Invincible #73 Review
- Published on Friday, 09 July 2010 01:34
- Written by Andrenn
We're already 3 parts into the epic Viltrumite War, last time felt like more of a fun diversion then the meat of the story though. With Invincible broken and healing on an alien world, Kirkman has to fight an uphill battle to keep this story flowing and keep readers interested. Does he succeed? Lets find out.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colorist: FCO Planscencia
Story Rating: 8 Viltrumites out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Viltrumites out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Viltrumites out of 10
Synopsis: At the Coalation of planets the great Thaedus is yelling at the commander of the ship transporting the Graysons for losing them. After he's done yelling at him he talks to his attendants for a moment.
On the Viltrumite warship the 2 surviving Viltrumites regroup on the ship. We then see on the top of it, Tech Jacket's suit has made a small livinng space for Tech Jacket and Allen as they wait to be rescued.
On the alien planet, Nolan is finishing burying Conquest despite Oliver telling him he shouldn't. Nolan mentions how Conquest was still a good soldier and deserving an honorary burial. We see Invincible laying on the ground with his stomach being wrapped up in Nolan's cape, Nolan says that it will take a few months but that his body will naturally heal. He says this is safer then the coalition should they be attacked, and that this is a god chance for him to get to know Oliver better.
Out in the cold of space a coalition ship finds Battle Beast as well as the frozen remains of some Viltrumites he slaughtered. They bring him on board, and though he is frozen he says he wants more. Back at the Coalition, Great Thaedus talks to his attendants and he finally gives the war to attack the Viltrumites as the war has officially begun.
We see a Coalition attack on one of the Viltrumite inhabited planets.
On the Alien World Nolan kills an animal. Oliver sees the monster and insists that he'll never eat it despite that they haven't eaten in 2 weeks. When they start eating it they love it, Oliver asking if theres anymore much to Nolan's amusement.
Back with Tech Jacket and Allen, Tech Jacket is impressed that he's finally growing facial hair, since the jacket usually shaves him in his sleep so he's never been growing facial hair until now. Allen seems bored with this and finally help arrives as the Coalition has tracked Allen and Tech Jacket, the Space Racer leading their rescue attack.
On the Alien world Oliver is giving Invincible the juices from the monsters they've been feeding off of. Oliver asks Nolan if he truly loved Debbie (Invincible's mom) and he says yes. He goes into a speech about how the Viltrumites are cold people and how much he regrets his prior actions but that it was too late to take them back sadly.
At the coalition Great Thaedus is briefing Allen and Tech Jacket, as well as how they'll be leading troops into battle. After accidentally mentioning that he's growing facial hair, Tech Jacket shuts up.
On the Alien World, Nolan and Oliver talk about how they plan to get back into the fight once Invincible wakes up. They find a nest of the creatures they've been eating. When they get back, Oliver mentions how much he loves eating this. We switch to Allen and Tech Jacket attacking a Viltrumite stornghold, then back to Nolan and Oliver talking about how Oliver can overhear invincible and Eve's sex, then back to Allen and Tech Jacket again trying to get the monsters strong enough to kill Viltrumites, then to Nolan and Oliver about how Invincible's bones are finished healing.
We switch between Great Thaedus updating Tech Jacket and Allen along with Nolan and Oliver training.
We then see Invincible mumbling in his sleep about killing, Nolan says it won't be long now until he's back and ready to fight.
At the Coalition we see that one of Great Thaedus' attendants is actually a spy for the Viltrumite empire, reporting back to the leader Thragg and how he will shut down the coalition's defenses for an offensive strike by the Viltrumites.
The Good: Invincible #73 was an excellent read, I know I keep saying that about Invincible but I honestly mean it every time. I continue to be impressed with each read of this series as it always offers a great read every issue. While there are some complaints with this issue, it was still another strong read and building up what is turning out to be an excellent story arc.
What really surprised me about this issue was how much I enjoyed reading Nolan and Oliver bonding. While Kirkman is always great at character building for our heroes, I wasn't expecting any of this in the middle of the big war story arc. We don't usually get this kind of stuff unless its in the middle of a downtime story arc so this was a pleasant surprised.
Nolan and Olive are both great characters and their interaction was really enjoyable father/son bonding that makes you feel the connection these 2 are creating. Its powerful stuff as we see the bond form before our eyes and we really feel the same connection they are. We don't always get that in comics so seeing this really was impressive to me.
Nolan's speech about leaving earth and Debbie was really great stuff as its something I think the fans want to see more of. We've seen Nolan nudge and hint about his feelings of his betrayal but rarely does he ever tackle the subject full on so seeing it here was so great and I could tell that Nolan had been holding this in for years, finally getting it out in the air.
A lot of people are speculating that Nolan or Oliver will die, I can only hope not because as of now both characters are so great and both have so much more potential if they stick around as regulars in the series after the Viltrumite War.
Kirkman did his best to do a balancing act for both the father/son bonding and the early stages of war and while he faltered a bit, he overall did a good job of handling both sides with plenty of strength on both side, as well as some good humor so things didn't come off as too grim or daunting so early in the war.
If not for the humorous moments between our heroes, I honestly would have really been frustrated by this issue. That's a big problem with war stories like this, while there has to be the serious epic action moments, often I feel writers emphasize too much on the action instead of the characters in the middle of the action so the story really suffers for it.
I was very pleased to see Battle Beat make his way into this story. I was worried he'd be left out as he's turned out to be one of the more badass characters in the Invincible series and he is a perfect character for the Viltrumite War, I hope he gets more of the spotlight in future installments of the story.
The action we did great was amazing and awesome stuff, but I chalk that up as a win to Ryan Ottley who really stole the show this time around. Kirkman's writing is always spot on stuff but Ottley brings his stories to life like no one else and he captures every moment perfectly, action or emotion, its all there and its done amazingly well.
This arc really does feel like a perfect culmination of the series up to this point. It was so great seeing Tech Jacket, Allen, Space Racer, Battle Beast, all used here for this arc as they have all been set up perfectly for this storyline. I also was glad to see a cameo of the monsters that can kill Viltrumites, I really hope they show up again sooner then later.
This leaves me wondering who else will show up in this arc, Bi-Plane, maybe? Okay probably not but...you never know! Fans demand Bi-plane, the greatest villain the world has ever seen!
Then there's the betrayal in the resistance. Its funny how just the other day I was thinking about that one attendant and how he was acting funny during the prelude to war story arc. I thought he was setting us up for someone else to be a traitor, but it was good foreshadowing on Kirkman's part to make him the traitor after all.
While he's not a major character that has betrayed our heroes, it still a major reveal and really leaves me excited to see the battle heat up next time, especially with the promise of the Graysons getting back into the fight next time. We're only near the halfway mark and this arc is already blowing up expectations of what comes next.
One thing that really impressed me about this issue, Invincible was comatose the entire issue and it was still as great a read as ever. I think that's a testament to how good Kirkman is at making characters and making everyone feel important and interesting. He didn't put all his eggs in one basket with Invincible so that if he's ever out of commission the book were to get boring and that really is special as we don't see that so often in super hero comics nowadays.
I once again have to spotlight Ottley's artwork, it really is high quality stuff. I think that FCO deserves plenty of praise as well though as his coloring has really helped bring this story to life even more. I think colorists deserve a lot more praise then they get and right now I can't imagine anyone else coloring Invincible.
While it was a small moment, I was glad to see Nolan not abandon his heritage and pay some respect to Conquest. Sure, Conquest was a disgusting rabid dog that once off his leash would just as eagerly kill its master, but he was still a great warrior. While I have high hopes that he will return one day, this was a great little send off for him and a nice little peak into Nolan's mind as he we see he doesn't totally disown his people.
The Bad: There really wasn't a lot to complain about with this issue. Its biggest problem would have to be that while Kirkman did his best to juggle the 2 plot lines, in the end you can only do so much before you leave readers wanting one over the other and right now I really want to see a lit more action then what we got.
Both plots are great and fun to read, but I think that by juggling both Kirkman sacrificed some of the flow of the story and I feel like we kept starting and stopping. Right now I think its time to get to the big stuff, we can still have great character work in big action stories like this, Kirkman has done it plenty of times.
One joke really bugged me was the Tech Jacket growing facial hair part. It was sort of funny the first time, but the 2nd time it was brought up it was kind of annoying and felt like a weird attempt to make it an inside joke but it didn't really work.
My one complaint with the art was some minor recycling of the same panel in a page, I usually frown greatly on it but it was very minor so I'm giving Ottley a pass mostly for it, but still, I hope he doesn't do it often in the future.
Overall: Invincible #73 is another excellent installment of what is becoming an amazing story arc. If you for some reason haven't been reading this story arc, I once again highly recommend you pick up the last 2 issues, as well as Invincible Returns as this really is turning out to be the best story arc for the series ever and its an absolute must read so far, and I have a feeling it won't be losing any steam anytime soon.