A few months ago I was mourning the loss of Guarding the Globe from Image Comics. Well, the creative team that brought that unique comic to local shops is back in Invincible Universe #1, and they’re keeping their interesting brand of storytelling going in the new title!
Here’s the description for the first issue, in stores as of Wednesday, April 10: “In the aftermath of Invincible #100 and ‘The Death of Everyone,’ Dinosaurus has left his mark on the world. Can heroes from across the universe – Invincible, the Guardians of the Globe, Tech Jacket, the Astounding Wolf-Man and more – contain the damage done? Or are the end times of the Invincible Universe ahead?”
Robert Kirkman, best known for The Walking Dead comic and television series, has created boatloads of new characters over the past several years. I like to call the place they inhabit the “Kirkman-verse” in his honor. Besides making Super Dinosaur and Thief of Thieves, Invincible deals with Kirkman’s take on superheroes. So Mr. Kirkman can be counted on to make interesting and unusual books. And I do love variety in my reading!
Kirkman’s the creator of the characters in Invincible Universe, but writer/artist Phil Hester is actually scripting the title. Mr. Hester has written many wonderful characters over the years, including Green Hornet and Bionic Man most recently. He even untangled J. Michael Straczynski’s garbled continuity on Wonder Woman. He’s good at developing his own concepts and characters as well, so you should check out The Coffin and Firebreather, among others.
In this issue, we see the heroes deal with the results of the recent battle, but there’s more going on than meets the eye initially. The characters have to sort out just what’s really happening, and several of the heroes endure the consequences of resolving the situations. I particularly am glad to see the return of Brit, a hero I’ve enjoyed reading about for years. Brit actually helps the government bureaucrat who apparently runs the agencies who work with the various superheroes when he loses a nose right on the breast of a heroine! Ouch!
Todd Nauck’s art is dynamic and strong, helping us enjoy the action while propelling us forward through Hester’s fast-paced script. Many of his pages (and even panels) would make wonderful posters!
What makes this comic stand out from others is that there are consequences to the heroes’ actions. Most titles have to make sure things are basically the same so someone who’s never read it before can pick it up if they want to. It’s a welcome change to see people have to move forward in new ways as we have to in real life instead of the “galactic reset button” fans see in comics and on television so much these days.
I’m sure the relaunch with “Invincible” in the title is designed to help sales numbers for the book since the teen hero is one of Kirkman’s most popular creations. (He even appears in the issue briefly.) All I have to say is, if that helps this comic keep going, I’m all for it!
Below you’ll see the cover from this issue: