We’ve seen the future, and it is weird, but now Invincible and family return to Earth, where former colleague Robot has taken over. Awkwaaaard… Your Major Spoilers review of Invincible #130 awaits!
Previously in Invincible: After an encounter with an alien intelligence, Invincible has returned home five years into his future. His daughter has grown up without him, his wife thought him dead and his enemies have had half a decade to cement their power-base… Of course, before he left, the hero known as Robot took over the entire planet Earth, vowing to rule with (you should excuse the expression) an iron fist. What’s happened on his home planet in Mark’s absence?
A PERFECT WORLD
After last issue’s unsuccessful alien invasion, this issue opens with Robot proudly explaining how few lives were lost and how quickly things have returned to normal. Under his control, the Earth is united, people are happy and well-fed, and nearly all the heroes have come around to helping him for the greater good of humanity. Mark Grayson doesn’t like it, no matter how perfect it all seems, and he and his family quickly make tracks, leaving his father (who is fully behind Robot’s actions) behind. Nolan can’t figure out why his son doesn’t trust utopia, but there’s juuuust enough ambiguity in the story that we, the readers, can share his skepticism.
MURDER ON THE HORIZON
Meanwhile, out in space, Mark’s brother Oliver is reporting in to Thragg, the head of the new Viltrumite Empire which has expanded greatly in five years. It’s unclear what he thinks he’s up to, but as the issue ends, Thragg prepares to make his assault on Invincible and his family. (Cruelly, Kirkman and editor Mackiewicz taunt us on the letters page about bad things a’comin’.) Cory Walker’s art is very well-executed throughout the issue and adds great drama to the proceedings, especially in the tense interactions and Thragg’s bloody lesson to his underlings.
THE BOTTOM LINE: THOUGHTFUL AND UNIQUE
Even though I miss regular penciller Ryan Ottley, this issue looks great, continuing to unfold the mysteries of the future world and Mark’s new life as mostly retired father. It suffers a bit from the regular complaint about Invincible; i.e. that some issues feel like they’re meandering stories to fill the time between bloodbaths, but even a meandering story can be compelling, and this one is. Invincible #130 is setting up for something big and doing it well, earning a more than impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.