Invincible#80 REVIEW (Dinosaurus Preaches and Invincible Goes to a Comic Book Store)

15 06 2011

DINOSAURUS SMASH! Cover drawn by Ryan Ottley

Written by: Robert Kirkman
Drawn by: Ryan Ottley
Inked by: Cliff Rathburn
Colored by: Nikos Koutsis
Published by: Image Comics
Price: $2.99
After a near two month wait we finally have the latest issue of Invincible, the BEST SUPERHERO COMIC BOOK ON THE SHELVES THESE DAYS. Was it worth the wait? DEFINITELY. In fact, this is one of THE BEST issues of Invincible that I have read in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the Viltrumite War story arc overall (I even had one of my letters published in an issue of the Viltrumite War issues), but it took too long for each issue to come out and most of the issues were “CRAPPER COMICS”, meaning that you could finish the comic in one sitting ON THE CAN.
Well, to my joy this issue was NOT a “crapper comic” because it took me a good 10-15 minutes to read (about 5 of those minutes were spent joyfully STARING at Ryan Ottley’s GORGEOUS art). There is a lot of dialogue in this issue, but all of it is GOOD dialogue that FLOWS VERY NICELY. A lot of it is even witty banter between Mark Grayson (Invincible) and his girlfriend, parents, and friends. There is even a scene in a COMIC BOOK STORE where Mark comments on some of the  BUSINESS PRACTICES of the COMIC INDUSTRY which threw me into a fit of laughter. That scene once again proves to me that Robert Kirkman is a writer with A PAIR OF B***s.
There was A LOT that happens in this issue and after that comic book store scene I thought that it would be hard to top that, but the VERY NEXT SCENE proved me wrong. I won’t spoil it, but all I will say is that it was a very touching moment that is a UNIQUE and INTERESTING spin on the whole aspect of the ‘superhero catching the bad guy who robbed a bank’. It yet ANOTHER example of Kirkman really making this book his own spin on a superhero story. It really is something truly spectacular.
The end of the book is spent featuring the LONG-AWAITED RETURN (at least, for me anyway) of DINOSAURUS! I swear, sometimes half the fun of reading Invincible is reading all of the NEW and FUN names that Kirkman has created for the heroes and villains that he has created. Right away we figure out very clearly WHO Dinosaurus is and what his MOTIVES are and it really does make his character special and unlike your average super villain. The results of his plan are… well, BIZZARE to say the least and make for a pretty good CLIFFHANGER. Now I know I was complaining about Kirkman’s occasional misuse of Splash Pages (pages that have no panels in them) and there IS a DOUBLE Splash page in this issue, but it was done CORRECTLY and added the effect of what happened and showed readers the scale and magnitude of what Dinosaurus had done.
It seems that with each issue of Invincible Ryan Ottley’s art keeps getting BETTER and BETTER. No complaints at all for his art. It’s gorgeous.
My only complaint would be that there was an element of the story that happened in the previous issue that I was hoping Kirkman would address right away, but didn’t. Slightly disappointed, but Kirkman isn’t the type of writer who drops a story element or plot and then leaves it hanging for long periods of time, so HOPEFULLY Kirkman will explore it in the next coming issues because I’m looking forward to see how he handles it.
Overall, A VERY SOLID COMIC AND SERIES. If you guys are interested in reading Invincible I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to read it. Don’t know where to start well you can start with the FIRST VOLUME of Invincible and work your way through each volume if you are enjoying it. There are a total of 14 volumes of Invincible out so far. You can find them at your LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE, BOOK STORE, or USED BOOK STORE.
FEEL FREE TO COMMENT AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS! The water is FRESH, so please feel free to join in on the discussion!
I would rate Invincible#80:
9 out of 10 DINOSAURS

Scarlet#1 REVIEW (Is this the third strike for Bendis?)

14 07 2010

Cover art by Alex Maleev


Written by: Brian Michael Bendis 

Drawn by: Alex Maleev 

Price: $3.95 

Publisher: Marvel/Icon Comics 

You know that saying: “three strikes and your out?” Well to me that’s what my feelings toward Bendis have been recently. Avengers was strike one. New Avengers was strike two. So was Scarlet strike three? I can honestly say that Scarlet definitely was not a strikeout. 


Scarlet is about a girl who is basically trying to right the wrongs of the world, by eliminating the evil-doers. Throughout the entire issue the protagonist breaks the fourth wall constantly to tell the reader her story. To me, as an aspiring comic book writer myself, the technique of breaking the fourth wall is a dangerous one to use. It can either go well and work well with the story or it can fall flat on its face. In this book Bendis does it near-perfect. It’s a very unique way of telling his story and does a nice job of getting you emotionally invested in the character because she’s talking directly to you, the reader. Also the fourth wall breaking is the method of telling the story and not just a gimmick (like when Jessica Jones’ baby looks at you in an issue of New Avengers). There is a part where she and her boyfriend are running away from a policeman, who is a heavy narcotics user. Just when you think they’ve gotten away her boyfriend gets shot from behind by the policeman and is killed. That scene made me feel so bad for the protagonist, where in Bendis’ Avenger books I don’t give two craps about any of the characters in those books and what happens to them. 

The fourth wall breaking was so well done that, at times, I felt that this was based on a true story. I really did. The great thing about this book is that there is a strong female protagonist who reminds me a lot of Deena Pilgrim from Powers, which is another good Bendis book (the new volume is terrible, though). If you go back to my earlier blogs I’d constantly complain about the frequent misogyny in Bendis’ mainstream books. I don’t know why he can’t write all his female characters like this. Clearly he can write them really well, but he has also shown that he can do some pretty nasty things to them as well. Now, some bad things happen to this girl and I’m sure more bad things will happen to her, but when the bad things happened I felt an emotion other than disgust. I felt bad for her. There was also a funny Twilight joke which brought up a good point that all girls want nowadays is a pretty boy who’ll protect them 24/7. 

I can’t finish this review in good conscience without talking about the art. I have never been a huge of Alex Maleev’s art, but this is by far the best art I’ve seen him do. It’s truly a work of art. I’m still no fan of his, but I’m glad he did a nice job on the art chores. Now I do have a couple of complaints about this book. One was that there was no Parental Advisory or Explicit Content warning on the cover OR on the back of the book. This book is definitely NOT for those kids under let’s say 14-15 years of age. There is a ton of swearing, a fair share of violence, and some brief sex scenes. I’m usually ok with this if it doesn’t go overboard or becomes too much, but when you don’t put a warning on the cover of the book, I’m sorry but I’m gonna call the company out on this. The other thing I didn’t like about this book is… that I have to wait a month for the next issue!!! 

All in all it was a very solid issue that sets up the next issue perfectly and I can hardly wait for the next issue. For all of you who bought this last week, I don’t have to wait as long as you, so HAHA! 😀 

This is the Brian Bendis I know and love. I loved AKA Goldfish and his work on Ultimate Spider-Man. Why he can’t write like he does in this book and the stuff that he’s written that I’ve enjoyed, I don’t know. But I certainly hope he stays and I’m glad he’s still capable of writing solid stories.