Title: Invincible: Ultimate Collection Volume 4
Author: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Genre: Superhero / Action / Adventure
Year Published: 2010
Year Read: 2013
Publisher: Image Comics
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Gory Violence)
After reading the third volume of Robert Kirkman’s classic superhero series “Invincible,” I was geared up to read the fourth volume of “Invincible” and man was this easily one of the most emotionally charged volumes I had ever took the pleasure of reading from this series!
What is this story about?
In this volume, Mark Grayson, now known as the famous superhero Invincible, is trying to put the past behind him by shedding his image of being the son of a superhero gone rogue and he proceeds to protect the world from any threats (which basically includes alien invasions, reanimated corpses and super-villains bent on world domination). Unfortunately, Mark Grayson’s social life is slowly dwindling away as he keeps getting into arguments with his girlfriend Amber and is possibly still in love with Samantha Eve Wilkins (a.k.a Atom Eve).
Can Mark solve this romantic tension between him, Amber and Eve?
What I loved about this story:
Robert Kirkman’s writing: Wow! Robert Kirkman’s writing just continues to get better and more personal as the volumes go on! I loved the way that Robert Kirkman managed to combine both straight-up action and emotional content in this volume as not only was I enjoying the action scenes of Invincible fighting his enemies, but I was also sympathizing with Mark Grayson’s predicament with his love life. Now, normally I usually do not like reading about loving relationships crash and burn, but in this case, I will make an exception since the troublesome relationship between Amber and Mark was written extremely well and I was able to really understand about the problems that Mark and Amber were facing in their relationship due to Mark not being able to spend enough time with Amber because of his job as a superhero. I think that Robert Kirkman handled this delicate situation in a realistic and logical manner (something I rarely see some comics do) and it really made me relate strongly to Mark, Amber and Eve as I saw how this turbulent relationship is affecting all three of them. I also loved the chaotic action sequences that happened in this volume as Invincible is always fighting some kind of villain and it really adds more dimension to his super heroic activities.
Ryan Ottley’s artwork: Ryan Ottley’s artwork is as usual gorgeous to look at as the action sequences are brilliantly drawn as you can see the bad guys’ teeth get knocked out of their mouths whenever they are being punched by the superheroes. I also loved the way that Ryan Ottley drew the facial expressions on each character’s face as they brilliantly reflect the emotions that the character goes through in each situation, such as Mark’s face having a sad look on his face whenever he was trying to decide about what to do about his relationship with Amber.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
For anyone who does not like gory violence in any comic book, this volume does have some bloody violence (although not as graphic as the previous three volumes). There are many scenes where characters are punched and blood comes out of their mouths and that might disturb some readers who do not like gore.
Overall, “Invincible: Ultimate Collection Volume Four” is a brilliant volume that really explores the relationship problems of Invincible and I cannot wait to see how Invincible’s social life will improve or self-destruct in future volumes depending on what other villains face him!