoyed this series when it initially came out. I suppose for the super prolonged version of this, checkout the Our Worlds At War arc that took over a number DC’s titles and even “killed off” a couple of major characters!

  2. (I’ve reread the comic, but not listened to the show yet. I seem to end up driving the San Bernardino Mountains on the days your show releases. So your coverage is becoming linked with windy roads in perty places.)
    What I most associate with this issue is the sentence:

    “Metahuman is DC’s ‘Mutant’ equivalent.”

    Because this is literally the issue where explaining that became an issue.


  3. Just a quick note on the whole speed force/Flash/Metagene thing. You might recall when Bart Allen became the Flash that Jay Garrick (Flash 1) lost touch with the speed force but had retained some of his superspeed. This was because it turned out he was a metahuman. It’s possible that the metagene lets you tap into the speed force and heighten speed?

    Or it’s all just bullshit science. I don’t know.

  4. I’ve never read the issue so this was all new to me. Love the ad his medical ward. Not much space to operate between victims!

    Interesting to hear about the effect of this, or lack thereof. For most books I read at the time, there was no discernible difference. Of course, Doom Patrol was profoundly effected,

    Intrigued to hear about all the remaining issues, homages, and aftermaths.

    Since this was an event that slid by me, I have truly appreciated the show! Thanks for all the hard work.

  5. Whew! You finally made it! Well done, guys! I’m glad there’s more episodes to go, but this was the big finish, and a good episode as always.

    Per Dr. Fate, I’m sorry, but it can’t be Kent Nelson. JLI #10 with the Millennium crossover clearly shows that it’s Eric-Linda under the helmet. Lots of dialog with “I … we …” and “What was it Kent told us?” That’s Eric-Linda. (Pronounced “Er-ih-klin-dah.”) And I trust we agree that Millennium comes before Invasion!

    So why does the metagene bomb affect Dr Fate? Not surprisingly, I have theories, all equally flimsy, but hey, it’s comics:
    1. Nabu chose Eric because he was “special”. Perhaps he possessed a metagene that predisposes him to use magic.
    2. Eric-Linda’s body is manipulated a lot. Eric aged from child to adult. Merging two beings into one. Controlling massive arcane power. Maybe some or all causes the “Fate” body to have a metagene where they otherwise wouldn’t.
    3. Giffen wanted to have Dr Fate and Spectre fight, and the Spectre is a ghost so he couldn’t have the metagene, leaving Fate as the “lucky” one.

    On my reading, the story wasn’t quite as haphazard as you guys took it, but yes, it’s messy and abruptly dropped important characters. Makes it feel unsatisfying. Also, the gene bomb was a bit too big of a problem to solve, even with 80 pages. I fear this story was too much for Giffen as a writer. And this is coming from a huge Giffen fan. A crossover is a big challenge, and he worked hard at it, but fumbled the wrap up.

    Hey, at least it lead to JLE and L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89, which were big wins in my book!

  6. I think I’ve griped about this before, but it bears repeating: Invasion! was roughly equivalent to a 10 issue maxi-series featuring a near double length concluding chapter. In terms of page count, it is one of the longest events in DC history, and it gets far less done than most 4 or 6 issues mini-series in that category. It has no rhythm, little significant incident, three distinct art teams, and no lasting consequence beyond the term “metagene”. I find the concept amusing, it doesn’t do anything to make me angry, and the art is pleasant enough proto-Image. I still think it’s one of the worst events in DC history, definitely one of the hardest for me to slog through personally, and I think the 80 pages were a way to dump a bunch a bad material quickly before it had time to raise a stink.

    Also reminded of another reason I hate Starman that I forgot to mention when his Who’s Who entry came up: random dude gets powers because of happenstance. I don’t mind when accomplished people like Peter Parker and Rex Mason gain powers through an accidental exposure, because they were there doing a job that demonstrated their aptitude. It’s when some dillhole is just standing around that it drives me nuts, and it’s almost always an unexceptional white guy gifted incredible power.

  7. Were metagenes the inspiration for midi-chlorians?! It sounds crazy, but….

    After a long day of executive producing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, what better way would there be for George Lucas to unwind than to read Invasion, a tale full of space battles, aliens, and heroes with unusual powers. Now, skip ahead a few years. While writing the Phantom Menace, Lucas realizes that he needs a way for Qui-Gon to measure Anakin’s potential to use the Force. It’s at this critical moment that he remembers those comic books he’d read a few years earlier. Inspiration strikes, and history is made. As a result, Star Wars fans received the pseudo-scientific explanation for the Force that they’d always wanted.

    I bet it doesn’t sound so crazy now after all.

  8. Congratulations on completing the mini-series!! It’s been a fun ride with you guys! Like you, I spent a long time studying those tiny figures in the beds trying to identify all the characters.

    Not sure if I ever mentioned this before, but in my college years I had a scan from Invasion blown up to near-poster size. I would go into our local Kinko’s late at night to make these color copies, because those overnight guys did not care about copyright. It hung in my comic book room for years. Technically it was from issue #2 (sorry, should have posted it back then). It was a scan of this page..

    I’m terrible about commenting, but love each episode! I find myself sad that the endgame is in sight for this show. Hopefully that Inferior Five series will keep you going a little longer. :)

    Thanks again for such an entertaining show!

  9. Another delayed comment (meant to leave it on the Animal Man episode, but didn’t get around to it). In Animal Man #7, he comes into conflict with the “Red Mask” the wash-up supervillain. I’ve always thought Jeff Lemire paid a little tribute to this issue in his New 52 ANIMAL MAN run during issues #6 & #20. It’s revealed that Buddy Baker starred as “Red Thunder” in a movie. This was a washed up superhero. Probably more inspired by “The Wrestler”, but I felt there was a slight nod to “Red Mask” with the washed-up character and “Red” in the name.

  10. Oh my!! What a trip this was!!

    So many episodes to revisit such an awesome event!

    I´m kind of an “Invasion! fan”, ´cause I see it like the new begining of the DC Universe, with all the possibilities for new heroes and villains.

    A wasted possibility also, I know, but that´s why I took it as a key point of all of my DC Heroes RPG campaigns 😀

    I really want to thank you for doing this show. It was my company in a lot of going-to-work trips and thinking that in the other hemisphere (yeap, I´m writing from Argentina) there are fans of Invasion! era of comics was a refreshing idea.

    I´m so excited with the next episodes!! `cause I already saw the titles and they are so intriguing!

    Again, thanks a lot, Bass and Siskoid, for this amazing show.


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