Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

INVINCIBLE: EIGHT IS ENOUGH by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley, and Bill Crabtree

Robert Kirkman continues to roll through his Invincible series, and Mark Grayson is turning out to be one of the coolest characters in comics. I am having a blast getting into Mark’s life and world, and Kirkman writes the serious stuff just as well as he writes the zany aspects of a teen with awesome superpowers.

I like the fact that Mark isn’t as maligned as Peter Parker was while trying to hide his identity as Spider-Man. Back when I was a kid, that was more how real life was in those days. But everything’s more laidback now. I especially enjoyed the way Mark’s buddy tumbles onto the fact that Mark is the costumed superhero Invincible and doesn’t buy his lame excuse that he ran for help.

The relationship between Mark and his mother and father is great. Until the whole thing with the Guardians of the Globe. You’ll have to read the book before I mention any more. And that fact makes it hard to review this graphic novel much more about the twists and turns it takes. Suffice it to say that I was completely blown away and am looking forward to the next installment.

One of the other things that I really like about this series is the way Kirkman keeps the stories relatively simple and doesn’t cover the pages with dialogue. Some comics fans feel like they get ripped off by a book where the art primarily carries the action. However, I like the occasional trade off you can get in a book like this. Sometimes I want easy, no-brainer comics that I can glide through.

Except that Kirkman doesn’t kick back and let his readers get too comfortable. He doesn’t throw conceptual or multi-layered plots onto his readers, but he does kick them in the teeth with emotional ones. And, yeah, I’m talking about the whole thing with the Guardians of the Globe.

I also liked the scenes of Mark and his dad playing catch with a baseball they were literally throwing around the world. Standing back to back and catching the throws as they swung around the earth was pretty amazing imagery. Even more so when Mark had to dash back and snag the ball from the atmosphere because he and his dad had both forgotten it.

The next graphic novel has got to be a real turning point in the series. I’m looking forward to it.


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