Invincible Ultimate Collection Vol. 2
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $34.99 US, HC
**** 1/2 (out of five)
One of the biggest complaints I hear about comic books nowadays is how superhero series have become too predictable.
The characters many of us grew up with have become so iconic that you can never push them to much of an edge and thus you never fear for or with them nor feel too invested in their lives.
Invincible has been the antidote for these musty old superhero stalwarts for almost three years now, thanks to a fantastic blend of action, humour and romance, courtesy of wonder-boy writer Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Marvel Team-Up) and artists Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker.
Essentially, Invincible is what legends like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and the rest would come up with if they were shaking up the industry now instead of 40 years ago, when they combined teen romance titles with men in tights and came up with titles like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and more.
This isn’t the grim-and-gritty real-world crapola that has dominated so much of the genre over the past 20 years. Invincible is like life: some ups, some downs, some babes, some bad guys — but in a flying-without-an-airplane kind of way.
Volume 2, collecting the entire second year of the series along with a boatload of bonus material, opens with Mark Grayson, a.k.a. teen hero Invincible, recovering from learning the staggering truth that his father is actually a supervillain.
But never a series to dwell on the downers too long, Mark is pressed right back into helping save the world by helping stop a global invasion, rescuing a mission to Mars and stepping up to wear a dress in a wedding to the queen of a species of fishy sea-dwellers!
This volume shows this series really gaining momentum and establishing a pile of key little plot points that creep up later. This collection isn’t just ultimate — it’s essential.
DMZ Vol. 1: On The Ground
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Price: $13.50/$9.99 US (Paperback)
**** (out of five)
Most people have had a crappy summer job or internship, but Matty Roth has got us all beat.
He’s been hired as a photo tech intern for Liberty News, what he thinks will be a desk job, only to find out he’s going into the DMZ — Manhattan.
There’s a war on between the United States and the so-called Free States and now Matty’s stuck in the middle — thanks to the fact his ride gets blown up the second he touches down.
With the help of a sympathetic local, Matty survives his first few days in the DMZ and then begins the slow process of documenting the lives of the remaining New Yorkers, who much to his surprise, aren’t all savages living off fried rats.
Writer Brian Wood (Demo, Local) and artist Riccardo Burchielli paint a vivid portrait of the never-say-die spirit of NYC in this slick and significant new Vertigo series.