Issue #100 of Invincible was released last week, which is a milestone for any book, especially one not published by Marvel or DC. Published by Image Comics (Spawn), Invincible is a creator owned book written by Robert Kirkman. That name might sound familiar as he is also the creator of another very popular book., The Walking Dead. The same highly rated Walking Dead currently on AMC is based on. Both were series he started 10 years ago, in 2003. While we all know the premise for Walking Dead (which also had it’s 100th issue this past summer), Invincible is a little different. We mostly follow Mark Grayson in a straight up superhero tale. The question is, what does this story do different from any other typical superhero tale?
Considering the characters are creator owned, Kirkman can do whatever he wants. In a recent somewhat fourth wall breaking moment, Mark got to meet the creator of his favorite comic book. The creator in a very long monologue explained how he can do whatever he wants to try and change the formula. This explanation came after a particularly head scratching moment just pages before. I digress.
Invincible is a perfect example of long form story telling. Where one writer, one voice, continues telling stories with the same or new characters, keeping everything on the same path. It can be jarring when a creator leaves a book and new status quo or voice is established. Invincible has been Kirkman from the beginning. Around issue #50 in one of the collected edition, Kirkman wrote how this point in time (with the story line) was exactly the type of superhero story he wanted to tell. A tangled web were the machinations of many characters were churning in the background while the main characters were oblivious and we the readers are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Once the ground work has been laid (after about the first 13 issues), Kirkman has expertly sewn the seeds for new threats while having the characters deal with current ones. Issue #100 end the 3 part “Death of Everyone” story line, something that has been building since around issue 80. This type of long form story telling has also been successfully seen in Ultimate Spider-man, which has been running since 1999, seen over 170 issues and is currently written by the same writer, Brian Michael Bendis.
The art for invincible has been handled either by Cory Walker or Ryan Ottely, with the latter staying on as the main artist. Both have rendered beautiful work throughout the series. Make no mistake though, Invincible can at times be a very violent book. To me the violence is a little over the top, but not unwarranted, your opinion may very.
With now 100 issues of quality story telling, I highly recommend Invincible if you’re interested in good superhero tale.
On a side note, things you heard about Robert Kirkman and his ego may or may not be true.
What’s your favorite superhero? Think I should tackle another subject? Comment or tweet!