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Saturday, 3 December 2016

Comics Explained: Invasion!

Invasion! was a three issue crossover in DC comics in 1989 and was the basis of the crossover event between the TV shows Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. It featured the Alien Alliance, lead by a race known as the Dominators, invading Earth to wipe out humanity through fear of metahumans, (superpowered beings). First, we have to look at who made up the Alien Alliance.

Alien Alliance
The Alien Alliance wished to invade Earth, wipe out humanity, and with it wipe out Earth's metahumans. The organizers of the Alliance, and later the de facto leaders, were a species known as the Dominators. The Dominators were experts in genetics and lived in a caste based system where the size of the red spot on their forehead determined their place in society. They managed to discover that the reason why Earth had so many superpowered beings, metahumans, was because of a gene called the 'metagene'. Thanks to the metagene accidents which should have killed a normal human gave superpowers to individuals having this gene. The Dominators feared the unrestrained evolution of this gene so they built a coalition of races to wipe out the gene before it became a danger to them. Another race which was part of the Alliance was the Khund, an aggressive species whose world was united by the threat of the Superman villain Doomsday. Thanagarians also took part in the Alliance. Thanagar was the homeworld of Hawkman which had become a fascist, police state and took part in the Alliance to recapture Hawkman. These were the most significant races but there were also the Gil'Dishpan, Durlans, Warlords of Okaara, Citadelians, Daxamites, and Psions. 

Issue #1
The story begins with the Dominators and Khunds performing tests on humans to see if they develop superpowers. Upon finding out the unpredictability of the metagene they see it as a threat which must be preemptively destroyed building the Alien Alliance to do this. They also build the Starlag, a gulag for captured metahumans and dissenting members of the Alliance, in preparation for the invasion. The Khunds managed to invade first with them invading Australia (insert obligatory joke about Australia's Liberal Party and Malcolm Turnbull) and immediately destroying Melbourne and the Australian armed forces. For fun the Khunds wipe out the surrounding civilian populace. Meanwhile, the Daxamites, descended from Kyrptonian colonists, discover that they have immense power from Earth's red sun. One of the most powerful individuals in the DC Universe, the Spectre, (the literal embodiment of God's vengeance), is instructed not to interfere by the Lords of Order as by doing so it would bring the Lords of Chaos into the conflict escalating it from a planetary invasion to a universe wide battle between good and evil. To avoid the Lords of Chaos intervening all mystical heroes are forbidden from aiding Earth meaning all of Earth's supernatural heroes cannot fight the Alliance. The Dominators offer an ultimatum to the UN: give up the superheroes or face total annihilation. After a round of debating the UN responds to the ultimatum:
The War Begins
Issue #2
The world responds
Faced with annihilation from the Alliance heroes start working with villains and the world's various governments put their differences aside to prevent humanity's extinction. Russia is invaded by the Warlords of Okaara, the aquatic Gil'Dishpan from their base in the Artic Ocean battles the Atlanteans, the Khund turn Australia into one large concentration camp, an army invades Themyscira, home of the Amazons, and the shapeshifting Durlans invade Cuba and secretly replace Fidel Castro and the leading members of the Cuban government and army. President Ronald Reagan places Amanda Waller in charge on intelligence, Captain Atom in charge of the superheroes, General Wade Eiling in charge of the armed forces, and Maxwell Lord as the Justice League's adviser and liaison. Waller even offers the use of the Suicide Squad to help the heroes. As the heroes wonder why the Alliance does not simply destroy Earth the Dominators start planning to betray their allies once they learnt the secrets of the metagene. Various heroes start fighting the Khund in Australia, including Power Girl, as Superman takes the fight directly to the Alliance, and Aquaman manages to oust the Gil'Dishpan from the Arctic Circle. Meanwhile, the Flash and the hero Manhunter manages to free Cuba from the Durlans restoring the government. Lex Luthor learnt that the Dominators were kidnapping individuals with the metagene so used this to his advantage, (and the Earth's), by placing bombs in fake heroes which would explode with the Dominators cut it open devastating their ships. Superman starts battling the Daxamites given new powers by Earth's sun until the Daxamites start suffocating thanks to lead in the atmosphere. For Daxamites even the smallest amount of lead can kill them. However, Superman flies them into space allowing them to breathe once more earning their respect for the Man of Steel. Instead of resuming battle with Superman they opt to join Earth's defenders. As this is happening riots brake out in the Starlag. With the Warlords defeated in Moscow, Gil'Dishpan in the Arctic, and Durlans in Cuba the only remaining invaders were the Khund and Dominators. The Khund and Dominator armies, however, keep receiving orders to retreat, or orders leading to their defeat, causing rifts between the two forces. With the Daxamite alliance this greatly aids Earth who manages to push them beyond the Moon. The Dominator leader announces that they surrender. However, they secretly prepare to use a doomsday weapon to destroy the Earth until they turn on one another and start decimating the remains of their own forces. It turned out that the spirit hero Deadman had secretly been possessing the leader of the Dominators. Just as the Earth appears to be saved we learn that a young Dominator aspiring for power had been investigating with the metagene, learnt how to exploit it, and managed to create the Gene Bomb...

Issue #3
The final issue
The now rogue Dominator scientist fired the Gene Bomb at the Earth which causes every metahuman to lose control of their powers. Captain Atom starts to go into a meltdown in New York as other heroes like the Flash, Ice, and Fire go berserk. Reagan orders the military to put down the heroes but this is ignored by General Eiling who asks the Justice League for help. Meanwhile, Maxwell Lord asks Lex Luthor for the same thing. Non-metahuman heroes such as Batman and the Green Lantern Corp start to neutralize metahumans. They realize that the only way to save Earth's metahumans is to track down the scientist which created the Gene Bomb. Several heroes, including Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Superman, are sent to the Dominator homeworld to secretly search for the scientist to only discover that he had been arrested and tortured by the Dominator government. They wished to use the metagene so his use of the Gene Bomb to eventually wipe out metahumans would ruin their plan. Martian Manhunter manages to shapeshift to sneak into the prison, use telepathy to find out how to reverse the effects of the Gene Bomb, and get out. After narrowly creating the cure in the Starlag, which was soon after destroyed by the Khunds, they return to Earth and Superman managed to release the cure. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. 

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