Short Box: Invincible Compendium TP


Invincible Compendium TP



WriterRobert Kirkman
ArtistCory Walker
Cover ArtistRyan Ottley

Knowing that the second half of the second season of the Amazon Prime series was going to drop soon, I finally decided to pull the trigger and grab the copies of the invincible compendiums that my comic shop had a while back.

(I hadn’t realized, until I was nearly finished reading the second volume, that there is a third compendium that my comic shop didn’t have, so look for that in an upcoming Mail Call…)

I read some of the comic years back – maybe a bit past the first twelve issues – but hadn’t kept up with it, and given that I’ve enjoyed the animated series I thought it was time to rectify that.

Watching the series, my memory of what I had read was pretty dim, limited to the basic concept, the shocking secret about Omni-Man, and a few of the characters – mostly Omni-Man, Atom Eve, the Immortal, and, of course, the title character. So my reading of the comic was colored by my viewing of the show rather than my viewing of the show being colored by having read the comic.

And in that regard, I have to say…I kind of prefer the show.

While it covers much the same ground and a lot of the details remain the same, the sequence of events flows differently, often in a way that feels more organic. For example – and there are spoilers here – having Omni-Man viciously murder the Guardians of the Globe in the first episode and being found unconscious at the scene, and extending out the reveal of his motives as suspicions mount is much more satisfying than the way it plays out in the comic. There, the murder happens eight issues in, the investigation by Damien Darkblood – who is in part a spoof of Rorschach – goes nowhere and is played for laughs, and the tenth issue ends with the “We need to talk” moment.

The best changes, however, are in the personalities of some of the characters, particularly the female characters. Debbie Grayson, for example, is 10,000 times more interesting on the show compared to the comic, where she’s mostly just…kind of there, at least initially. Also, everyone keeps saying that Rex Splode is a jerk – and sure, he is, in that he does cheat on Eve – but he never really shows it the way Rex does on the show, where he is a huge douchebag.

Much of the show seems to involve Kirkman taking advantage of the opportunity to make adjustments and corrections to the story he’d already told and…well, it works.

It also helps that some of Kirkman’s recurring gags from the comics – and not just Invincible, but other cape comics he’s written – have not made it into the show. (The “armpitting” thing has never been funny. Ever. Certainly not enough to be repeated as frequently as it is.)

The show also removes a lot of the problematic elements of something written in the early aughts, such as certain slang terms.

That’s not to say that there are no advantages to the comic. There is more opportunity to explore the lives of side characters and to engage in worldbuilding and developing of lore. Plus, the art is great, at times managing to be more dynamic than its animated counterpart.

There’s also the fact that the comic is able to feature guest appearances by other Image characters, such as the Savage Dragon and SuperPatriot. If you’re into that sort of thing.

If you like the show, I’d definitely recommend checking out the comics as they will add a lot to your enjoyment of the story and answer a lot of lingering questions you may have, but I have to say that overall it’s a rare instance -so far, anyway, as there’s still a lot for the show to cover – in which the adaptation is the perfected form of the original material.

Born and raised in the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Jon Maki developed an enduring love for comics at an early age.

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