Few comic books these days reach 100 issues in a series. In the past six months, two series by writer Robert Kirkman published by Skybound Entertainment with Image Comics have reached the centennial milestone. The 100th issue of “The Walking Dead” was the biggest sales hit of 2012. Now Kirkman's super hero story “Invincible” hits issue 100 and sets up stories for the next 100 issues.
“Invincible 100” is the culmination of the three part The Death of Everyone story arc by Kirkman and artist Ryan Ottley. The 100th issue picks up the story the instant where “Invincible 99” ended with Invincible getting his head crushed by Dinosaurus. The gruesome detail of the scene is nothing new for Kirkman fans but it is where Kirkman takes the story from there that shows why Kirkman is one of the best storytellers in and out of comics today.
Through the narrative of the story Kirkman delves into the moral responsibility behind what makes a hero. Just because the hero feels he is doing something for the greater good does not mean he should do it. There are unintended consequences and many times the actions of the hero do not solve the real problem. Kirkman illustrates this point through the character’s interactions. There are real consequences to the decisions made that affect everyone in the long term.
The artwork for the issue shows the intensity of the circumstances. The opening moments where Dinosaurus has his ultimate victory over Invincible is huge. Ottley uses big splash pages that slow the moment down as you turn the page. It is a big and creates that intense feeling when the hero is defeated.
Ottley follows the devastating loss of Invincible with a gut wrenching spread of everyone who has ever known Invincible and their reactions to the moment. Each character has their own expression that says much about their relationship with the hero. From sadness to anger to concern and shock Ottley hits it.
Cliff Rathburn inks over Ottley’s pencils and helps to give the issue its clean and clear look. The inker embellishes the details of the penciller without losing any of the original intent of the story.
The events of “Invincible 100” left the core characters forever changed and a huge bombshell announcement on the last page opens up all sorts of interesting directions for the book. The milestone 100th issue of the series is a big accomplishment but Kirkman and Ottley aren't patting each other on the back to celebrate their achievement. They want to go another 100 issues. The events of this issue reinvigorate the story and make it inevitability.