Robert Kirkman has been one of my favorite writers for a good long while. This is mainly due to the fact that Invincible is Spider-Man with Dick Grayson’s attitude and Superman’s powers (minus heat vision and cold breath). It’s a book that deals with both real life and fictional calamities in brutal detail. Last issue dealt with the concept of female on male rape and lit up the internet for a bit. This issue presents another of those fictional calamities at a breakneck pace. At its end I was left with my jaw to the floor.
This issue picks up where that last traumatic issue left off, with Mark in a crater, naked after having been violated by Anissa. Recalling the past couple issues and realizing that Robot/Rex plans to make good on his plot to take over the world, Mark rushes to the headquarters of Cecil Steadman — who is essentially the Invincible Universe’s Nick Fury — only to have their convo cut short, very literally when Robot busts in and lets loose his plan. Robot then hits Mark where he lives, attacking his girlfriend/baby’s mother Atom Eve (did I mention that last issue she broke up with him and asked him to not worry about the baby?). At the end of the issue we’re left with a sorrowful cliffhanger, that will make any fan anxious for next issue.
Kirkman and Ottley have gone on record saying that they don’t hate Mark /Invincible, so one would have to wonder what they do to a character they do hate. The things that Mark Grayson has been through in the last two issues would make Peter Parker commit suicide. The character has been put through most every wringer you could imagine and still continues to fight on.
One sore spot I had was a scene with Mark and Eve where she is essentially used as a torture device against him, or is brutalized so that he can do something heroic. That is something that surprised me. One thing that seems to be a bit of a common occurrence in the IU is the savagery exhibited by the hero-turned-villain. Nolan, Mark’s dad, nearly killed his son during his heel turn, and now Robot, a man who has helped save the world with his inventions, can kill one of his most trusted allies in cold blood and maim the girlfriend of one of his best friends.
On the art side of things Ottley delivers like the milkman — on time and straight fresh. If you’ve been reading Invincible up to this point you enjoy his art as much as any fan, I liked the new suit design that was done for Robot and the view of his armory.
If this is the shape of things to come then I hope the series starts coming out more frequently because I cannot wait for this journey. There were so many WTF moments in this issue that didn’t feel like shock value. Instead they seem like a preview of what’s to come and I welcome it.