|cover art by Jack Kirby|
But his new friend will have to wait. A flight of Nazi dive bombers attack New York, which confuses Ben since he knows that the Germans don't have any aircraft carriers. How did the planes get to the United States?
A couple of recent issues of Marvel Premiere (which did cross over directly with the Invaders--GRRRRRR!!!) had introduced the Liberty Legion to the Marvel Universe. This is a group of obscure Golden Age characters who band together to protect the home front while the Invaders are taking the war to occupied Europe. They show up again to take care of the Nazi planes, though the Nazi leader--a brutal pilot named Sky Shark who made a name for himself by strafing civilians--gets away.
Ben doesn't get to do much here, since he's stuck on the ground while the fighting is going on in the air. Also, the Liberty Legion is understandable suspicious of his story that he's from the future. In fact, Ben gets left behind again while the Legion divides into sub teams to fight superpowered Nazi sabateurs.
This bad guys are all villains who had been introduced in recent issues of The Invaders. So Roy Thomas is once again being a Triple Threat: he's indulging in his love of Golden Age characters, using this story to promote characters from other books, and telling a fun story.
That last one is the important part. Using one book to promote another is perfectly legitimate, as long as the story being told is still entertaining.
This one isn't quite as good as the FF Annual, because Ben (one of the Marvel U's best characters) gets left on the sidelines for pretty much the entire tale. But he gets his chance to join in on the last page, when a giant flying swastika attacks the city. He uses a flagpole as a makeshift catapult to fling himself up towards the strange craft and into the next regular issue of Marvel Two-in-One. We'll look at that issue next week.