You. Must. Buy. This!
If there is truly a superhero comic being published today which is as creatively pure, as consistently high quality and as mamothly entertaining as Invincible, it's probably being published in a parallel universe on an earth remarkably similar to our own, but on this earth, it doesn't exist. *Nothing compares* to the insane creativity and mesmerizing art of Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley and co. on Invincible, and jaded comic fans looking to reclaim some of that childhood magic of looking forward to a new issue of any comic character on a monthly basis, should simply forget the other stuff they normally get and start clicking right now, on the 'add to cart" option here on Amazon for all the Invincible Ultimate Collection HCs instead. They're so good, they could honestly be your comic diet staple and you probably wouldn't notice you'd stopped reading everything else...
In Vol.7, everything Kirkman has been working toward since issue one of the series is finally given expression and the team simply blows it out of the park. Mark has gone off into space with his father Nolan and half-brother-full-of-crap Young Omni-Man to join Allen the Alien and fight the vicious Viltrumites, leaving his beautiful girlfriend and mother behind on Earth. In an epic struggle in which our heroes are maimed, nearly killed and in which the stakes are unbelievably high, Mark's determination to win and save the human race moves him to make incredible sacrifices and endure tremendous odds. With battles so epic that they literally involve the fate of worlds, Kirkman and crew take readers through an emotional rollercoaster that quite literally produces the extremes of jaw dropping disbelief and heart wrenching sorrow. And then, just when you think Kirkman has turned the final screw and all hope is lost, he delivers a final gut punch so deep and so mean, entire organs recede in your body to make way for your sinking heart... and it's sOoOoOoOoOoOOooOo good it's bloody fantastic! So good in fact I'm deliberately going to avoid discussing more story details here because I want new readers to take that voyage of discovery I had when I first read these stories! They're in for a ride!
While Walking Dead, the other major work by Kirkman, has been waning just a little of late, Invincible is a comic rolling along with the creative energy and urgency of a runaway freight train. Often compared by fans to a hybrid of Superman and Spiderman, Kirkman has nonetheless managed to create something incredibly original and vital with Invincible. As a hero, Mark Grayson is relatable and very human, and despite his amazing and incredible powers is a character that you can't help but cheer for. Surrounded by a vast array of intriguing and incredibly exciting characters, and grounded in a world that is at once recognizable but amazing, Invincible is a pure undiluted entertainment fix that should probably be illegal due to the high levels of "happy hormones" it likely releases for the comic reading public on a regular basis.
To be fair, it has to be admitted that, if Kirkman were the only real talent here, you wouldn't be reading this review. This book looks great and always has. The art by Ryan Ottley, together with amazing inkers and incredible colors, makes Invincible simply one of the best looking books on the stands. Drawing the book regularly since about issue 8, Ottley has turned Invincible into his own, and in vol.7, Ottley unleashes image after image of jaw dropping penciling sweetness that has to be seen to be believed. Between epic battles, alien worlds, gorgeous but believable women, fantastic space ships, amazing aliens and sensational super-heroics, Ottley delivers some of his best images and pages yet, topped off by some of the most detailed and beautiful covers he's produced for the entire series so far.
These Ultimate HCs are just fantastic books, and probably the best way to experience this comic. With oversized pages, extensive "dvd like extras" of sketches and commentary at the back, solid HC stock and beautiful, colorful slipcase covers, it's pretty hard to beat their value, and for the discount Amazon offers them, it should frankly be a criminal offence to visit Amazon for graphic novels and not purchase one. For those who read this series regularly, I don't need to convince you. But I've written this review principally with those who have never bought an Invincible book or who may have lapsed reading Invincible from the early days. It was the loads and loads of glowing Amazon reviews of early volumes that caused me to pick the first volume up in the first place, and I'm grateful to those people who did, `cos I wouldn't have found the greatest comic being published in this universe, or any other, without them. If you have never read Invincible before, don't start here, but do buy this! Buy all the previous volumes. And enjoy!