Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Invincible #63 – A Review

Invincible #63

Publisher Image Comics

Writer Robert Kirkman

Pencils Ryan Ottley

Inks Cliff Rathburn

Colors FCO Plascencia

These are the types of issues that Kirkman writes that make me love Invincible. Not just because of the death of Atom Eve, but because Kirkman pushes his characters and makes them live in a world that has consequences. In most super-hero worlds something happens and you are reading the comic a few months later and it didn’t matter at all to the character. This is a game changer, Mark is beyond hurt, Mark is beyond pissed, Mark is ready to kill Conquest, but you still have to wonder – how can he kill Conquest?

For an issue that was essentially nothing more then one long fight scene, the book still managed to advance the characters and show emotional depth. Samantha (Atom Eve) wakes up in a hospital to the news of the fight between Conquest and Mark. She immediately calls for Cecil and wants to go help Mark.

We cut to Mark who is being beaten badly. It doesn’t even look to be a contest. Mark’s brother tries to help and Conquest takes him apart like he is nothing. Mark saves Oliver, but only by sacrificing himself. The fight is not even a contest and Mark is being beaten across the globe.

Cut to Atom Eve showing up. She is horrified at what Mark looks like and tries to hold Conquest in a force field, she can’t and Conquest dispatches her in a brutal way. Conquest gloats over her death and Mark’s anquish. Mark vows to kill Conquest for this issue’s ending.

A very bloody, gruesome, issue that was raw in the force of the battle as well as the force of the emotional content of the book. You could fell Mark’s hopelessness and feel that he was losing the battle and losing hope. Instead of weakening Mark further, by killing Atom Eve, Conquest has given Mark the adrenaline shot nothing else could have and while I wonder if Mark can beat a full blooded Viltrumite, I have to think he can now.

Now that I have song Kirkman’s praises, lets talk about the art. Wow has Ryan Ottley stepped up his game. He still has the same angular type of look to his work that for me was an acquired taste, but his art has recently taken a giant step forward. A lot of it is page design and layout. His work exudes power and his fight scenes and ability to make them dynamic are among the best in the business. Cliff always does a great job on inks and the colorist (FCO) must has used up all the red that he owns.

Overall Grade A – An excellent and exciting issue in what in an excellent and exciting series.

Two other points I want to mention.
First I love that this book is offered as a regular comic, trade, 12 issues deluxe hard cover and Omnibus. I wish to hell Marvel and DC did more of that on their best series, plus the price points are decent. I buy the comic and then mail it onto Gwen and collect the 12 issue oversized hard cover (my favorite format).
Second point, I enjoyed the joke that Kirkman did about the over hype of Captain America #600, but now the joke seems to almost be disrespectful to the character of Atom Eve. Silly, as she is just a comic character, but I liked her so much I wish she had been real.

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