It’s the final countdown! Just a few more issues until Invincible comes to an end, and the world is wondering, “Does Invincible #142 bring the action, or is it just filler for a few more months?”
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editor: Sean Mackiewicz
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Invincible: Mark and his team have finally defeated Thragg. The Viltrumites can finally live in peace, right? Not if they are going to live on Earth, as Rex has kidnapped all of the Viltrumite children and is using them to turn everyone against Mark.
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY
As the series comes to an end in a few issues, all of the loose ends need to be resolved, which means Rex has to be dealt with. But before Mark Grayson can take Rex Splode down, Rex reveals that he has “taken” the Viltrumite children, and if they don’t kill Mark, Rex will turn their children against their parents. It’s a devilishly clever plot to keep the Viltrumites out of the fight, but that doesn’t mean Mark doesn’t have a team ready to fight.
The issue reads like old home week, as Earth’s heroes we’ve known for years team to take Rex down. Mark even figures out a way to get the Viltrumites to join him as they rescue their loved ones. The last couple of issues have been one giant fight and the action continues in Invincible #142 as everyone gets their turn at bashing robots.
What makes this finale hurrah so interesting isn’t the blood, guts, gore, and fighting, but the hard decisions Mark has to make when it comes to what he wants to do, and what he needs to do. Rex has pretty much turned Earth into a utopia, and if Mark kills him outright, the world may descend into madness. Mark’s final decision is one that makes sense, and makes me wonder why this wasn’t done sooner. I’m sure at some point down the road a brain in a jar will come back to haunt him, but I don’t think it is going to happen in two issues.
With two issues to go, there is only one major element that needs to be addressed, “Will Mark and Eve’s marriage end as quickly as it was put together?” Has Eve had enough of Mark’s wishy-washy attitude and constantly going back on his word? Will the sudden revelation that Mark has an illegitimate son be the final straw? I have a feeling Invincible will end more in a whimper than a bang as the Grayson family deals with this big surprise amid the political turmoil of Mark ascending as the emperor of the Viltrumites.
I never get tired of reading Invincible, though I find it better to read in big chunks. Taken by itself, there is a lot going on in this Invincible #142 when compared to entire issues of battle after battle. Sure Superman and Doomsday did that in 1992, but today’s readers seem to like binge reading. This issue is more contained than the previous issues, but somehow it still feels like there could have been more to the story.
Ryan Ottley’s art is always bloody and gorey, and though noses and mouths sometimes don’t sit right on a face in three-quarter profile, I love how packed and dense each panel becomes under his pen. Combined with coloring by Nathan Fairbairn, Rex’s army becomes a menacing horde as the colors and shading give each grouping of robots a specific look that is easy to make out during the major battle. Ottley uses a lot of closeups in this issue and the colors help keep everything in perspective.
BOTTOM LINE: LONG LIVE MARK GRAYSON! LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!
The final page/panel is a bombshell. I hope Kirkman has planned this out so Mark’s storyline doesn’t end on an off note. This issue did feel rather rushed as we spent multiple issues fighting Viltrumites in space, yet in one issue Rex Splode’s entire army is dismantled and the ruler is taken down. Still, I like resolution, and Kirkman and Ottley are doing everything they can to tie up all of the dangling storylines. Invincible #142 is a solid but rushed story, and earns a Strong Buy Recommendation.