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CompleteMartialArts.com - Invincible Volume 9: Out Of This World (Invincible)

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Manufacturer: Image Comics
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 741.5973
EAN: 9781582408279
ISBN: 1582408270
Label: Image Comics
Manufacturer: Image Comics
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 144
Publication Date: 2008-06-18
Publisher: Image Comics
Studio: Image Comics

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Editorial Reviews:

Allen the Alien returns to Earth as directed by the Coalition of Planets - he's come to gather information from Mark about his father - the Viltrumite Traitor. Meanwhile, the Viltrumites have come to Earth to check up on Mark's progress as the reluctant Viltrumite Agent of Earth.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Invincible is growing up
Comment: Another nice installment in this high-calibre comic book... In this volume covering issues 42-47 of Robert Kirkman's "Invincible" series, our hero finds himself bored with school and ready to ditch his secret identity in favor of an all-out life as a government agent/superhero. He's also in a funk about his lovelife -- he and his civilian girlfriend just broke up, but surprisingly he's also not sure if he wants to go out with the super-gal known as Atom Eve. Mark's life is in a bit of a holding pattern, even though emissaries from various outer space factions keep zooming down to Earth to get his attention, gearing up for a big space war with the mighty Viltrumite empire. Meanwhile, Mark is growing up -- assessing his life, confidently setting boundaries with others, and trying to figure out what his next steps will be.

Some readers (see other Amazon reviews) found this particular volume to be boring, complaining that Kirkman is treading water... I'm not so sure I agree. As with other "Invincible" volumes, I found it very readable and entertaining -- the conversational tone of the dialogue is still very appealing, and the pacing and artwork just keep getting better. Also, contrary to the impression you might get from other reviews, there *is* action in this book, although the nature of the fighting is more plot-oriented, basically sizing up how powerful the various opponents are, and introducing the possibility that Mark can beef up his own powers if he starts to work out some more. How strong can he get? We'll find out when the big battle really gets underway... and when it does, I have a feeling it will be a real doozy, on the same scale as the epic brawl between Mark and his father, when the series began. I liked reading this slower-paced interlude, and I look forward to reading it again, when the time comes to re-read the series from start to finish. Definitely worth picking this one up! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Still one of the best superhero comics
Comment: This volume was a bit of a setup for the big confrontations coming up between Invincible and his US Gov't handler over them making Reanimen and the even bigger battle with the Viltrumites (think of a whole planet of people with Superman like powers who are trying to conquer the universe). However, it was still a well constructed story of Mark's ongoing efforts to understand his father (who manages to be sympathetic while not forgivable for the murders he's committed), work out his relationship with Atom Eve, and deal with a evil, hottie Viltrumite Amazon. And a beefed up Allen the Alien returns.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: This series has slowly become one of the best superhero runs on the market!
Comment: If you're not reading Invincible yet, shame on you! Stop reading this review, go pick up the first trade paperbacks, and get back with me when you're finished. Invincible is probably the best superhero franchise on the market that doesn't have a big ol' DC or Marvel logo printed on its cover. While some series quickly fizzle out, something about this series just keeps getting better. Maybe it's because Kirkman never thought it would last this long, but whatever the case, you're missing out if you're not reading Invincible, Dynamo 5 and some of the other Image superhero titles.

There are several story arcs in this TPB. One great thing about the Invincible franchise is that new characters continually appear, and sub-plots are always abound. Probably the biggest theme is the impending invasion of the Viltrum Empire. Invincible knows his time is short and this message is spelled out even clearer when an agent visits him to check on his progress. After a short battle, we're once again reminded how weak Invincible is compared to his father and the average Viltrumite warrior. Speaking of Invincible's father, this TPB also pushes along a possible redemption story for Omni-Man. For once, he admits he misses his wife, and the inevitable execution of Invincible's father -- safely locked away in a Viltrumite prison -- looks to have a blurry angle as Allen the Alien allows himself to be captured and locked away in the same prison complex with plans of rescuing the once respected Omni-Man.

Some of the other stories covered in this TPB include the rapid growth of Invincible's half-brother Oliver, the relationship between Invincible and Atom Eve, Invincible's gradual flunking out of college, the effects on Immortal after Dupli-Kate's tragic death, and a startling conclusion that reveals the Global Defense Agency might be more than meets the eye. Issue #50 promises to conclude some of the revelations about Cecil Stedman and his Global Defense Agency, and if you're like me, you might not be able to wait for the next TPB to read that story.

As usual, the art by Ryan Ottley is top notch and Kirkman's tongue-in-cheek style is perfect for Invincible and the colorful characters that surround him. If you're not familiar with Invincible, maybe the best way to describe the book's attitude is if a young Peter Parker was given Superman's powers instead of being bitten by a radioactive spider. The stress he faces as only an 18-year-old is unbearable, but he manages to endure it all with his usual sarcastic yet optimistic approach.

Volume 9 establishes that this series is not in danger of running out of steam, which is something that is even more admirable when you consider how many titles Kirkman writes these days. Like other Image TPBs, it has a low cover price, and is well worth the purchase. If you'd like to sit down to a fun book and let your imagination flow for just a while, this TPB is the book for you, and another quality addition to your Image superhero library.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Heavy-handed recaps ruin this arc
Comment: This is a strong series, but these issues are filled with hardly any momentum or purpose and packed with recaps and reintroductions. That's not to say nothing important happens, but it all happens without excitement and with no driving plot. Little changes, nothing resolves and all the characters feel like they're forcing lines because they have to remind readers who they are.

Much of Kirkman's work during the time these issues were being released suffered similarly (Ultimate X-Men specifically, but the Walking Dead has been in a slump also). I can't wait for him to work through this funk he's in so Invincible can really shine. It's one of the best comic books I've read, and it's sad to see a trade with as little substance as this. It also seems unbelievable that something like this would suffer months and months of delays.

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