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Review Group: Invincible #60

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Chubbles had the pick for new comics shipping March 17th and he selected Invincible #60 by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley and FCO Plascencia. 

 


The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together each week to discuss comics and post our reviews for a comic that we each take turns selecting.  Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s Newstand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Does event crossover burnout still apply to a single-issue crossover done in thirty pages?  This week the Review Group takes a look at the Invincible War and everybody loves the art, the story on the other hand...
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Review by Alex Delarge

I was pretty excited about the return of the Angstrom. The beginning of the issue showing how he survived getting his ass handed to him years ago was very interesting. The premise with the alternate universe Invincibles was great too. To be perfectly honest this story suffered from the inclusion of the other Image characters. You could reduce the size of the initial wave of evil Invincibles and reach the same level that they ended with, removed all the Image characters, and had a much better issue. Many times I was reading and not understanding what was going on a large part of this issue, 30% or more was incoherent. I originally got into Invincible because the fight between him and Omni-Man was masterfully done, lately, the fight scenes in this book have largely disappointed me. It could have been better and the crossover was unnecessary and ultimately hurt the final product.

I love how Kirkman weaves one story into another and I am looking forward to learning more about the people that rebuilt Angstrom and their ultimate goals. I was also disappointed in that Angstrom didn't do a whole lot. He should have killed Invincible's family, especially his mother, or at least made a better effort at it. This story deserved more issues to play out.

7/10
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Review by amlah6

I really hope this isn't anyone's first issue of Invincible, because it's in no way a reflection on how great the series is, the first three hardcovers worth of material at least. What I've read of Invincible has been classic superhero storytelling done in a modern style. This issue attempts to recreate a modern superhero crossover event within the confines of 30 pages and succeeds only in duplicating the over-complication and disappointment manufactured by Marvel and DC in their annual sprawling events.

While reading this comic, you can see the very broad strokes of what the story is, but when you get down into the details it feels rather disjointed and rushed. Major occurrences take place off-panel while pages of miscellaneous Image characters are shoehorned in just so that the book can be called a crossover. Like with all crossovers, the point is to reset the universe to a new status quo and this issue does provide that at least.

Even if this comic isn't always exactly readable, Ryan Ottley does a masterful job of making it a fun book to look at. Normally I would knock off points if I had trouble determining from panel to panel what I was supposed to be reading, but in this case I think that falls pretty firmly on the script.

Do better next time Kirkman!

Oh, and get the fourth hardcover out already!

Story: 3
Art: 9
Overall: 6
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Review by 48THRiLLS

First off, it will be so many kinds of wrong if this doesn't win cover of the week.

I am getting caught up through trades on this title, so I am a bit behind. This was kind of all over the place, did Atom Eve get hurt off panel or did I just miss it? I think this was waaay too much to pack into one single issue, I will give Kirkman credit for his ambition but it turned out to be a sloppy read. Ottley penciled his ass off and saved what was a clusterfuck of a story. As awesome as the cover was the pages in between were just as impressive, there were some amazing panels and he seemed to do his best patching together Kirkman’s story. I love the premise of different Invincibles wreaking havoc and having Angstrom Levy be the mastermind but maybe this should have been a three-issue arc instead of one crazy extravaganza.

STORY - 4 (Damn, really?)

ART - 10

OVERALL - 6
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Review by MrBlack

Damn, that was intense!

The issue was a bit of a mess, but if anything it is a decent reflection of the utter disaster that has been wreaked upon the Earth. Sixteen Invincibles versus the entire planet. I am actually surprised at how well the Image heroes did.

The art was excellent in this one, and I have been quite impressed with the coloring on this series since issue #50. As for the story, it was an exhilarating read, but there was way too much going on for a single issue, even if it was 30 pages. Lots of deaths, lots of maimings, and only one of those deaths was even showcased (although it was a doozy). Overall, I loved the story, although it might have been better as two or three issues. Still, I find it hard not to like this issue if just for its ambition.

Story: 8
Art: 10
Overall: 9
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Review by Kid Impulse

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 attacking 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 is a good thing, the Invincibles and Angstrom Levy are now two separate 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 incapacitated or killed (including my favorite 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 penciler more time to make his art even more awesome. The colorist, FCO (Apparently it's a nickname), has carried on the look of this book perfectly, and personally, I prefer the colors a tiny bit more now than I did in the first 50 issues and the color 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
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Review by Daringd

Last issue gave us a false sense of safety this issue took it all away. The only problem I had was that the big ass reveal in issue 58 should have come in issue 52 to make us really not expect this. Kind of a Sinestro Corps build up. But Kirkman pulled it off. Ottley brings in some amazing art best he’s given us to date. All of it clicks if Kirkman keeps this up it might be book of the year.

9/10
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Review by McKegan

Was going to pass since I too read Invincible in the ultimate HCs. It's been preordered from Amazon for about a year now.

I ended up picking it up figuring it would stand-alone well enough. And it did, for the most part.

It was great to see the return of Angstrom, and the parallel Marks, but the story itself was a bit flimsy. The appearance of other Image 'icons' does add to the scope of the story but that's about it. Since I'm so far behind what's been going on that I didn't always understand how the supporting characters had changed and that probable blunted the impact ofntheirnseperate fates. In the end, the story was just a bunch of fisticuffs with a few cool moments (Rex's sacrifice) but little in the way of character.

The art was awesome as always. Some of the inking rendered the faces strangely but the coloring was amazing. Why can't all super hero comics look this great?

Story: 6
Art: 9
Over-all: 7.5
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Review by Flynn the Pirate

I've never read Invincible before. Or rather, not really read. I think I perused the first trade back in the day, but since I don't remember being all that impressed, I didn't stick with it. I say that to say that I am going to try reviewing this issue with only the barest of backgrounds in Invincible's story.

In theory, the plot by Angstrom (I think that's his name, since I don't have the book sitting in front of me) of picking up different versions of the title character to sick on the rest of the world is a good one. And I like the idea of an Image superhero crossover to deal with the problem - if for no other reason than my favorite comic book right now (Dynamo5) would get to be included. But this didn't feel like a crossover. This felt, to me, like a bunch of snapshots or clips. It didn't feel like "the crossover of the decade", perhaps because there were a lot of characters I didn't know, but also because it didn't feel like the sort of thing that every superhero in the Image universe had to get in on. Which is a shame, because again, the plot was such that it seemed to necessitate it.

Of course, the reason for this was squeezing it all into one giant issue. Again, it sounds like a nice idea and it definitely has a really nifty pitch, but in the end there was just way, way, WAY too much going on and way too many characters for one issue to do any justice to. Heck, it even seemed like Invincible himself became a supporting cast-member in his own book.

The artwork was fantastic though. I really did like the bright colors, as opposed to the various hues of gunmetal or dirt that so many comics like to use today. Ottley and Plascencia definitely won me over as a fan on that front.

I would love to have seen this actually play out. I would probably have even picked up some of the other titles if this had played out like an actual crossover event. And maybe my lack of exposure to Invincible is getting in the way of me giving this book high honors.

5 out of 10 for Invincible #60 - not too bad, not too good, but at least it was something...
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Review by Punchy

Story - Holy Fuck, that was different huh? Invincible is normally a book, which features slow moving subplots and character development, but this was something else entirely. Kirkman was attempting to do a whole crossover event in one issue, and I think he mostly succeeded, you could recognize a lot of the beats he was homaging/mocking from stuff like Crisis or Secret Wars, the heroic sacrifice, the injured love interest, the massive team up, it was very clever, and very well done, but I think what makes it interesting is that with Invincible, it's a creator-owned book and universe, and the changes will stick indefinitely, and not be gone by next year. Yes, it was kind of confusing and jumpy, but it worked, you know how Grant Morrison claimed he was writing Final Crisis to be like channel-zapping and only getting a snippet of each scene, but he was actually spewing out crap? Kirkman succeeded here where Morrison failed, you really felt the scale and unpredictability of the multi-Invincible attack, and anyone could die. And you might not necessarily see it. Another factor adding to this unpredictability was the usage of the other Image characters, yes while it may be a gimmick to get more sales (my LCS certainly had more copies of this issue than any other previously) but it showed how widespread the attack was, plus, as a fan, it did make me feel happy in a guilty nerdy way, like OMG! Spawn! Youngblood! Awesome! With these characters it's quite rare for them actually to meet, as opposed to Marvel or DC, so a crossover is actually interesting, and Kirkman managed it well, this was still an Invincible story, and the cameos were used effectively.

Overall this was a great issue, which really shook up the Invincible world, almost as much as the Omni-Man reveal back in #8, this is the advantage of creator-owned books, the creators can do what they want, and this was like the end of the Prison arc in Walking Dead on steroids, a unique reading experience and I can't wait to see where Kirkman takes this.

Art - You know how I said that Kirkman succeeded where Morrison failed, well a lot of that was due to the artistic strengths of Ryan Ottley, as opposed to the mess that was Final Crisis art-wise, Ottley is a fantastic artist, everything he draws is spot on, and I now I can't imagine anyone else drawing Invincible, which is a great achievement when you consider how strong Cory Walker's initial work on the series was, the book wouldn't be half as good without Ottley, I should also comment on the colors of Fco Plascencia, Bill Crabtree's coloring was a very important part of this book, but Plascencia has done an excellent job of replacing Crabtree, it meshes perfectly with Ottley.

Best Line - 'My skeleton'

8/10
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Review by thefourthman

Stupid choppy story.

Story 4
Art 8
Overall 6
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Review by GOSD

Invincible #60 was great. I'll give it a 7 just because it should have been a 2-parter.
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Review by young neil

This week’s review group selection is Invincible #60. This issue is a "done-in-one crossover event" with Spawn, Witchblade and an onslaught of other Image superheroes making appearances. In this issue we see the return of Angstrom Levy who brings with him an army of Invincible's evil counterparts from alternate dimensions.

There is an almost over-powering amount of characters in this issue, and to someone not having a solid knowledge of the Image universe could get lost very easily. That being said the issue can still be enjoyed for what it’s trying to do, “a done in one cross over event”. I do however feel like this could have benefited from either being a two-parter or maybe an original graphic novel that tagged onto the ongoing storyline. There was a lot to take in, and I for one would have loved to have seen this storyline dragged out a little; see some of the individual battles, make some of the deaths a little more meaningful, etc.

Angstrom Levy cements himself as a formidable enemy in this issue, and Kid Omni Man points out an interesting observation; “you thought you’d already killed him, if you had this wouldn’t have happened. It’ll be interesting to see if that takes a toll on Mark in the upcoming months.
Ryan Ottley and Cliff Rathburn do an amazing job bringing this issue to life. The daunting task of creating twenty incarnations of the one superhero is pulled off flawlessly. Not to mention having to draw the multitude of other characters we see making an appearance in this issue. The Day three and Day four panels were incredible and spoke volumes with no words necessary.

This wasn’t my favorite issue of invincible by far, but it was a great gimmick and I hope it brought a few newcomers to this book. Next month we’re in for it as we pick up the pieces in issue 61.

Story – 6.5
Art - 8
Overall – 7.25

Favorite part: Madman trying to strangle one of the alternate Invincible’s with his yo-yo.
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Review by Chubbles

I was expecting big things with this one and although the story didn't quite live up to those expectations I did enjoy the book. I'll go ahead and also echo some of what other people are saying in that this should have been at the very least a few issues long. I would have preferred they had gone the crossover route since there was so much that I think we missed out on. The issue hyped up a big crossover with tons of guest appearances but hardly any of those characters had any significant 'screen time'. If you read the letters page Kirkman himself said that this might have played out better as a big crossover and even gave credit to other companies who constantly have to organize these things and how hard they really are. Kirkman is a big supporter of indy stuff but what I like about him is he also gives credit where it's due. The art however is where this issue excelled. This is one of the best drawn issues of Invincible that I've seen in quite some time and some of these panels had so much going on and everything lived up to a high quality. The cover is a great cover and the interiors (including the coloring) were excellent. This issue failed to live up to my lofty expectations but is still going to receive a favorable score as I did get enough enjoyment out of it.

Story 6
Art 9
Overall 7.5
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Review by Doombug

Wow, just wow. Kirkman really hit on all points and this was a really packed issue. Plenty of characters get some spotlight and not all the Invincibles live up to their names. Sadly due to the war we lose some characters in surprising ways. The art is top notch as usual and it proves to be one of the best hero books on the stands.

I give it a solid 9, point off for doing some scenes like final crisis where stuff happens off panel.
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As of press time, that gives Invincible #60 a group score of 7.16.  Hey, we finally got a post-move book over 7!

For further discussion about this issue and our reviews, feel free to join us in this week's thread (http://www.theouthousers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20604) found in the Newstand forum where you are also invited to join the group by posting your own review.
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guitarsmashley has the pick for March 25th and he has selected Muppet Show #1 from Boom Studios... let me repeat that, he selected Muppet Show #1 from Boom Studios.  Look for the new thread and the chaos that undoubtedly will be contained within after it becomes available Wednesday morning to join in on the fun.

Muppet Show #1

Story and Art by Roger Landrige

Acclaimed creator Roger Landridge's zany romp across The Muppet Show stage continues! This issue is positively GONZO! Literally. But what exactly IS Gonzo? And how expensive is he to insure? Gonzo ponders these mysterious questions, all while performing his hilariously dangerous routine, which might be shut down by the theater's insurance agent!

 

Our friends at Nix Comics are sponsoring The Outhouse this week. Show them you appreciate it by checking out their comics. One dollar from every Nix Comics sold this month will go to Kirby-4-Heroes.

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