Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn and FCO Plascencia
So The Invincible War begins, and ends within 30 pages. An ambitious goal for Robert Kirkman, to pack a crossover event into one oversized issue? A good idea? Perhaps. Did he pull it off? Not in my opinion. The issue was far too cluttered, both in terms of characters and in terms of panels per page. Too much happened in too little time, I really like the idea of an army of evil Invincibles attack Earth and I think it would make a fantastic arc, but in trying to prove something to the big companies, Kirkman rushed this in a gimmicky way that did a potentially great story a terrible disservice. As for the actual story content, it was pretty much what I expected, all of Image's superheroes team up to fight of an army of evil Invincibles, and I mean all (Tech Jacket!!!), they basically win but are undone by Invincible's #1 nemesis, Angstrom Levy's arrogance. As with all of Kirkman's stories, nothing is ever fully wrapped up, but this a good thing, the Invincibles and Angstrom Levy are now two seperate plot points that he can pick up later, as well as all the escaped inmates from the prison. This being a crossover, there are deaths and injuries to be expected, with several Guardians of the Globe and members of the Teen Team incapcitated or killed (including my favourite Image character) and this will no doubt be picked up next issue as well.
There's nothing left to say about Ryan Ottley, the man is a master storyteller who over 50 issues has evolved into one of the best artists working in comics today. Unfortunately, Kirkman's overambitious script hampers his work. Panels are too small and too many and in some places I was unsure as to panel order. Rathburn has been a great addition to the team, aping Ottley's self inking finely and giving the penciller more time to make his art even more awesome. The colourist, FCO (Apparently it's a nickname), has carried on the look of this book perfectly, and personally, I prefer the colours a tiny bit more now than I did in the first 50 issues and the colour of Invincible was always one of the high points.
Overall, this issue may have seemed like a good idea in theory and maybe Kirkman thought he had something to prove but ultimately, he is only proven wrong. You can't do a crossover event of this scale in one issue, not with only 30 pages to work with. Hopefully this was a one time deal and Kirkman abandons the gimmicks and goes back to telling some of the best superhero stories of the 21st Century.
Story - 5
Art - 7
Overall - 6