Overview

Invincible #74

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Invincible #74

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Ryan Ottley
  • Colors: FCO Plascencia
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 25, 2010

Invincible #74 seems to be the beginning of the end for the epic Viltrumite War. Raging on since issue seventy-one, the War itself has almost occurred in real time, spanning weeks per issue. Having been mortally wounded in a battle with Conquest (his insides were literally torn out), Invincible has been on the mend. Being watched over by his father Nolan and his brother Oliver, Mark has been comatose on an alien planet. As they wait for his wounds to heal, a battle between the Coalition of Planets and the Viltrumite armies has spread across the galaxy. The way in which this series has expanded in scope is almost part of its charm. No matter how big it gets, Kirkman still finds ways to make it relatable.

In the previous issue, as the battle raged on across the universe, Nolan and Oliver waited out the months for Mark to recover from his injuries. Alone, they hunted, trained and got to know one another. For the first time since Oliver was introduced, I realized that he hadn’t spent any significant amount of time with his father. They had never spoken to one another as father and son, let alone partners in heroics. It was a clever way to signify passage of time and use it as a device for character development. Since these creations are Kirkman’s to control, he takes every chance he gets to evolve them as people. 

During this month’s issue, the focus shifts to the war efforts, intercut with Nolan and Oliver still waiting for Mark to wake up. In a similar way that Kirkman and Ottley showed a passage of time last issue, they do so again here focusing on the Coalition’s efforts against Viltrum. We get to see snippets of Allan the Alien and Tech Jacket, having an almost Odd Couple relationship as well as depictions of how far out this battle reaches. All of it comes to a head in the third act where a rejuvenated Invincible, Omni-Man, and Omni-Boy (or is it Kid Omni-Man, I can’t keep up) join the fray. It all ends on a retreating cliffhanger that promises an even larger battle ahead. 

Kirkman has made a career of stacking the deck against his characters, and here is no different. We don’t even have the chance to breathe, and another crisis is occurring, a character is being ripped in half, or a world collapsing. He is painting with such a grand brush that you can’t help but be impressed by how he’s able to wrangle it all in while keeping emotions intact.

Ryan Ottley, no slouch himself, has become synonymous with this book in the best way possible. He creates line art and landscapes that are just visually unmatched. The acting of his forms is visceral and the color scheme applied to his work successfully juxtaposes brightness in a sometimes grim and gritty world. It’s jarring, impactful, and above all, works. I fear seeing this book without Ottley, but secretly wish we could see him tackle other styles. 

Nearly seventy-five issues in and Invincible is still delivering a strong and solid narrative. Over the years there have been periods where book that may not have been as exciting as it once was, but it never decreased in quality. Now, with a new status quo being introduced every couple of issues, Kirkman and company have been keeping us on our toes, wondering what will happen next. 

They’ve consistently created this book from the heart; specifically a heart fully in love with all things heroic and comic book. As long as they keep doing that, I’m game for another seventy-plus issues!

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