Terra’s on the cover, making me worry that something truly terrible is about to happen in the ongoing saga of the Grayson family. Your Major Spoilers review of Invincible #141 awaits!
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Penciler: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Invincible:
“THE END OF ALL THINGS,” Part Nine
Things take a dark turn as we near the end.
“YOUR GRANDFATHER WAS… HURT.”
We knew that the last 12 issues of Invincible were coming and that not all of the cast would make it out alive. (This is the same writer as ‘The Walking Dead’, after all.) But this issue’s opening sequence is still heartbreaking, as a tearful Debbie Grayson packs to return home. Her granddaughter Terra enters, asking if she’s alright, and Debbie tries to explain that Nolan/Omni-Man/Grampa is badly wounded. Terra laughs it off, having seen how quickly the Viltrumites shrug off injury, but Debbie is silent, causing Terra to pause, confused. Elsewhere, Debbie’s son Mark (the Invincible of the title of the book, y’all) gets the news that his father is in grave shape, and despite his own catastrophic wounds, goes to Nolan’s room to check on his old man…
SAD TO SEE HIM GO…
When this book debuted, Nolan was shown as a Superman-analogue with a terrible secret, but this issue makes it clear that he is nothing more than a man, one who wants his son to take on his role as leader of the Viltrumites, adding a necessary human element to the star-spanning, bulletproof fighty-fighty of the last few issues of the book. Mark and Nolan’s conversation is beautifully rendered by artist Ottley, and I very much appreciate the subtle moment where it becomes clear that Nolan is gone, a bit of excellent storytelling by Kirkman and Ottley. The issue ends with a couple of cliffhangers, one personal for Mark and Eve, one much more complex, as Earth has clearly changed during Mark’s lost five years. Best of all, though, the final page reveal, while shocking, doesn’t unravel or overshadow the personal moments earlier in the book, and that is truly a triumph.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A TOUGH READ
Again, I was pretty sure that I knew this was coming, and it still hurt to read. After more than ten years, Nolan is like a friend to me (a scary, possibly maniacal alien overlord friend, but a friend nonetheless), leaving Invincible #141 as a heart-rending bit of story, deftly delivered with strong art, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. The pacing of this issue may be a little odd in the reading order, but will be an excellent transitional chapter when the book is eventually collected, and the emotion of it all makes up for much of the questions regarding pacing…