Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review - Invincible Universe #1

When confronted by an evil names Dinosaurus, the world will turn to whatever heroes are necessary to win. Even if that collection of heroes happens to become a universe of heroes, as in Invincible Universe #1.

The issue is written by Phil Hester, with illustrations by Todd Nauck, colors by Gabe Eltaeb and letters by Rus Wooton.

In the aftermath of "The Death of Everyone," Dinosaurus has left his mark on the world. This has spawned an uneasy alliance between Cecil Steadman and Invincible, with the former encouraging the latter with a deal to avoid prison if he serves his will. Invincible (alongside the Guardians of the Globe, Tech Jacket and the Astounding Wolf-Man, among others) are struggling to help the world recover from the destruction, but by the end of the issue, they've got a whole other problem to contend with.

Off the bat, you'll notice that Invincible Universe #1 is dense. Really, really dense. It assumes you've read the issues of Invincible leading up to the start of this series and, if you haven't, all the luck to you. That's not to say that Hester makes the book overly complicated; in fact, he does a great job throwing everyone at you and not wasting time explaining who everyone is. Instead, certain characters get more prominence and from their actions and dialogue, you get a feel for the role they'll play in the universe.

The issue is a solid read though, but, again, you're much better off if you know what the full backstory is. Instead, it drops you right in the middle of the aftermath, with the title character on two pages and the supporting cast littering the remainder of the book. Steadman is much like Nick Fury, bringing together all the different powers and his new assistant Edelman comes with an extensive resume and a propensity for having to catch up. It's not entirely clear if the direction of the series will primarily be cleaning up the aftermath of Dinosaurus or feature that as a sidestory.

Nauck's art probably steals the show in Invincible Universe #1. No discredit to Hester, but what Nauck does with some of the panels is amazing. There are a few pages where Edelman is giving Steadman status updates on all the heroes and they're projected as holograms. Nauck does a fantastic job keeping the holograms detailed but not overwhelming, considering the amount of characters thrown at the reader. The last, full-panel page is both terrifying (in a good way) and awe inspiring, showcasing Nuack's talent.

Fans of Invincible shouldn't hesitate to pick this up. If you've heard good things about the original series though, Invincible Universe #1 probably shouldn't be your first foray into that world. The issue is solid all-around, but it assumes the reader has been "paying attention" to this point. It's not quite accessible to new readers, but the series is looking like it'll be a blast.

Invincible Universe #1 is in stores now with interiors below.




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