Invincible was almost forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to kill Thragg in Invincible #140. While Thragg was killed off thanks to Allen we still have Invincible alive and kicking, for the most part. Now with the biggest threat to the universe eliminated we will move on to the true endgame of this series. That is still not 100% clear but Robert Kirkman is sure to have big plans in store for all of us before this series comes to a close. And with the war with Thragg and his forces leaving the Coalition heavily damaged there is no telling how things will end up. Let’s see if we can find out some of those details with Invincible #140
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Terra finds her grandmother crying while packing. Debbie tells Terra that the war is over and that her grandfather got hurt during it. Terra hugs Debbie and says that her people usually heal fast.
At the Coalition fleet Mark’s body is starting to recover. Eve mentions that they can now go anywhere with the war over. Mark asks about his father. Eve just remains silent.
Mark goes to Nolan’s room and sees that he isn’t getting better. Nolan reveals that his heart is severely damaged and that his body is not strong enough anymore to repair the damage.
Nolan then tells Mark that the Viltrumites will need Mark to be strong as their leader. Mark doesn’t believe he is ready for that. He then goes on to mentioning how he missed five years of his daughter’s life and wants to use this time to settle down with his family.
Nolan brings up how the universe won’t be safe forever, especially if the Viltrumites don’t have a strong leader that can lead them in a good direction. He says that unlike those raised in the old ways of the Viltrumites Mark is free from all those teachings and was able to live a different path. Nolan continues to say that Mark can save the Viltrumites from going down a destructive past just like he saved him.
Mark tells his dad that it was his father who raised him with humanity and showed him how to live a good life. As he talks Mark realizes that his dad has already passed away.
Mark breaks down in tears and hugs his dad. Debbie walks in to find out that Nolan has past away. Mark hugs his mother and daughter.
Sometime later Mark has made a full recovery and meets up with Eve. Eve mentions that Debbie still is not responding to anyone since Nolan passed away.
Eve then says that she is still not down with Mark’s decision to lead the Viltrumites. Mark says that it was his father’s dying wish. He then says that he has realized that as the Viltrumites leader he can make the universe a better place for them to raise their daughter together. Eve doesn’t say anything as a sign that she finally agrees with Mark. She then tells Mark to go wake up Terra.
In Terra’s room Mark hesitates to wake her up. Mark instead goes on to talk about how he understands what his role as a father is now after Nolan past away and how Terra is going to be growing up.
Eve suddenly rushes in and tells Mark that there is something happening.
Right outside Earth it is shown that Robot has all his guards surrounding the Coalition. End of issue.
The Good: Invincible #141 is an issue that felt like the calm before the storm. After all the intense action sequences and heavy decisions made by characters Invincible #141 was what this series needed. And as the final page of this issue teases there are a lot more big things in store for Invincible and his cast as we enter Robert Kirkman’s endgame for the series.
With the action focus of the previous issue Kirkman was smart to allow everyone in this series a rest period before we go into the series’ endgame. This allowed Kirkman to focus in on how much damage we have already seen happen in the war with Thragg for the Coalition forces. Invincible #141 was a particular important issue for the Mark Grayson to move into what he needs to become.
With how much the character has been through since learning about his powers and becoming the superhero Invincible we all knew Mark was going to be someone special. That final destiny that Mark was going to fulfill was always questionable since Kirkman could go multiple ways with his final chapter. And while Invincible #141 sets up the answer for that question it could still be up in the air.
That said Kirkman made Mark’s destiny as the next leader of the Viltrumites an important step not just for him but everyone in the series. Using his father, Omni-Man, dying wish as the conduit for Mark to have his eyes opened to this new role was perfect. Throughout his speech to his son, Omni-Man was able lay out exactly why Mark is meant to be the Viltrumites leader. As the only Viltrumite that was able to be raised in an environment where he could make his own choices. And through all the experiences we have seen Mark go through in and out of his Invincible costume he has become an example of inspiration for everyone around him.
Omni-Man’s speech also hit a strong emotional moment as it pushes him to be the one to create a universe that he can safely raise Terra. The moment that Mark sees Terra right after his father passes away was the most powerful moment between the two since Mark realized he missed five years of her life. His speech to the sleeping Terra set the stage for how important Mark’s decision to become the new leader of the Viltrumites is.
Along with this status quo shifting period Kirkman did a good job not making this a last minute dividing point between Mark and Atom Eve. We have seen that story far too often for this couple and it was great that Kirkman did not go down that old route once again. This showed that both characters are working together as adults and understand they are in this together.
Going off that it’ll be very interesting to see what Kirkman has in mind for Debbie Grayson’s personal endgame. We have slowly seen her character develop as a strong wife, mother and grandmother. Now Debbie is faced with a life without her husband. The impact of that fact was properly handled as she is still dealing with the shock of this event. It sets up the scene where Debbie talks to Mark, Terra or Eve an even more important moment for the series.
The final page with Robot’s army was a fantastic hook ending. This properly shifts the series into it’s final endgame as we are reminded about all of Robot’s development now being brought to the forefront. With Robot already taking the Viltrumites children as his prisoners he isn’t going to be trying to be a good guy in this situation. He clearly is not going to work with Mark and the Coalition on their terms. What terms he is exactly looking for will be very interesting with Mark now being the Viltrumites leader.
Though Invincible #141 lacked any sort of action Ryan Ottley delivered on the emotional impact of Kirkman delivered in this issue. Ottley’s design for the still in recovery Invincible added to how emotional Omni-Man’s final minutes alive were. It helped get across how emotionally wrecked Invincible was in having to face the death of his father. That was only made more emotional by seeing Debbie’s reaction to just making it in time to see her husband pass away.
The Bad: The only problem with Invincible #141 is the lack of follow up for the hook ending of the previous issue. After ending with Allen talking to Ursaal about what she wants to do next it was disappointing there was no follow-up on that. With time being precious the closer we get to the final issue this moment should’ve been followed up on in some way. Even a short panel or two that showed Ursaal thinking about what Allen said would’ve added weight to what Mark went through in Invincible #141. But since we didn’t get any sort of follow-up it is easy to forget about that going into the series endgame.
Overall: Invincible #141 delivered an emotionally impactful issue that provided the final arc a transition point to the true endgame for the series. Omni-Man’s speech to his son made the role Invincible is now taking on as the leader of Viltrumites an important moment for Mark Grayson and his family. With the threat Robot presents Mark’s transition as Viltrumites leader won’t be an easy one and should make how this series ends an even bigger mystery.