Last friday marked the 18th anniversary of Image Comics’s Invincible (with the first 3 episodes of the new Amazon Prime cartoon adaptation coming March 26th), by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley (The Amazing Spider-Man). To celebrate, we interviewed Invincible superfan @InvincibleInck (from twitter) about the comic, what she loves about it, and why you should read it. So who better to interview such a fan… than someone who’s never heard of Invincible before?
GWW: So for our first question, as counterproductive as this might seem, I have absolutely no idea what Invincible is! The only thing I know is it’s a superhero comic by Robert Kirkman and that it ran for a long time so I come to you to ask, what exactly is Invincible?
InvincibleInck: Oh man, haha. That is a hard question to answer. Invincible is a lot of things. Over the course of 144 issues, SO much happens and so much changes. It’s hard to pin down Invincible to one “thing”. I guess my standard answer is that Invincible is a sort of coming-of-age superhero saga. It follows a character called Mark Grayson (“Invincible”) throughout his life. He’s a human-alien hybrid, the son of a Superman analog who he looks up to very much. We start out with him as a teenager, just starting his superhero career, and as the series continues we see him experience betrayals, develop relationships, lose loved ones, and start a family. It’s really a lot of fun! There are a TON of plot twists throughout that really kept me on my toes. You never know what’s going to happen from page-to-page, and Kirkman really enjoys changing the status quo irrevocably. Nobody is ever really safe. I really can’t say much else on that point without spoiling a lot, but trust me, it’s great. As a whole I’d say it borders the line between a parody, deconstruction, and a love letter to the superhero genre. It’s clear that Kirkman really enjoys superheroes, even as he does away with a lot of the tropes. It’s essentially just everything I love about superhero comics, but with almost none of the bad. A really good read, and I’m sure that soon it’ll be a really good show.
GWW: You can use 5 words to describe what makes Invincible different from your standard DC/Marvel superhero books. It can be a full sentence or 5 individual words.
InvincibleInck: “Greatest” “Superhero” “Comic” “In” “Universe”
GWW: That’s fantastic. My next question is, what’s your favorite piece of Invincible-related memorabilia? (Official or fan-made)
InvincibleInck: This is also hard. I’m not going to lie, I have a disgusting amount of Invincible merchandise. It’s a Problem. I guess if I had to pick just ONE thing, I have an unofficial Invincible hoodie that is just, SO cool. I feel awesome wearing it, even though I’m always scared of wearing it too much. I want to keep it pretty and pristine forever, y’know… Gah… the struggle. I also own a couple of original Ryan Ottley pages, and I love them dearly. Not sure if those count, but if they do, they’d certainly be my favorites.
GWW: Do you have an Invincible-themed corner or area in your room/home?
InvincibleInck: I do actually have a plan to set up a sort of “Invincible-themed” area or shelf, but for now, it’s just kind of… Everywhere. I really should get to organizing it all, but there’s just So Much. Some of it is on various shelves, I have a box of stuff under my bed, some figures in a drawer, other stuff hanging out in the closet, etc. etc. Heck, for a while, one of my Invincible figures was just sitting in my little Christmas tree. Like I said, it’s a problem.
GWW: Having cool action figures all around my house doesn’t sound like a problem at all! Now, how did you first come to find out about the comic?
InvincibleInck: I really can’t pin down when I first heard about Invincible. It was a name that came up a lot in general comic fan discourse. I knew it was a superhero comic, and I knew it was done by Image, but that was about it. I was mostly reading Marvel stuff, and it wasn’t until 2018 (when the comic was already completed) that I was finally convinced to read it. My LCS owner at the time gave me the Image Firsts reprint of Invincible #1, recommended it highly, and the rest is history. Better late than never!
GWW: Was there a specific moment or event where you realized that this was something you loved, and not just something you “enjoyed”?
InvincibleInck: Oh, definitely. It’s the same for almost every Invincible fan. It’s an event that specifically occurs between issues #10-12. THAT’S the part where they get ya, and after that, it’s almost impossible to put the book down.
GWW: Since the new cartoon probably means Invincible Funko Pops, how many do you plan on getting?
InvincibleInck: All Of Them. If I can. I’m already scared for my poor wallet.
GWW: If say, a person wasn’t interested in Invincible due to the comic book format, oversaturation from the abundance of superhero media these days, or even just a simple “I’m not into cape stuff”, how would you pitch Invincible to them to convince them to try it?
InvincibleInck: Hmm. I guess there’s a few things I could say. I’ve heard a few people describe Invincible as “Game of Thrones but with superheroes” before, and while that isn’t ENTIRELY true, there are a lot of similarities, definitely. Invincible and Game of Thrones share a lot of the same appeal. There’s intrigue, betrayal, plot twists, deaths of MAJOR characters, and so on. Oh, and gore. Gore galore. SO much gore. I’d also say that by the end of Invincible, the comic has mostly moved beyond superheroes. It’s more of a sci-fi epic, and more than that, it’s about the Graysons. Even if someone wasn’t that into superheroes, it’s very easy to fall in love with the Grayson family and become invested in their struggles. Even the side characters are interesting, superhero or not. Heck, my favourite character (besides Mark) is his mother, Debbie Grayson, and she’s just a regular old human!
GWW: For our final question, what does Invincible mean to you?
InvincibleInck: Invincible is very much a place of comfort to me. It’s a comic I can return to whenever I feel the need for something familiar, and it’s one of the few stories that just never gets old on rereads. There’s always something new that I end up taking from it, whether that be a new message, piece of foreshadowing, or meaning, or a little Easter egg that Ottley threw into the corner of a panel. And the ending… wow. Always makes me smile, and once or twice, even cried.
GWW: Thank you so much for doing this. I appreciate you for sharing your thoughts, and letting us pry into the mind of an Invincible super-fan.
InvincibleInck: You too!! It was fun. Talking about Invincible is one of my favourite things to do.
Invincible is available to purchase as 3 jumbo-sized compendium books, as 12 oversized hardcovers, and as 25 trade paperbacks at your local comic shop, bookstore, and online carriers like Amazon (Funny, isn’t it?). The Invincible TV series will release its first 3 episodes on March 26th on Amazon Prime Video, with the remaining 5 episodes releasing weekly after that.