by Robert Kirkman (Writer), Ryan Ottley (Artist), Cliff Rathburn (Inker)
The Story: Robot shows how far he’s willing to go.
The Review: This series is becoming increasingly brutal. It’s not better or worse than it had been but the threats seem bigger, the tone is darker and the violence is even more unsettling than it’s ever been before. Seriously, it’s giving The Walking Dead a run for it’s money lately…
This issue shows how deeply Robot has been warped by his time ruling over the Flaxan’s in their dimension. In this issue he coldly dispatches one of his oldest allies and mutilates another merely to prove a point to Mark. The best thing about Robot’s descent into villainy and madness is that we’ve got to see it unfold over years, he’d always been cold but now he is displaying a malicious side. The character’s psychology is utterly disturbing in that he seems to divorce himself entirely from any responsibility into his actions. Robot’s journey is a great reflection and parallel to Mark’s team-up with Dinosaurus, the difference being that Mark was able to bring himself back.
Kirkman certainly isn’t afraid to kill his darlings, or tear their limbs off or have them subjected to rape. The writer’s fearlessness with these characters really has set this story up as one with high stakes and a lingering sense of doom, fully taking advantage of the fact that Invincible isn’t a corporately owned super-hero character. It seems likely that things will only get worse before they get better and that can only mean good things for the reader.
It’s a rarity for an artist to stay on a book for any lengthy stints these days but this issue marks Ryan Ottley’s 100th issue as penciler. Ottley truly is the John Romita Sr to Cory Walker’s Steve Dikto at this point. While Walker may have co-created the book, Ottley really has defined the look of this book and made it his own. It’s almost unthinkable that he could ever leave Invincible as his characters emote wonderfully. Every bit of extreme violence is capture in beautiful detail and every panel is drawn to have the maximum impact. Invincible may be a brutal book but it’s beautifully crafted, joined with the fearless writing it may just continue to be as good as it’s ever been, if not better.