Comic Book Review: Invincible #136
***Might contain spoiler***
Never really thought that by the end of ‘THE END OF ALL THINGS’ Part Three we would find ourselves facing off against Thragg already. Of course nothing is ever as it seems on the surface, but when you thought about the way Mark and Eve wanted to approach this stand against Thragg that there might be a bit more between then and now. But who’s to argue when a fight like this will produce the best action regardless of outcome.
I know I can’t argue as I’m sure that this creative team has much more to get through with this being the last stretch of the series. It goes without saying that pacing matters a lot, and has been important since the start of ‘THE END OF ALL THINGS’. This is not to say that in twelve issues you can’t do a war like this and warp the series up nicely enough to satisfy fans, but it also goes without saying that Invincible is a book that successfully made it past one-hundred issues. Not enough book series can say that they they’ve made it to that milestone with a strong enough following these days.
When the fight commenced, I was just glad that the time was now. The way they approached this confrontation was shocking because this was one of those situations where everything can go wrong, or could go right. Invincible is one of those books that likes to catch you off guard at a moment’s notice. I don’t think anyone knew what to expect when Mark and Eve decided that things would go their way. This could have meant anything at this point when their idea going into this was that they weren’t being heroes rather than looking to take their lives back. Nonetheless this move against Thragg was bold, but in no way straightforward. The minute you even heard that there were phases, that was when the excitement levels rose. Truthfully, part of me didn’t take it seriously enough that this would be the bloodiest battle so far. Anyone who let their guard down about this was proven wrong from the minute the first punches flew. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much gore and it spoke volumes to the kind of force they are facing. One that would throw everything and more in spite of what is humane.
On the home front, I loved that they took the focus back to Terra and the others. My only criticism of things up to this point was that we didn’t get too much of her reaction to what she went through at the hands of Thragg. That is a traumatizing experience for a girl her age. The emotion poured out of her and those affected by this war was as genuine as it gets when everyone has something to lose, if they have not lost enough already.
The art team outdid themselves this time. They consistently push boundaries with how intense Invincible can be compared to other superhero stories, and this issue knocks you off your feet taking in a fight with a high body count. Truthfully I couldn’t tell at a point if Mark and friends were just that strong, or the viltrumites were just that suicidal about throwing themselves at them. Either way, bloodiest fight visually flt like an understatement. I mean it’s not as if we haven’t seen some of these characters walking away from a fight blood-soaked, though this took things to a whole new level when you are just seeing body after body torn apart, smashed, crushed. Someone really has a thing for the human anatomy because some things were just a bit hard to stomach. I’m just glad that the reds used weren’t too overpowering with so much going on at once. The reaction from Mark and Eve said a lot about it in the moment. What impresses me so much is how Ryan Ottley drew SO MANY viltrumites throughout this issue and none of them the same as the other. Normally I might applaud someone for uniformity, but this guy went out of his way to make many of them distinctive from the other whether it was facial features, physique, or gender. The same recognition still goes to Fairbairn as well because for how many of these guys were drawn throwing themselves to their deaths, it is also the colorists job to make sure nothing blends in too much. And this was quite the task.
For just the start to the real war, Invincible #136 leaves you wanting so much more. Mark and Eve’s plan slowly unravels and every bit of it that comes into question makes you want the bigger picture more than you did when they initially took charge.