Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Comic Review: Invincible Volume 6

    Every time I pick up a trade of this book, I think ‘witch one of my favorite characters is going to die this time?’  It’s stressful.  Still, it means I’ve emotionally invested in the series and its cast, and that’s not true of a lot of comics.  And now I know how I’m going to feel when he eventually kills off one of my very favorite characters.  Because I thought he did.  I stared at the panel where it appeared said character was snuffed out and felt resigned sadness.  Like, ‘I knew this was coming, and here it is.’  But then it wasn’t.  I’m sure it’ll be coming for real later.  And the death of another long time core character does appear to be permanent.

    There’s a lot of guest characters in this volume, not just Guardians of the Globe, but other Image personalities.  The whole pantheon has to be called up to face another world threatening foe.  And dang.  Not only is the threat ramped up, but the violence is beastly.  And every time it seems like there’s going to be a pause, it steps up another notch.  So many people get punched to pieces.  It’s horrifying.  I like that these people with super powers do super damage.  You always see Superman punching a normal person and they fall back a little.  A guy who punches planets out of orbit and a human just falls over and looks dazed?  When Invincible isn’t holding back, the turns people he punches into puddles of lumpy red oatmeal.  In the middle of the volume, there is an extended story about Omni-Man and Allen the Alien.  This strange relationship has been evolving for a long time, and has reached a pretty crazy, but awesome place.  Omni-Man sleeping on Allen’s couch must be about the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.  Whatever it’s building to should be plenty cool.  A few new characters, possible villains and allies make appearances.  Universa, Dinosaurus, Space Racer, Conquest.  Cool.

    Of the things I’ve read from him so far, this is Kirkman’s best work.  And the series remains fun, grim, exciting, and cool.  Ryan Ottley’s art improves by the issue, and his love of drawing excruciating gore is impressive and sick.  This volume also includes guest artwork from series co-creator and original artist Cory Walker.  And as always, the back end of the book is loaded with sketches and commentary.

    If you’re any kind of superhero fan, and you’re not reading this series, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  It’s got action, cool characters, humor, romance, grand plotting, twists and turns, and a consistent vision.  This has what Marvel and DC are so sadly missing.  Read it.

Invincible Ultimate Collection: Volume 6
Author: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Ryan Ottley & Cory Walker
Publisher: Image Comics
ISBN: 978-1-60706-360-5


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