Comic Book Review: Invincible #134
If there’s one thing consistent about the Invincible Universe that sets it apart from other superhero universes, it is that there is a loose definition of what it means to be a hero. ‘The End of All Things’ is the final chapter that will mess with you because the gloves coming off has a new meaning to it when this war against Thragg has taken the most personal turn. When being a hero is dumb and the heroes also can’t be trusted, you want to see where this could go for better or for worse.
When any series is reaching an end, I enjoy when they cut the crap and get down to business. Since Thragg’s assault everything has been pretty straightforward about what needs to be done next. For what comes next it was important that everyone is set-up in the right frame of mind for what this war means. Now when I say cut the crap, I wasn’t quite expecting the bomb of truth to drop on Mark and Eve’s lap. Needless to say this was out of necessity for drawing the line where these two could see the kind of decisions they have been running away from catching up to them. For these two to take this fight against Thragg so seriously, this was the time to capture the anger they could express towards the cause. The lashing out that can occur when they interact with those who are either with them or non-compliant.
Tensions are running high and the way they have placed urgency into the story plays a big part. At this point it makes all the difference to figure out where everyone stands on taking down Thragg. Are you a gamechanger? Are the inevitable losses something you can live with? Is this something you can honestly want to be apart of? These are the right questions to ask and are asked. They are taking their time to build this up, though at the same time they luckily are not holding back in all the things that can go right or wrong along the way. Little time is there to waste on conversations that aren’t moving us forward.
This isn’t to say that everything was tense. Invincible luckily as well isn’t one of those stories that is all brutality and violence. The substance through emotional weight comes through when that one key scene sparks the realization that this is it. Mark and Eve from here cross that line of no return as it is anything goes. We could lose one of them, we could lose both of them, or there could be a worse option we haven’t prepared for. But all the same we are swiftly reminded of what they are fighting for as a family.
For Thragg himself this was a crucial moment to address about his motivations. How genuine this is for him is unclear, but it was wise that we at the very least can see that there is something personally driving this madman aside from just carrying out his mission.
From the very first page of this issue I again felt taken away by Ryan Ottley’s pencils and inks. As I pointed out about the issue before, Ottley was perfect to switch back to when he has such a strong sense of expression. He gets into those details that really sell you on what is going on within the pages. This issue opened up with a scene with Thragg and you could see someone who was clearly recovering from a loss even though it was technically a win. That anger and cold presence from him just sends chills because you don’t know what he’s going to do next. The same can be aid for Mark and Eve as well who are very in your face about the way they feel concerning taking care of Thragg. Feelings of betrayal, frustration, the in general lashing out just corners you as we are overwhelmed by the intensity they are giving off. Consistency is key too which Fairbairn’s is nailing through his colors which are still focused when working with Ottely. He’s getting more variation and tone out of his colors which bring out different moods. They don’t always have to be bright and in your face which he gets. An organic palette never hurts.
It’s all about the building blocks of this final confrontation as ‘The End of All Things’ part two covered a decent amount of ground by the end of Invincible #134. Everyone involved now sees that taking out Thragg is the only option. If you were cringing that anyone could run away from this, Invincible #134 satisfies with a hard reality-check about a little thing called duty.