Recommended Reading – Invincible

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I’ve felt that the best heroes, were the young guys and gals who donned spandex and tights. Guys like Spider-Man, Robin, Batgirl and the Teen Titans. The problem is, most of those characters are stuck in a rut. There’s been very little evolution in over the last couple of decades, no growth at all. And that’s where Invincible puts them all to shame.

It’s a simple story. A long time ago, there was a race of alien beings, known as the Viltrumites. Imagine a planet of Supermen that were able to fly, possessed super strength and had the same age rate as Nigella Lawson.

Eager to colonise beyond their home planet of Viltrum, they expanded out into the galaxy, with one particular Viltrumite landing on Earth and assuming the title of Omni-Man. Eventually falling in love, he had a son, named him  Mark Grayson and waited for his powers to kick in.

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And that’s what I love about this series. Mark is a regular teenager when the series starts, but one that knows the difference between responsibility and fun. He’s headstrong and impulsive, and happy to eventually become a hero. But as the series progresses, so does Mark. That’s where the strength of Invincible really lies.

Take for example, Spider-Man. How many issues have you read of the amazing wallcrawler, where he complains about being late on rent, having the cold or not having time to strike up a love-life? Too damn many.

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In Invincible, Mark suffers from the same problems, but the key difference here is that he doesn’t just whinge about them. True to his name, he takes them on and while he isn’t always successful, that’s an admirable trait in and of itself.

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But the series is more than just one great character. It’s dozens of them. From Atom Eve,Omni-Man and Robot, through to foes such as Conquest, DA Sinclair and Battle Beast, the series is crawling with a great supporting cast and rogues gallery. In just over a hundred issues, Invincible has managed to create a universe that easily equals decades of history that you’d find in comic books from the big two on the stands today.

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Thanks to strong writing from Robert Kirkman, the storyline is constantly shifting as well. Twists are thrown in at a regular, yet constantly surprising rate, while characters evolve and find new directions. And some of those curveballs will hit you right in your emotions, as endgames are played out and decisions are made. Decisions that have a genuine impact on the world of Invincible. But it’s also a good sign that the writing feels neither rushed nor slow, but just long enough as storylines wrap up when the time is right.

Then there’s Ryan Ottley’s art, which he has helped define the series. It’s fantastic, youthful and packed with energy. Yet when it comes down to drawing more intimate scenes instead of seeing cities destroyed, Ottley pulls it off beautifully.

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I can’t recommend Invincible enough. It’s the comic book of the modern age, and it’s got a ton of heart in the sublime art that flows through it, complemented by some powerful writing.

Last Updated: February 12, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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