Vess and Grix have uncovered a monetary connection between a powerful religion and a powerful corporation. How much danger are they now in? Find out in Invisible Kingdom #6 from Dark Horse Comics.
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Christian Ward
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Karen Berger
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 30, 2019
Previously in Invisible Kingdom: Grix is the hard-bitten captain of the Sundog, a ship working for the Lux Corporation. Vess is a religious novice who has traveled far from her home planet to join a monastery. These two women are brought together when each independently discovers ties between the corporation and the monastery, but this knowledge threatens to destroy them. Vess joins the crew of the Sundog, and soon they are on the run and running out of fuel.
A NEW SET OF PROBLEMS
Invisible Kingdom #6 is deep and thoughtful as well as being exciting. The relationships between characters can be complicated, but as a small group of people against two enormous organizations, their only chance at survival is to work together. The Sundog has been repaired as well as it can under the circumstances, and no one has seen Vess for days. She’s been meditating – and not eating. Grix wants to try getting fuel from Vess’ home planet, but her people don’t talk to outsiders, and Grix need Vess to help.
They talk to Vess, but as someone who has left her people and taken up with the Renunciation, she’s practically an outsider now herself. They’re also cautious – they’ve only maintained what independence they have by not rocking the boat. One of the Roolians takes Vess aside. This is a race of people who have four sexes, and apparently an expectation that Downs, like Vess, will bear children. Instead, she’s taken a vow of chastity. This woman also somehow knows that Vess has bonded with Grix. This interlude fascinates me. We just barely scratch the surface of a culture that is rather alien, and it adds a whole new layer of complexity to the tale. At any rate, Grix gets the fuel she needs, and Vess’ people turn their backs on her for good.
The ship makes its way through a conglomeration of space junk and something hits them, something that didn’t show up on their sensors. Vess is the only one who sees that it’s a salvage ship, and we start getting a sense of what kind of bond she may have with Grix. She thinks of the Captain, and Grix suddenly knows there is a ship out there. She electrifies the exterior of the ship as Vess runs up to the bridge to warn her that it’s a trap. What new trouble have they stumbled upon?
ALIEN WORLDS AND FASCINATING PEOPLE
Invisible Kingdom #6 is breathtaking in its beauty. The characters all seem alien to us, but not so much that we can’t identify with them. They have hopes and fears. They strive. They suffer. They snipe at each other. But Vess is having a crisis of faith. The art captures the stillness and patience of her meditation and, even when her face is hidden by her headpiece, we can see her stubbornness and resignation. Grix, as Captain, is decisive and in charge, unafraid to protect her crew, even if she puts herself at risk. It’s fascinating to see the contrast between them even as we see their connection gradually get stronger.
There are so many gorgeous scenes in this issue. The glimpses we have of Rool are that of a verdant planet of floating islands and apparently rich with life – at least animal life. The zone of space junk is indeed a floating junkyard (including a lot of Lux ships), but in the chaos it has an almost ethereal beauty. The color choices from page to page and the layouts really showcase some of these moments. And there are plenty more of them. The attack by the cloaked salvage ship includes not only some more fascinating backgrounds, but a lot of sound effects that bring the scene to life. And those moments when the ship goes dark and the characters are mostly in shadow with only some strategic highlighting – beautiful.
BOTTOM LINE: RICHLY THOUGHTFUL AND EXCITING TO THE CORE
Invisible Kingdom #6 begins a new arc. It draws us in and makes us care just a little bit more about these characters and raises the stakes against them. Superb storytelling and glorious art work hand in hand to breathe life into every moment.
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Invisible Kingdom #6
Grix and Vess have made a perilous choice, and there’s no going back!