OR (see below)
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Publisher: Image Comics
Iím disappointed in this issue yet itís not put a foot wrong; the paradox here is that Invincible #25 is every bit as good as any other issue (which is to say, very good indeed - Kirkman has all the characterisation skills of Bendis and none of the bad pacing and verbal diarrhoea, and the art is superb), itís every bit as fun and exciting as I expected..., and yet Iím nonplussed.
The problem, I think, is something quite external to this comic. I think the problem is the very concept of the anniversary issue; Iíve been trained to expect something big and exciting and unusual for such an event, a break from the established norm, and what we get instead is just your average issue of Invincible. Itís great stuff, but aside from a killer cliffhanger (and even that is business as usual for Kirkman), this issue just doesnít have the Wow! Factor a #25 should have; there are some bonus back-up features but as well put-together as they are, they still feel like filler, due mostly to the bitty and incomplete feel they all share. Most are origin stories for members of the Invincible supporting cast, but in each case, they fall short of telling the whole story; they feel like episodes in an anthology title, except less satisfying as we can expect the next installments no earlier than in another twenty-five months. As good as the back-ups are (and Iíll be predictable and pick Science Dog as my favourite), Iíd have preferred a double-sized main feature.
So is it fair to mark this down for not delivering on expectations engendered by business practices elsewhere in the comics industry? Is it churlish to complain that the bonus features arenít quite up to snuff given that they are bonus features and the creators were under no obligation to produce them? For all my years of studying esoteric principles of philosophy, I confess that I donít know; so this comic gets as a good solid average issue of Invincible, and as Invincible #25. And Iíll get a stern reprimand from the SBC Reviews Overlords for being indecisive and mucking up the reviews format. With any luck, Iíll be able to walk again in a month.
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