Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Ryan Ottley (p), Ryan Ottley (i), Bill Crabtree (colors)
Publisher: Image Comics
One again, presenting in Technicolor, Spectra-Vision and all that jazz, the adventures of the cheating Invincible and his "not quite cheating" cheating ways. Yeah, thatís a lot of cheating, ainít it? Well, that is just about the explanation of last issueís lip-locked ending between Mark and Eve. Whether by some confusion or just a too friendly greeting, there wasnít much to this kissÖfor now. Oh, there are bound to be consequences, what with Eveís feelings towards Mark and his knowing about them. (Note: In issue #34, Mark was told about Eveís feelings by an older version of her.) Moreover, as if this isnít basis enough for a future blowout, there is also the case of Markís straining relations with his girlfriend, Amber, both by his frequent absences from the relationship (due to his superhero work) and the new guy in the picture, Amberís study buddy, Gary.
However, all that teen angst drama takes a backseat (for now) against the threat looming up from Mars. Starting way back in issue #18, this plotline has finally reached maturation with the Martians led by a "sequoid" mind controlled human heading towards Earth. As for who this human is (new readers might not know about him) and what exactly a sequoid is, how they work and what relation it has with the Shapesmith, it is all revealed here. Without going into detailed spoilers, imagine a being with the modus operandi of the Starros from DC and looks similar to those brainy beings from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (but without the inbuilt faces).
After Shapesmithís confession a strike force comprising of Invincible, Robot, Monster Girl, The Immortal, Bulletproof and Black Samson bands together to stop the attacking Martianís from reaching Earth. Atom Eve, having accompanied Invincible from Africa, also joins them. These people are sent out because of their invulnerable skin, or in Eveís case the ability to make her costume more dense and invulnerable.
The team leaves, has the usual character interaction moments and finally finds the invaders just in time to end the issue with the Martians destroying their space craft. However, thanks to Eveís powers, they all survive.
There is also the bit about the Lizard League attacking and taking over a nuclear missile silo. However, in front of the imposing planetary scale Martian plot, this one doesnít seem all that important. As with the Martian plotline though, this too seems to be set for a long maturation period and doesnít look to be done and over with anytime soon.
As stable and consistent as the writing is in this series, what has given it even more of a steady climb is the artwork. Not only do we get to read and learn about the characters, the uniformity in their depiction gives a special "visual" understanding of them, their emotions, mannerisms and reactions.
Conclusion: At this point it has become a case of beating an old broken drum, but reading and enjoying issue after issue of Invincible only makes the glaring difference between this series and Kirkmanís work on Ultimate X-Men all the more pronounced and disheartening. Battle Pope serves as the proverbial salt in the X-wound.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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