Monday, February 4, 2013

Invincible #100

I’m pleased that Robert Kirkman’s shocking issue 100 didn’t have quite as upsetting a shock as it seemed. I knew when the preview pages were released that it couldn’t be as bad as it seemed; I actually think Kirkman did a nice job giving clues too. When Dinosaurus was battling Invincible in full costume, then Dino blasts out of some rubble with Invincible just in his underwear, I suspected shenanigans.

Things aren’t quite as dire as they seem, although Dinosaurus does succeed in killing a whole lot of people. I really enjoyed seeing Dino rationalize everything he’s done, and do it in perfect confidence. Mark Grayson succeeds in poking some holes in Dino’s theories, and in a wonderful scene, we see it shake Dino’s foundation. If there are angles he hasn’t considered, then he may be wrong, and if he’s wrong, then he is a monster. How many villains have that epiphany? Now I’m not certain that Invincible actually does kill Dinosaurus, as the even happens off panel. I wouldn’t put it past Kirkman to bring back the big lug at a later date.

This 100th issue is about refocusing the book in a new direction, while still retaining a lot of what made the series great in the past. Much like Marvel’s Ultimatum, the Earth in Invincible is now recognizably different from the “normal” world. Tides are gone, and two giant artificial moons now control the planet’s oceans. Even better, it sounds like those two moons will serve as the base of operations for an expanded Guardians of the Globe. That is a pretty radical change in direction.

But Mark Grayson is still Invincible; he’s still tackling relationship issues with Atom Eve and his parents. Best of all, he’s back working for the US Government. So he’s back as an adjunct to the Guardians of the Globe, hearkening back to what I think was the strongest era in this title. There are a lot of familiar elements to keep the long-time fans happy.

Ryan Ottley’s art is once again, stunning. The guy knocks it out of the park every month. I mean, did you know it was even possible for a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s face to show regret? Well Ottley can draw it. Just wonderful. Kirkman is so lucky to be blessed with gifted artistic partners on his flagship titles.

It says quite a bit that this was the first book off my stack this week, even beating out Avengers. That’s what 10 years of excellence earns you! How about 10 more?


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