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Invincible #49

By Geoff Hoppe
March 27, 2008 - 08:10

Well, how about that. A gripping story, years in the making, that combines diverse threads into a frightening new plotline. And it’s not the product of any “brain trusts” or passels of money-grubbing editors at large, New York based comic book publishing houses.

In Invincible #49, Mark Grayson (superhero name: Invincible) and most of the rest of the world’s heroes have been captured by Doc Seismic, a Mole Man-esque megalomaniac who commands an army of giant, subterranean insects. Besides the fact that “Giant Subterranean Insects” would be a cool band name, things are looking bleak for earth’s heroes until a group of unexpected saviors appears.

The stories that pop back into view in #49 have to do with former villain Darkwing, and the Re-Animen, cyborg zombies engineered by the evil Dr. Sinclair. Invincible put them behind bars, and now, apparently, Invincible’s bosses at the Global Defense Agency have hired both. Mark is understandably peeved, and is reaming out his boss, Cecil Steadman, when Steadman springs a trap. As Kirkman has hinted for months now, Invincible is on the way to big changes. Whatever they’ll be, the buildup is certainly entertaining.

One of the best things about Invincible is its gleeful, hyperactive enthusiasm. There are always three or four storylines sprinting along in a fugal structure Bach might have envisioned if he’d had ADHD*. In #49’s letter column, author Robert Kirkman describes his comics as “a tangled web of multiple stories that are all tied together by a main character. That’s how all the best comics were done, that’s how I do pretty much all of my superhero books.” This is one of the many ways Kirkman captures the excitement that made Marvel Comics so much fun in the 1960s.

Ryan Ottley delivers a characteristically strong performance. There’s a cartoony element to his style that compliments the frenzied exuberance of Kirkman’s duelling-banjos story arcs. #49 also lets Ottley draw two two-page splashes, a technique he excels at.

Worth the money? Yes.

*I’ve got ADD, so I can make this joke.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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