For as long as Invincible has been around I actually didn’t start reading it until this year. Having recently finished reading all the issues of Invincible that have been released so far I’m excited to finally be reading Invincible on a monthly basis. This latest story arc with Mark Grayson getting used to living in a universe several years older than he left it has been intriguing. There has been a lot of interesting world building going during this time. With Invincible getting closer to ending with each passing issue I’m excited to learn what Robert Kirkman has in store for us next. Let’s find out with Invincible #131.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Cory Walker
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Oliver wakes up to answer a call from Thragg. Thragg tells Oliver he needs to know that Oliver is completely loyal to the Viltrumite cause. Oliver wonders what else he can do to prove his loyalty.
Thragg reveals he wants Oliver to do nothing as he has ordered Invincible and Atom Eve’s execution. Oliver pleas to for a chance to speak some sense into Mark. Thragg says he has already given out his orders and hangs up.
Haluma walks into the room wondering why Oliver looks shaken.
Over at their vacation planet, Mark and Terra are playing catch while Eve is gardening. Eddy, Terra’s robot teacher, says that it’s time for Terra’s science lesson. Terra tries to get out of it but Mark tells her that she needs to go to her lesson.
Onaan suddenly appears and destroys Eddy with his landing. Onaan grabs Terra as Ursaal lands nearby.
Mark quickly leaps into action and is able to get Terra away from Onaan’s grip. He then throws Terra to Eve to keep her safe.
Ursaal suddenly grabs Eve by her leg. Eve uses her powers to transform her leg below her knee into an energy attack, revealing that she is actually missing that part of her leg in the process. Ursaal recovers and continues her attack on Eve and Terra.
Mark rushes to help and knocks Ursaal down. Even hands Terra back to Mark and orders him to fly her to safety.
While they are flying away Mark reassures Terra that everything will be okay and that Terra needs to be brave. Just then Onaan reappears flying right behind them.
Back at the vacation home, Eve is able to dodge Ursaal’s attacks. Eve then launches her own counterattack that covers Ursaal’s head with an energy helmet. Eve uses this opening to head into the house.
Back in the sky, Mark is flying as fast as he can so Onaan can’t catch them. Unfortunately Terra is able to withstand the speed and asks Mark to slow down. Mark says he can’t and flies even faster.
After a short period Mark is able to create enough distance and stops to apologize to Terra. Terra tells Mark she can’t breathe.
Onaan finally catches up and tackles Mark from behind. This causes Mark to lose his grip on Terra. Luckily Mark is able to catch Terra with one arm and punch Onaan away from them at the same time. Mark tells Terra to hold her breath as he is going to continue flying them away.
Back at the house Ursaal is tearing the place apart looking for Eve. As she is getting angrier Eve uses the opening to attack Ursaal from the bottom floor. Ursaal is able to use her strength to overpower Eve and knock her down. Ursaal tells Eve that Eve was dead the moment Thragg ordered her execution. Eve yells at Ursaal to get it over then.
Elsewhere, Mark continues flying through the sky but is unable to fly fast enough as Onaan quickly catches up to him. Onaan grabs Mark by the leg which causes Terra to fall again. Mark kicks Onaan away, catches Terra and places her on his back so he can have a better fighting stance.
Mark fights Onaan but is unable to defend himself which Onaan uses to his advantage to punch him in the face and grab Terra. Mark rushes at Onaan saying he is going to kill him. Onaan suddenly throws Terra down as he thought Mark was going to say “Let go of her.” The issue closes with Terra quickly falling to the ground below.
The Good: Robert Kirkman is an excellent writer who knows how to execute his stories. Unfortunately Invincible #131 will not be a comic book that will be among his highlights as a creator. While we get an interesting extended action sequences it was an extremely dull fight that did not add much to the overall story.
One thing that Invincible #131 does accomplish is show us the power level of Onaan and Ursaal. These two are clearly the standouts amongst Thragg’s army of children. In many ways they remind me of Android 17 and 18 from Dragon Ball Z. Like the Androids from DBZ, Onaan and Ursaal enjoyed playing with Mark and Eve befor killing them. This is a good way to give these two unique aspect to their personalities compared to other Viltrumites who just enjoy violence and killing.
Invincible #131 also added to the mysteries of what exactly happened during the period Mark was gone by showing us that Eve is actually missing a leg. This revelation creates further questions of not only what Eve has gone through but what others have done during Mark’s disappearance.
Cory Walker continues to do a good job with how he draws the characters. There are no inconsistencies in his artwork which allows the story to flow much better. He also nails the characters various facial reaction
The Bad: When it comes to Invincible #131 nothing of consequence really happens. Outside of the fight and brief appearance of Oliver and Thragg there was no movement in the plot. Even the fight between Invincible, Atom Eve, Onaan and Ursaal felt hollow.
The big problem with the fight is the setting of the fight. With the entire fight taking place in a flat plain there was nothing about it that made you feel like there was an element of surprise. It was just Mark flying through the same empty pink sky and then stopping for a bit before continuing.
I’ve also become tired of how weak Kirkman is making Mark look. Even if Mark is still trying to adjust to his new life it does not mean that he has lost all of his experience as a hero. Part of that experience has been overcoming through some of the greatest obstacles a hero can fight. And after 6 issues of Mark getting used to this new timeline this was the time for him to actually step up to be the hero we know him to be
While protecting Terra presented a wildcard in this situation it shouldn’t of stopped us from seeing Mark be Invincible. This should’ve been the time Mark stepped up by actually thinking of other ways to fend off Onaan than flying away. All of Mark’s actions are make him look even weaker when you consider his entire plan was just flying around the planet as fast as he could. What good is that going to do against someone that can fly just as fast? It made no sense for the story.
Another character that continues to not look so great following the time skip is Oliver. While I was interested in his turn as an informant for Thragg at first, Kirkman is quickly losing my interest in this sub-plot. Oliver needs to start doing more than just talking and trying not to act nervous. He is definitely one character that is in need of a standalone issue to get him out of the gutter if he is going to matter at the climax of the series.
And as I mentioned earlier, the entire setting of this fight lacked imagination. Invincible #131 is an example of a story where the artist should’ve given more input in the fight choreography. Simply adding a forest area for Invincible and Onaan to fly through would’ve added actual excitement to the chase. Heck, even some mountains in the background would’ve been more creative than the bland pink background shot in every panel that we ended up getting. With how creative and intense the action sequences that Walker has drawn in the past this will definitely go down as his weakest in terms of choreography.
Overall: Invincible #131 is not a fun or interesting issue. It’s not even a bad issue. A bad issue I can actually excuse. But Invincible #131 is just a boring issue that lacks the punch I’ve come to expect from this series. I believe that Robert Kirkman has big things in store for Invincible in the future but this was not his best turn out. It’s time we actually saw the hero of the series, Invincible, actual do something that pushes the story forward rather than just being surprised at all the changes from the time skip. Hopefully the next issue delivers on that and returns to the quality expected of Kirkman’s Invincible.