Monday, May 2, 2011

5 Reasons: Why you should read Invincible

Hey Todd Squad, Jason Todd here with stop one on the "making it up to my readers" promotional tour, coming to a town  near you. I figured we'd kick things off with something YOU guys voted for a few weeks back, 5 Reasons: Why you should read Invincible. So, now's a better time than ever to convince you guys and gals to read what may be the best damn superhero series in print today. For new readers, I plan on giving five reasons, then elaborating on each why you should read a certain series. So, without any further stalling, lets get this thing started!

1.) The Story - Invincible is a hell of a story, it's about a teenager named Mark Grayson, he happens to be the son of Omni-Man, hero of the planet Earth who is a member of the alien race of Viltrumites. Mark lives the normal life or a normal kid, except keeping his dad's secret identity under wraps, until one fateful day when Mark finally gets his powers. Mark wastes no time in telling his dad, going about getting a superhero name (Invincible) and costume, and fighting crime. In no time at all Mark is saving the world, teaming up with other superheroes and even going into space to fight other alien forms. But life isn't all fun and games for Mark, he eventually learns of his father's dark past, and things are never the same again. I won't ruin it for you but things really change. From there on in Invincible tries to make his mark (no pun intended) by becoming one of Earth's greatest heroes. Along the way he encounters a ton of heroes, villains and so much more. The story focuses on Mark Grayson's life as Invincible but also has no less than three or four other storylines going at all times, always bringing action and each story having it's own payoff, even if it's something as simple as a stray bag of garbage that Mark mistakenly launches into orbit. The writing is well thought out by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and clearly every step is planned out beforehand. It's one story that quickly ties you to it's characters emotionally, you'll grow attached to some and come to hate others, and then you'll be surprised at yourself when you suddenly hate a character you loved and love a character you hated.

2.) The Characters - Man oh man, if there is ANY comic out there that has such a wide cast of characters in less than a hundred issues, I haven't seen it. Not only does this comic boast a TON of characters, each of who manages to get screen time at some point, some of the names are just amazingly clever. There's the explosion causing superhero bad-boy Rex Splode, his girlfriend and Mark's crush, Atom Eve, A man with the ability to shrink himself named Shrinking Ray, and a brother and sister with the ability to clone themselves, Multi-Paul and Dupli-Kate. Some of my other favorites on this series are Allen the Alien, Bulletproof (which was almost Invincible's name apparently) and the evil Conquest who debuts late in the series. Each character has a pretty great backstory which we get insight to throughout the comic and pretty much everyone has their own views on right or wrong, so I'm sure you'd immediately find a character to relate to. And of course I can't skip over a superhero by the name of "The Immortal" who looks just like, and apparently WAS... Abraham Lincoln. I kid you not, read the series and see if I'm lying.

3.) Cross-Over Appeal - Invincible may just be one of the best comics in the world for it's ability to seamlessly cross-over and mention other comics. I LOVE comics that are self-aware (Deadpool anyone?) and Invincible does it even better by being aware of other comics. Mark Grayson is a teenager who visits his comic shop just like we do, he has a pull list and even has a favorite comic character, Science Dog. But what I'm referring to is Invincible's little nods to other comics. In one issue, Angstrom Levy, a time-traveling scientist mentions going to a world where there's only women and one man surviving, obviously a nod to Y the Last Man. While going through alternate worlds himself, Invincible encounters Batman and manages to insult his name, saying it seems pretty lazy since he dresses like a Bat and calls himself Batman, and has the same conversation with Spider-Man while going to his world as well. He even mentions how lazy it would be for someone with super powers to walk around calling themselves Super-Man. But Invincible isn't only good for making pop-culture references, it's also a great one in itself. In the movie Paul, Simon Pegg wears an Invincible shirt while in the comic shop, and even the animated series King of the Hill put a shout out to Invincible in an episode where Bobby Hill is reading a comic that looks similar to the first issue of Invincible that's called "Unvincible." If that's not a sign this series is awesome, I don't know what is.

4.) The Artwork - At first look Invincible's art looks like good, clean, wholesome cartoon art. And don't get me wrong, it is. The amazing art work on this series by Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker is crisp, smooth and greatly represents the story Kirkman is telling. You know I enjoy the art because I usually can't think of artists outside of Jim Lee, Nicola Scott, Alex Ross and a few others, yet Cory and Ryan's names popped into my head in seconds so that shows how much I enjoy their work. But the artwork isn't always that way because the story isn't always that way. I've seen panels that look like something you'd see in a Pixar movie and then turned the page and seen panels you'd see in a snuff film. That's a testament to how great Ryan's art has been as he took over full time at issue eight. I've seen panels where Ryan has drawn some gory stuff like people getting punches through the stomach and hands coming out of backs, I've seen people get their jaws disconnected from their face and I've seen panels with worse. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a super gory series, but when times get rough heroes and villains aren't playing slapsies, their fighting, sometimes for their lives or the lives of their families and friends, and that's represented here.

5.) Quick to Catch Up - And lastly, a great reason to read Invincible is because it's not hard to catch up to it. Invincible has 14 trades in the main story and a one-shot trade chronicling the histories of Atom Eve and Rex Splode. Now fifteen trades may sound like a lot, especially when they cover the first 78 issues of a series, but that's all it is. One with a bit of free time can read through these comics in no time, retain them and enjoy them. Falisha has manages to read five trades in the last week as well as working because they read so fluid and quickly and always make you wanna see what will happen next. Plus, when compared to other heroes that have been around longer like Superman and Batman who have over 700 issues of just their main titles, not counting Action and Detective Comics, as well as comic like Wonder Woman and Spider-Man who each have over 600 issues, Invincible's 78 should be a cake walk. I can honestly say there has not been one moment in the entire Invincible run that I didn't like the comic or didn't enjoy it. Invincible may not, no, it IS the best superhero based comic out right now, probably the best comic I've ever read.

Bonus Reason - I plan on reviewing Invincible, starting next month at issue 80!

I don't think I've ever met anyone who has read Invincible and hasn't enjoyed it. I read the entire Invincible series while also reading the entire Y the Last Man series and finished them withing three weeks or less, and those are some of the best comics I've ever read, so give Invincible a chance, read to at least the third volume and decide if you want to continue, I'm pretty sure you will. And that's it for me guys, I hope you enjoyed 5 Reasons: Why you should read Invincible. Until next time, I'm your friendly blogger-man, Jason Todd signing off, you Stay Classy, Todd Squad!


  1. I absolutely agree 100%. Not done with the series but far along to see the five reasons why ANY one should be reading this.

    Great posts. I love these type of posts. You seem so into it and happy to share why you think someone should read something.

    Great post.

  2. What a fantastic series. It's one of those I get in trades, but am SO tempted to start picking up month to month just to stay current with.

    Straight up, it's one of my faves and I hope it sticks around for a good long while. I'm not ready to give up Mark Grayson anytime soon...

  3. Great post, JT! I've read the first five or six trades of Invincible, and since it reads so quickly (like you said) I'm thinking of just reading those ones all over when I have time to start reading the series again. Maybe I'll even post reviews!

    I should warn you in advance, though, I really disliked the first trade and my opinion of it hasn't changed even though I grew to really like the series. There are a lot of good ideas in the first trade, but it's poorly executed in the writing department in my opinion. So, just a little tip to anyone out there who's thinking of giving the series a try, don't worry if you don't like the first really does improve with the next couple, and it's worth slogging through the first four issues to get there.

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. I really appreciate ya taking time to tell me what you think.

    Lisha - Glad you enjoyed the post, and I'm really glad you enjoyed Invincible. I know when I first told ya about it you didn't seem all that interested, now here you are on trade 9 already!

    Matt - Thanks for the comment dude, I just started reading Invincible about two months ago, read them all, collected the issues for like 70-79 and I;m getting the trade for 14, because I'm an idiot who likes to read trades. Actually I just want it for my collection at this point, but I definitely know what you mean. And I'm with you, I hope this comic continues to keep going and stay this great because it's one of the best comics ever printed.

    Marc - Thanks for the comment Marc, and yeah, Vol. 1 doesn't really do the series justice. It had room to grow at that point but by trade three it really hits it's stride and starts to become a really memorable comic which Is why I made sure to mention that up top. I agree though, if I'd just bought and read the first trade I can't say I'd be to eager to read the next few.

  5. I still haven't read your post yet, JT... I really feel horrible about it too! Once I have a free hour(and no new comics to read!), I SWEAR I'll read this and leave a proper comment! Scout's honor!

  6. It's no problem buddy, I figured ya forgot at first but I forgot you had a TON of work to do for school so it's no prob at all, Hell, I should be posting the R&R tomorrow.

  7. Damn, I'm gonna have A LOT of catching up to do I see! :P

  8. Even more than you think when you see the small surprise at the end of the R&R post... :P