Gimme a Gimmick
Since discovering Image Comics Invincible, Iâ€™ve been a fan.Â Even when the occasional dud of a story, Iâ€™ve been able to go along with Robert Kirkman at the helm at take everything with a grain of salt.Â Even though I should probably do the same thing with issue #60, the celebratory issue turns into one big mess of cameos, a major battle, and a whole lot of what did I just read?
As revealed last issue, Dr. Angstrom is the evil genius behind the orbs that have been spying on Invincible, and readers also learned that Angstrom has been culling the multiverse for other Invincibles.Â Issue #60 kicks off -Â and finishes -Â the Invincible War as 20 Invincibles (Invincibli?) wreck havoc across the Earth, destroying and demolishing everything in their path.
That everything and anything includes the heroes of the world, which is every single, or nearly every single, character appearing in an Image comic.Â For those wanting a smack down, drag out, world shattering issue, featuring the team ups of your favorite Image characters, then this should go down as the best issue Image has ever published.Â Ryan Ottley must have had a field day drawing characters from the pantheon of Image Comics characters.Â He does an awesome job of it, and does it in a way that readers willÂ really need to scrutinize each panel to see who each of the Invincibles are fighting.
If one had to summarize the issue it could be done thusly, â€œA bunch of Invincibles from other dimensions are brought to the main world, which leads to a big battle, with the good guys winning in the end.â€
And thatâ€™s where one of the biggest problems in the issue arise.Â Because of all the jumping from one battle to the other, it is rather difficult to piece together what is going on with the heroic Invincible we all know and love.Â The biggest example of this is where Atom Eve and Invincible arrive to aid Cyberforce, and then on the next page, Invincible if flying off with a seriously injured Atom Eve, who looks like she might be seriously injured.Â The how and why is not answered, and the panels are so small where that action is taking place, that the importance of this tragedy are downplayed to the point of becoming meaningless. Perhaps it is not that big of a deal for this particular issue, but down the road the fallout from her injury will surely come up, which might cause many readers to ask themselves when that even happened, and how come they donâ€™t remember it.
The other problem with the issue is with the cameos.Â While the appearances of the Pitt and Spawn are cool moments (specially where the Pitt rips the crap out of Invincibleâ€™s face), and while the battles are of epic proportion, there is a problem with those heroes the bad Invincibles defeat.Â While there are many on panel deaths (Youngblood and Witchblade to name a few), the fact that the characters are not dead in their own series is an indication that even in a cool world like Invincible, nothing stays dead for long (or ever).Â Â The best death of the issue is Rex Splode blowing himself up real good and taking down one of the rogue Invincibles in the process.Â Itâ€™s the only death that feels meaningful to those who have read the series for any length of time.
The lack of permanence, or feeling that anything that occurs in this issue will have any bearing in any other Image title ends up making this issue feel more like a piece of fan fiction than something I should take seriously.Â Robert Kirkman delivers a great stand alone issue full of the fighting, and the punching, and the â€œhey lady!â€ and the glaven, and the ending where Angstrom gets his is really fitting, but there is just so much going on it is difficult to follow any individual sub-plot. While the big picture plot is cool and deserves 5 out of 5 Stars, the fan fic feel of the piece brings the issue rating down by at least three stars, but add on the four-page gate fold cover for a half star, and I can only give Invincible #60 2.5 Stars out of 5.Â That’s not to say I didn’t like it, just not in the main continuity of the series.