This one was written by Benito Cereno with pencils by Nate Bellegarde and colors by Gill Crabtree. This three issue series really should have been called Invincible Presents Rex Splode because Atom Eve was incidental. It's the origin story of Rex Splode, which naturally ties in to Atom Eve, but the only reason I can see for her being in the title, and first, no less, is because she's a hot chick. Not a real hot chick, but whoever needed one of those in the comics world?
Maybe it's that these 3 issue bursts don't work for the kind of stories Kirkman tells in much longer form with his characters in the main book. Sure, it's a stand alone story, but it's fairly pedestrian because you don't get all the later nuance that Kirkman developed. Rex Splode is just a jerk and a tool here, not to mention an amoral assassin, no matter how it's rationalized to be for the "greater good". Atom Eve comes across as dim and naive, yet paranoid because of what was presented in her own 3 issue series. Rather than expanding my knowledge of these characters and appreciation for their appearances in Invincible, I find myself let down by how they're presented here.
The story is standard issue. Rex is a youthful miscreant, stealing to put food on his family's table. Useless parents sell him to a government operative who trains him in fighting skills and implants the tech that allows Rex to turn inanimate objects into explosives. Rex kills lots of people, becomes disillusioined, escapes his trainer/captor. Things go boom a lot. Budding romance with Eve is hinted at, but little more. Rex is already a hound dog after Eve, and for the life of me, I can't see how he's in the least bit attractive to her.
I don't usually comment on the art too much, but this one falls into my category of distracting. In particular, Bellegarde has a problem with faces, especially mouths. Something's not right with the lips a lot of the time, and the teeth are often just frightening. Probably trying to indivicualize them at distances and angles in which it's not necessary is part of the problem, but even on closer shots it's like he's aiming for a prize for the highest count of the number of teeth in a person's mouth. Oh, and Rex has super powered tear ducts. Certainly looks that way from the cascade of liquid running down his face when he's bawling his eyes out to Eve after killing a guy.
And enough with the scarred face guys working in the secret basement of the Pentagon. It was one thing with Cecil, but now it's becoming a prerequiste for a parking space with your name on it. Of course, it's the only thing that distinguishes bald black guy who trains Rex from bald black guy who's after Eve, so I guess it had to be retained in lieu of drawing the two guys with more distinctive, individualized faces.
So, even though Kirkman is in the credits as story editor, unless someone who's as good a writer as he is comes on to any future projects of this sort, I'll be passing.