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Comics Modern Age

Monthly (Comic) Book Club - April - Invincible14292

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Originally Posted by dielinfinite
Did the tv series include the various Image cameos during the funeral?


No, it didn't. I read some Image in the 90s (as I'm sure everyone did) but not much, and still recognized a decent number of the characters in that issue. It was a fun touch.
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#9: I enjoyed the Star Trek parody at the beginning, and apparently something important is happening on Earth now that the testing guy knows which planet it is.

Eve seems to be a bit more assertive now that she left Teen Team. Or maybe I'm reading into it?

I feel like the series is leaning into the comedic parts more now. Monster Girl goes off on Rex with hardly any justification, giving him a pretty solid beating. I think we're supposed to take it as funny, that a little girl would turn into a giant monster and beat the crud out of the unlikeable guy. It makes her unlikeable in my eyes; the response seemed pretty disproportionate.

Plotwise, I feel like Kirkman is working things out better now. We have the hanging issue of whatever the alien guy knows about Earth; we picked back up the thread of Robot trying out for the big leagues and now we have a few known characters on a new team; and we have the Mauler twins reviving (?) the Immortal, in unknown mental shape. I don't know if I would call it focused, per se, since one issue has three plot lines running through it, but it's at least organized and there's an obvious ongoing plan.
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#10: on the topic of effective jokes, I enjoyed the meta-joke about artists reusing their art across panels. Obvious, but a fun poke at the industry. That said, Mark not knowing about a signing at the store where he has his pull list seems a little weird. Who gets their comics religiously and doesn't know if their store is having a signing?

... and that gets answered a few pages later. That's what I get for writing my thoughts while reading the issue.

Similarly, I was going to say that after me saying that the last issue was doing a better job of staying on-track, this one felt kind of scattered. But it sure made up for it at the end. Answering my question about what state the Immortal was in, he apparently remembers everything and wants some answers. Omni-Man smartly takes the battle to the skies where no one will hear any of the 'discussion', except Mark shows up right when Omni-Man brutally kills the Immortal... again. I feel like this is much more of the hook that the cartoon had, and now I'm invested. The stakes are actually a bit higher, since in the cartoon it's just the audience (so far, pretty much) who knows what Nolan did, but in the comic now it's Mark too.
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#11 is basically all plot, so I don't feel I have much to say about it. I think Mark's reaction is completely appropriate, and Nolan's lack of expecting that reaction is a poor show for him. I guess in his head he's been giving Mark that speech for so long that he just thought it would go over better, but he didn't think about Mark being raised as a human and not knowing that history, or hearing the speech right after seeing his dad rip a superhero in half. And I guess in #12 we'll find out if Mark is actually invincible or not.
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#12 delivers the beatdown that you would have to expect, but I do think it was done in an effective way.

Nolan punching Mark through buildings, subways, and a mountain while causing a huge amount of collateral damage is basically every other weekday for the DC movies. But Nolan does it to make a point; he and Mark (and any random Viltrumite) are so powerful that at any moment they could destroy as much of the Earth as they care to. It's damage that makes a point.

I don't want to get off-track too much, and certainly not invite another multi-page thread on the quality of Batman Vs Superman, but this was my main criticism of the movie. Batman is all up to get rid of Superman because, in Batman's words, if there's even a 1% chance that he goes bad, the Earth is doomed. And then Batman just decides there isn't because Superman has a mom? I mean, geez. When the guy is trying to do *good* he destroys half a city. But there's never any reckoning with that, and Batman does a complete 180 on the issue in the amount of time it takes to say "Martha". It's extremely stupid. Don't people who care for their families also have even a 1% chance of being bad people overall?

To that point, Mark eventually stops his personal beating by playing the family card. Even if he's well beyond the Earth in terms of ability and lifespan, he'll still be living with his dad 500 years from now. That's enough to give Nolan pause. So is Nolan a good guy now? Or is he going to wipe his tears, come back to Earth, and keep killing people?

I'm much more invested now. Looking forward to reading the next set of issues.
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Originally Posted by xkonk
I don't know if I would call it focused, per se, since one issue has three plot lines running through it, but it's at least organized and there's an obvious ongoing plan
It definitely seems to be heading in a direction now aside from things just kind of happening: the Guardians were killed and now we’re building a new team while the villains revived the Guardians’ most powerful member.

I’m not too bothered with Monster Girl’s introduction. I wouldn’t call it “hardly any justification” as he was insufferably patronizing. Disproportionate? Sure. But in superhero circles it doesn’t seem like a severe beating.

I’m actually more interested in the guy cowering in the test chamber with peace signs on his uniform. What’s his name? What are his abilities? How does he effectively fight crime? I almost want a mini-series all about him!

Aside from rebuilding the Guardians, we’ve also got a bit of a love triangle brewing with Mark, Eve, and Amber. Omni-Man also seems to be trying to find the words to tell Mark something. I imagine it will be to admitting he killed the Guardians but the book isn’t quite playing him as the big bad just yet. Maybe it’s trying to keep him rounded instead of just saying “oh he’s evil” and that be the end of it. And of course the Alien tester flying back to Earth. For what reason? I guess we’ll see!
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In issue #1. the series continues with its no-context villains with a good chunk at the start of the issue dedicated to a fight with Doc Seismic, a villain we no nothing about, whose goals are unknown, and we have no idea how Mark got involved.

The story touches on Mark’s growing love triangle and how Omni-Man is busy picking up the slack of the new, less efficient and less experienced Guardians.

We take small steps in the ongoing investigation into the Guardians’ murder as well as Samson’s relationship with his loyal butler.

I think this issue also firmly establishes that Mark may be the only hero that can really stop Omni Man if it came to it. You’d imagine the Immortal is the strongest of the Guardians, pretty much introduced as Superman. Yes Omni Man killed him in a sneak attack but this time the Immortal surprises Omni Man and though he gets a few good hits in Omni Man handily ended the fight when he wanted to, unfortunately that was after his son overheard that he’d killed the Guardians.
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Yup, pretty much all exposition, though going back to the reused art joke, a lot of this issue looks only slightly different from Omni-Man’s sugar-coated version from issue #2. Though very similar, I do think it was actually all redrawn.

I guess the end of the issue feels like a Darth Vader moment where the bad guy asks the son to join him in being a bad guy and when the son refuses then the son must die.

The stakes are sufficiently set and I’m definitely eager to read more. I still think a lot of story-telling time from the first issue until now could have been better utilized and more focused to really emphasize the emotional stakes that are coming to a head instead of spending so much time on zero-context encounters (did we ever find out what was up with that suicidal robot??).

Still, better to get the series on track later than never and assuming it sticks with its renewed focus it can be an interesting read going forward
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Wk4 (4/26-5/2): Invincible #12-13



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Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I’m not too bothered with Monster Girl’s introduction. I wouldn’t call it “hardly any justification” as he was insufferably patronizing. Disproportionate? Sure. But in superhero circles it doesn’t seem like a severe beating.


I think it might be the difference between a comic and seeing it 'live'. In the comic he was rude for like two or three panels? In the cartoon it felt like it went a little longer, and you get all of the voice actor's intonation (and he's very much an obnoxious jerk).
Plus, Monster Girl turned it into a competition for the team in the cartoon, which made the fight feel more justified. And we have no idea what Rex's toughness is like; if he's basically Gambit, then taking a couple super-powered punches would be devastating. Not that it's a huge deal; this is Kirkman's comedy, and Rex will be fine. It's an example of where I liked the presentation better in the cartoon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I’m actually more interested in the guy cowering in the test chamber with peace signs on his uniform. What’s his name? What are his abilities? How does he effectively fight crime? I almost want a mini-series all about him!


I'm not much of a DC reader; is that basically Dove?
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Originally Posted by dielinfinite
Yup, pretty much all exposition, though going back to the reused art joke, a lot of this issue looks only slightly different from Omni-Man’s sugar-coated version from issue #2. Though very similar, I do think it was actually all redrawn.


I didn't pay attention to the credits but I assume it's just Ottley? If so, I would hope it was all redrawn even if obviously guided by Walker's original panels.
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I guess I jumped the gun last week by reading #12. I also went and sped-read through up around issue 20 because I was invested. I'm going back and reading 13 now.

The first few pages, all wordless, do a good job of conveying emotion. It must be pretty terrible to see your husband and son/friend and his dad get into a super brawl on TV. And they didn't see the worst of it, presumably, since the fight covered so much ground. And finding out that your husband was planning on enslaving the Earth is pretty rough.

Cecil setting things up for the Graysons seems awfully nice, but given his later discussion with Mark about replacing Omni-Man puts a different face on things. It's a lot easier to convince someone to work for you when they're paying all your bills (or pulled strings so that your bills get paid). Of course, it could be both. The general vibe kind of reminded me of college sports though. A kid gets this offer, or promise, and maybe doesn't think through all the implications and details.

William and Eve getting together seems slightly forced, just to keep up a triangle for Eve and Mark. There's no particular in-story reason that William couldn't ask Eve out, but the situation seems kind of cliche. Or maybe Mark and Eve will never get together, that would be different.

Allen the alien showing up too late is kind of funny in an ironic way, but didn't really get a laugh from me. Maybe it's setting up more of a general idea that Allen/the Coalition of Planets aren't that good at what they do?

Last week in the cartoon was the Omni-Man vs the Immortal fight, so I can see how they wrap up the first season in a couple days.
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The fight in issue 12 is certainly reminiscent of Zod and Superman in Man of Steel, except neither character in the book is burdened with the expectations of being Superman so the whole collateral damage thing doesn’t bug you as much as it did in that movie. Also the fight here doesn’t feel like it drags on for nearly as long.

Mark continues to show his willingness to reason and talk things out, though it clearly has little effect. It does make sense that what finally connects with Omni-Man isn’t JUST the family card, as Mark had brought up his mother. Instead it’s Mark, his son AND fellow Viltrumite. It is certainly more effective than Batman v Superman’s attempt at something similar.

I certainly wouldn’t think Omni-Man is going to change his ways. I imagine he’s going to come back and try to turn Mark to his side again and in doing so, basically have permission to enforce his will on the planet. I mean, we know Mark won’t agree but I can see Omni Man wanting to make the attempt.
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The textless page do a great job of touching on the various characters and their reaction to the events and Mark’s absence.

The issue is pretty much the denouement, coming down after the major event of the last issue and setting up the new normal. Mark is basically recruited to replace his father as Earth’s protector in what I imagine might end up being a devil’s bargain with the government. They pay his way and he is at their beck and call. Surely nothing can go wrong with that arrangement!

We do get a glimpse of the Immortal coming back...again. So I guess in a way he is immortal.

As for William and Eve, I’m not sure how that will play out. Is Eve still hung up on Mark after seeing him kissing Amber?

One thing I thought a bit weird is how the new Guardians have barely been assembled and they’re already getting scolded for responding too slowly. I guess I would've liked to actually see some of that beyond the disfunction at the audition.

I don’t think Allen returning too late was meant to be funny, just unfortunate. Bi-plane’s corpse floating in space did give me a chuckle, though. Their conversation on the moon seemed earnest and sincere. Allen clearly screwed up in going to Earth instead of Urath but it was that mistake that altered him to the Viltrumite on the planet and brought him back and now Mark may have more allies should his father and his kind return.

I’m definitely interested in reading more so I might pick up more of the hardcovers in the near future, especially if they’re as affordable as this one one.

This book has a pretty hefty sketchbook section that is interesting to flip through. It includes the original proposal which basically sets up that Mark is a typical high schooler doing high school things when he gets his powers and that his hero father is actually a villain. The proposal is a little different than the final book in that the proposal says that Nolan was a retired war hero on his planet and the Earth was his retirement present and that he’s biding his time before taking over.

Similar to what we got but different in that it makes it seem like Omni Man is on his own while in the final story he’s preparing the planet to be taken over by his own kind.

Of course there’s a lot between Mark getting his powers and Omni Man’s motives being revealed so I’m still not sure exactly how much was planned as it still seems a bit course-corrected over the issues we read.


EDIT: Okay, just took a look and I’m not sure if its the market doing its thing but it doesn’t look like I can find subsequent volumes, or even this one, for as cheap as I got my copy. I think I paid like $15 shipped to get my book and now everything I see is closer to the cover price of $35. A little higher or lower but not exactly bursting at the seams with deals. I guess I’ll have to keep an eye out and hopefully things cool off a bit
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Starting Monday, New Month, New Reading, New Thread!

Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes

Wk1 (5/3-5/9): The Sandman #1-2




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With the Invincible cartoon (maybe I should have been calling it an 'animated series' this whole time? I don't know the difference) wrapping its first season back on Friday, I thought I'd summarize my thoughts there.

The first season essentially overlaps with the issues we read, wrapping with the the Invincible vs Omni-Man fight and it's immediate aftermath. There are some differences from the comic, but nothing overly major. It's a little interesting in that the cartoon does present some things that happen in later issues of the series that I read ahead on. The Reanimen part is more developed in the cartoon because it has the short attack on campus, like we read, but then also has material from a future issue.

There are a couple of places where small changes had what I would consider a big difference. In the comics (past where we read), Amber breaks up with Mark because he's constantly late or missing things, and the final straw is when he disappears during the campus attack. She rightfully feels abandoned and unimportant. In the cartoon a lot of the same stuff occurs, but after the campus attack Mark reappears and says that he ran off to get the police. It makes Amber seem a bit less in the right. The cartoon also doesn't seem as explicit in setting up a "will they won't they" with Mark and Eve. But even these aren't big differences in the grand scheme of things.

I do think the big advantage goes to the cartoon for having the opportunity to reorder the presentation of the story beats. I mentioned before, the comic seemed unfocused at times or had odd pacing; the cartoon did a good job of ironing all that out. Setting up the conflict between Mark and his dad is obviously the big hook for the first 12 issues/season, and the cartoon did that much more effectively than the comic, which basically waited half of the time to even let us know there was a conflict.

I don't know how much more of the comics I'll read, as my reading time already gets spread a little thin, but I'll look forward to the future seasons of the cartoon. It's an enjoyable story and I'm curious where it will go.
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