Invincible returns from a very controversial previous issue that pushed the comic boundaries to an entirely different level. Robert Kirkman’s idea of incorporating real life traumatic rape sequences into his graphic comic depiction caused quite a buzz over the Internet last month, and all Invincible fans have been aggressively waiting for the next installment. As we left off in the issue #110, Anissa raped Invincible in a very disturbing 8-cell segment that was covered in alabaster skin and crimson covered blood. In issue #111 we pick up with Mark’s flight back to the Pentagon to meet Cecil Stedman to discuss issues from other dimensions. A confrontation occurs between the Robot and Invincible that sparks an all out war and two pages worth of organs, blood, brains, and more. Kirkman’s use of graphic torture and murder in his writing is what caused the popularity of the Walking Dead. In this series, he doesn’t let off easy and incorporates many of his twisted concepts into the death sequences of the first five pages of the comic. At this point, any reader with a light stomach may have not made it through the first half of the comic, but things only get more intense from there. The large, black mammoth-like Robot (being controlled by clone-Rex from an unknown location) infiltrates the apartment that Eve and Mark are staying in and adds to the list of disassembled body parts that are scattered across the bloody floor. Mark is able to blow the place to smithereens and safely remove Eve from the fiery inferno. Of all places and last minutes decisions, Mark turns to the person you would least expect.
The artwork of Ryan Ottley was extremely detailed and really provided a strong background to the already demented and twisted story line. Ottley and his team of artists really gave me a sense of urgency and unease with each death scene and could feel the torment as if I were in the actual book. The artwork is what really sold me and am interested to see what will happen in the coming issues between Mark and his father, reformed villain, Omni-Man. Robert Kirkman has a unique and distinguishable style that I look for in newer comics and will definitely be following in the upcoming release next month. I give Invincible a 4.5 out of 5 Nerd Skulls.
Saga returns this week with another euphoric ride through the planets Wreath and Landfall from the creative and genius mind of Brian K. Vaughan. This is a comic that is not only visually captivating, but the story line is just as riveting. After closely reading through the nineteen issues in the past few days, I have found myself pondering a life in the planet of Wreath and all the characters surrounding the core. Issue #19 is the next volume released in this series and takes place sometime after the last issue by picking up with the Robot Kingdom and in Gardenia where Marko, Alana, and Hazel currently reside. This issue is starting to set up the story line for much larger wars to come in the future, and is not as action packed as previous chapters but, the story still grabs the reader and douses them with a feeling of despondency. With each chapter, we become more committed to the lives of Marko and Alana and how the saturation of the two species has affected their child’s safety. The war is slowly combing its way to Gardenia and the unemployment rate is still incredibly high, causing Alana to lose her position at the Open Circuit. This leads into more confrontation between Marko and Alana at home where words are exchanged and causes more built up frustration. The stress of losing a job while having a family will affect any relationship, especially when children are involved. Hazel has grown up to be a young toddler from issue #18 to this one, and has started to develop horns on her forehead like her father. Marko seems more disconnected in this issue and has to constantly check his surroundings, not only for his safety, but for his family’s as well. Saga is a comic that has such intriguing back-stories, beautifully crafted artwork, and an original concept that makes the reader crave more.
This comic is much like Game of Thrones in the aspect of having numerous main characters, transitioning each week with a different focal point, but is still able to comprehend what is going on, and how the characters will intertwine. Fiona Staples’ immaculate illustration and precise color control is what defines the overall concept of Saga. The soft colors used on the main characters depict the ultimate science fiction realm that these characters live in and helps balance the good vs bad entities. This was a phenomenal issue in the Saga spectrum and I cannot wait to see what is in store for Gwendolyn, Klara, Lying Cat, Izabel, Heist, and Prince Robot IV. I am giving SAGA #19 5 out of 5 Nerd Skulls.