Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Comic Review: Invincible Volume 5

    What is it I keep saying?  Oh, yeah.  Invincible is the best super hero comic on the market.  That’s right.  And the more I read, the more I think that’s true.  This fifth volume in the Ultimate Collection sees some major changes in Mark’s life.  A falling out with a trusted friend, deepening romance, trouble with his brother, and oh, man, the Mauler Twins.  The Mauler Twins!!!…So much blood.  So much gore.  And like previous volumes, there’s plenty of foreground story, with hints of longer running threads woven in through the background.  What’s all this with Titan?  Something has been building with that guy for a long time.  What’s his deal?  He seems like a pretty good dude, for an underworld boss.  Why’s everybody messing with him?

    The problem I keep running into with this series isn’t actually a problem really.  It’s that feeling you don’t get when reading Marvel or DC.  It’s that feeling that nobody is safe, and things won’t be back to normal in an issue or two.  I’m pretty sure my favorite villains are dead.  Like dead, dead.  Not, gonna show up in another couple issues dead.  There have been a couple cases of characters that seemed dead coming back, but those are uncommon and connected to specific characters (not all that shocking when a guy called The Immortal turns out to be harder to keep dead than normal).  But while I don’t see Invincible himself getting killed, it’s not out of the question.  And pretty much anyone else could go at any time.  This volume carried me through issue 59.  The monthly issues just passed 100.  I want Invincible and his lady to be happy.  But I’m guessing if I were reading issues hitting the newsstands today, I’d be seeing horror and sadness.  I can’t wait, but I also dread it.  Unlike so many ongoing series, the unified voice brought by Kirkman being the continuous writer has kept it more real.  If this came out of Marvel or DC, it would have had six or eight different writers, each one wanting to kill off or resurrect their own pet characters, and each trying to take the series off in different directions, while never straying too far from the studio mandated status quo.  Kirkman has the freedom to shape the story and make things count.  So, again, I fear for the life of every character I like.  And I have good reason to think those fears are justified.

    The sideline story with The Astounding Wolf-man felt a bit shameless pluggy.  But whatever.  However, the Allan the Alien interlude was amazing.  Are they building up to the greatest comicbook character team-up ever?  If what it looks like actually comes to pass, I’ll have to put a little ‘power of 2’ sign next to my statement that this is the best superhero comic on the market.  (Also, keep an eye out for a cameo from Doctor Venture and Brock Samson, as well as another awesome dig on Aquaman).  So, if you like the idea of superheroes, like the style of the Silver Age, but want something a bit more meaty, a bit more emotionally impacting, try Invincible.  This feels like all the potential of the Marvel Universe, without the status quo mandates demanded by their market position.  I believe I cautioned readers about this before, but do remember it’s not an ‘all ages’ title.  There is violence, and when that violence happens, it’s not pretty.  In fact, it’s some of the nastiest, bloodiest, freakiest violence I’ve seen in a comicbook (Oliver punched that dude’s jawbone out the back of his head!).  But for the adult reader, this is top shelf material.

Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 5
Author: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley, etc.
Publisher: Image
ISBN: 978-1-60706-116-8


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