Invincible #71


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Invincible #71


  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Ryan Ottley
  • Inks: Cliff Rathburn
  • Colors: FCO Plascencia
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 28, 2010

For seventy issues, Invincible has been a superhero romp like no other. Ever changing and growing into a powerhouse book that's held up as a shining example of superhero comics done right. Also, for seventy issues, the looming threat of our hero's heritage coming back to lay claim to Earth has hung over the book forebodingly. This month's episode seemingly begins a mission to once and for all end that threat.

This is chapter one of an arc entitled The Viltrumite War, referring to the race of conquerors with which Invincible (Mark Grayson) shares his ancestry. Mark's father, Nolan, was once ordered to co-exist with the human race, preparing it for a takeover. Using his Superman-like abilities, he assimilated into life on this planet as its greatest hero, Omni-Man. When it came time to fulfill his mission, only one person stood in his way, Invincible, his half human/half Viltrumite heir. A violent brawl between father and son ensued and was only stopped when Nolan retreated, with loyalties torn and ultimately touched by his son's unconditional love and perseverance. That was issue thirteen.

Ever since then, Invincible has protected the planet to the best of his ability, at times, crossing paths with his ostracized and repentant father. The time has come, however, to bring these titans together and take the fight to a seemingly weakened Viltrumite army.

For the last handful of issues, Nolan and his alien friend Allen have been collecting weapons from all over the cosmos. Weapons powerful enough to hurt and possibly destroy the infinitely powerful enemy. With their tasks behind them, they finally invite Mark and his half-brother Oliver, a force to be reckoned with in his own right, on their raid to Viltrum. Things obviously don't go as planned.

This issue is bogged down with a good deal of set up and some not so veiled foreshadowing of possible problems. Despite all this, the promise of things to come is delightful enough to push through. Kirkman utilizes our knowledge of these characters with such ease that it's fun to read, even during the heavy exposition. It's almost like a group of friends you haven't talked to in a while, filling you in the latest happenings and gossip.

Ryan Ottley continues to be a powerful driving force for this book for nearly sixty issues. He has made this universe so rich and unique, its hard to imagine anyone else depicting it with as much passion and care. His talent complements Kirkmans ability to tell a story that dips its toes in multiple genre pools. One moment its a teen comedy and the next, a touching family story, separated by acts of graphic violence. All seem at home under Ottleys economy of line and expressive shapes. The color palette utilized in this book is just another piece of the vibrant and distinct equation that makes even a mediocre issue of Invincible a fun read.

You can see the gears of progress moving when holding this issue from afar. Its a calm before the storm. Its an introduction to the next world-shattering bout. This book has proven in the past to be able to one up itself over and over again when it comes to scale. Theres definitely a feeling of Kirkman setting the dinner table with fine china right before attempting to pull out the tablecloth. You have a distinct feeling that something is about to get broken.

I dont know about you, but when it comes to my comics, I find that exciting.

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