The Greatest Superhero Comic in the Universe hits its milestone 100th issue, and things don’t look too good for Mark Grayson! Major Spoilers reviews Invincible #100 and lets you know if it lived up to the hype!

Invincible 100 coverINVINCIBLE #100
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Inker: John Rauch
Publisher: Image Comics (Skybound imprint)
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in InvincibleMark Grayson lost his invincibility. Kid Omni-Man accidentally infected him with a virus that was designed to kill Viltrumites, and after the Viltrumites (who are now living on Earth, interbreeding with humans to bolster the Viltrumite population) teamed up with the often-villainous Dinosaurus (who Invincible had convinced that maybe Earth could be saved WITHOUT killing people)  to save Mark’s life. Unfortunately, in the process he was weakened and lost his powers–but those recently came back, and when Mark went to check on Dinosaurus he found that he’d enacted a plan to reduce the Earth’s population significantly in order to save humanity. Understandably Mark wasn’t too pleased, and the two resorted to blows in an all-splash-page homage to Superman #75. That left off on the typical Invincible cliff-hanger where it certainly seemed like Mark’s head was about to be squished like a grape.

POP GOES THE GRAYSON

Page one picks up right where Invincible #99 left off, with Dinosaurus squeezing Invincible’s head… right to (and well past) the point of bursting. Ryan Ottley has always excelled at gore, and this page and the ensuing one (in which we see Grayson’s brain and an eyeball exploding from his crushed skull) is Ottley at his grotesque best. In a well-crafted turn of events, the news team that intended to broadcast Invincible’s victory over Dinosaurus live to the world ends up broadcasting his gruesome demise, and we get a two page spread with over fifty panels of people (including one that looks suspiciously like Clark Kent) reacting to the death of Invincible.

A SHOCKING VARIETY

While a lot of people praise Ottley’s ability at drawing violence and gore, this spread reminded me why I’ve been such an Ottley fan in the incredible nuance he adds to what could have just been fifty-plus people having the same shocked expression. There are people clearly in mid-gasp, people caught eating while watching television, people in wide-mouthed shock, people gritting their teeth in pain, at least one individual not seeming particularly troubled by the news, and the abject horror on Eve’s face nearly brought ME to tears. You can feel all the emotions these characters are expressing, and it’s all thanks to Ottley’s INCREDIBLE artwork.

THE FALLOUT

Things move forward from there, and rather than stringing us along as to whether or not Invincible would be resurrected somehow, Kirkman lets us know right away that the Mark Grayson that Dinosaurus killed was actually a failed clone, a la Final Crisis, having stolen the teleportation technology when he was given free reign healing Invincible aboard the Viltrumite ship. It all makes an incredible amount of sense for a comic book, and Kirkman uses this as a chance to throw a bunch of dialogue at us. It’s a welcome denouement, as the issues leading up to this have put much more emphasis on the fighting, and I’ve always been more of a fan of the quiet, talking issues of Invincible.

Kirkman also gives us a set of more personal reaction moments, as The Immortal returns to active duty and Angstrom Levy returns (his portal comically underwater) to find the headline that Invincible has died.

DINO-SORE-US

Mark Grayson and Dinosaurus have a real heart-to-heart about their attempts to save the world, which Mark firmly believes were botched when Dinosaurus decided to kill people to save more, and the realization is come to by both parties that the only way to really save the world is for Dinosaurus to die. This is a big moment in Invincible, as Kirkman plays off a lot of villain/hero tropes and uses it to return Mark to his old Invincible role working for the government, but with a lot more maturity under his belt and responsibility on his shoulders. Mark is reunited with his parents and Eve, and the issue ends with yet another Kirkman Cliffhanger, one that will change Invincible’s life forever… again.

BOTTOM LINE: THE CULMINATION OF EVERYTHING INVINCIBLE

This issue is one of my favorites in the entirety of the Invincible series. Kirkman took a build-up that had been stalling a bit and really drove EVERYTHING home, and gave us those small character moments that have made Invincible great over the years alongside the epic story he has crafted. Kirkman also managed to deliver an incredibly tight plot in this issue, giving us all the superhero moments we love while avoiding the tropes that major publishers find necessary and fans always complain about. The incredible range of Ottley’s art is at its most evident in this issue, and really Invincible 100 delivers on every level. Also worth noting are the wonderful inks of Cliff Rathburn and the John Rauch’s colors, making Ottley’s art pop on every page. This team has become a well-oiled machine, and Invincible #100 benefits greatly from it, earning 5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★★

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!

Reader Rating

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 3.64 out of 5)
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The Author

Jimmy

Jimmy

Once upon a time, there was a boy. This boy grew up reading classic literature--Moby Dick, The Time Machine, Robinson Crusoe. At age six, his favorite novel was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He devoted his time and efforts into being an incredible nerd, mastering classical literature and scientific history for his school's trivia team. Then he got to college, and started reading comic books. It's been all downhill from there.
Jimmy's favorite writers include Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Gail Simone, Grant Morrison, Chuck Dixon, Mark Waid and Bryan Q. Miller. His favorite artists are Kevin Maguire, Amanda Conner and Alex Ross, and his least favorite grammatical convention is the Oxford Comma. His most frequent typographical gaffe is Randomly Capitalizing Words.

You can follow his lunacy on Twitter at @JimmyTheDunn

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6 Comments

  1. Jeff
    February 2, 2013 at 8:29 am — Reply

    Agreed.

  2. February 3, 2013 at 11:33 am — Reply

    Respect to the review, but I didn’t think Invincible was on the bubble for me until this issue. Without giving away spoilers, I felt certain “twists” which some may call a great nod to comics, I found personally lazy. Invincible as a character has just become… ugh to me. The return to basics, makes me feel as if Kirkman is just artificially padding the series. The last page just made me go “we’re doing this again. Really?” I really don’t try and be a complainer with comics, but for a series I’ve geniuenly like for most of the run, I just felt completly let down.

    • Jeff
      February 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm — Reply

      Huh… I’m personally excited for the setup from this issue. I don’t see it as a return to basics because everyone has changed in personality and experiences so drastically that there is no way that future events won’t be interesting.

      And honestly, your reaction to the last page is odd because, technically, they never really “did that” in the first place. Anything that comes from the reveal of the last page will be new, unless the same decision is made, which Kirkman has already said won’t be.

  3. Mokin
    February 4, 2013 at 11:57 am — Reply

    I’m not sure I agree with all of your comments, sir Jimmy.

    This return to status quo is kind of a let down for me. There are some things that changed, but there’s nothing new. As Kirby said, the last page came out flat for me. Nothing big there, been expecting it for a few issues, actually.

    As for the cop-out Dinausorus used, as well as the “change of heart”, well, that sounded fake. Most arguments had already been used, and now they work?

    Mokin had a “bleh” taste after reading this. I have a complete run, but I’m seriously considering dropping this title (my financial capacity demands I cut down…so…). I’ll wait an issue or two, but…

  4. gordysane
    February 8, 2013 at 5:58 am — Reply

    Have to agree with Mokin and Kirby here, felt it was a bit of a let down. I can see what he was trying to do by turning expectations on their head but it did all just feel a little tired to me, especially so hot on the heels of his other big 100, The Walking Dead. That issue did have me in tears and the fallout from that has really got me gripped and back into that series again.

    It’s probably just a case of me building it up too much but I think the biggest flaw for me was I really didn’t buy Dinosaurus having a change of heart, as Mokin said it just didn’t ring true.

    The return of Angstrom Levy is the thing that is going to keep me reading though as he’s by far one of my favourite tortured bad guys…

  5. Nicholas Dreyer
    February 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm — Reply

    I thought this was a terrible let down after the promise of “A bold new direction” way back in 89(?). Mark had already worked for Cecil done and dusted. Yes he’s older and he has also matured BUT this is a rehash. A bold new direction would have had him leave the planet after such a catastrophic lapse in judgement. Leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces and deal with the viltrumites. Maybe even do a whole “Journey of discovery” out in the stars.

    Bulletproof as Invincible has been more interesting and I was worried (rightly as it turned out) when Mark got his powers back. While I was very disappointed in the killing of Bulletproofs parents (Crass and unnecessary and that’s including their psycho reaction to his origin story) he is becoming a likeable character in his own right.

    So anyway, not impressed. Over hyped and badly executed. Nearly made me stop getting the monthlies and if this continues I might return to TPB only or even stop altogether. Come on Kirkman, you’re better than this.

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