With Invincible #99 we’re just a single issue away from the big one-double-o, and, presumably, the death of a major character (or characters if you want to believe the story title and the marketing hype). Here’s the official description from Image:
“THE DEATH OF EVERYONE” continues!
Invincible Vs. Dinosaurus for the fate of the world! Could this be the end of Mark Grayson?!
I had mixed emotions when this storyline began last month, and #99 hasn’t really changed anything. While the Image marketing machine has understandably built up the events leading up to and in the one hundredth issue, the book itself has so far failed to create the sense of epic scale that the events of the storyline demand. In this newest issue, Invincible fights Dinosaurus as the rest of earth’s heroes struggle to contain the global disaster. While the fight is certainly epic, no amount of conversation can convey how serious this situation is.
In what I imagine was a mutual decision between writer Robert Kirkman and artist Ryan Ottley, the entire issue is composed of single-panel pages, so rather than being treated to a never-ending montage of punches, the fighting is distilled into a handful of fantastically rendered images. This makes the fight seem appropriately grandiose and larger-than-life. The downside is that the story doesn’t advance very much, and the global disaster supposedly taking place seems less than apocalyptic.
Ryan Ottley’s work for this issue is truly impressive. Thanks to the huge panels, half a dozen of this issue’s pages could be turned into posters. Dinosaurus, in particular, looks great and is probably the most well-drawn anthropomorphic lizard I’ve ever seen (it’s a longer list that you might think).
Invincible is one of those books where someone has to be naked or at least shirtless every couple issues, but this time around Mark loses his costume just because a building falls on him, so that’s a bit off.
From the very beginning, “The Death of Everyone” has suffered from having too much story to tell in too-small a space, and that problem persists. While I don’t really foresee the story righting itself in next month’s concluding, extra-sized issue, there’s always a chance.