Invincible has run into a string of average issues while Mark Grayson is continues to rebuild his life with people several years older than he last saw them. The Grayson family vacation story in particular left a lot to be desired with some depth problems for several characters. Now, following the death of Mark’s brother Oliver there is a big opportunity to shift the story into an exciting direction as we begin the final dozen issues. Will Robert Kirkman begin the countdown to the end with a bang? Or will Invincible #133 continue the trend of recent issues? Let’s find out with Invincible #133.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Massive crowds gather in Talescria for Oliver’s funeral. Mark, Nolan, Debbie, Eve, Terra, Haluma and Allen lead the procession through the capital. Everyone breaks down as the priest places Oliver’s casket in a special device that beams his body into space.
Allen apologizes to Mark for what happened to Oliver. Mark becomes enraged and punches Allen for allowing Oliver to get killed by Thragg. Oliver grabs Allen and flies him through some ships.
Down on the ground Terra asks why everyone end up fighting one another. Eve tells Terra that Mark is just angry about Oliver dying but that everything will go back to normal soon.
Nolan asks Debbie if he should join the fight, which she yells at him not to.
Allen tries to reason with Mark, which only angers Mark more as he believes Allen is only worried about how he is perceived. Mark says Allen should’ve killed Oliver himself. Allen finally defends himself and says Thragg killed Oliver.
Mark brings up the fact that it was Allen who assigned Oliver the mission to work for Thragg as a double agent. Allen tells Mark that Oliver volunteered for the mission. Mark calls bullshit on the statement and headbutt’s Allen in the face.
Nolan thinks he should join the fight but Eve shuts him down on that.
Allen once again brings up that Oliver knew the dangers of the mission he volunteered even though he tried to talk Oliver out of it. Mark says Allen should’ve tried harder to talk Oliver out of it.
Allen says they needed someone on the inside to get information on Thragg. Mark then asks if Oliver really volunteered or if Allen sent him on the suicide mission. Allen just states that it is too late to tell now.
Eve suddenly separates Mark and Allen to stop their fight.
Even flies at Mark with energy gloves on each fist while asking Mark what is wrong with him by starting a fight at Oliver’s funeral and in front of their daughter. Mark apologizes but brings up what Allen did. He then stops himself and says he lost control. Eve brings up how Mark always does things without thinking about the consequences just because it makes him feel better in the moment.
Eve powers up and charges at Mark, clobbering him with two energy constructs.
As Eve continues to attack Mark with energy blast she brings up the fact his rash decision making is what caused him to be lose out on five years of their lives and all the horrible things that happened with Angstrom Levy, Dinosaurus and Thragg. She then says he is screwing things up again and she hates him for it.
Eve stops her attacks and says she is hurting over Oliver loss as well. Mark flies over to Eve to give her a hug.
Down on the ground Nolan thinks the fight is taking too long. Debbie once again tells Nolan to not join in, which Terra agrees with.
Allen joins the group and says he understands that Mark was just angry. Allen promises Haluma that he will do everything he can to help her.
Terra asks Allen why he and her dad were fighting. Allen tells Terra that Mark is just mad but Eve and him are working things out right now. Terra asks Allen about his bleeding eye. Allen says Mark punched him and then remembers when Terra punched him in the eye. Allen tells Terra not to punch him.
On top of a building Mark tells Eve that they both know what he has to kill Thragg. Eve agrees as Thragg came after their daughter and they have to kill Thragg. Mark notices Eve said “we,” which Eve states they are going to kill Thragg together since she isn’t letting Mark out of her sight again.
Mark wonders what they’ll do with Terra. Eve says they will figure that out since he can’t do it alone. Mark brings up all of his allies that’ll help him but Eve brings up that she is no slouch as Atom Eve.
Eve then brings up that there is something she has always regretted they never did before Mark went missing.
Sometime later Mark and Eve hold their wedding with their family there to witness it.
Eve approaches Haluma to apologize for the timing of the wedding. Haluma says she understand and thanks Eve as it is something she needed.
Mark and Eve head out alone, leaving Terra with Nolan and Debbie, to begin their honeymoon.
In their hotel balcony Eve asks Mark to give her his wedding ring. She says she will store the rings to give them something to come back to.
After kissing Mark asks Eve if she is ready to kill Thragg. Eve says she is and reiterates what Mark told her before “Being a hero is bullshit.”
Elsewhere Telia wonders what Allen is doing up so late by himself. Allen states that everything is in motion now for Mark and Eve will to give him the help he needs to rally his forces around them and kill Thragg. He goes on to say Mark can also help recruit Nolan and the Viltrumites, something Oliver couldn’t do.
Telia wonders how that could be bad news. Allen says it is good news but that he has had to deal with a lot of pressure since almost dying and he didn’t believe things would get out of hand like they did.
Telia is shocked at what she is hearing. Allen reveals that he did indeed pressure Oliver to meet with Thragg and that Thragg would test his loyalty. He goes on to say he gave Thragg the information of Mark and Eve’s location to use them as a test because he was desperate. He begins to cry as he says he saw no other way and now his friend is dead. End of issue.
The Good: Invincible #133 highlights how stalled every characters’ development has been since Mark Grayson returned to his reality. Since that return everything we have read is about how Mark is getting used to all the changes that happened during his years away. It’s something that hurt Oliver’s character development when we saw he was working Thragg since it didn’t go anywhere even when he died. But now with Oliver’s death Robert Kirkman was able to find the spark needed to launch the series into an exciting direction that energizes the entire cast.
As fun as a character Oliver’s became since his introduction he has never mattered more to the series as with his death. It is because of how well Kirkman developed Oliver’s character, the Thragg double agent sub-plot notwithstanding, that the impact of his death means even more. Invincible #133 is a great example of this as Oliver’s death forced Mark, Eve and Allen to deal with the decisions they have made over the course of this new war. Those revelations make Oliver possibly the most important character the series has had as he is propelling everyone to end this conflict.
Mark and Eve dealing with their relationship issues was one of the bigger takeaways from Invincible #133. The moment when Eve went after Mark and attacked him for causing a scene with Allen was a long time coming. Since Mark’s return there was a feeling that both these characters were holding back their real feelings in order to become a family for Terra. Even though they have been able to show that they are a strong couple keeping things hidden in any relationship never happens.
The way Kirkman handles Mark and Eve dealing with the biggest problem with their relationship was able to maintain a focus on Oliver’s funeral. Eve calling out Mark for how he is always acting before he thinks is a big thig for them to deal with and was most effective because this discussion happened at a funeral. It actually added to how important Oliver’s death is. Mark admitting that he has been acting like an asshole is possibly the best character development since the time jump. This new sense of maturity should be a big factor into how Mark handles the war with Thragg with his brain rather than his fist at every turn.
Ending this plot thread with Mark and Eve finally getting married was an excellent pay off. Not only was this something that was a long time coming but gives Mark and his supporting cast a brief moment of happiness before launching into a full on war with Thragg. This calm before the storm moment drives home how much Mark and everyone around him have to lose in this final year’s worth of Invincible comics.
Just as big as Mark and Eve’s character development was Allen’s side of the story. Seeing how he tried to reason with Mark during their fight, Kirkman made you believe Allen is just as shocked with Oliver’s death as anyone. His dialogue during the fight does make you believe he never thought anything like this would happen. It’s for that reason that his big reveal that he sent Thragg after Mark and his family something that was actually shocking. This is a development that throws a huge wrench in the war that is about to start. How Kirkman handles this shocking revelation is going to make every issue moving forward much more exciting as it’s a sub-plot that can erupt in the worst possible moment for Invincible’s side of the conflict.
Adding a bit of levity to this drama-filled issue was surprisingly Omni-Man. Seeing Omni-Man desperate to get involved in Mark and Allen’s fight was nice way to add some comedy into an emotionally charged issue. Debbie telling Omni-Man he can’t join the fight made the joke’s delivery hit. Similarly, I continue to like the more light-heartedness Terra is adding to every scene she is in. Her innocence in all the serious things going on around her add further weight to what we are seeing play out in every page.
With how strong Kirkman’s story was Ryan Ottley shined just as much with his well-executed artwork. He made sure to elevate everything going on with the story with artwork that pops of the page. Seeing Atom Eve launch a jaw breaking energy punch was one of the best visual displays of Eve’s powers since the first time she tapped into her full power. That show of force was nicely balanced out with Ottley also delivering on all the emotional scenes this issue had. Mark and Eve’s wedding in particular had a big moment sense to it that goes up there with when we have seen other major comic book couples finally getting married.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Invincible #133 is the perfect example of how to use a major character’s death to propel everyone involved in the series forward. Robert Kirkman packed this entire issue with plenty of emotion and action that built towards some great character progression. Everything from how Mark and Eve dealt with their relationship issues to Allen’s revelation, Invincible #133 kicked off this last year of Invincible comics with a bang.