Invincible #119 Review


Invincible #119
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Ryan Ottley and Cliff Rathburn
Colored by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Published by Image Comics

Last month, Robert Kirkman decided to try to get more people excited about his creator-owned superhero comic Invincible by offering issue #118 for free online or for a whopping quarter at your LCS. Now since I’m never one to turn down a free comic, I took the bait and gave it a read. It was the start of a new storyline that saw Mark Grayson, his wife and newborn daughter relocate to a new world to escape Earth and the fact his former best friend had taken over the planet.

Hate when that happens.

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Invincible #118 was meant to be as new-reader-friendly as is possible with a title that has been going for over 100 issues, and for the most part Kirkman succeeds. Even though it has been years since I last checked out the title, I felt completely at home and remembered why I used to love Invincible so much in the first place.

With the issue being such a funny and engaging read, I figured I’d plunk down my three dollars and continue reading with #119 to see if the magic could continue.

And wouldn’t you know? It did.

Invincible #119 picks up right where last issue left off, with Mark and Eve trying to find a doctor to help their baby girl, who has stopped breathing. Considering how action-packed a typical issue of Invincible is, these slice of life stories as we watch Mark and Eve start a new life in a new galaxy is a nice change of pace.

Kirkman is a writer who, whether it’s here or in the pages of The Walking Dead, is excellent at creating fully realized, fleshed out characters. Nothing about Mark Grayson seems tacked on or added just for the sake of the story. Mark, just like any real person, has good and bad traits, both of which come out over the course of Invincible #119. One minute the worried father, the next amazed at the incredible changes to his life, it all feels very real and authentic. It never seems forced or sudden but an organic part of the character’s growth. It’s a facet of Kirkman’s work that is sometimes overlooked and probably shouldn’t be.

Ryan Ottley may not have been the original artist on Invincible (that honor belongs to Cory Walker), but he has made the book his own. His art mixes equal parts typical superhero stylings and a knack for drawing quiet moments that give Invincible a unique visual look. The sequence where Mark and Eve try to deal with his victimization at the hands of fellow Viltrumite Anissa is tender and done perfectly. Ottley’s skill with scenes like that remind me a lot of Steve Dillon, who could draw four people in a booth at a bar for 20 pages and have it be some of the most interesting visuals you had ever seen.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the colors of Jean-Francois Beaulieu, who really seems to be going nuts with the color palette of the new world Invincible is living on. Pages just explode with color and a vibrancy you don’t see in most books.

The Bottom Line: Invincible #119 continues a very different kind of story than what fans may be used to from the title. In my opinion, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Invincible feels fresh and new all over again, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here. If you had given up on Invincible for whatever reason or have been thinking about giving it a try, now’s a great time to jump on.

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