Invincible – You Can Only Read Once

But you should read it. It’s an incredible comic, a masterwork, an example of how comics should be made. At least up until about chapter 110.

I wrote this as I read through the chapters. I also used the powers of time travel and hindsight to edit this post, so it’s a bit of a mess. Enjoy.

The Reboot

Mark found some ancient space tentacle. He touched it, and was thrown back in time and he could have had a perfect life, but he did things different and he would have never ended up with Eve and having the exact same child. While that sucks, it’s not like Rex was magically going to stop cheating, it would have eventually happened, though the child being different is quite a dealbreaker, though the fate of the world was in balance. Mark could have undone so much if he just wasn’t selfish. Considering the pain and suffering his actions and stupidity kept causing shouldn’t he have any desire to fix it and undo the harm, the pain?

Sorry your entire family was wiped out by mistake, I know I can bring them back to life, but you know I just had a kid. You don’t anymore, that sucks, but I do so fuck your family now. What? I know this is meant to be more realistic and not your generic superhero story, and maybe this would have made sense if it wasn’t so rushed, but this is such a turn off.

Kirkman dangled a carrot in front of me then took it away. Subverting my expectations was done great in previous arcs, here it’s just giving me the finger.

Would I be able to abandon my child for something as grand as the world? Probably not, but if reality is rewritten is it abandoning?

Make matters worse, when he got sent back to his time five years passed. Eve had another relationship with some random alien , Rex won over everyone, Thragg’s nu-viltrumites have grown. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the following chapters yet, but it would have been exciting to see what changes would have occurred. It was also nice seeing Cecil again. I can’t help but wonder if the Reboot chapters were partly made to spite the fans that might have wanted things to go back.

What bothers me is that Mark is being a coward again. I love that Invincible makes so much sense in so many cases, but now it’s the same old CW Arrowverse trope where hero does the same stupid thing again and again without ever learning from it so things go bad. Wasn’t he complaining about readers not liking new and exciting things?

He chooses, once again, to stay out of wars and fights. This is the same as when Amber was angry at him for saving the world. If you stay out of universe ending fights then there’s not going to be a universe to live in, dipshit. He’s hiding on some planet where the viltrumites will OBVIOUSLY come and find him. He already had this character growth of realizing why the good of the universe is more important than his personal good. He’s in the fucking universe!

This all just feels so rushed. Kirkman came up with a lot of the plots on the fly, which is fine, but he did have the chance to fix it with the reboot chapter. I think it would have all been masterful if he just continued from there to get back to the superheroics.

Looking a bit into it, looks like Ryan Ottley was as unhappy with the changes as I was. He didn’t want to draw for what wasn’t a superhero comic anymore, and Kirkman didn’t want to continue without Ottley, so they ended on The End of All Things. Not rebooting killed Invincible.

I really hope things will change in the animated show and that Invincible’s story will be so much better. They’ve already made a bunch of improvements to it, so one can only hope. As it comes, I’m starting to read The End of All Things and it’s a bit depressing. In a way, I wish I would have stopped reading it much earlier to keep in memory how amazing the comic has been so far.

I saw this Veritasium video the other day about our memory of peak moments and endings. A horrible ending can retroactively ruin the entire prior experience. Like he said, nobody is probably re-watching Game of Thrones, the same way I probably won’t read Invincible again.

Issue 131 – Who could have seen this one?

Just…no words. At one point Mark said something along the lines that he was an idiot and it’s better for Cecil to decide for him. Yup, that’s obvious, but like everything in this comic, Kirkman can never decide to stick with his character’s development, they just revert when the plot demands it.

Issue 132 – Oliburr is dead??

Viltrumites survived from far worse. Oliver cannot be dead from a single hole through him. You can argue he’s a halfblood, but so is Mark and remember what the big bulky Death & Destruction guy did to him? Mark survived a virus that decimated almost every other Viltrumite. Mark and Eve are going to go off planet, and he’ll come back surprising everyone “Hey y’all couldn’t have thought I was dead, Eve just was confused about my DNA” or something.

Mark changing his mind every 5 minutes whether killing is good or bad is definitely a story element.

See, this is what happens when you decide to stay out of fights, Mark. She reconstructed herself after, but somehow couldn’t revive Oliver. He cannot be dead just from that, come on.

The comic is ending soon, the next chapter is 1/12 of the end story, maybe that’s why all these weird decisions were made? Was Invincible cut short or did it reach its natural conclusion? Was Kirkman spiteful about it? He seems rather chill from what I can see, but who knows what happens behind closed doors.

Issue 133 – WHAT?

This is dumber than Cecil’s death. At least it makes sense for Cecil to die from those injuries. Now that we have the hindsight of editing, you will see, dear reader, how stupid this is. Viltrumite biology and how exactly a Viltrumite can die is just whatever Kirkman thought would be engaging and new that day.

Issue 134 – Thragg has feelings

Gee, looks like Nolan was right. A lot of these villains just never take a second to think, do they?

They powerleveled everyone so much, changed everything so much that superheroics make no sense anymore. Any single of these godlike beings could round up all earth’s criminals immediately.

The reboot should have happened.

Issue 135

Don’t have anything to say about this chapter, but this panel is really cute. If you want children you can’t not be won over by things like this. Like in Rimworld, happy children make the entire colony happier.

Issue 136 – War starts

Wow, Thragg is such a great leader people will just suicide bomb into what are basically concrete walls for them. You’d think some authoritarian despot would be a bit smarter than to repeat the exact same thing that got their race to extinction in the first place.

You know, I really started to like Thragg at one point, and it felt like he was beginning to turn into a…”normal” Viltrumite, the story would turn back to normal. Oh well.

Issue 137

Nolan was right, it was clear from the first moment. Viltrumites will fall in love on Earth, see there’s more to life than just combat and domination, and change their ways. Thragg just needed a big titty goth gf to fix his edge.

I love these comedic moments in Invincible, sad to see they’re going away. Though, this is more of a return to the basics. Even though he was talking about engaging and new things, Kirkman realized that things that work, work. Golly gee willikers

Beating up defenseless black men and stealing their children aren’t exactly heroic. Robot is completely evil now, he spent 1000 years in another dimension so that screwed him up.

Sort of reasonable, but you’d think the planet being in danger would be his wake up call.

Issue 138

Maybe he did change a bit


Phew he’s okay


Issue 139

Brit did this too, but his kid was actually…Invincible.


This is starting to get very DBZ

Issue 140

See what I mean about dbz? Or maybe it’s a JoJo reference. Invincible is chock full of cultural references to other popular media, so who knows?

Now they’re doing an Attack on Titan. He survived that, btw

Crispy Mark, the Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices

Issue 141

Of course Nolan dies. Thragg didn’t get all of his heart, but somehow enough to kill him.

I wish there was more rhyme or reason to how Viltrumites can heal or not. On one hand, Mark got obliterated, Destruction and the cool black Viltrumite barely had bodies left, even non Viltrumite Angstrom had his brain squashed Looney Tunes style, but Oliver immediately dies from a small fisting, and Omni-Man can’t somehow get an artificial heart or get his life preserved until they figure out a solution or anything at all? They literally keep Robot’s brain alive in a jar later on.

This is one of the most depressing moments in the comic.

Of course, Robot is now a bloodthirsty warmonger

Issue 142

It’s incredible seeing so many superheroes together, especially Best Tiger, who of course survived. I’d love reading a comic just about him. Remember, name not Good Tiger, name Best Tiger.

Future Titor: An Invincible Comic Universe would have been amazing, but that’s not possible if the main dude in the universe up and disappears on his own planet and never comes back. Maybe if they just left the story open ended, but they tried (horribly) closing things off, making it impossible to continue.

See now this could have been a superhero power couple in the future if Kirkman didn’t want to have so many engaging and new things. No, I’m never letting that go.

Oh shut the fuck up Robot. You put Rex’s name to shame.

Good thing Mark figured it out! At least at the end he finally learns something.

Remember when you were in that other dimension and you did this and immortal ended up enslaving the fucking earth? Well, I guess he has Kate now, but he’ll still live through her death and many others and get to the same spot. But guess what, this is NEVER explored because the comic ends in 2 issues.

In my headcannon, I’d like to think that what Mark did in that dimension is exactly what happened in the future of whatever Kirkman did here.

They should reboot the comic from the moment he was in that dimension, just say this actually showed that(or a similar) dimension’s Mark, not ours, and things could be so much better…I know, never happening, but a time traveler can dream!

At least Robot is starting to get back to normal, whatever that is. Too late though, two more issues remaining.

See, they put in all these plot points that seem good right at the end.

Issue 143 – penultimate

Well, Mark is an Emperor now. Absolutely nothing makes him special, he was just lucky. He’s consistently taken the worst possible decisions in the universe.

Boy age does suck. When I was in high school we were all in a rush to grow older, have our own careers, decide what to do with our time, what to study. Our homeroom teacher told us we’d look back during that time of our lives and miss it. We had less free time, we were poor, and the curriculum at the time was dogshit. I do miss being closer to my old friends, now we’re all scattered around in different cities.

We had this French teacher we called Nike because her face looked like the Nike logo, she had either some accident or some health issue. We were mean kids, but we mainly used that nickname to spite her for being authoritarian and disrespectful. She had connections in higher places, so all the complaints students and parents made were useless. She’d tell parents they failed raising their kid, she accused me and my deskmate of being in a gang(lol).

Yeah, I don’t really miss it, but it does suck being old and getting disconnected from your friends and loved ones.

Sure is nice seeing the…a team work again. Boy do I miss Cecil.

And again a nice comedic moment right before ending it. Stop being cruel, just have it bad until the end so I don’t regret it ending as much.

Issue 144 – What will you have 500 years from now?

Hopefully comics with much better endings.

Nice throwback, but too little too late. Literally nothing comes out of this because of the fast forward timeskip.

At first it’s just a recap of what happened so far, then there’s a nice setup for a possible invinciboy continuation. Boruto worked, though I haven’t stomached to watch it/read it as it looks a lot more childish. I liked when Shippuuden came in that everything was more adult, we grew up with Naruto so it only made sense he’d grow up with us too. When you read or watch something you immerse yourself into it, you relate to those characters. Sure, you can continue in the same universe, but it’s not the universe that made the show special, it’s the characters and stories that people loved.

Mark passes the torch to Marky, Battle Beast has a daughter that wants to kill all viltrumites.


This is sad

I thought robot big genius, galaxy brain, removed crime??

Big brain man had a son. Hey hey hey, another story that won’t go anywhere.

Robot will go insane here and destroy everything again.

After this it kinda time skips a bunch showing his kids grow up, he does some good around the universe, Debbie dies randomly off screen

Eve refreshes, she’s practically immortal

Absolutely nothing of value to the reader though. This is akin to ending a tragic movie with an on screen text explaining that in the end he met someone else, had fifty children and lived the happiest life he never thought possible. Of course you’re not going to be satisfied by it, because it didn’t happen in what you just read and basically has nothing to do with what you just read.

Also, what the fuck happened to the art in this final chapter? Ottley just didn’t care anymore, huh?

Final thoughts

The ending sucked. What’s the point of all those fucking kids and motivations if they happen at the end? Was he hoping Ottley would change his mind? None of that brought it back to a Superhero comic. It was never your classic Superhero comic, it was gritty, realistic, edgy. Everyone expects that to be the world of Superheroes, you can’t get so much power without any sort of little corruption, not everyone’s Superman.

We wanted to see that world, and we got it! Then Kirkman started turning it into an entirely different world. The only reason I even finished the comic is because of my FOMO and because I got so damn invested in the world and I prayed it would somehow get better. I might just be stingy from finishing something I really enjoyed, but I’ve been powering through the last maybe 50 chapters just to get it done with.

The reboot stuff might have been a parody of marvel and dc reboots, but not taking it really was the wrong option. Almost everything that happened from chapter 100 onwards, and possibly even before that, sucked. They should have taken on the Reboot and continued the parody of it in a new Saga.

The story felt rushed, incomplete, with so many loose ends. It definitely kept things new, but I don’t know about engaging. I thinks this might be another case of the story not being made for me, but just accidentally having lots of elements that made me love it. Elements which were not as important for the author.

I’m usually a purist, but that’s because the comic stories are usually so much better, and the first hundred or so chapters were amazing, but Kirkman, I beg you change these last 50 chapters in the animated series. Such an amazing story can’t run for so many chapters just to turn into this.

You could say invincible ended with Cecil’s death for me, or maybe sometime before that. I guess that’s why Kirkman was being edgy about people not liking things that are engaging and new, he wanted to make Invincible into something else, and people didn’t like it. Who knows what hate mail he got?

And no, this wasn’t planned from the beginning. He made it up as he went, like most successful comics and manga, but I guess this has its downsides. This could’ve been fixed in universe with the reboot, if only he rebooted a bit later in the timeline or didn’t screw up his relationship with Eve.

It’s nice that he spends the rest of his life with her, but there’s so many things left in the air that would have been amazing to read.

Remember how people said 2012 would be the end of the world? This might sound silly, but I think there really was a change. A serious cultural change started happening around that time. The internet stopped being just for us nerds, it became a place for everyone. Arguably this was already a thing since the beginning of the internet. There were cooking and travel blogs in the 90s, but I digress. This was good, ideas were shared, incredible progress was made, there was a space for everyone and everything!

Now this is the silly part, things otherwise left buried surfaced in people, including your favorite comic creators. Maybe some weird kink, some thoughts they used to have that were strengthened by accepting groups that just did not exist before around the people in real life, who knows, but you can see this change in other media from this era.

I said in another post that Flash revolutionized itself through new characters that took it to new levels of popularity each time, Wally being the last one. Well, guess what the geniuses at DC came up with for a new Flash to do the same in this time period? Wally West, but black. They didn’t have the creativity necessary to come up with an original black character that will take on the Flash mantle, so they just changed an existing character.

I don’t mind new characters, but why not make a new one entirely rather than slapping the same label pretending it’s the same one? Because fans know Wally and they’ll buy the comic because they see his name. No more Static Shocks or John Stewarts, it’s like microtransactions came into comics too and you just get a different skin. Incredible DC, no wonder manga sales are so much better.

Invincible 111 came out in 2014, and The Worst Ending of All Time happened in 2018. Does this mean newer comics aren’t going to be good? No clue, these are just random insomniac thoughts, but what I’ve read so far that’s newer than 2012 seems to have a decline compared to what came before. I’ve also read some really cool 2016 comics, so it’s hard to tell.

I don’t know what the next comic I’m reading is going to be. I’ll probably start my chronological read of Spider-Man, though I still have to sort out the list for that. It’s annoying because the existing reading lists e.g from here are based on opinionated websites rather than the actual timeline of the story, so there’s small (opinionated)mistakes in each.

My main idea for creating the reading list is flawed because of the horrible comic databases we have. Will try with GCD and Metron maybe to get all issues that contain spider-man and sort them in release order, then compare with the opinionated ones for chronological order and manually research what’s missing.

I do have the 60’s thru 80’s already done, so that’s a start! Boy was this a long post, though most of it was images.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA ImageChange Image