Back Issues: "Invincible" #71-84
- by ReuBen DeBord, 15 April 2017
Hey folks, it’s been a little while since I talked about Invincible! You remember Invincible, right? The creator owned comic book series from Image Comics written by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Ryan Ottley? Today I’ll be talking about issues 71 through 84, which are all conveniently collected in the Ultimate Collection volume 7!
Immediately after Invincible makes his new resolution not to kill anymore, he meets up with Conquest, the guy he thought he had killed some issues ago, and he kills him for real this time. Once again, this is another situation where I don’t think Invincible had much of a choice. Like Angstrom Levy, if Invincible stuck to his guns and didn’t kill this guy, then all of Earth and especially Invincible’s own family would all be in danger. He didn’t have a choice. But it does make all the inner turmoil he went through in the previous batch of issues seem kinda pointless, now, doesn’t it? It’s hard for me to care about what Invincible is going through when he keeps flip-flopping like this. How do I know he’s not going to kill again whenever it suits him?
Maybe this would have been a little easier to swallow if he had spent more than a panel contemplating this after he finds out he did indeed kill Conquest. Maybe he could have talked with Allen the Alien or Tech Jacket, guest starring in this war storyline, and come to the decision that he won’t kill willy-nilly like he did with the astronaut alien host guy, but he won’t take killing off the table when it comes to very dangerous psychotic threats like Angstrom Levy or Conquest. It still would have made his previous decision to never kill again seem very pointless, but at least it would have made him killing Conquest feel like a big deal to him.
But other things happen in this group of issues besides Invincible renewing his killitude! After killing Conquest, Invincible spends a few months in a coma, while his brother and dad bond a little bit. This is a great issue since we haven’t gotten to see these two characters share any screen time. And even though I predicted some time back that Oliver would eventually become an antagonist to Invincible based solely on their opposing views on the no killing thing, so far, Oliver is proving to be a more interesting and complex character than what I initially thought.
The war against the Viltrumites goes better than you might have expected when you see how powerful just one Viltrumite is. But it isn’t exactly a victory for the good guys. Only 37 of the enemy Viltrumites remain alive after Invincible and crew’s attack. But since Invincible, his father and the first Viltrumite to betray his people destroyed planet Viltrum completely, the Viltrumites decide to go hide on Earth. When Invincible first realizes they’re on Earth, you spend about an issue and a half worrying about what they could do. If just 3 Viltrumites could completely blow up a planet, what could 37 of them do to Earth? But what they do decide to do is somehow even more terrifying than destroy all the humans or take over the planet. Instead, they just want to hide and reproduce with the humans. They’ve figured out that Invincible, even though he’s only half Viltrumite, is pretty darn powerful if he was strong enough to kill Conquest. So all 37 of them will bide their time so the Viltrumite empire can grow stronger. A truce is formed, and Invincible decides not to tell anyone about this (which is probably a good idea, because what could anyone on Earth actually do if they wanted the Viltrumites gone?). With the war over, Invincible’s parents leave Earth to try to reform their relationship.
So how does Invincible go about trying to save the planet? He stages a jail break and releases Dinosaurus from Government custody, because Dinosaurus is a super genius who wants to save the planet, but he just has very questionable methods that resulted in a couple of thousand dead in his latest scheme. (Incidentally, I love Dinosaurus. He’s basically the exact opposite of the Hulk. Dinosaurus is a well-spoken super genius who wants to save the world, just in a way that leaves some dead. His human alter-ego is an idiot, to say the least, and doesn’t seem to have any goals or ambitions beyond watching TV, if this chunk of issues is any indication. I never thought flipping the dichotomy of the Incredible Hulk would work so well, but it does)
So this chunk of issues ends with Invincible a fugitive from the Government, and now working with a supervillain to save the planet. This is definitely an interesting direction to take the series, but I am not sure how long this will last. Anytime this series tries to make you think something big is going to happen, it’s about a 50/50 shot of it actually being a thing that will happen. Invincible changes his costume up, and 20 issues later, he’s back to his old costume. 20 issues may seem like a long time, but that’s really just a year and a half. Or 3 storylines, in trade paperback terms. Invincible says he won’t kill again, a few issues later, he kills again. So while I want to be surprised that Invincible is now working with a supervillain but in an interesting and believable way, I just can’t bring myself to think that this will have a real impact on the series. By the time we get to the Invincible Ultimate Collection volume 9, I imagine Invincible will be back with his girlfriend, will be back in the good graces of the Government, and will more or less be back to his usual superheroing. But hey, I’m willing to be proven wrong!
In the meantime, that’s about all I have to say about this chunk of issues from Invincible. Definitely not light on plot, which has been a problem I’ve had in the past, but hasn’t been something I’ve complained about for a while. A little disappointing that it regresses a little bit after the direction it was going in with the previous chunk of issues, but I am intrigued to see where this series will go in the future! That’s all I have to say right now, so in the meantime, you muties keep things trashy!
Read past "Invincible" issue reviews:
- Invincible #1-13
- Invincible #14-24
- Invincible #25-35
- Invincible #36-47
- Invincible #48-59
- Invincible #60-70