Some people might be surprised to learn Robert Kirkman released 2 books in 2003. One has eaten the planet’s media in proper zombie fashion and the other, is Invincible. Hold on though, wouldn’t that mean Invincible is also due for its own 100th issue soon? In Janurary 2013, baring no delays or other zombie related disasters, Invincible #100 hits stands! Come find out about the story thus far and how this is the Robert Kirkman book you might’ve been missing out on all along!
The big news about issue #100 is that someone’s going to die, as teased by the Image/Skybound advertisements for the centenial issue. There’ve been five posters so far, each hinting at the demise of a key character in the book. Like how The Walking Dead is a zombie social experiment, testing the bounds of human emotion and trauma for both the characters and the readers, Invincible explores the super hero genre and draws the tension into a deeper and more personal frame. A common complaint for characters like Superman, and other alien characters, is that they are hard to identify with and are difficult to humanize; moreover tough to challenge plausibly. Invincible, taking a more radical approach to the Superman mythos, begins with an origin story of its title character, Invincible, and then dives straight into a reveal that helps establish the series all the way up to the current issue.
Something you can definitely say about Invincible is that it rewards its readers for delving more into the story, as it has been known to referrence events from as many as 50 issues ago. That might not present each issue very well as a stand alone, but even so, each issue is loaded with a story that makes a reader eager to find out more; you might say it’s a mastery of the Chekhov’s gun. There have been numerous interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts that have developed, or in some cases festered, over a period of several issues among the characters that resolve themselves in some dramatic finishes, with varying results among the rest of the characters.
Something also of note for the series is the art. Way back when, closer to issues #1 -7, a mulitude of artists worked on the pencils, inks, colors and covers for the title. One of the more prevelent examples was issue #51 when Jim Lee, current co-editor for DC Comics, drew the cover featuring Invincible and Kid Omni-Man. Among the others credited with working on the title Erik Larsen, Frank Cho, and Tony Moore have also been known to contribute work. I would consider the art from those early days to be a perfect sampler to test the waters and get informed on who’s who for comic art. After issue #8, Ryan Ottley became the lead artist for the title and has been drawing blood and tights ever since. Having successfully illustrated for nearly 100 issues with a diverse cast of characters, all with equally diverse situations and profiles, it would be an understatement to commend his work as being excellent.
The story now is focused around an old foe of the Invincible universe, the Flaxan Army. Since the first couple of issues of the title the Flaxans have been trying to invade our dimension from their own. Each time they almost comically fail due to technical problems dealing with our own dimension or battling Omni-Man and Invincible. This time though, the tables have turned. The Flaxans are back and they are winning. Kirkman also uses this conflict to help shed light on a character interconflict between Robot and Monster Girl. During one of the latest invasions by the Flaxan Army, the pair went to the Flaxan dimension and were trapped there for decades of their time. After having been gone for weeks in regular time, Robot and Monster Girl returned having felt they made a positive change to the Flaxan people, and thus hoping to prevent future invasions. They were wrong. Could the mysterious, “mistake,” between Robot and Monster Girl be the cause behind this latest attack?
We’ll find out these answers, and what Robot and Monster Girl were up to while in the Flaxan dimension, in issue #94! Stay tuned as we review that issue and more till we find out who’ll die in issue #100!