This week, on a very special Invincible…
What a world of difference a couple of years make.Â Back in the day, youâ€™d open up a copy of Invincible and see bashing and smashing, intrigue, and teenager trying to live a normal life with super powers.Â But our Mark Greyson has grown up, and as he comes into his own, heâ€™s got to face a lot of adult situations.Â Situations like premarital sex, a sibling that needs an intervention, and domestic violence.Â Heady topics, indeed.
While the last issue featured Invincible leaving his date with Atom Eve to save the future, this issue picks up the morning after the date concludes.Â Yes, fanboys and girls, some nekkid bodies (tastefully covered) appear as Mark and Eve discuss their sleeping situation; Mark still living with his mother, and Eve living in Africa.Â By the time the two get dressed, discussing whether or not Markâ€™s mother heard their encounter the night before, it is decided one of them needs to get their own place close by.
That does bring up an interesting question – do superheroes and villains have more intense sexual relations than normals?Â That question has been answered in the pages of Penthouse Comix (art by Adam Hughes), in the deleted scene from Will Smithâ€™s Hancock, and to an extent in Garth Ennisâ€™ The Boys.Â Youâ€™re not going to get the answers in this issue, but considering their relationship has moved up a notch, it wouldnâ€™t surprise me if a tamed down answer doesnâ€™t appear down the road.
The wonderful day Mark and Eve have planned is interrupted by a phone call from Amber (Markâ€™s former girlfriend), who really needs to see Mark.Â Mark is able to slip away without Eve getting all bent out of shape, and when he discovers why Amber needed to see him, he really flies off the handle. Turns out Amber was a bit too whiney for her boyfriend Gary when she was mourning the loss of her father, so he hauled and beat her.
The reveal is pretty shocking as it is displayed in three-quarter page panel.Â The bruised side of her face does look really nasty, but for some reason, her facial perspective looks really screwy.Â Almost like the left side of her face has swelled up twice normal size.Â Itâ€™s a bit of a nit-pick, but it is worth noting.
Mark is obviously enraged and takes off to track Gary down.Â When he does catch up with the abusive boyfriend, he gives him a good throttle.Â Mark even goes so far as to threaten to kill Gary should he ever lay a hand on Amber again.Â Gary promises to be good, and swears he is really sorry for doing it in the first place.Â Itâ€™s enough to satisfy Mark for the moment, and he leaves the scene.
Considering Garyâ€™s after beating reaction, and Amberâ€™s gratitude toward Mark, my guess is the abuse story isnâ€™t over just yet.Â Mark has been flying off the handle quite a bit lately, and it appears as though heâ€™s having greater difficulty controlling his Viltrumite side.Â It wouldnâ€™t surprise me to also see a story arc where Mark actually kills a â€œcivilianâ€ because of his anger issues.
To make matters worse, Oliver decides itâ€™s a good idea to fly off and have his first solo Omni-Kid adventure, and while attempting to assist a guy trapped in a giant robot, proceeds to destroy half a city.Â When Invincible does arrive, heâ€™s even angrier that Oliver didnâ€™t listen to his advice about easing into the superhero business.
By the end of the day, Mark is back in Eveâ€™s arms, this time at her step-parents house.Â Thereâ€™s a pretty great exchange between Mark and Eveâ€™s stepmother, in which readers discover Eveâ€™s first name is Stephanie.Â Unlike previous moments where Eve flew off the handle every time Mark left to do his Invincible thing, this time sheâ€™s pretty calm and understanding when Mark explains where and who he had been with all day.Â Thereâ€™s another nice moment where the two fall asleep in each otherâ€™s arms (sans sex), which again shows how much the two care for each other.Â Unfortunately, as weâ€™ve seen in nearly every other story out there, this kind of happiness is probably doomed.Â If Spider-Man and Mary Jane canâ€™t keep their relationship together, whatâ€™s going to save Eve and Mark?
By the time Mark does get home, heâ€™s able to have a heart to heart with Oliver, but before things get too weepy, Oliver spots that mysterious red orb that his been hiding and following the heroâ€™s adventures these last couple of issues.Â When Mark approaches it, it promptly blows up.Â While the villain hasnâ€™t been revealed, the menace and threat is clear, and my guess is things will never be the same!Â Again!
The writing is solid, the pace is good, characters are believable in their actions, and while there is an odd panel or two, the art is once again top notch from Ryan Ottley.Â I like the direction the title is going.Â Just take a look at that cover; the sun is setting, storm clouds are forming, and the menacing angle and pose of the title character leads me to believe things are going to get very dark for our hero.Â Iâ€™m giving Invincible #56, 4.5 out of 5 Stars.