« Monkey Business: Monsieur Mallah | Main | Crusaders Times Two: The Marvel-DC Pseudo Crossover »

July 11, 2008


ShadowWing Tronix

Spirit of 76 reminds me more of the Fighting Yank (thank you, WOWIO--hurry back) than Uncle Sam.

Mark Engblom

Well, at the time, Roy Thomas may very WELL have had the Fighting Yank in mind as a template from which to build Spirit of '76. As the Golden Age fan he's always been, I'm sure Thomas was aware of the Fighting Yank moreso than most people at the time (prior to the internet and no interest in the properties from other publishers)...so the look probably isn't coincidental (not much is when it comes to Roy Thomas. The guy knows his stuff backwards and forwards). As you'll see in part two, Marvel's doppelgangers were less similar to the originals than the Crusaders of the Freedom Fighters were.


I hate to admit it, but while I was a pretty big fan of both the Invaders and (to a somewhat lesser extent) the Freedom Fighters, I never made the connection at the time between Uncle Sam's gang and the upstart European heroes of the Crusaders.

I'm so ashamed...

Mark Engblom

Nah...like I said, Marvel's pastiche of the Freedom Fighters was much more subtle than DC's take on the Invaders. There's no doubt who Rozakis was targeting...whereas Roy Thomas' takes a little work. Plus, the Marvel Crusaders were based on some fairly obscure characters that young kids in the 70's (like me) weren't very aware of (if at all).

Ralph C

I love to admit that I loved "The Invaders"! I really liked that Frank Robbins art-- it had a strange but appealing look, especially in the eyes. And I enjoyed the action, too. I wouldn't mind owning a few issues of that comic for a little bit of nostalgia. Someday, I'll have to go look for it.


off topic question but the Crusaders illos got me thinking... are Frank Robbins and Frank Springer the Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman of comics?

Mark. Engblom

"I really liked that Frank Robbins art-- it had a strange but appealing look, especially in the eyes. "

Yeah, I know what you're talking about. I've never been wild about Robbins' art, but I've found myself warming up to it a bit more the last couple of years as I've filled in my Invaders run. He does some wonky things with ink that the cartoonist side of me appreciates...and when you understand how much a giant like Milton Caniff influenced Robbins, Springer, and the rest of their generation, the style isn't quite so odd (though, by the late 70's, it stuck out like a sore thumb). I think writer-editor Roy Thomas loved the retro look Robbins brought to the book, as if these truly were the lost Golden Age adventures of Marvel's WWII-era heroes.

Mark. Engblom

"... are Frank Robbins and Frank Springer the Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman of comics? "

LOL! You're right...those guys are easy to mix up....especially since their styles are somewhat similar.


Also, these guys actually became part of Marvel continuity, unlike the DC Crusaders, who were never seen again.

Well, only Spirit of '76 and Dyna-Mite were seen again, to the best of my knowledge, but they managed to wriggle into Marvel history retroactively by taking on the Captain America and Destroyer mantles for a little while.

Mark Engblom

You're right, Buttler. I should have added a mention of that...but you did it for me! Thanks!

Yeah, Spirit of '76 did indeed take on the role of Captain America following his disappearance at the end of WWII...though I can't remember if he was the first one to be Cap, or the second one. One of the substitutes was a guy named The Patriot. I guess you need prior "patriotic-themed superhero" experience if you're going to take over for Cap, huh?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Visit My Shop:

Blog powered by Typepad