Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley
Colors by Bill Crabtree
One of the single greatest pleasures in my life, if not the great pleasure, is reading. This will come as no surprise to any who know me, and those of you who have read more than a couple of my reviews. The written word is the greatest achievement of mankind, and creative fiction just below that.
So when I say that Invincible is one of the single greatest pieces of creative fiction I have ever read, I want you to understand I am not just relegating it to a great piece of comic work. Together, Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker managed to create one of the most special creative universes I have ever had the pleasure to enter.
As such, Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1 is a treat that any comic fan should treat themselves to.
Collecting together issues 1-13, plus extras (which essentially makes it the trade hardcover of the trade paperbacks Vol. 1–3), this beautiful hardcover quickly became one of my most cherished possessions. The large bright pages, the heavy feel in my hand, and the sheer wealth of extra information at the back, add up to one of the greatest purchases of my life.
Invincible tells the story of Mark Grayson, who starts out as a senior in high school, who has finally seen his powers inherited from his father begin to form and blossom. His father is Omni-man, an alien from the Viltrumite race, who came to Earth to fight for good and all that … good … stuff. So young Mark continues develops his powers, his school work, a crush on one of his fellow superhero friends, and training from his father.
Naturally everything is not as it seems, but that is not for me to reveal here. To do so would blow one of the better hidden secrets I’ve found in a book or comic of late.
Robert Kirkman is a genius. There are no two ways about it. Watching him on video interviews from conventions, you get the feeling he’s a mad genius. Some of what he puts into his comics proves that. One need only look at the Justice League Guardians of the Globe for proof of this.
But the man who also brings us The Walking Dead is nothing short of a creative mastermind, weaving plot points, humor, and action in to a story that is both seamless and poignant. Who else would think of throwing a bag of trash in to orbit in one issue, and have it land in France a few issues later? I’m a third of the way through the second hardcover volume, and I’m waiting for a mortarboard to make reentry.
The opening artwork in the first seven issues by Cory Walker is wonderful. It’s a little grainy and a little awkward at times, but it really set the tone for the whole series. However, after issue seven, Ryan Otley came on board, and has been penciling ever since. Cartoony in its most comicy form, Otley’s art is the perfect counterpart to Kirkman’s mad genius. And through it all, Bill Crabtree’s colors have been wonderful; a fantastic bright and happy universe to match what Kirkman has written.
All in all this trade gets full marks across the board. I love Invincible so much that I am even being diligent in not reading it all at once. Save yourself a bit of cash, and pick up these Ultimate Collections from Amazon, you won’t be disappointed.