Invincible #72

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Brutal.

That about sums up the comic book Invincible.

If you aren’t familiar with Invincible, here’s a quick breakdown: Mark Grayson’s dad is a a superman-type called Omni-Man. Mark has inherited his old man’s powers and takes on the mantle of Invincible. Father and son begin to fight crime together–yea!

Uh-oh, as it turns out Omni-Man belongs to a race of world-conquering fascist aliens; think Kryptonian Nazis. Invincible chooses to defend Earth, rebels against his father, and gets his ass handed him to him in (what I used to think) was one of the most brutal fights in mainstream superhero comic history.

I used to think it topped the list of disturbing comic-book fights, then I read Invincible issues 63 and 64.  If you want disturbing, crack open those masterpieces of violence. You’ll find superheroes and villains breaking bone, punching people’s guts out (literally), and blood–oh the blood!

So, yeah, Invincible #72 continues the tradition.

The pencils by Ryan Ottley are, as always, beautiful. The guy is a professional. He shows up every month with his a-game. At this point it’s safe to say Ottley is on par with such talent as Art Adams. His lines are crisp and his action is gloriously kinetic.

Robert Kirkman’s script is mostly action. In true comic book fashion, exposition fills us in while people punch each other. And, apparently, in space everyone communicates with thought-bubbles (telepathy, I guess) which makes sense.

It seems that Kirkman has been using Invincible to explore some of the post-modern superhero concepts that Alan Moore first brought to popular attention in the 1980’s; like his Miracleman. Kirkman is doing an excellent job of making his universe and characters feel real. It’s no mystery to those who know me, that I sometimes find his dialogue to be a little tin-eared, but as an orchestrator of complex plots Kirkman is a maestro.

The thing about Kirkman that attracts people is his ability to continually up the ante in regards to the peril of his characters. If you think it won’t get bigger or crazier, it will. This can make some readers (like myself) a little queasy. Think of the worst thing that can happen to a character and Kirkman will go there. Obviously his fans love it, and it sure hasn’t stopped me from digging into his stories.

If any of this talk of extreme superheroes is piquing your interest then pick up this issue. The brutality of the climax will excite or scare the hell out of you. It’s what good comics do.

As per WPR’s review scale: I’d pay $2.59 for this comic that costs $2.99. (Really though, buy this comic!)

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