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Invincible #65

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009
By: Shawn Hill

Robert Kirkman
Ryan Ottley
Image Comics
"Conquest Epilogue"

Plot: Invincible is healing. So, miraculously, is Atom Eve. But you canít go through a war like this without permanent scars.

Comments: Itís time for funerals. Itís time for moving on. Itís time for explaining the lessons that have been learned. Itís another day in the life of Mark Grayson, whose life is one where seemingly magical abilities extract a high price. And heís not going to take it anymore.

He apologizes to Oliver, his young protťgťe, whom he admits was more on the ball in fighting evil forces than Mark himself. Heís overjoyed at Eveís return, but both he and Eve are confused by changes in her powers. His relationship to her is more open and intimate than ever before, despite the fact that she spends the funeral in devastating remorse over everything Rex Splode meant to her. Subplots also creep back in, as Angstrom is still plotting his revenge, and there are some squirmy things in the sewers that have a sort of conquering air about them.

Itís an epilogue, as the title says, to a crucible of issues where Kirkman indulged in devastating violence (depicted in bone-splintering detail by the indefatigable Ottley), but never disconnected the carnage from emotional outcomes or human outrage. Markís mother is grateful he survived, but she seems to sense that heís changed irrevocably, that someone like Eve is the right companion for him now. The reality of his situation frightens her, but she leaves rather than argue with Eve. Sheís at a loss as to how to protect her quite grown up son.

Part of getting better for the young couple is acting on that intimacy, and in a tender scene Mark and Eve evince a chemistry Iíve seldom seen since Scott and Jean got together on top of that mesa near Warrenís desert pad. That she also gave herself a boob enhancement is silly, but cute.

This book has always reminded me of the travails of Spider-Man, but lived on a Superman scale. As on his other books, Kirkman seems to effortlessly maintain the tone he needs to keep each title moving in its own inevitable direction.

Almost as interesting as the issue itself is the letterís page, where Kirkmanís readers take him to task for the seeming murder of Atom Eve. Itís like the death of Phoenix all over again, 25 years later. The outrage is in one way the ultimate compliment to how involved readers are in Kirkmanís story. He handles the abuse in his flinty but entertaining manner, but I donít have any worry about his readers. Kirkman knows exactly what heís doing and where heís going with this title. They just need to become as invulnerable as Mark!



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