Plot: This issue is a bit of an info dump as we catch up with Markís dad Nolan and Allen the Alien.
Comments: One of the consistent elements of Invincible is the long-running subplots Kirkman seeds throughout the overall story. From Markís motherís slowly-budding relationship with a nice guy to Anton Levyís world domination/revenge plans, Kirkman takes the time every few issues to peek in on stories that have been gestating over months or years.
In this case itís Allen and Nolan who get the spotlight as they break out of a Vitrulmite prison to deliver news of the conquering speciesí weakness. Part of me wonders if Nolanís revelation might be some sort of red herring or double cross (as well as the revelation made by Allenís boss on the Galactic Council). Still, Iím intrigued where this will go next month.
Now, Iíve mentioned that Kirkman likes to touch in on his subplots. This sometimes means a bit of dense (but not impenetrable) expository text. Kirkman, for all his qualities as a plotter of fun and engaging stories, has never been one for brevity or the soft touch. Characters say whatís happening and how they feel often and directly. Itís a testament to how engaged I am with the characters and the overall plot of the book that here (as in The Walking Dead) it doesnít bother me when the characters are for all intents and purposes speaking to the reader saying, ďHey, this is whatís going on in the book and in my head.Ē
Perhaps part of the appeal for me is that Kirkman wears his heart on his sleeve and I would imagine he is aware of this. His lead, Mark, is a big softie in conflict with his dad whoís hidden a huge part of his emotional life for years. Now we see Nolan attempting to grapple with his own conflict with his species and trying to understand why he is an anomalous traitor to his species. Allen too would like to break an emotional impasse and love his girlfriend but the dictates of his species compel him to maintain a certain distance.
Cory Walker returns to the book on art for the first time since issue #6 and heís in fine form. See the page with the dead Vitrulmites floating in the vacuum of space or the detail on Allenís girlfriend Teliaís clothing. He also gives Nolan a beefiness that speaks to the characterís age--heís still muscular but a little round in the middle. I donít think Iíve seen that particular detail in Ryan Ottleyís usually superlative work.
Final Word: A very good checking-in issue. But readers should be forewarned that Kirkman will be hitting you with a lot of expository text.
If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the authorís work at Monster In Your Veins
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