Invincible 101

invincible 101 Today, Mikyzptlk and Zach are discussing Invincible 101, originally released March 20th, 2013.

Mikyzptlk: The “One Hundred and 1st Issue” of Invincible is upon us and series creator Robert Kirkman is clearly just as excited about his next 100 issues as he was with his first 100. While the events of the previous story arc are still weighing over the heads of our main characters, Kirkman delivers with new and interesting shifts in the status quo for Invincible and his supporting cast. Invincible is gonna be a daddy! Mark and Eve have decided to keep the baby this time around, but they are keeping it a secret from most everyone. Later, they decide to give the Guardians of the Globe a hand with clean-up from the disastrous events of the previous issue. Robot doesn’t take kindly to this as he now sees Invincible as a villain. Before an epic superpowered battle can ensue, Cecil ‘ports in to diffuse the situation. Back at the Global Defense Agency, they discuss the fact that Eve is pregnant and that Mark’s father, Nolan AKA Omni-Man, is back on Earth. In response, Cecil hires an expert that deals with superpowered pregnancies to assist Eve and Mark.

As for Omni-Man? Exile. Cecil believes that the world would go ape-shit if anyone found out that he was back on Earth. It’s alright though, the Guardians have recently vacated a swanky moon base (you gotta love those) and Cecil is confidant that Debbie (Mark’s mom) and Nolan will feel quite at home on the moon. There’s just one catch, Cecil want’s Omni-Man to keep watch over the other Viltrumites, you know, just in case. Speaking of the not-so-lovable Viltrumites, their leader, Thragg (who has been living on the moon), has learned that his fellow Viltrumites have seemingly gone local. Thragg isn’t too happy with this, nor is he happy with his new neighbors. This'll end well Oh yeah, that’ll end well. So, this issue begins to pick up the pieces from the last arc and Kirkman is not giving us much of a breather at all. Actually, I’m not even sure if he knows what a breather is, and I’m quite thankful for that. I’m not sure where he’s going to be taking us on his next arc, but I’m glad to see it get underway almost immediately. One of the greatest successes of this series is that even though we move along at breakneck speeds, Kirkman always manages to deliver both on characters and action. It’s clear that the 101st issue is the beginning of a new status quo for many of our main characters.

First off, let’s start with the most obvious change: Mark and Eve are going to have a baby. One of my favorite things about this book is that there is a clear sense of time. When we first met Mark Grayson, he was really just a kid. Throughout the first 100 issues, we’ve watched him grow into a young adult. Now it seems that Kirkman is guiding Mark to true adulthood and, along with Eve, we’ll be seeing these two “crazy kids” grow into a mother and father. While I wish these two characters the best of luck with their pregnancy, there are already issues coming out of this. Because of how her powers work, Eve is not going to be able to use her powers during her pregnancy. I imagine there are going to be quite a few consequences because of this and I’m excited (and a bit worried) to see where this new wrinkle takes us.

Moving on, it now seems that Robot and perhaps many of the Guardians of the Globe now view Invincible as a villain. Now, Cecil does state that he hasn’t had the chance to “explain the situation to them” and that Robot should eventually “[see] the bigger picture.” While I certainly hope that’s the case, I’m worried that Robot may not see Cecil’s side of things which could lead to trouble not only for Mark but maybe even for Cecil as well. Plus, he does make some valid points. Robot Robot has a lot of experience in leading revolutions and I wonder if he’ll want to liberate the Guardians from the control of Cecil and the Global Defense Agency. That might be a crazy leap, but one of the best things about this series is that Kirkman is often willing to take crazy chances with his story and characters. The last change up I’d like to get into is Omni-Man’s change of residence, the strings attached to that, and the potential consequences. First off, let’s talk about where Cecil is coming from with his decision mainly because of how sensible and calculated it is, but also because of the LOLz. MOON BASEI’m the secrets guy. That’s my thing.” Not only is that a great joke, but I think it lets us in on why Cecil is so understanding of Omni-Man. He recognizes the importance of secrets (when appropriate) and that we are all capable of mistakes, but what’s important is how we rectify them. Cecil may have exiled Nolan to the moon, but he’s totally cool with him making quick trips down to Earth to visit Mark or go out for a bit of Chinese food. Nolan is actually okay with this and feels he “deserves worse.” He is less cool with is the “rent” he’ll have to pay. Cecil wants Omni-Man to be Earth’s first line of defense in case the Viltrumites decide to get up to anything world-takeover-y (my term, not his). Omni-Man doesn’t seem to happy with this, but Thragg seems even less pleased.

As I mentioned in the recap, his fellow Viltrumites have gone local and they aren’t so much focused on repopulating their empire as they are with living their new lives on Earth. Thragg’s plans are not going so well at the moment, and now the American government has essentially placed him under surveillance. Thragg is a serious dude who is not afraid to throw a punch, however he’s also been painted as a man of reason. I am definitely still getting some villainous vibes from this guy, but given his situation, I’m curious to see how he’ll handle these changes. If the last page of this issue is any indication, it’ll involve quite a few scowls and perhaps a grimace or two. It’s now time to turn things over to guest writer Zach. He’s helped us out in the past with a number of things including coverage on recent DC events H’el on Earth (Sorry about that.) and Throne of Atlantis (That was fun right?). So Zach, what did you think of the latest issue of Invincible? Are you as interested as I am to see where all of these new directions will be going?

Zach: Within Kirkman’s Invincible Universe, the gears never stop turning. It’s just something to get used to and marvel at. At first, when news of the pregnancy broke, my mind flashbacked to earlier Invinci-issues to Eve, Mark, and the unfortunate turn the original situation had taken. The world was different then, and Kirkman knows that. Our “crazy kids” as Mik so kindly put it have been through numerous gauntlets, each more turbulent than the last. And yet here they are and here we are, happy.

Being happy in any superhero universe is a bad thing.

With Omni-Man’s location change, the loose hanging thread of Thragg’s knowledge of Mark’s bloodline being unique to Viltrumite royalty*, there is a lot hanging in the balance for the current alien figurehead. Thragg doesn’t want to lose his position, and even inside his ranks, the Viltrumites are finding out that “Hey, we actually enjoy the Earthlings. And relationships.” Thragg doesn’t want any of that.

The new direction I assume, Mik? Mark’s going to have to ride solo in his fight against Thragg, who will steamroll the happiness that is present in Mr. Grayson’s life at the moment. Any heroes will shun the battle or simply aid the planet rather than Invincible. We may see a father/son team-up versus Thragg. Or we could see Robot attempt to “clean-up” Mark’s return in a less-than-pleasurable manner. I just can’t shake this nagging notion of impending loss.

It’s going to be brutal. It’s going to be emotional.

And I would expect nothing less of Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley.

* That’s how Mark healed up from the insta-death virus sent to wipe out his alien race. He took the virus head on, but I just recommend reading past issues!

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?

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6 comments on “Invincible 101

  1. I like that Kirkman seems interested in telling the story of this super-pregnancy and the legitimate toll it could take on Eve and her relationship with Mark. Everything is amplified through this superhero filter, and it’s cool that one of the more dramatic things a human being can experience — having a kid — can be given the same treatment. Pregnancy SHOULD be terrifying, the fact that there are so many unknowns only helps to make this feel more like the experience of actually having a pregnant person in your life.

  2. I can’t tell if Kirkman’s ability to think ahead of his superhero-comic audience is a benefit or detriment to the series, but I definitely find scenes like Mark investigating Dinosaurus’ corpse distracting. Mark essentially asks all the fan-boyish questions of “what if that wasn’t really him or you let him transform” or whatever. He’s seeking confirmation that Dinosaurus is staying dead, but it doesn’t seem emotionally driven, it feels like confirmation so the fans will stop bringing up their conspiracy theories in message boards.

    • I don’t know if I’d completely agree with that only because Cecil has had a history of this kind of thing. He resurrected one of his biggest foes of all time which lead to Invincible being disemboweled (!). I’d be curious too were I in Invincible’s super-shoes.

      You may be right though when you say that Kirkman put that scene in for the fans, but it’s believable to me that Invincible would have those questions too.

    • Part of me wants to say distracting as well. But Mark asking the fanboy questions is essentially in-line with his character. He’s a fanboy of Science Dog! And tagging in off of Mik’s opinion, Mark has seen some things in his 100 issues to make him want to ask those questions.

      Here I am though Patrick, left begrudgingly nodding at these story-driven brick walls Kirkman mortars as distracting. Though, they don’t act out of character for when they do appear. It’s a sticky situation in my eyes.

      • I guess I still need to get to know Mark a little better, but I also didn’t get the impression that he was excited about anticipating the comic-booky ways Dinosaurus could still be alive – in fact, he seems sorta bored doing it. I am FULLY prepare to write that off as me not understanding him well enough.

        • I know it’s quite a few issues to read, but it would TOTALLY be worth catching up on everything. This really is one of the best superhero universes around, and it’s all in one book! *

          *Okay, so their ARE other books that spin off from Invincible, but I’ve never read them and I still feel like above statement is accurate.

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