This week I’m doubling back to an older book. I waited because I want to talk without spoiling anything for anyone. At this point, if a fan of Image’s Invincible hasn’t read the latest issue by now… then they aren’t really a fan, which brings us to Invincible # 127, by Robert Kirkman with art by Corey Walker.
This issue was crazy good! For those of you who are not up to date on Invincible or not familiar with it, the book follows a young man named Mark Grayson who develops super powers, like his father, and finds out he is half alien. He becomes a super hero, falls in love, has a kid and leaves the planet. He is a huge hero in his universe and has decided to semi retire, for the sake of his young family. On one of the rare missions he is required for, he gets sent back in time, back to the first panel of the first issue. He is given a choice: to stay in the world he has bettered or go back to his own time, which he chooses, finding he has been gone for 5 years, his daughter having grown up without him.
So this is the return of Invincible after its several-month hiatus. In this issue we see no fight; we see no blood, no powers, nothing but a man coming to terms with missing 5 years of his life. 5 years of his daughter’s life and 5 years of his wife, brother and friends lives. Mark is a broken man in this issue. The first panel of the book is him with tears streaming down his face as his daughter stands before him. This moment just encapsulates why I love this title so much. It’s a superhero book chock full of aliens and powers but unlike other hero books, the characters are very relatable and are trying to lead normal lives in extraordinary times.
This opening few panels has one of the most touching moments in comic history. Terra, Mark’s daughter, looks perplexed at her dad, see’s his pain, and replies “It’s okay, I still love you” when Mark apologizes. It utterly destroyed me the first time I read it. The idea is so human and so touching and so realistic. Even though the scene takes place between a flying person and a small child on an alien planet with advanced technology it feels so relatable and human. You can feel the pain that Mark feels, it’s the same pained joy you see in the eyes of soldiers who have served over seas and see their babies now walking and talking and not knowing their father or mother.
The rest of the issue follows the Grayson family as Mark start to readjust. They decide to go off planet to reconnect and Allen the Alien (real character name) asks to help with the mission that got Mark caught up to begin with. He has an intense exchange with Allen about how he already gave him 5 years of his life, he was done. The comic’s ends with them going to a planet with a vacation home made by Eve, Mark’s wife. Here she tells him that while he was away, while she thought him dead, there was someone else in her life.
The art is not the usual Ryan Ottley masterpieces, but rather it features Corey Walker, Invincible’s original artist. This arc is reportedly a fresh start and new direction for the book so the fact that Corey Walker is back for it is awesome. I prefer Ottley but I really appreciate the respect Kirkman and Image have for the series and for Walker by bringing him back. The book is still gorgeous. I love this book.