It’s 2003, and Image Comics is about to start a new era. An age of comic books that stretch across multiple genres and ideas, straying as far away as possible from the traditional capes and tights market as possible. And yet, there was one comic book that felt as traditional as could be, yet fresh and exciting in its narrative approach.
That comic book, was Invincible. What began as standard adventure fare under writer Robert Kirkman and original artist Cory Walker, quickly evolved into a tale that chucked genre conventions out the window and wasn’t afraid to get its hands dirty when artist Ryan Ottley took over with his incredible dynamic art. Heroes died, planets were shattered and villains were more complex than they appeared to be.
Invincible’s greatest strength wasn’t a twist on superhero stories however. It was a shining example of how a hero could grow, evolve and break free from the past. Invincible #144 is the final chapter in that saga, an issue that comes full circle on its themes and still looks to the future. With Ottley and Walker sharing art duties, Invincible #144 focuses on the past, present and future.
It’s the comic book which answers questions which it asked itself a hundred issues ago, all lovingly realised in a tag team of art that truly feels like a sincere farewell to a series that is simply the best damn superhero adventure ever printed. Empires are forged, relationships are tested and the future proves that even without Mark Grayson protecting Earth, Invincible is an enduring icon that will live on in a legacy of sacrifice and altruism.
It’s apt then, that the final saga of Invincible was titled The End of All Things. But it’s more than that, it’ a new beginning that touches on 144 issues and multiple spin-offs of action, love and growth. There’s so so much more I want to say about Invincible reaching the finish line, but to drop a few spoilers would be to do the series a massive disservice.
But if there’s any one single comic book you should read this week, it’s Invincible #144. On a day known for celebrating love. Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley’s superhero masterpiece (with Mark Morales on inks, Nathan Fairbairn on colours and Rus Wooton on letters) is an intimate and no-holds barred appreciation of a genre that feels utterly satisfying in its conclusion. For years, Invincible proudly claimed that it was the best superhero comic book series on shelves. The series wasn’t boasting.
It was simply telling the truth.
Last Updated: February 14, 2018