Review: Invincible Volumes 7-9

It’s getting more and more tempting to binge-read the whole series (and my husband is actively supporting this plan, which is NO HELP). But I’m holding steady to a trade paperback at a time to really appreciate the intricate story line and excellent artwork.


Invincible Vol. 7: Three’s Company
Robert Kirkman (writer)
Ryan Ottley (penciler, inker)
Cliff Rathburn (inker)
Bill Crabtree (colorist)
Rus Wooten (letterer)

This issue continues to play catch-up after Mark/Invincible has been off-planet for a few weeks, but then the action and side plots continue apace. I can see a Mark/Amber/Eve love-triangle in the works, and I’m 100% not thrilled by it.

I am thrilled, however, that the Mauler twins have developed from random villains to interesting side characters in their own right, as Robot hires them for a mysterious project. What is going on there?

The action explodes as Angstrom Levy pops back on the scene to take on Invincible, blaming Mark for a literal accident. Unfortunately, Angstrom has devolved into a rather one-dimension and boring villain, but the multiverse shenanigans he inflicts on Mark and imaginative and fun, resolved by an interesting use of timey-whimey by the Guardians of the Globe.

Until one of the Guardians has an interesting request for Mark…

/record-scratch

Wait, so the ENTIRE Angstrom Levy plot line was a set up to get Mark to choose between Amber and Eve?! Talk about a wasted opportunity. Even if it wasn’t the writer’s original intent, I’m still rather irritated by it.

But finally, Mark’s main plot thickens as he tries to follow his father’s last instructions. I can’t wait for Invincible to have some agency as he embarks on this quest, rather than watching a continued stream of him reacting to attacks.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Invincible Vol. 8: My Favorite Martian
Robert Kirkman (writer)
Ryan Ottley (penciler, inker)
Bill Crabtree (colorist)
Rus Wooten (letterer)

Mark continues to express that bit of agency as we jump into the next volume of Invincible’s adventures, but that plot quickly gets sidelined by other conflicts. There is progress, however, on the mystery of the zombie guys, which is intertwined with the issue of how much college Mark has been missing. I’m glad some of the real-world consequences of his superheroics are addressed.

But in other real-world issues, Mark’s relationship with Amber is going downhill. I’ve been 100% done with her bland character, but Mark is still a dick for cheating on her. On the other hand, their breakup was handled decently, which was a pleasant surprise. I realize that Mark and Eve couldn’t have “insta-love” and be together from the beginning, but their connection was obvious and I’m tired of them getting together being so drawn out.

The Mars plot line, however, was twisty and awesome. I love subtle villains, even if the squid-things would have been a lot scarier if they weren’t pink. I recognize the brain effect the creators were going for, but it didn’t work for me. Despite lots of villain monologing in this collection, there’s lots of action and adventure and close calls to make up for it. This volume also ends on a cool slow-burn cliffhanger that I’m sure will be revisited in the future.

In other news, I’m not shocked that a shady government agency continues to be shady. And Robot + Monster Girl = adorable. I’m glad one relationship in this saga is working out.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Invincible Vol. 9: Out of This World
Robert Kirkman (writer)
Ryan Ottley (penciler, inker)
Bill Crabtree (colorist)
Rus Wooten (letterer)

As usual, there’s a lot going on, with approximately a million characters to juggle. Luckily, the characters are so unique and well-defined that I almost never catch myself going, “Wait, who was that again?” In the same way, all of the subplots make it almost feel like nothing happens in the book. But at the end, you look up and things have definitely progressed. Just…not much for the bigger picture stuff that I’m actually looking forward to.

My favorite thing about this collection of issues is how Debbie (Mark’s mom) and Eve (Mark’s potential love interest) are assertive and know what they want. In counterpoint, Mark doesn’t quite seem to have a direction. It will be interesting to see how all of these relationships evolve, especially with the final bad-ass lady of this issue, the Viltrumite Anissa who visits Mark to deliver an ultimatum.

Speaking of visits, Allen the Alien makes an appearance here! He is delightful. Just wanted to remind everyone of that.

And finally, Mark’s little brother Oliver is growing up. It looks like he might become an even greater part of Mark’s world sooner rather than later. As if Mark needs more complications right now.

Rated: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


As I built this post, it just occurred to me that I have yet to type a woman’s name for any of the credits. I have the feeling I never will…

 

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