ADVANCE REVIEW: Invincible #100


invincible100-cov-a-webAnother Robert Kirkman book has reached issue #100. Invincible has had an uneven couple of issues of late, but #100 shows a lot of promise for the future of the series. But it still jerks the reader’s chain all the way through.

Spoiler warning for Invincible #98-100

Kirkman ends the Dinosaurus plot line in a quick fashion.  In a matter of pages, we have Invincible and Dinosaurus completely fix everything.  Considering how devoted Dinosaurus was to this plan, it seems unlikely that he would change his mind on something so fast.  The logic that Mark gives him is sound, and strikes a different tone than Mark going the cliched “you are wrong because I’m the hero.”  He’s talking to him like another person.  It’s a small thing, but softens the blow of an otherwise poorly written scene.  The numerous fake outs in this issue are downright annoying.  Kirkman has always said that Invincible is a different kind of superhero book, one that is better than the rest.  Then why is he resorting to a horrible plot beat?  Any moderate comic reader could tell that the first page wasn’t the whole truth.  In a few panels, the entire point of this arc was wiped away, probably never to be heard from again.  It’s frustrating as a reader to see a writer go above and beyond to raise the stakes, then to side step them and move on.  While this is a fantastical world, having things borderline magically appear to fix everything don’t happen that quickly.  It seems as if Kirkman wrote himself into a corner and tried his laziest to get out of it.

The rest of the issue though, is written wonderfully.  Mark’s heartfelt conversation with Eve is some of the best writing Invincible has had in a long time.  What impressed me the most was how this story has reverted to the original status quo without it being forced.  In fact, the status quo is almost nothing like the original, but still has the same look.  Mark’s reaction to the massive amounts of killings feel genuine, and so does his realization at the end.  Having Mark work for Cecil again, in a borderline jail like way, is a mature way for Mark to atone for his actions.  Now this is a story line that lives up to Kirkman’s claim about the book.  I enjoyed Kirkman’s call back to the beginning of the series. He’s always been great at referencing old plot points without sacrificing the momentum of the story.  The big revelation at the end doesn’t hit as hard as it could have, as it’s a retread of a story a few years ago.  But with Mark’s new outlook on life, and how to be a hero, I’m excited to see how he’ll react this time around.

The writing is uneven, but Ryan Ottley knocks this issue out of the park.  The numerous talking scenes allow Ottley to fill each panel with tons of emotion.  The writing might not sell the scene, but Ottley’s pencils do their best to make up for them.  The incredibly bloody opening page looks fantastic.  Dinosaurus has a great amount of detail on him, which he always has under Ottley.  One subtle thing that astounded me was the little bit of weight that Eve lost when going nuts with her powers.  It’s been previously established that she uses up calories by using her powers more.  When she goes on a big tear like this, she should technically lose a little weight.  If Ottley hadn’t included it, I wouldn’t have even noticed, but good job on him.

Invincible #100 isn’t the astounding issue that this series deserved, but it’s still a good issue.

Invincible #100 gets 3.5/5.

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