After a time-travel incident gone horribly wrong, Invincible has to re-acclimate himself to his world and family… Your Major Spoilers review of Invincible #127 awaits!
Previously in Invincible: A random encounter on a strange planet led Mark Grayson to be transported back into his own past, to relive the earliest issues of this comic again with foreknowledge. But when presented with the option to make the improved timeline the new reality, Mark chose the option they didn’t expect: Accept the tragedy and loss of life of the “real” past in order to make sure his daughter, Terra, still exists. It’s a decision that shocked both him and the alien life form posing the test. When returning to reality, Mark finds that, though he spent only weeks in the past, he has been missing from the world (and his daughter’s life) for more than five years…
This issue picks up immediately after last issue’s cliffhanger, as Mark assures a now six-ish Terra that he is, indeed, her daddy. The first part of the comic deals with Mark trying to come to terms with the new life his family has, discovering that Eve now enjoys their new home-on-another-planet, and that Terra has thrived, even in his absence. Returning to the Coalition Of Planets, he once again refuses Allen The Alien’s request for help, insisting that he’s retired from the war with the Viltrumites. Little brother Oliver has grown into an insensitive grown man, and things are going poorly for nearly everyone. Worst of all, once they take their vacation, his wife has bad news for him: During the years when he was believed dead, there was someone else in her life. Of course, Oliver’s activities are even more disturbing…
AN AWKWARD NARRATIVE DEVICE
I gotta say, while I enjoyed the “Reboot?” arc, Mark’s return to reality feels very forced and the drama very stilted for me. As a writer, Robert Kirkman prides himself on an ever-changing status quo, and this issue certainly delivers on that front. Sadly, the fact that the aliens were very vague in their description of the whys and wherefores of the offer they were making Mark, combined with the randomness of the time-jump, make it feel arbitrary and somehow unreal. Maybe it’s just me, but the fact that ‘Invincible’ the series has literally NO rules that can’t be broken is both a strength and a weakness. It underlines that Mark’s world is a wild and inventive place, but it also makes the ramifications of such wild events seem less… important?
THE BOTTOM LINE: A NEW TAKE, BUT I’M NOT FEELING IT…
I will say that it’s good to see Cory Walker back on the Invincible title for an extended run, and his Atom Eve looks especially good in this issue, and the last-page cliffhanger reveal about the whereabouts of a certain mustachioed baddie is a strong moment. But overall, Invincible #127 suffers from the downside of a time-travel story; disorientation and alienation of the audience, earning a disappointed-but-still-above-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. Part of me is hoping that this, too, is part of the alien time-travel test of character, which would retroactively make the strangeness of this issue’s events a brilliant meta-statement about comics.
Now that I type it, it seems exactly like the type of thing Bob Kirkman would pull.
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