Picking up immediately after the foreboding end of last issue, Invincible #102 begins with Thragg attacking Omni-Man in his new home on the Moon. The title bout between them takes up most of one of the bloodiest issues we’ve seen in a while. Here’s the official description from Image:
It’s Nolan vs. Thragg on the surface of the moon as still more secrets about the Viltrumite Empire are revealed.
Dominated as it is by the big fight, there are only a couple of things that stand out in this issue, but most of them are pretty major. First up is a great segment in which Nolan saves Debbie, while simultaneously trying to hold his own against Thragg. Both Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley breathe life into these two, dialogue-free pages. The second notable scene of the issue involves a big revelation about Nolan. Longtime readers may feel the impact of this more than myself.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve only been reading Invincible for about ten issues. For most series, that would be more than enough time to get my footing, but here I still find myself not knowing exactly what’s going on. That’s because Robert Kirkman has created a large universe and is telling a big, long story. That’s fine. A single author telling a huge story can do things no one else can. But it also makes me wonder why the Big Two are often faulted for a preponderance of continuity, while long-running, creator-owned series, like Invincible and Fables, often get a free pass. Not an accusation, just food for thought.
The third item of note for this issue is yet another big development for Mark, which felt a bit rushed, tacked on as it was after the big fight. The lack of fanfare is even more obvious because Mark has had so much happen to him in the last couple issues.
Ryan Ottley delivers a fantastically brutal fight, while working against the difficulties of low gravity and a barren, uniform landscape (moonscape). The injuries border on cartoonish, but the drops of blood floating into the stars are starkly beautiful.
Invincible #102 has a fisticuff-laden plot made heavy by the weight of its revelations and developments. Long-time readers, in particular, will find it very rewarding.
Zac Boone would love to see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars. Follow him on twitter.