I was going to call this issue of Invincible a transitional one. In this issue, no single plot thread takes center stage. Instead, readers get look-ins at eight different threads this month. Each of these moments has its links to previous issues of the series and seems to set the stage for future stories. No one of them seems more prominent than others. That would seem to be the definition of a transitional issue for most super-hero comics. But Invincible is different. It has a different flow and rhythm than most comic books. This issue feels like it just fits the flow of the rest of the series because Kirkman’s story is flexible enough to allow for this sort of story.
It helps that each of the stories is so appealing. For instance, Kirkman does a nice job of showing how hard life is for Rick Sheridan as he tries to recover from his kidnapping and transformation into a sort of cyborg. Our hero Mark, Invincible, saved his friend from that awful fate, and now Rick is working at the Pentagon to help him recover. It’s very much Kirkman’s style that we see Rick make a friend as he recovers from his trauma. Where many writers would gloss over the recovery period, Kirkman presents the scene with a clever twist.
Another nice scene is the one that shows Amber Bennett, Mark’s girlfriend, sitting at her dorm room talking to her friends. Amber’s friends’ reactions are wonderfully realistic. Any man who disappears for long periods of time has to be cheating on his girlfriend, right? How does Amber defend Mark while not revealing his secret reasons for his absence? It’s another funny scene that hits all the right notes.
Oddly, even though this issue continues several stories, I think it is still a nice jumping-on point. I think that shows that Kirkman is a skilled writer who can keep threads interesting to all readers, no matter how familiar they are with the characters and their situations.
Ryan Ottley does his usual solid job with this issue. He’s equally adept drawing humans, aliens or freaks, and he draws a mean spaceship. His work is always a pleasure.
Just another solid issue of a very solid series.