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I’m so happy because I’m feeling Invincible!

Greetings again and welcome to Comical-Musings, your source for reviews, opinions, and suggestions about the wonderful world of comic books. I hope that you are amused by my little writings and that eventually, my words will lead you to great stories that you might have missed. We have had hits and misses and I would encourage all of you to read the comics that have been reviewed and then share your thoughts in the comments section. The comics that we have discussed over the past couple of months have been hit and miss, but today I come to you with a winner! Those of you that call yourselves Robert Kirkman fans might be surprised to read about today’s offering that isn’t The Walking Dead.

the-walking-deadRobert Kirkman is pretty much revered as the master of the modern day zombie story. His book, The Walking Dead is an independent comic published by Image that has won many awards and was even adapted into a hit show of the same name on AMC. He is a great writer and isn’t afraid to take risks while bathing the reader in gritty realism. The way that Kirkman separates himself from Frank Miller and Garth Ennis is that he presents a human component. You can really identify with his characters. Kirkman is consistently solid in his writing, but fearless with the twists that he throws in. He created a comic in The Walking Dead, where main characters die or lose limbs freely, a place where the zombies are a set piece and human cruelty is the sadistic villain. The brilliant writing suggests a world where anything can happen. You can imagine how excited I was to hear that Robert Kirkman was doing a superhero comic book!

Invincible_2301_p22Invincible is a coming of age superhero story. This is one of my favorite templates for a story. My first teen superhero comic that captivated my attention was Slingers, a group of young men assuming alter egos that Spiderman once used. Then I loved Young Avengers, the heirs to the mantle of the name “Avenger.”  Then Runaways, a modern age tale of teens growing up and dealing with realistic problems in a super-heroic world. I can’t get enough of books like this.  I was skeptical of Invincible because I am so well versed in the subject matter, but I’m happy to say that Invincible delivers in a way that is somewhat unexpected, but nevertheless immersing.

Invincible #10 (Pyrate-DCP) pg12I found myself being nearly as intrigued by the world that Invincible lives in as much as the character himself.  The way that the comic handles other characters and the world around them is different than most coming of age hero books.  In most of those books, you see these big scenes where the young superhero meets the old guard in diplomatic faction or has intense dealings with the government, but Invincible is FAR different.  Invincible’s father is Omni-Man, their earth’s version of Superman, and therefore he gets cliff’s notes about various things on the fly from his dad.  Other than the things that Invincible is directly interacting with, the rest of his environment is treated with the ambiguity that a living, breathing, organic world would command.  Why do you need to explain something that exists outside of you circle of influence.  That is captivating for me!  I want to keep reading until the various background elements are explained.  For instance: Damien Darkblood, the Demon Detective (pictured above right) is not explained one bit in the first thirteen issues.  He appears multiple times and does very mysterious things with clearance from the government, but doesn’t explain his existence at all.  I long to learn about this character, but have to just keep reading.  Every really ingenious story needs a “Chewbacca,” or two.  These characters drive interest even though their time in the limelight is short.  Invincible is chock full of “Chewbaccas.”  The world that he lives in is populated by three dimensional characters and that is just a smidge of the greatness.  The next thing that Kirkman gives us in Invincible is a great plot twist.

I was skeptical to even write this blog because I knew I would want to spoil the plot for all of you so much.  M. Night could not have crafted a better plot twist, and that is all that he does!  All that I can say is that this series is like a roller coaster ride.  Issue #1 takes you up the tracks “clack clack clack clack,” all of the way to the top and at the conclusion of Invincible #7, you are hanging over the ledge screaming for the free fall that doesn’t end until issue #13.  It is an exciting plot line that I was floored by.  Robert Kirkman, the same guy who “cuts Rick’s arm off” in The Walking Dead, shocks again by changing the entire flow of the story.

Invincible08 18 pyrateWithin the writing of this book: we find meaningful dialogue between three dimensional characters on nearly every page, we find plot twists to shock and delight, and we find a very palatable character in Invincible.  He is a teenager with superpowers, but the book never lets you forget that he is still a TEENAGER with superpowers.  He handles things differently than adults and in his own amateur kind of way, wins you over as a reader.  You can’t help, but root for him.  The odds against him are overwhelming, but his motives are pure.  Invincible leaves you with the feeling that although good may take a punch once in a while, evil will not win.  Kirkman’s offerings in The Walking Dead, a place where the greatest evil resides in us, feel much more hopeless and fear driven.  Invincible is more righteous in it’s approach.  Because Invincible keeps on fighting, we continue on reading.  The first 13 issues are amazing.  If the rest of the series is nearly as good, then I will be recommending the rest of it later.

~Scott Deaux ~

About Scott Deaux

Favorite Comics: Lazarus, Essex County, Chew, Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, Age of Apocalypse stuff, The Nightly News, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Pax Romana, Avengers, NEXTWAVE: Agents Of Hate, Sweet Tooth, We3, others... Favorite Quote(s): "Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world." - Warren Ellis "People who hold signs go hold many other things" - Eddie Pepitone

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