Invincible 100

invincible 100

Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Invincible 100, originally released January 30th, 2013.

Mikyzptlk: Well, here we are at issue 100 of Invincible AND the 1st Alternating Current about Invincible. Wait, what do you mean we’ve never covered this book before? Oh boy, we’ve got our work cut out for us this time. In all seriousness, this is actually the first time that Retcon Punch is tackling Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, and it was my bright idea to start covering it at issue 100. I was hoping that the issue would begin with some kind of summary of events leading up to what was happening in the current issue to give potential new readers a chance to catch up. Instead, we jumped right in where the previous issue left off. I shouldn’t have been surprised as this is simply Robert Kirkman’s style. His comics don’t have previously pages, nor does he have his characters awkwardly dole out exposition in order to catch readers up. You’ve either read the previous issues or you haven’t. While this might make it difficult for new readers to jump aboard his series, it makes for the most seamless transitions between issues, and an overall story that feels more real. That said, it seems that Kirkman is, in fact, attempting to restore the main character to his roots somewhat, which might just make it a bit easier for new readers to jump aboard after all.

Issue 100 begins with…well, actually I’d rather just show you:

SQUISH

That is the head of one Richard Grayson AKA Invincible being squished by the hilariously named Dinosaurus, the one-time enemy, then ally, then expert head-squisher of Invincible. No need to be sad however as this isn’t actually Invincible, but merely a clone created by Dinosaurus in order to fool the world into thinking that Invincible had been killed. In the previous issue, Dinosaurus had flooded Earth’s major cities, killing hundreds of thousands. Invincible was indirectly responsible for the tragedy as he broke the villain out of prison in order to work with him, believing that he could use the insane dino-man’s intellect to actually help make the world a better place. Dinosaurus’ plan was to make the world think that Invincible was dead so that they could continue to work together in secret. However, Invinicble managed to convince the deranged dino that killing people was not the solution to saving the planet (go figure). That settled, Invincible was ready to be taken to jail in order to pay for his crimes. Dinosaurus knew that a more final solution was needed for himself as so asked Invincible to execute him. The deed done, Invincible walks out of Dinosaurus’ lair to meet his fate. Instead he meets Cecil (the Nick Fury of the Invincible Universe). Instead of sending Invincible to jail, he offers him a job. Invincible will work for Cecil again, much like how things worked 100 issues ago. Elsewhere, the other heroes of the world were able to set the sea level back to where it belongs and start rebuilding the cities that were destroyed. Back at home, Atom Eve is relieved to learn that Invincible didn’t actually die, and reveals that she is pregnant.

So, the title of this story arc is “The Death of Everyone,” and no, you didn’t just miss the part in my summary where I told you that everyone died because it never actually happened. There wasn’t even a symbolic death of everyone in this story that I could see. Dinosaurus’ plan did kill about a million people but that’s hardly everyone, and the only main character that died was Dinosaurus himself, and he was basically just a villain. I can’t help but feel a bit duped by all of this, and I’m trying hard not to let that color how I feel about this issue in general.

So, where does that leave us? Overall, I did enjoy this issue as it was the conclusion of a long running character arc that had Invincible continuing to believe that he knew what was best for the world. He believed that he and Dinosaurus could actually do good for the world, even when everyone else that he was nuts to think so. While it’s true that Dinosaurus’ goal was to “help” the world, he did so in less than traditional ways that generally involved the deaths of many. Invincible had thought he’d convinced Dinosaurus to change his ways, and the destruction seen in the last few issues was the price paid for Invincible’s hubris. I’m interested to see how Mark handles the weight of the death he inadvertently caused, and how this will change him as a person and as a hero. The world, and its other heroes, also know that Mark was partially responsible for the tragic events so I wonder how the world will now treat their once beloved Invincible. The next panel also intrigues me, and I wonder exactly how much freedom Invincible will truly have.

Uh oh?

Regardless of how much trust remains between these two characters, I imagine that we’ll be seeing a return to the more familiar elements of this book. Invincible will once again be working under the supervision of the Global Defense Agency and probably with the Guardians of the Globe to some capacity as well. I’m extremely excited about these prospects as it was simply fun to see him working alongside other heroes on a regular basis. One of the biggest strengths this book has is that it’s not just about Invincible. Kirkman has created an entire superhero universe in this book, and I’m looking forward to Invincible and the rest of the cast interacting more with each other.

Ryan Ottley continues his impressive artistic run on the title. Take a look at the reaction of “Invincible’s” death. Here we see a good mix of civilians, loved ones, heroes, villains, the President, and…hmm…is that? Nah, it couldn’t be. Could it?

Waitaminute.

So Patrick, this write-up is a bit of an experiment as while I’ve been following this series since issue 1, you’ve only started with issue 100. I’m extremely curious to know what you think about this issue. I’d imagine it’s difficult to invest yourself emotionally with any of these characters since Kirkman doesn’t do too much to explain who any of them are. So, were you able to enjoy this at all? Are you interested to see what these characters will get up to in the next 100 issues? Or, is Invincible simply one of those stories that you need to get into from the start? I eagerly await your response.

Patrick: I solicited a little more information on this series than simply jumping in cold on issue 100. I went all the way back to the year 2012 and picked up Invincible 98,99 and 100. I’m basically an Invincible expert at this point.

Just to get it out of the way — I enjoyed this issue quite a bit, but 99 is the money issue. Ottley has such an incredible eye for dynamic staging, and every single panel in issue 99 takes up the WHOLE PAGE. The entire issue is just a city-spanning fight between Dinosaurus and Invincible, and by foregoing paneling conventions, it gives the impression that this fight is the most important thing in the world. It’s an absolutely phenomenal experience, and is a stunning centerpiece for the ‘Death of Everyone’ story arc.

Also, dude, I think the story is appropriately titled. There’s a lot of discussion in issue 100 about the role of Invincible in this universe. Principally, how best to apply a Superman-like resource. This is something Dan Slott is exploring in The Superior Spider-man right now – is it enough for a superhero to rescue individuals or this their social responsibility greater? For all of Dinosaurus’ moustache-twirling, he is effectively correct on two different fronts: A) reducing the human population would be good for the environment; and B) if the world population doesn’t expect Invincible to fight criminals, he can devote his attentions to making a bigger difference in the world. Point A is negated by Mark’s argument in the issue (that human beings were this close to doing something about global warming), but also just by the fact that sinking Greenland is going to achieve a hell of a lot more than just flooding the coasts of all continents – I mean, dude fucked up the planet. But Point B remains undisputed. I love that, but issue’s end, Mark has this new/old organization to direct his efforts – hopefully toward something bigger than just fightin’ crime. That means that Point B ends up becoming a reality – and all because millions of people died.

That’s all part ‘n’ parcel with Mark growing up a little. He has a conversation with Eve at the end of the issue, saying as much. It’s punctuated with the ultimate in “it’s time to grow the hell up” statements: Eve announcing that she’s pregnant. Now there’s not just a social responsibility to be a better hero, but an immediate-family obligation. I don’t know anything about their relationship, but I hope hope hope that Grayson’s a good dude, and we can see the adventures of brand new parents (who also just so happen to be superheroes).

Hey, I made an assumption right there: Atom Eve is a superhero of some kind, right? And their friends from space… superheroes, too? Wait, are they Mark’s parents? No, I won’t look it up.

Atom Even cries about it

There are a lot of characters filling out this world, and I understand NONE of them. It’s okay though – I remember the first time I tired to read Green Lantern: Rebirth with no prior knowledge of comic books. Let’s just say I’m comfortable in the deep end. Also, Kirkman does an excellent job of not making the relationships between these characters too obtuse to understand at first glance. Take this black Brainiac-lookin’ motherfucker:

black brainiac

I may not know whether he’s upset that he now won’t be able to a) get revenge on Invincible or b) get Invincible’s help to achieve vengeance, but it doesn’t really matter. This moment — like the whole of this story — is about Invincible. When I need to know who this guys is, I trust that Kirkman will introduce us gracefully.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page.  Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore.  If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to DC’s website and download issues there.  There’s no need to pirate, right?

10 comments on “Invincible 100

  1. I still don’t see why this is called “The Death of Everyone.” I’m going to need someone to draw me a diagram. Kirkman has been creating this expectation that some serious deaths were going to be seen in this arc but none of that happened. Just take a look at this image:

    He gave me certain expectations and delivered something completely different. Granted, I can’t be TOO upset considering that I enjoyed what he gave us and am still loving this book. I guess I’m just taking it too literally, but still, I can’t help but feel a little bait-and-switched.

    Regardless, I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed the book so far Patrick. Kirkman’s characters are truly unique and are SO MUCH FUN to read, you’re going to have a blast getting to know them. Also, I don’t want your wallet to get too upset with me, but if there was a superhero series worth going back to read, it’s this one. Oh, and then there’s The Walking Dead, but you wouldn’t want me to talk about that. Nope. Not one bit. (READ IT).

    • I was talking about this with Sarah last night, and I was like “Yeah, I could spend too much money and spend a few sleepless nights to read Invincible. But then, why wouldn’t I also do that with Walking Dead? With Sandman? With the 9 billion other series I’ve missed?”

      It’s on my list, that’s all I can say.

      • Also, did you read in the letters page that there’s sort of an apology for the Death of Everyone bait-n-switch? It’s explained as a subversion of the usual expectations for superhero “event” issues (i.e. killing a hero only to bring him back 6 months later… they did it in about 4 pages). Which is sorta clever. Ultimately, I think it IS powerful to kill about a million people, even if they’re not superheroes.

        • I liked that Kirkman copped to it, but it seems like this isn’t so much a send-up of those event issues, since it benefits from the same marketing interest as if they had actually killed Invincible for six months. That is, this was marketed as if somebody would actually die, so any uptick in sales were based on that that assumption. Nobody buying the issue could have known that nobody actually dies, so the fact that nobody does is more of a joke on the people who were excited for it than it is on the notion of an event comic. Like, maybe it’s satire, but the audience is the butt of the joke.

        • I didn’t read that, but I figured that’s what this was all about. Makes sense considering that this whole series is basically one big, brilliant subversion. If you read Vol. 1 of this series, it read JUST like a Marvel/DC parody, but then Kirkman does something at the end that lets you know that this is everything you love about superhero comics but it’s also something different, something more.

  2. I’m sorta bummed out that Dinosaurus is dead. Nothing quite like a mad scientist / supervillain dinosaur to get my blood boilin’. I trust there will be other inventive villains to fill that whole, but man – DINOSAURUS.

    • I know man, I’m totally bummed too. Dinosaurus was GREAT. But you are correct in your assumption that there will be other inventive villains around the next corner. That Brainiac lookin’ dude? YOU JUST WAIT.

    • Dinosaurus was awesome. I’m sad. And they even killed him off screen. I secretly hope Invincible did with Dinosaurus what whatsisname did with Conquest earlier. I guess he’s already done that with him once, but I love Dinosaurus, especially considering Dinosaurus is basically the Hulk. He doesn’t want to be like that, he just turns into a mad genius dinosaur.

      Patrick: Glad the 98/99 info helped. I can’t imagine coming into 100 completely cold and seeing the first page. Shit, I opened up to the first page to see what variants were out there and BAMMMO, off to the car I went to read it. I was pretty shitty (but not surprised) that Invincible died on page one. Then he came back, and I was happy, but it kinda messed with my day.

      Fuck, Dinosaurus is dead. He was a victim!

      • Yeah, I thought the same thing when I opened 100: “good thing I read the last two issues.”

        The off-screen death is sorta weird, but like, there’s no shortage of gore and graphic depictions of death in 100, so I’m kinda cool with it. Dinosaurus goes out on his own terms, I can live with that.

  3. Pingback: Invincible 103 | Retcon Punch

What you got?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s