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Invincible #40

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
It's all-out action in the mighty Invincible manner!

Okay, that's a bit sarcastic, but this issue is pure action, aside from one page of subplots. Invincible, Bulletproof, Eve and the rest of the heroes travel out to an alien space ship infested with the nasty aliens the Sequids. Meanwhile on Earth, Dupli-Kate, Shrinking Ray and other heroes battle the evil Lizard League, who has taken possession of a missile silo in an attempt to gain control of the whole country. The two battles parallel each other, and both are desperate, terrible battles in which the heroes seem destined to lose.

The relentless nature of the Sequids makes the main story feel very intense. How do you defeat a nearly mindless foe that has to number in the many millions? How can eight heroes, no matter how strong they are, stop a group of aliens that can simply overwhelm them with pure numbers? Kirkman, Ottley and colorist Bill Crabtree do a great job of showing the intensity of the horror and the insanely long odds that the heroes face in their battle. Unfortunately, they also show the kind of stupid lack of teamwork and planning among the heroes. How can they charge into battle without a plan of any sort? How can they end up depending so strongly upon Kate when even she has limits to her powers? Somehow this seems like a horrible lack of planning on their parts. Based on the next issue blurb, the group wins their battle, but somehow it feels like they don't deserve to.

The battle with the Lizard League is equally desperate and even nastier. The villains in the story are absolutely ruthless, carrying a level of violence that is rather shocking to read. People die and are maimed in the most graphic ways possible in this issue, really showing the true horror of the super-power lifestyle. Far from seeming heroic, these heroes are literally at war with evil-doers. It's a desperate, nasty, potentially deadly war that has long-lasting consequences.

It's a bit of a shock to read an issue of Invincible that seems so relentlessly downbeat and violent. This comic has had very violent issues before, but there's a level of nastiness and graphic violence here that's a bit shocking. I guess I just wasn't prepared to see a hero's arm bitten off or heads explode. And I was pretty shocked in my more intellectual side to see that Mark and Eve would charge off in battle, knowing they would face the fight of their lives, without any idea of what they would do. It is refreshing to view the super lifestyle that seems to take a realistic look at fights. With the stakes involved, heroes and villains would be killed and maimed all the time; heck, survival would be the exception rather than the rule, it seems to me.

I thought this issue was just a bit off from the highs of previous issues. Maybe Mark will learn from his mistakes - one might hope he'll learn something, anyway.

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