Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Invincible #60

The Invincible War! Complete in one issue! Robert Kirkman does his best work in his Image books. This issue picks up with Angstrom Levy sending 20 evil duplicates of Invincible to attack the Image Universe. Every super-hero in the publisher's stable shows up to start trying to take them down. I loved the frenetic nature of the issue. Invincible himself barely gets more panel time than the regular cast in this one, and there is even time for some quick cuts to more obscure guests like Pitt, Cyberforce, and Youngblood. I really dug the use of the Global Guardians and the Teen Team in this one, as we see a few members of both team sacrifice themselves for their team. I won't ruin who the deaths are, but I find myself REALLY hoping that at least one of them isn't permanent. I loved Robot's reaction to a team-member's sacrifice in particular. And I swear, the Immortal never comes out of these things well, does he? What a painful life that guy has. The final charge at Levy was great too, with Kid Omni Man, Invincible, and Bulletproof seeming to be the last men standing. I'm familiar with all these characters, so the stakes seemed high and the danger great. This really could have been a summer-long crossover, which was the feel I know Kirkman was going for.

The issue is another game changer for the ongoing series. It seems the world is pretty well devastated at the conclusion, and the world blames Invincible. I don't think things will go post-apocalyptic, but it could get rough. Levy is still around, although further disfigured, and we get some new villains too. The heroes only killed 12 of the 20 evil Invincibles, and the other 8 are still around, banished in another dimension, we could easily see them again. The weird surgeons are also taking a more active role, and they want Levy to work for them now. Very interesting.

Ryan Ottley is fantastic. I loved his take on Youngblood (Shaft charging forward with an arrow nocked was great). His Wolf-Man was tremendous too, he had a great take on the character. He draws many of his ladies sort of similarly, which works well on the Cyberforce ladies, but not quite as great on Witchblade.



Newmie Newmz said...

Kirkman does a big crossover event in one issue (an FU to the multi-issue tie-ins of DC and Marvel?). If he was trying to prove that you can do a crossover universal event in one issue and have it be just as good or better than a multi-issue, multi-book tie-in series I think he failed. All it proved to me is that the extreme opposite of the usual still leaves some things to be desired. Apparently perfecion lies somewhere in between.

I felt this story arc and issue were rushed and choppy.

There was not a lot of build up to the Invicible War. Maybe three issues worth of teasers? Then the war itself is begun and concluded in one quick issue.

It looks like Kirkman is leading Image down the road to establishing a more shared Image Universe. That's OK. Nothing wrong with that. As long as crossover maddness doesn't ensue. Though it looks like that is the way it is going to go anyway.

This seemed like little more than one giant advertisement for Image comics; on average I'd say there were one to two panels per title character or team (not of the Invicible title) fighting an Invincible doppleganger. No character dynamics or development. They said little (if anything at all) and the reader didn't really see them do anything.

Speaking of; at least one major event was completely off panel (though I'm guessing we'll see that in a flashback or have it rehashed later and learn the outcome which is fine).

Also, structurally I found some of the panels choppy and hard to follow.

That being said, I am in agreement that this issue did have a few shining moments; particularly involving the Guardians of the Globe, the Teen Team, and the final showdown. And it will be interesting to see where the series goes from here as the status quo has changed again (getting sick of hearing that from the comics industry too "The event that will change the status quo forever... or at least 10 issue... maybe a year").

Invincible continues to be one of my favorite comics. But like any series one likes it will inevitably have both it's high and low points. I can't say this issue was a particular high point but neither was it disappointingly low.

I'd give this issue a grade of Fair.

Timbotron said...

I can see your points, and I'm sure my opinion was partially due to how much I loved the speed of the conflict. After Secret War lingering for SO long, I loved the huge bombastic battle and even some fallout all in one issue. No doubt the Image folks had very little development, but I suppose I really wasn't looking for it, I just want the main cast's story, and the others are just window dressing.