A Big Surprise
This issue of Invincible came as a huge surprise and a major change up in pace.
Last issue we were greeted once again to Conquest, and Mark killed him but at the expense of many of his internal organs. Nolan and Oliver arrive in time to wrap Mark's wounds and take care of him. This is when the reality sets in that Mark has to heal. The comic covers a good couple months of time as indicated by the number of characters slowly changing facial hair which is an often time hilarious cue.
After the pace set by last issue, it was quite easy to expect another action-packed issue, but Kirkman sticks with reality and focuses on the characters instead of the action. Sure, there are still glimpses with Allen the Alien and Tech Jacket, but these are more so vignettes for what is occurring while the three (excluding Thadeus) rogue Viltrumites recover.
I love how Kirkman really focuses in on Nolan and Oliver's relationship. Nolan realizes that he has not been a good parent and attempts to rectify it. Through the bonding over training and eating, Nolan and Oliver are humanized as actual characters rather than mechanical forces.
Overall, this issue put a smile on my face because Kirkman did the unexpected where he slowed down the pace rather than most other writers upping the ante by increasing the pace and action. I would like to think he succeeded in providing more of an emotional core to an event that has been building for years.