Writer(s): Robert Kirkman.
Penciller(s): Cory Walker & Ryan Ottley.
Inker(s): Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley & Cliff Rathburn.
Colourist(s): Bill Crabtree.
Letterer(s): Rus wootan.
Publisher: Image Comics.
Format: Paperback – Omnibus.
Release Date: August 30th 2011.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating:
So much is assumed when it comes to superheroes. So strong. So powerful. So many resources within arm’s reach to do just about whatever they want. So much care for people they don’t even know. What would that all be like from the eyes of a very human person whose father is off doing amazing super-things to keep the world safe? What would it all be like if that very human person someday got similar powers for himself? Co-created by writer Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and artist Cory Walker (who draws the first seven issues), this beloved comic book series follows a young hero’s journey to discovering the very busy life of a superhero while going through all the cumbersome and mundane obstacles that young adults are bound to face in life. This compendium collects issues #0-47 (the first nine trade paperbacks), an Invincible story from the Image Comics Summer Special, and The Pact #4.
What is Invincible (Compendium One) about? The story follows Mark Grayson, a senior who goes to a normal American high school, who is pretty close to graduating and getting ready to head to college. He has a part-time job that sucks the life out of him but he understands that he needs to make ends meet. Although he seems quite normal, maybe even boring to some, there’s one thing that makes him stand out from the rest of the world: his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet and he’s known as Omni-Man. As a kid, his father revealed to him that he was part of an alien race called Viltrumites and that someday he too would develop powers like him, from superhuman strength to high-speed flight. Fortunately for him, he discovers these powers at the age of 17. Unfortunately for him, he also discovers a terrifying secret regarding his father that will leave a permanent mark on this young hero’s life forever.
“Okay, son… I’ve decided to tell you the truth. I think you’re old enough to know where I really come from.”
— Robert Kirkman
This comic book series is a fantastic homage to superhero stories. With the first couple of issues, writer Robert Kirkman draws upon the rich and diverse superhero worlds established through both DC Comics and Marvel to present his own universe. At first conveying a parodic tone, reeling readers into this world by teasing them with innumerable references, it is only upon the grand reveal regarding young Mark Grayson’s father that the series flips the tropes upside down and redirects his narrative to focus on the myriad of characters he’s established, especially his young and growing protagonist. His series isn’t just about casual superhero action through an episodic story-telling format, although there is plenty of that brilliantly interspersed throughout this compendium, but rather looks into these characters’ plights and their day-to-day quandaries. From dealing with psychological trauma to unraveling love interests, the series brilliantly explores these characters on an intimate and individual level while building up the overarching story revolving around countless villains trying to wreak havoc on Earth despite all the heroes it houses.
If its appropriately paced story-telling and incredibly ensnaring cliffhangers weren’t enough to keep readers going, its wonderful artwork will surely draw many readers’ attention. Impactful, colourful, and expressive, the artistic design for this comic book series never drops in quality. Mostly advocating larger panels, giving the characters much more room to breathe (or rather to talk), the artwork strategically flows by investing more time on character-to-character interactions, while occasionally rewarding readers with intense and epic action sequences that are highlighted periodically with gore, and crowned by beautiful splash pages. Speaking of characters, the sheer imagination, although sometimes simply inspired by already beloved superheroes from the two known giant comic book publishers, is quite impressive, never failing to tickle readers with thanks to the creative team’s silly artistic concepts. The universe in itself is also without frontiers and continuously explores various settings, often also sending readers to intergalactic universes that naturally expand the lore, fantasy ideas, and science-fiction elements. While the series does take some time before truly taking off, it’s safe to say that once it does, it’s hard to ignore its potential.
Invincible (Compendium One) is a grounded, vivid, and at times graphically violent young adult’s coming-of-age story that juggles the young hero’s everyday life with superhero duties requiring him to save the world.