For quite a while now, the only superhero comic book you will ever need has been aiming at making significant changes.
Though it’s quite late, this issue is worth the wait as at least two big happenings take place, and they’ll likely have a big impact on the characters as future issues arrive in your local store.
Previously in INVINCIBLE: “A family adrift.”
INVINCIBLE IS A COMIC THAT CAN COMMENT ON COMICS
What needs to be said about Robert Kirkman that hasn’t already been said? He’s a huge success not only in comics, but also on TV with The Walking Dead. He understands that a lot of comics characterization resembles “soap opera” tendencies, so he knows how to put people through their paces.
As a long-time comics fan himself, he also can’t help but poke some fun at other books coming out as well as local shops. The first page of this book is just such an event as Kirkman has fun at the expense of the female Thor through his now-defunct Science Dog series and local stores and how they do things. Oh, and he talks about how “corporate” comics blow as well.
Most of the book has to do with Mark and Eve saying goodbye to people they know on Earth before leaving the planet to raise their at-this-point unnamed daughter somewhere other than this planet. As always, the character moments are very well done, especially those dealing with Mark’s mother and father. Oh, and the page dealing with Eve’s parents was pretty funny.
I won’t spoil the last pages of the issue, but let’s just say that what happens establishes part of their daughter’s character as well as setting up a new direction for future storylines. Not bad in one book.
THE MAIN CHARACTERS CONTINUE TO GROW UP
Mark continues to interact with Eve, and they continue to mature as a couple. Eve’s baby complicates things, of course, and she may have to depend on her parents just as much as when a new family moves far away from the established relationships the mother and father are used to relying on.
You know, in most comics, the characters stay about the same age forever. Other than Dick Grayson, for example, most of the people we read about are never going to “grow up,” as it were. In this comic, though, it’s very different in that we’re seeing Mark and those around him age, although it’s at a much slower rate than we do in the real world.
OTTLEY’S ART CONTINUES TO BE GOOD
Ryan Ottley pencils and inks this issue, and he usually does a good job although occasionally it felt to me as if his inks were somewhat heavy handed.
Ottley’s faces and action sequences have both worked well for me over the years, and he continues to deliver in both avenues. I’m always impressed with how the artist makes Mark’s face look more adult than when the title first started, and that’s a rare thing to find in comics these days.
The coloring is strong, and the conceptualization of both natural and mechanical items is convincing. Given what the characters do at the end of the book, I’m going to be intrigued to see how Ottley deals with the new circumstances moving forward.
BOTTOM LINE: Change We’d Been Promised
Of course Invincible has long been sequential – having story threads that carry over from month to month – and that pattern isn’t changed in issue 117. Hopefully, Kirkman has some new places in mind to take the readers or else this will be a lot of light but very little heat.
I remember months ago when #111 came out, which was to provide us with a “bold new direction.” I was particularly underwhelmed at that point, but this time, we see much more when it comes to delivering on that promise.
I’ve read Invincible for years now, and I’m actually fascinated with what experiences we may enjoy in the coming months. I know that every “jumping on” point is a perfect “jumping off” place as well, but if you haven’t read Invincible in a long time (if ever), next month might be a great place to pick this title up.
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