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Invincible (Book 9): Out Of This World (v. 9) Paperback – June 17, 2008
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Some readers (see other Amazon reviews) found this particular volume to be boring, complaining that Kirkman is treading water... I'm not so sure I agree. As with other "Invincible" volumes, I found it very readable and entertaining -- the conversational tone of the dialogue is still very appealing, and the pacing and artwork just keep getting better. Also, contrary to the impression you might get from other reviews, there *is* action in this book, although the nature of the fighting is more plot-oriented, basically sizing up how powerful the various opponents are, and introducing the possibility that Mark can beef up his own powers if he starts to work out some more. How strong can he get? We'll find out when the big battle really gets underway... and when it does, I have a feeling it will be a real doozy, on the same scale as the epic brawl between Mark and his father, when the series began. I liked reading this slower-paced interlude, and I look forward to reading it again, when the time comes to re-read the series from start to finish. Definitely worth picking this one up! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
Much of Kirkman's work during the time these issues were being released suffered similarly (Ultimate X-Men specifically, but the Walking Dead has been in a slump also). I can't wait for him to work through this funk he's in so Invincible can really shine. It's one of the best comic books I've read, and it's sad to see a trade with as little substance as this. It also seems unbelievable that something like this would suffer months and months of delays.
The main human point that this installment focuses on is Mark wanting to quit school. He’s failing, barely goes, can’t study. He’s thinking the whole time, “what’s the point?” And honestly, I also can’t see the point. It’s not like he’s going to have a real job after he finishes college. His talent is in defending Earth and helping out other societies in the galaxy.
It’s the humanistic side of the Invincible’s story that really keeps me reading. While I love his adventures. I like to see how he just deals with life. He’s a teenage boy with a government job to protect Earth. He lives in a dorm and occasionally attends classes. But it’s so hard for him. He’s just broke up with his girlfriend and there is this potential with Eve… It’s convoluted just how teenage life should be.
As for Mark’s superpowered adventures, this book covers a few things. A surprising event happens (don’t worry, I won’t spoil you) and more importantly, Mark gets a visit from a lady Viltrumite. She’s coming to check on his progress since he’s the designated Viltrumite of Earth. She informs him that someone will be back, whether it’s five months or five years to see if he’s started organizing Earth’s takeover. A minor fight ensues and Mark is left with a lot of anxiety over the whole thing.
I love the perfect balance of Mark’s personal life plus his life as Invincible. I never knew how much I wanted to see that in a superhero comic. But apparently I did.