Invincible, by Robert Kirkman has been a favorite of mine since Ifanboy.com showed it to me, then I power-loaded it in trades, and then switched to issues. I have read every issue of Invincible and have always felt like it is a comic book that simply “gets me.” Angsty Mark Grayson has to work all of the time and balance multiple things to save the world. With all of Kirkman’s many characters coming in and out of frame constantly, the world of Invincible feels vibrant and exciting. The 99 issues that exist have been wonderful and as a whole attest to what good comics can be. We have gone through tense stand-offs with aliens, gory battles with villains most foul, and emotional betrayal that cuts to the very heart in 20 something pages each month. But lately, Invincible has been disappointing, and it’s not just me.
When I first read Walking Dead, I jumped ship a couple of volumes in due to issues of minor nudity and also some really grotesque plot points that I didn’t enjoy. I said to myself, “I’m not really entertained by this and it compromises my prudish values.” I didn’t read Walking Dead again until issue 97. I was familiar with the story due to podcasts and websites, but had not hung out with Rick in a while. I heard “something big” was happening in issue 100, so I began to read the issues leading up to it. I was surprised to fall right back in step with the series and really enjoy it again. It re-interested me in the series and even the TV show, which I had avoided like the plague. The build up to issue 100 served it’s purpose as it brought me along for the ride and I’m happier now for the reading experience. Robert Kirkman can do a build up and pay off structure with his comic books in a way that works very well.
In light of that, I guess that I’m wondering “what the heck he is doing with Invincible?” I had felt that the Robot / Monster Girl backstory was drawn out and dry, but my goodness! Invincible 97-99 has me begging for that! At least after all of that drama, we got a beautiful romantic scene between Robot and Monster Girl in issue 96. I am worried about what we will get in issue 100. I don’t know how it can pay off? The “Everybody Dies” story arc has been boring. That is a phrase that I thought that I would never say about Invincible. I almost don’t care. Dinosaurus does something, everything is gonna’ blow up, they fly around fighting…it’s simply a tired concept. Issue 99 featured every comic book page as a splash page with one or two giant panels of art. Some people complained that by having less panels and words it cheapened the experience and value of the issue. I don’t want to go there, because an all splash page issue is kind of innovative and I don’t want to squash innovation. But, I really wish that more was happening in Invincible right now. I find myself wishing that the first panel of issue 100 is Dinosaurus finishing what he started in issue 99 (Letter From The Editor: issue 99 ends with Dinosaurus having Mark’s head in a vice grip). I say all of this and just to be clear, I love Mark! I just need something to happen or I might stop picking this one up. I know that it’s hard to write comics whilst sitting atop a large pile of money, but issue 97-99 of Invincible was un-enjoyable. Issue 100 better do something.
You can read my Spoiler-Filled Follow-up Post Here
~ Scott Deaux ~