REVIEW: Invincible #106
Once again, it’s Invincible vs. Omni-Man, no holds barred, and their objective?
Uh, just to see who’s stronger, really. Your Major Spoilers review awaits!
Invincible is learning subtlety.
It’s one of those catch-up issues, where we get a lot of subplots, but not much in the way of cohesion.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colorist: John Rauch
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Publisher: Image Comics/Skybound
Cover Price: $2.99
Previously in Invincible: Mark Grayson is Invincible, super-powered son of the legendary Omni-Man, and he’s finally grown into his role in the world. Having defeated their own people, the Viltrumites, father and son have returned to Earth, with Nolan/Omni-Man now the king of the remnants of their people. Mark, after a slight identity crisis, has returned to working with Cecil Steadman (the man behind the Guardians of The Globe), and things are looking up…
Also, his lady-friend is pregnant, meaning Invincible is going to be a father.
MEANWHILE, ON THE MOON…
Our story opens in the depths of space, with the creature known as Battle Beast, on the planet of strange mutant aquatic creatures, having destroyed their army in battle. There’s an interesting sequence which explains just enough about B.B.’s modus operandi to remind the reader of who and what he is, an utterly savage badass. (This will be important later.) As for our title character, he is about to have a completely awkward dinner with his girlfriend, mother and father, at his parents’ new place, the abandoned moon citadel of the Guardians of the Globe. Their scenes are full of people arguing and snipping at each other, with everyone mad at Mark, and no one really listening to each other. In the middle of that, though, we are taken away to see scenes regarding Doc Seismic (to whom something very bad is happening) and Robot of the Guardians (who is once again acting very suspiciously.) Ottley does interesting visual work with the characters, especially with the Rubinesque Atom Eve, one of the few female characters in comics who has ever put on weight (something I’m very happy with, I might add.)
BITS AND PIECES, BITS AND PIECES..
With all of these things swirling about, it’s easy to miss the meat of this issue, a subtle moment during dinner. After Mark and Nolan have a brief disagreement about who is stronger, they agree to an arm-wrestling contest, with both men refusing to give an inch. The denouement of that leads to questions about Mark, giving the strong implication that there’s much more to the situation than even his parents realize. It’s a very cool moment, only undermined by the fact that the issue comes across as pretty unfocused around this moment, with subplot after subplot in motion, and Allen The Alien calling Battle Beast back to The Coalition Of Planets, tasking him with a special mission: Find and kill Tragg, former king of the Viltrumites, leaving us with the promise of a bloody mess in the future, something that this creative team both excels at and clearly relishes…
THE BOTTOM LINE: PLACEHOLDER.
Sadly, the pacing of the book combined with the multiple focus really detracts from the dramatic meat of things, with the Graysons discovering Eve’s pregnancy, and Mark’s quiet revelation, leaving the whole thing feeling scattershot and incomplete. Invincible #106 is an okay issue, with some very nice art, but feels like nothing but a collection of middle chapters, leaving the reader unsatisfied, but still earning a middle-of-the-road 2.5 out of 5 stars overall.