Volume 1 of Invincible: Ultimate Collection collects 13 issues of the Eisner Award-nominated series and offers a look at another superhero who learns there’s more to saving the day and staying alive than punching stuff.
Robert Kirkman’s Invincible follows the same plot of a lot of other superhero comics where the hero in question just discovers that he/she has superpowers and must decide how to best use them. The hero in question is Mark Grayson (a.k.a., Invincible), a high school senior who discovers that he, like his dad Omniman, has superpowers like super-strength, near invulnerability, and the power of flight. Mark comically discovers his superpowers when the simple act of taking out the trash goes horribly awry, and from there, Omniman mentors Mark as he gets his new costume, hangs out with teen superheroes the Teen Team, and stops a deranged science teacher.
The book starts off like a rollicking action-adventure story laced heavily with humor, mainly dealing with the unusual situations Mark finds himself in as he’s learns how hard it is to follow in his Dad’s footsteps. The first few volumes of the story have the feel of what used to show up on Saturday morning television, but then Kirkman puts the metaphorical screws to Invincible and the readers as Invincible, the future protector of planet Earth, learns a dark secret about his father, a secret so terrible that it leads to one of the most destructive, brutal, and bloody fight scenes ever seen in a superhero comic, quickly moving into older teen/adult territory.
The artwork of Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley shows a love for classic Gold and Silver Age comics from the way the heroes fly to the scene to the bizarre, almost ridiculous looks of heroes that could earn the duo some lawsuits from DC. Invincible: Ultimate Collection has a maturity to its storytelling as well as some mature situations, but older teens should like this book because Mark Grayson could be any teen with a job, a possible love interest, and a growing concern for where he is going to college… except for the fact that he has superpowers. Older teens will definitely relate to Grayson as Kirkman piles on the drama and pathos, all so Mark Grayson can learn to be Invincible.