Warning: SPOILERS for Invaders #1
Captain America 4 may never actually happen, but if it did, it would be hard to find a more perfect story to tell than the one Marvel's spinning in the new comic book series, Invaders. The heroes Steve Rogers and his former ally Namor are the stars, telling an updated origin of The Invaders - a team of superheroes during World War II which consisted of Captain America, Bucky, the original Human Torch (Jim Hammond), and Namor.
Created in 1939, Namor the Sub-Mariner is Marvel's first superhero, and is possibly their most important character to never appear in a live-action film. Rights issues with Universal Studios have kept the Avenging Son in movie limbo for years, and though there's occasional talk of Marvel getting the rights back, Namor is has yet to "come home" to Marvel Studios. There's always a chance that Marvel has a plan for Namor in Phase 4 of the MCU, and Invaders shows why it's too good a story not to tell.
Namor has surged to the spotlight in recent months, apparently turning evil again and trying to kill an Avenger. Namor seemingly gave up being a hero for good to become one the Marvel Universe's greatest threats. But Invaders #1 calls into question Namor's descent into villainy, when Jim Hammond starts digging into the Invaders' history for a book he's in the process of writing.
Jim finding a mysterious photo of Namor and Professor X would be interesting enough. But even more important is his realization that the photo was taken before Namor had emerged as a hero (during the time he was wandering the streets of New York as an amnesiac homeless man). This happened prior to his reintroduction to the Marvel Universe in the early 1960s, which means this photo could potentially retcon a major moment in Namor's comic book history.
Jim also contacts Captain America and reminds him of their past adventures with Namor, convincing Cap to look for the good in Namor so that they can stop him from destroying himself. Jim believes there's something wrong with Namor, and the end of the issue proves it, when a handful of Atlanteans witness Namor talking to someone... who isn't there. Moved by Jim's words and intrigued by the shocking photo, Cap chooses NOT to lead the Avengers into battle against Namor and decides instead to handle it personally alongside Winter Soldier and Human Torch. In typical Captain America fashion, Steve doesn't care that the odds are stacked against them.
Invaders #1 feels like the first act of a Marvel movie centered around a deep and compelling mystery. More specifically, it feels like it was tailor-made for Captain America 4, with Namor serving as the main antagonist. This would have been an excellent way to introduce Namor into the MCU and potentially set up a solo film, had the MCU kept its focus on Earth instead of deep space. With Chris Evans' future as Captain America in doubt, it's unfortunate that this is one story that may never make it to the big screen.
Invaders #1 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.