“INVINCIBLE #107″ FEELS LIKE FILLER. IS KIRKMAN OVEREXTENDED?
For a long time, Invincible has been a book that I’ve looked forward to more than just about any other. Its title character is, in my estimation, one of the best new comic characters to emerge from the 21st century.
This month’s issue, while touching on a number of ongoing threads, feels more like filler than a standalone story or even one which progresses the overarching plot. While several of these subplots do feature some intriguing developments, very little time is devoted to Mark “Invincible” Grayson, who doesn’t appear until eight pages into his own title. What time he is given is noticeably brief, and most of his “screen time” is devoted to the ongoing issues surrounding longtime antagonist Angstrom Levy (the central foil of the previous arc) and the affect his recent actions have had on Mark’s home life. As per usual, the best scenes in the book revolve around the dynamic between Mark and Eve as they prepare to become parents. Unfortunately, they are given just one scene together, relegating what is by far the title’s strongest aspect to the back burner. The re-introduction of a third character to complete a love triangle for Mark feels somewhat forced, as if writer Robert Kirkman is trying desperately to find new ways to bring conflict into the Mark-Eve dynamic. It would be unfair to say that this effort fails, as it is only briefly touched upon, but hopefully it evolves into something more complex.
With so much on his plate between this title, The Walking Dead, and his ever-increasing responsibilities as a screen-writer, it is possible that Kirkman has overextended himself to a certain extent. While completionists and long-time fans may find a good deal of interest within this month’s pages, anyone picking up this book for the first time would find themselves hopelessly lost. For more one-and-done type stories, you would probably be better advised to check out Phil Hester’s Invincible Universe, which seems to be strongly contending to become the core book of the overall universe (no pun intended).
Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He also hosts the weekly Infinite Crossover podcast in cooperation with Fanboys Inc. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and daytime Oracle for the people of a real-life Smallville. contact: firstname.lastname@example.org