31 March 2010

Book 7 of 2010

This has been sitting on my shelf for awhile and I read it over Spring Break. And, yes, it's a graphic novel or comic or whatever you want to call it, but I enjoyed it and I read it, so there.

Invincible: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1

7) Invincible: The Ultimate Collection Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman (and Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley)
Invincible is a new teen superhero whose dad fits into the Superman archetype, except this time Superman has a mustache and he goes by Omni-Man.

Kirkman uses several different archetypes throughout the series to varying degrees of success, and the best way I could describe the first volume, consisting of the issues 1-13, is Astro City meets Ultimate Spider-Man. Mark Grayson gains his super powers and wastes little time establishing his own identity as a hero under the title's namesake while also receiving training from his more well-known father. Kirkman doesn't attempt to decompress his stories to the degree that Brian Michael Bendis does, so while it would have been nice to see more of what a teen superhero would do to start carving out his place in a crowded superhero world, he also doesn't focus on the navel-gazing that became Bendis' hallmark.

At the same time, the dialogue isn't the greatest, and the problem with dealing in archetypes usually means that the stories themselves can come off as re-treads. This is a series that appears to have very long-term plan, though, so I imagine things would heat up and be a bit more original as time passes. The art reminds me of Stuart Immonen, which I consider a great compliment since that guy is incredibly talented. It's clear that Kirkman wants that style since the artists switch midway through the thirteen issues, but both (or all three?) were alike in their approach.

There's also a great twist, which I won't spoil here, but it really helped that I knew nothing about the story going into reading the first volume. It's a great set-up that I would like to see play out later on if I ever get my hands on future editions.

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