Current Reviews


Invincible #76

Posted: Thursday, December 23, 2010
By: David Pinckney

Robert Kirkman
Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn (i), Fco Plascencia (c)
Image Comics
I love Invincible and it is easily one of my favorite comics. I look forward to this book every single month. It's a series that has so much good in it; sometimes it seems like the best series on the shelves. Drama, action, humor, it's all in this comic and it's all executed very well. If there is one thing Kirkman is good at, it's balancing the emotions he pulls out of the readers. All that said, it's unfortunate when we hit a bit of snag like in this issue.

This Viltrumite War Arc has been a blood bath and for the most part it has been going full steam and at times seems to be at the top of Kirkman's game. The problem with this issue is it gets all revved up and ready to go, but for some reason it just stops. It stops rather abruptly actually and you won't see it coming.

Thragg, the main villian of these last two issues, has wanted nothing more then to kill Nolan and Mark, but for some reason he chooses not to once presented the opportunity. He even goes so far as to protect them. In addition the Viltrumites kinda submit very easily to Thragg's will. It seems like such an awkward change of pace because it goes against the grain of Thragg and the Viltrumites. Kirkman normally doesn't do this and to avid readers it'll through them way off what they expect to happen and not in a good way.

The issue then kind of just digresses. We've hit slow parts in Invincible before but they all have seem to be pretty much necessary. This, while necessary for future story plot, seemed like Kirkman was trying to resolve loose ends all of the sudden and all at once. Instead of Kirkman's usual cohesive transition between major shifts in story, this issue clearly presents itself as the in between issue of a major change. Almost like he's rebooting everything just to get ready for what's next.

I will admit that Thragg's change of heart does have a point. It's just this issue has a few moments, that one included, where the execution of development seems like it was somehow done out of place or rushed. It does feel like these sudden changes are used solely for set up rather than to build a character.

All of that said we do get a fairly interesting story and set up that does seem to save the comic. We get seeds of some clearly solid story plot points that will make for a great story in the near future. The plot points that are added here will give you a sudden sense of urgency that makes you want to know what's happening next. Throughout this issue we do see familiar themes and actions that we've seen all through the series which is good and helps the reading experience. The flow of the story was three fold. The beginning flowed really nicely, then everything seemingly stops, and then once we resume again it flows nicely at Kirkman's typical "information needed here" pace.

As for the art, Ottley is doing his usual, which is being absolutely fantastic. Between him and Fco on colors, we get some scenes that are truly disgusting to look at because all the blood and gore seems so real. It's great and I want more of it.

It may seem like the bad outweighs the good in this issue, but really it's about even. Good use of dramatic scenes and seedlings of future plot combined with some awkward change of character goals and not so seamless transitions makes for this issue to be fairly basic. It's not horrible by any means what so ever and if you are a fan of the series like I am, you will find something to enjoy in this issue. What we have here is an issue that might just hold all the elements of change in it, which slows down the story, and it's not Kirkman's best, but if what this issue is what I think it is, the next few issues will be intense.

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