Invincible and Atom Eve Fan Art

Invincible Is Ending, Which Sucks

 

 

The announced end of “Invincible” is a big deal.  It’s one of the few books I still read on a monthly basis, and it appears near the very top of the stack when it does.  I’ve collected it since day one, and will be sad to see it go.  It was a unique superhero book in a market crowded with superhero books.

There’s so many ways to frame what an accomplishment this series is.  Here are just a few:

  • This will be the longest-lasting spin-off from “The Savage Dragon” yet.  Yes, I know, it’s not a spin-off from Erik Larsen’s series, but the influence is obvious.  The large and colorful cast, the ever-changing status quo, the regularity, the tone, etc.  C’mon.  If you like “Invincible” and haven’t read “Dragon,” you’re a Billy Joel fan who’s never listened to the Beatles. (I’m sure I just insulted someone with that analogy, but screw it.  I’m a big Billy Joel fan.)
  • When “Invincible” ends next year, Robert Kirkman will have written two series concurrently for close to 150 issues at the same time.  Has anyone ever accomplished that?  Did even Stan Lee get to 150 issues of any one title?  Dave Sim did 300 issues of “Cerebus” and Erik Larsen is over 200 issues of “Savage Dragon,” but neither have had a second book last that long.
  • Ryan Ottley will have drawn more issues of Invincible than Mark Bagley did on “Ultimate Spider-Man” or Jack Kirby on “Fantastic Four.”  They weren’t consecutive and he wasn’t the original artist, so some people might see a small asterisk next to that, but I don’t.  It’s still amazing.
  • The book will end with issue #144 in a market where creators aren’t even doing 60 issue mini-series anymore, because the market won’t support them.  
  • Issue #144 will be a higher numbered book than every DC and Marvel series. I think.  It’s tough to tell; they change the numbering on all of those series so often and only go back for anniversary issues.  Who can tell anymore?
  • The entire series is in print in easily managed trades and hardcovers. And digitally.  Numbering on them is consistent.  Naming conventions and cover design remains consistent. Kirkman managed this process well. And it paid off.

 

The End

“Invincible” is the Little Engine That Could.  It did its work so effectively, so well and so regularly that the comics world took it for granted.  It had its core of fans, and everyone else ignored it. Sales on the monthly book have been soft for a while now.  As I said before, the comics market is one that does NOT reward long-running series.  If there isn’t a new first issue every year, people forget the book exists.  To a certain extent, I’m sure that hurt “Invincible” a little.

But I can understand the feeling to move on(*), and it’ll be very exciting to see what Ryan Ottley does next. I hope it’s on a creator-owned book again, but I’m sure he could easily land a high profile assignment at any company and get some new time in the spotlight. It would only help his career.

 

Fan Art

I couldn’t help myself.  I’ve been meaning to start some sort of Fan Art category on this site, so I guess this will be it, then.

I just hope they get a happy ending next year.

Invincible and Atom Eve Fan Art

 

 

 

 

Footnote

(*) …says the guy working on his 1006th column in another window at the moment…

Apropos of nothing else, here’s a quick link to the time I interviewed Robert Kirkman about “Invincible” #100.  I followed that up with an interview with Ryan Ottley.

 

 

5 Comments

  • Chris Juricich August 26, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    ‘S funny, but while I’ve long enjoyed Invincible on and off (no longer a collector, just an occasional reader), it doesn’t surprise me that Kirkman would choose to end the series. Unless someone had optioned it for tv or film…which I guess hasn’t happened. I think yr reasoning about the lack of ‘number one’ issues generating faux excitement might have contributed to its softening sales, but I can’t say.

    My basic view about the demise of comics is simply pricing and a lack of ubiquity. You have to go to a specialty comic shop, you pay crazy specialized prices, and…well, the bottom line is they are too damned expensive. That’s the primary reason. Sure, the publishers also tended to screw the pooch with their ongoing failed relaunch after relaunch, seemingly inviting in number crunchers to editorial story conferencing, and all have seemingly been bitten by the Hollywood bug.

    Been a fan since I was 13 in 1966…and earlier. Still love comics, superheroes as well though to limited degrees (Miles Morales rocks) and am…disheartened that digital comics pricing remains so close in pricing to print to the point that…what’s the point of going digital if it costs the same as the fetish, printed pamphlet? This explains why so many folks simply torrent their comics every week rather than trek to their local comics shop. $3.99 for 15 minutes entertainment? 99¢ for 15 minutes of digital entertainment, or less…then you might find me at one of those digital comics sellers websites.

    Thanks for the rant space. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the industry. I have been a part of it as an artist, a comics publisher’s sales manager, comic book store manager, online dealer and seller, and regular LOCer from the late 60s. Cheers to you keeping the torch burning…for how long, who knows, but respect to you.

    Reply
  • JC Lebourdais January 31, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Kirkman deserves praise for making his series finite, like all super-heroes should ahem spider-man ahem, instead of dragging it on forever.

    Reply
    • Chris J January 31, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Well, he might be able to afford to. DC and Marvel, of course, have a vested interest in keeping their properties as vibrant and alive as possible but in my experience, the characters who are serial ALL tend to go stale eventually. I used to have a rule–a title was good for 6-8 years and then entropy would set in. Or an event…nowadays…death of Superman…Spidey brain switch for THREE YEARS…etc. nowadays titles don’t stay good for even a year before souring. Or I’m jaded.

      Reply
  • JC Lebourdais April 11, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I hear that they are making a movie of this. Given the amount of blood and violence throughout the series, I wonder how that’s going to work out, once concentrated into a 2-hour flick (or even a trilogy).

    Reply
    • Augie April 12, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      It will definitely be interesting to see how they go about making this movie, or series of movies. Given the number of aliens and weird creatures in the series, it won’t be cheap to do it right. Feels like a Luc Besson sci-fi movie. Or they could try to keep it more “down to earth” for the first movie somehow and limit the alien involvement to keep it workable. Or maybe they’re fine with loading it down with CGI and green screens and lots of creature animation. Time will tell…

      Reply

What do YOU think?

%d bloggers like this: