The consequences of Mark’s five year absence continue to mount, not only for him, but for his friends and family as well. Meanwhile, Allen the Alien finds himself face-to-face with a new threat from an unsuspecting place.
Series co-creator and all around Image Comics legend Robert Kirkman sits back down at the helm to steer Invincible #128 beginning this post “Reboot” story arc. The writing in this issue opens up strong and reminds us just how dangerous Thragg has become over the last five years. He has bred an army of his own children and we can finally see how severe of a threat they are. While I love Kirkman’s bravado on the opening pages, it quickly gives way to bloat.
After slapping us in the face with the biggest and baddest villain this series has ever seen, he then lulls readers back to sleep. Sure, Kirkman uses these pages to give Terra an adorable personality, one which we hadn’t previously had the opportunity to witness. He even promotes some further curiosity around Eve’s temporary love interest during Mark’s absence (could it be someone close to Mark?). But, for the most part, the pages feel like filler, meant to hold me over until Invincible starts getting good again.
The art doesn’t help Kirkman’s mediocre storytelling here either. It emphasizes the feeling that this issue was rushed through production just for the sake of meeting a deadline. As someone who has read practically everything Kirkman has ever put his name on, seeing this level of quality was almost shocking. Series co-creator, Cory Walker, fails to meet the expectations his past work on Invincible have established. Overall, he delivers a fairly decent product, but the characters’ faces look incomplete and unpolished. This issue, which is strong on character emotion, has difficulty conveying those feelings in their expressions.
I have come to expect striking, fantastical environments as the backdrops in this universe. Unique settings where the only boundaries are your imagination; Invincible #128 however, treats them less as an opportunity to impress and more as an afterthought.
It isn’t all bad, and my sincere apologies if I made it sound that way. Kirkman still manages a few pages to advance the story in a meaningful way, setting up what will undoubtedly be a thrilling conflict. With Oliver acting as a traitor, Allen the Alien struggling to find support from his allies, and Mark retired, Robert Kirkman uses the last page to end this issue the same way he opened it… With a bang! The looming threat of Thragg’s offspring army has now officially arrived. With Kirkman writing the script, readers know that not everyone will survive this fight…
Perhaps it’s the lofty expectations Kirkman and Walker have set for themselves or maybe they were truly rushing Invincible #128 through production to meet a deadline, but the artwork was not Cory’s best effort and what Kirkman used 32 pages to write, could have been done in 15.
- The story appears to be moving forward in a meaningful way, setting up an exciting next few issues
- Terra is developing a personality, and it’s adorable
- The art is sub-par, especially characters’ facial expressions
- While the issue ended with the promise of an exciting upcoming issue, most of it felt like filler