Advance Review: Invincible Universe #3
After a hectic, but abrupt, first arc, it was time for Invincible Universe to slow down. The slow down was a great choice, as it shows the depth of this independent universe. Invincible Universe #3 is a great issue.
Phil Hester focuses on two heroes this time around, El Chupacabra and Cast Iron, and a very intimate story between them. While I’ve read every issue of Invincible, I wasn’t as familiar with these heroes as others in the universe. Hester quickly gives you a hold of El Chupacabra, and why he is so compelled to apologize for Cast Iron’s death. The alcoholism angle is nice, but seems a little out of left field at the beginning of the issue. But Hester uses it effectively as the issue goes on. The therapy session was a nice layover the action at the beginning. Which had me thinking; why hasn’t anyone made a book about a superhero therapist? I feel like that book has a lot of potential. Hester balances action and drama well throughout the issue. He jumps back and forth perfectly.
What impressed me the most about Invincible Universe #3 is how isolated this story is in the universe. The regulars of this series were nowhere to be found for the most part, and it shows that even the smallest characters are incredibly interesting. DC and Marvel have a hard time of proving that some times. These guys couldn’t handle their own ongoing, but the story was enough to add a layer of depth to future stories involving Chupacabra. I’ve had a few problems with this series so far, but this issue makes me forget about all of them. #1 and #2 were quick and didn’t focus on characters at all. But #3 slowed down and showed that I shouldn’t give up on this series just yet. It’s good to be fun, but it’s even better when there is some emotion behind that fun.
Todd Nauck is one of the most consistent pencilers in the industry. Characters are energetic, full of personality, and the action pops off the page. Characters look similar, and don’t look at each other often when talking. But it’s easily overlooked, as everything else is stellar. The opening fight scene looks fantastic. Characters flow from panel to panel effortlessly. When Chupacabra starts to fight back, the issue becomes dark and gritty. Nauck shows how effortlessly the Invincible Universe can go from bright and full of spandex, to dark and morally questionable. Nauck does an excellent inking job, as the iron cast heroes look great in action.
Fans of Invincible have no reason not to be reading this book. It’s lots of fun, and keeps getting better.
Invincible Universe #3 gets 4/5.