by Robert Kirkman (writer), Ryan Ottley (pencils & inks), Cliff Rathburn (inks), FCO Plascencia (colors), Sheila Saldana & Ivan Plascencia (color assistants), and Rus Wooton (letters)

The Story: The Coalition’s band of heroes clashes with the Viltrumites above Viltrum.

What’s Good: Robert Kirkman is notoriously merciless when it comes to the shocking death of beloved characters, and nowhere is that clearer than this month.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a significant death in Invincible, and so we’ve been sort of lulled into a false sense of security.  This month, there is not one but two character deaths.  One that most readers probably figured was inevitable, while the other death….wow.  Jaw-dropping and utterly ruthless on Kirman’s part.  The best part is that there’s next to no build-up for such a significant event in the series.  You literally turn the page and start collecting  your jaw from the floor.

Other than these character deaths, the story told this month is a big one.  There’s a big, epic, and literally explosive event that it is really impressive in it scope.  There’s also a ton of action and as you know, when it comes to Kirkman and Ottley, that’s a good thing.  It’s always stunning just how goddamned violent and bloody Invincible is, and it’s often easy to lose sight of that.  The blood flows in gallons this month and Ottley does some horrible things to the human anatomy as the super-punches fly.  The action is a total blast.

Really, though, with that big event, the character the deaths, and the buckets of action (and blood), this is the issue where it all comes together for the Viltrumite War.  This is the crescendo of the arc/event and it feels it.  All the pieces are on the board and I look forward to #76.  Let’s hope the wait isn’t anywhere near as long this time.  That said, I was pleasantly surprised at how little the lengthy delay affected by enjoyment of this issue.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Ryan Ottley artwork is gorgeous and absolutely packed this month, as you’d probably expect from an issue like this.  It’s immediately clear why the delay occurred, as there were some pages that had me feeling bad for the guy.

What’s Not So Good: There’s little getting around it: at $5.99, Invincible #75 is overpriced.

The problem is that Invincible has stalwartly stayed at $2.99 and this is double that.  I would expect double the content, or experience, or at least something significantly more than the usual installment.  When you pick up this issue, it certainly feels really thick, but it’s kind of deceiving.

The Invincible main-feature is 16 pages longer.  However, so much of that is taken up with double-page spreads that it certainly doesn’t feel 16 pages longer.  In fact, it won’t take you much longer to go through than your average issue of Invincible.  Couple that with the fact that this issue is almost entirely an extended fight scene, and you have an issue that feels far shorter than its page-count suggests.

And honestly, I actually found the sheer number of double page spreads a little tiresome.  At one point, it feels excessive, just one after another, none with any words on the page.  Sequential storytelling seemed to take a break, turning the book into an artbook or poster catalog.

The Science Dog and Tech Jacket back-ups are also inconsequential.  The Science Dog feature is fairly worthless if you’re unfamiliar with the first two installments in Invincible #25 and #50, while the Tech Jacket feature is a regular anyway by this point, and its mediocrity has already worn out its welcome

Conclusion: Good, but not $5.99 good.

Grade: B –

-Alex Evans