This is what event comics should be like. There should always be action and excitement, but there should also be issues where months can pass by in a single issue. That’s the benefit Kirkman has from owning his characters. No one can tell him how to tell his story. And this issue is a nice break from last issue’s bloody fight between Mark and Conquest.
Oliver and Nolon stay with Mark to nurse him back to health. He’s going to need a few months for his body to heal after having his guts literally ripped out. This gives Nolan a chance to bond with his son. They spend the months hunting, sparring, and learning about one another.
Meanwhile, the Viltrumite war rages on out in space. Allen the alien and Tech Jacket sneak away from the battle in a great Empire Strikes Back moment. They’re the comic relief of the issue and they make a pretty funny duo. And of course, what would an issue of Invincible be without a shocking ending. I could kind of see it coming, but didn’t let myself get caught up in trying to guess where the twist was going to pop up.
The thing that has made this title so good is that it’s about superheroes, but it’s done in a refreshing way. This is Invincible’s big event, but I’m not confused about what’s going on. There are a few characters that I have to follow and there are no other titles that I have to read to understand the main story. The best thing is that the stakes for these characters are real. After last issue, I thought Kirkman was going to kill Mark. I thought, Atom Eve didn’t really die because he was letting us off easy. If she can’t die, then he won’t ever kill Mark. Then after I feel safe, he would kill of the main character. Plus with an issue like this, I get a story in one comic that would have been stretched into three or four issues at the big companies. The pacing is perfect and that helps make the story stronger.
I’m glad Ottley is off of Haunt so he can focus on just Invincible. The few pages that show the war going on are terrific, but it’s his quiet panels that stand out to me. I like how Oliver looks more and more like Mark and Nolan as each issue goes by. And you can see their clothes and features change while they are stuck on this planet. Their reactions to what the other is saying are spot on. They look like they are having a real conversation.
I’ve always enjoyed how Invincible has the main story going and then there will be a page thrown in there that doesn’t exactly make sense at the time. And then in later issues, that plot point will be brought back in. They’ve always woven new story ideas early on in the main story and it’s nice way to reward loyal readers. I want to know more about that one page, but I want to read this main story.
I’ve always thought Invincible has enough supporting characters and ideas that he could be in two books, but that would hurt the title in the end. Too much of a good thing can be bad. With the way this book is put out each month, it’s like I’m getting two books for the price of one.