I have not been very impressed with Kirkman’s writing in either The Walking Dead or Invincible as of late. Major story arcs in both properties have felt more like set up than actual stories themselves. While Kirkman is known for doing this, in the case of Invincible the story had started to drag considerably. With issue 111, though, Kirkman has finally thrown down the gauntlet in the Invincible universe.
This issue is easily one of Kirkman’s best issues across all titles. We start with Mark recovering from the shocking events with Anissa at the end of issue 110, and very quickly move straight into the ongoing conflict with Robot. Once Robot makes his first move, I quickly realized that Robot is a super villain unlike any I have ever seen. He is ruthless. He is uncompromising. And he is committing these atrocities for the greater good. Robot is the kind of villain/anti-hero that puts the lives of the many over the few. He feels that he can make the world a better place, and he will kill anyone that stands in his way. Not only that, he is keenly aware of Mark’s ability to beat him, so he’s willing to attack Mark in the one way that he can hurt him: through his family. I do not want to give much away, but the scene in this issue at Mark’s house with Eve is brutal, and shows the depths of depravity that Robot is willing to go to in order to establish his vision.
When I finished this issue, I was speechless. I felt like I could not function for the rest of the day. This is classic Kirkman. The emotional roller coaster this issue took me on remind me a lot of The Walking Dead #48. Do not get me wrong, Kirkman relied heavily on shock value in this issue, but just as with TWD #48, it was done in a very natural, believable way. The events that took place in this issue will shake the foundation of the Invincible universe unlike anything before it.
People already know that Kirkman is an amazing story teller, but occasionally he goes beyond what we already expect of him, which is what makes him one of the greats. While his stories may drag every once in a while, this kind of issue is what makes me a Kirkman fan. If you are not reading Invincible yet, then please, do yourself a favor and read this series, even if only to be able to read this issue with full context of the series. This issue will easily go down as one of the best in the series, and that earns it an easy five out of five stars from me.