Continuing a look back at my first exposure to a number of rock 'n' roll acts and superheroes (or other denizens of print or periodical publication), some of which were passing fancies, and some of which I went on to kinda like. They say you never forget your first time; that may be true, but it's the subsequent visits--the second time, the fourth time, the twentieth time, the hundredth time--that define our relationships with the things we cherish. Ultimately, the first meeting is less important than what comes after that. But every love story still needs to begin with that first kiss.
This Chicago group's only real hit was "Vehicle," which made it to # 2 on Billboard's Hot 100 in early 1970. I'm sure I knew it from during its hit reign. I guess I kinda liked it then, but I have no use for it now. Plus, the lyrics seem...well, creepy. In the mid '80s, when I was investigating '60s garage groups with the intensity of Lois Lane trying to figure out whether Clark Kent maybe possibly had a secret of some kind, I purchased a copy of the various-artists sampler album Pebbles Vol. 10; that LP contained a 1966 Ides Of March track called "Roller Coaster," which just floored me with its confident, soaring rockin' pop goodness. That wonderful record allowed me to forgive The Ides Of March for the sin of "Vehicle" (though I'm still not hopping inside your car, ya "friendly stranger" pervert).
The roots of my interest in this '70s comic book about the adventures of Marvel's World War II-era heroes should be traced to the vintage reprints I'd read years before in the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes and Fantasy Masterpieces, and to my general interest in superheroes of the '40s. I also read The Invaders' first appearance in The Avengers # 71 (December 1969), when three time-tossed Avengers found themselves battling Captain America, The Human Torch, and The Sub-Mariner in Nazi-occupied Paris circa 1941. Writer Roy Thomas returned to his Invaders concept in 1975 with the one-shot Giant-Size Invaders, followed immediately by The Invaders ongoing series. I was enthusiastic initially, but I confess I lost interest before long. (I was a bigger fan of Thomas' All-Star Squadron in the '80s, which attempted to do for DC's WWII heroes what The Invaders had done for Marvel's WWII heroes.)
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