Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Invincible #68 – A Review

Invincible #68

Publisher Image

Writer Robert Kirkman

Pencils Ryan Ottley

Inks Cliff Rathburn

Colors FCO Plascencia

Format $2.99, 20 Pages of Story and Art

Kirkman has been on such a great roll with this book that almost every issue is a gem. I had fallen in love with this book during about the third year of its run and was constantly singing the praises of the book. The character was actually growing up and the story was moving forward, things happened and had repercussions down the line. It was a current day version of what Marvel comics was doing when it started, only with a modern edge to it. Then the book hit a lull and I followed it, but no longer with lust in my heart. Now when I see this book is on the list for books coming up Wednesday a smile creeps across my face as I know we will get a great story and more then my money’s worth. This issue is no exception and once again just a great issue.

In order to understand one of my main reasons for liking this book is we only have to start with the first page. We see Invincible trying to clean up some site that was destroyed when his doppelgangers wrecked a lot of the planet. He has braces on various body parts, which are obviously casts for a super hero as he is still recovering from his battle with Conquest. Everything that had happened in the last eight issues or so, were being reflected in the splash panel opening the book.

Invincible is them attacked by Dinosaurus, a talking thinking Dinosaur creature, that we find out is just a teen-age kid who claims he is not controlling the transformations. The character is at once ridiculous and also a cool little one off menace. In a short four page fight Kirkman gives us a character we could see again and he could be a bad or good guy. What he did was show was Mark (Invincible) Grayson’s dark side as Mark was contemplating killing Dinosaurus when he was human.

From there we see Mark suffering through meeting Eve’s parents. Those scenes were great human interest pieces filled with humor and show the growing relationship with Mark and Eve. We see Mark and Eve out selling Invincible as a service so Mark can make money on his own now that he is no longer government funded. We also get some interaction with Oliver and we see where the rapid aging appears to be continuing. These moments and character building scenes are what help make this characters real to the reader and not just some two dimensional object.

Next we see Conquest escape from the prison that Cecil had built for him. I loved seeing that scene. No long drawn out idea of if and/or when will he escape. Conquest wakes up, is disappointment that Mark did not kill him and shrugs off Cecil inescapable prison hardly breaking a sweat. Cecil will have to tell Mark that conquest was not dead and now deal with the consequences of his actions. Mark will have to face the man who almost killed him and Eve.

Last and not least we get a really shocking ending because we find out …………… Well I’m not telling, but once again another next left turn when I was expecting a straightaway.

The regular art team is back and no worse for the wear. I was worried that Ryan working on Haunt also might impact the quality of his work. There was no loss in quality and in fact some camera angles looked more innovative then ever. I marvel at the fact that Ottley and Rathburn have been hitting their schedules like clockwork and it seems that every other artist in the business struggles to do a single monthly book anymore. From fighting Dinosaurus to fighting boredom at the dinner table the art flows smoothly from page to page and never fails to deliver.

The net result is we get a book that what happened in last issue is important to this issue and feeds into the next issue. Mark’s life continues to move forward and he learns as he goes. In ten years Mark may only age five years, but he won’t be repeating his life in an endless loop like so many Marvel and DC heroes are forced to do.

Overall Grade A- Invincible is one of the best super hero books on the market and continues to be some of Kirkman’s best work. Ryan Ottley and Cliff Rathburn continue to turn up the volume on their work and give us more and more each issue.

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