INVINCIBLE, VOL. 1
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Illustrator: Cory Walker
Publisher: Image Comics
WHAT IS IT?
The first volume of an epic superhero tale told over 24 volumes and 14 years. Robert Kirkman (of The Walking Dead fame) writes it, and because it was published by Image, not Marvel or DC, he and his creative partners go to tell their story, their way.
It’s like Smallville meets Chris Claremont’s X-Men comics run: it’s bright and bold, and you get to see how the characters grow and change over the years. But you also get intergalactic space battles and multidimensional travel.
The only difference is that later volumes can get brutally, viscerally bloody.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
This is the origin story of our main character, Mark. Like a lot of teenagers, he goes to high school, has friends, works after school…normal teenage boy things. Unlike those other guys, though, his dad is a superhero – the most powerful one on the planet.
Like you’d expect, Mark daydreams about getting powers like his dad. Like you may imagine from the comic’s cover and its opening pages, Mark does inherit his father’s powers. And, while he may not have an Uncle Ben to teach him this lesson, he’ll soon find out that with great power, comes great responsibility when he has to figure out who keeps strapping bombs to his fellow students.
Can Mark solve the mystery of who’s causing this terror in his town before someone close to him is targeted?
While this first volume may seem small, simple and self-contained, future volumes show the epic scope and grand design of this incredible story
The setup done in this first volume will have ramifications and callbacks throughout the rest of the series
The art feels very much like something you’d see in superhero comics from The Big 2 (DC & Marvel), colorful, bright and vivid
Robert Kirkman is brilliant and writes the entire series, unlike modern superhero comics for Marvel & DC, so you don’t have to worry about starting over every few issues with a new story and creative team
Cory Walker, the artist, sometimes switches out with Ryan Ottley later on, but their styles are very similar
Invincible also sometimes gets cameos from other Image comics
Amazon Video has picked up the comic, ordering 8 episodes for the first season
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
You may notice I’m concentrating a lot on the greater series, and that’s because this first issue does a LOT of setup for later storytelling, but it is SO WORTH IT
The art can be a little simple in these first trades; the line art is clean, but the artists definitely get more used to drawing the characters and come into their own more and more throughout the series
It’s difficult to truly grasp how amazing this title is going to be just by reading this first volume, but you can at least get a feel for the tone, characters, art and overall concept
Again, later volumes have a lot of violence and some cursing, so definitely consider that before giving to your young readers
Mark is another cis-gendered, straight, well-off white male which may be boring/tired/unchallenging for some
You may not want to stop reading it after you start, so cancel all of your future plans for awhile
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
If you have never seen what a comic can be like with a single creative team and vision over an extended period of time, this will show you what you’re missing. It’s one of the greatest superhero stories ever told, written by a master of the craft. An absolute must-read for fans of superhero stories, especially if you’re at all unsatisfied by The Big 2’s offerings.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore
X-Men Omnibus (All of them) by Chris Claremont & various artists
Jupiter’s Circle, Vol. 1 by Mark Millar & Frank Quitely
If you like the art:
Invincible, Vol. 2 by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker & Ryan Ottley
The Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1 by Nick Spencer & Ryan Ottley
Destroyer by Robert Kirkman & Cory Walker
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Robert Kirkman – Writer & Letterer
Name Recognition: Perhaps most famous for writing The Walking Dead, but still a (relatively recent) titan of the comics creative industry
Multitalented: You don’t often see writer take on lettering duties like he does here, and he also started and runs the Skybound imprint at Image Comics, home to his titles and others
Recently signed a production deal with Amazon for future TV shows to be produced for Amazon Prime
Cory Walker – Penciller & Inker
Dream Team: Has also worked with Robert Kirkman on various other projects
Tends to keep to himself with his online presence
Bill Crabtree – Colorist
Dream Team: Often works with writer, Cullen Bunn
Seems to be a fan of bright, bold color palettes
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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