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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Review: Invincible Compendium Vol 1

 Usually when I review comic books I like to review multiple volumes at once. Most comic book stories are so short (especially the anime-style story-telling today) that it takes more than a couple of volumes to tell a complete arc. But Invincible Compendium Vol 1 breaks all those rules.  To begin with, it's massive, weighing in at around 5 pounds and 1024 pages. The book is huge! What makes the book even more impressive is that the library copy I checked out wasn't falling apart at the binding the way books like The Food Lab (a hardcover volume at 958 pages) did.

OK, physically the book is impressive, but how about the art and story? The art is simple and nothing special --- certainly nothing that wow'd me the way Todd McFarlane's initial run on Infinity, Inc did. There are a few creative moments (there's a 2-page spread with the climax of a battle scene overlaid on top of a series of panels depicting the fight that led up to the climax), but I wouldn't buy or read this for the art.

The plot, however, is great. Kirkman (who also wrote The Walking Dead and SuperDinosaur) throws us a curveball, first by depicting what we think as being unusual, which is the story of a superhero who's father is also a superhero and is around to guide him, and then throwing us a curveball when the reveal depicts something much more sinister. Kirkman isn't a wordsmith like Alan Moore - the dialog is never more than workmanlike, and the captions never approach the lyricism, metaphor, or meaning of Alan Moore's work, but the twists, the depictions of recurring villains, and some of the ideas are great. The book never gets reset to status quo, and the characters are believable, even if goofy.

It took me 3 entire days to read the book, and midway through I just went back and placed holds on the rest of the series. I'm looking forward to it premiering as a TV show on Amazon Prime in March. Recommended!

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