Invincible #127 (Image Comics)
After an extended break, Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley’s Invincible has returned, and man, does it deliver. After having Mark Grayson travel back in time, relive and change his past, and giving us a cliffhanger leaving us at the moment he returns to Eve and his daughter (who’s now MUCH older than the infant he left behind), Kirkman and guest artist Cory Walker waste no time getting us back into the story.
While Mark was only gone for a few weeks in the past, when he’s returned to the alien apartment he and Eve have been living in he finds out that he’s been gone for five years. His daughter, who was an infant when he left, is now in kindergarten (or whatever passes for Kindergarten on this planet), and everyone naturally assumed the worst about Mark. This plot device allows Kirkman to explore how the relationships between Mark and his wife Eve have changed, and puts a great new spin on Eve’s constant fear of Mark leaving on an adventure and never coming back (which has happened at least once already in their relationship).
Cory Walker was the original artist for Invincible, so him coming in to fill in for Ryan Ottley fits perfectly. While it’s strange to see Walker’s style at first, it slowly starts to blend into one similar to Ottley’s, and Walker’s pencils nail the emotional beats in this story. There are some panels in this issue that will rip your heart out, and the final page will have you shaking you fist at the sky at Walker and Kirkman.
In an industry where Marvel is midway through a relaunch and DC is about to start a new one, it’s refreshing to have a book that embraces its legacy like Invincible. 127 issues is a tall order to catch up on for a series, but it’s well worth it for issues like this. Invincible’s tag line at the top of every cover has been “probably the best superhero book on the stands”. Well, I think it’s time to take that “probably” out.