Invincible shakes off the rust and shows there’s still new roads take after all these years
Invincible has been in an interesting place in the past year or so. Robert Kirkman has been continually pushing the moral boundaries of Mark Grayson’s character, trying to find the edge of where a hero can be both proactive and remain a hero.
That issue of proactivity culminated in Invincible #100 when Invincible’s ally Dinosaurus took things too far, and killed countless people to save many more in the coming decades.
Now, with the lesson of Dinosaurus in mind, Invincible is again in a position to question when is the right time to act.
Angstrom Levy, Invincible’s biggest bad, has shown an unhealthy interest in killing Invincible and his entire family. Mark wants to take the fight back Angstrom before he can attack. But the way Mark is obsessively hunting for his arch-nemesis is making the lines between the two more and more blurred.
This series has been at its most interesting when Kirkman explores the areas of superheroic life that Marvel and DC can’t frequently go down. The current storyline is another great example of that. Mark has always longed to solve problems in ways that a typical superhero can’t. These conflicts are nicely paralleled in Monster Girl’s story, as she has to question just how good a man she believes her love to be.
It’s superheroes and soap operas, but still done in that wholly and uniquely Kirkman style.
The artwork from Ryan Ottley remains as consistently awesome in this issue as it has throughout the series. The way he illustrates the fight scene that takes up the middle section of this book allows the book to ponder the big questions that Kirkman is trying to ask, while staying big and fun with over-the-top craziness. His work has been so predictably great for years that it seems we take for granted the work he’s been doing on this series.
Due to delays, and a more decompressed story as of late, the series as a whole has felt like it’s been stuck in neutral ever since the big action in #100. With this issue, the coming direction of the series is becoming more apparent. It appears that Kirkman is once again ready to explore the kind of superhero stories that few other comics are willing to.
Robert Kirkman (W), Ryan Ottley (A) • Image Comics, $2.99, December 11, 2013