You know, I thought high school was full of changes, foes and unpleasant situations — and I wasn’t a superhero.

[Amanda writes Comic Virgins on a regular basis based on suggestions from Ben and Mike.]

For this installment of Comic Virgins, I read the first five issues of Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s Invincible. For those without the back-story, it’s about a high school kid, Mark Grayson, with a superhero dad (Omni-Man) and, with a puberty of sorts, starts to come into his own superpowers. He decides to call himself “Invincible” (hence the name) and the story arc follows him discovering what his powers entail, meeting other superhero friends and fighting intergalactic (and earth-based) baddies.

Ah, navigating the social experiment that is the lunchroom. Brings back memories.

Ah, navigating the social experiment that is the lunchroom. Brings back memories.

The first thing I thought about when I got to the premise was the Disney Channel movie Sky High (which you can buy on Amazon for $9.02), which is a high school full of superhero kids that go through training there and fight bad guys and other comic-y nonsense. Which came first? The comic, according to the all-powerful Wikipedia. And it beat the movie by about 3 years. Sidetrack, I know, but hey — these posts are all about my first impressions.

And, on the topic of first impressions, I liked the premise of this comic — just as I have liked many of the comics Ben and Mike have selected for me. Yet, I can compare it almost to the recent experience I had wedding dress shopping, in which I thought everything I tried on was beautiful, but couldn’t pick a favorite just because I hadn’t seen a large enough selection yet. By the end of the day shopping, however, I had tried on well over 50 dresses and felt I could make a decision. In a similar fashion, I feel like I’ve read enough comics to start having an opinion about them, and I’ve got to say: I think Invincible is too happy, too easy and too gentle on its superheroes.

You can call it a "secret lair" all you want. It's just study hall until I see someone get stabbed by a prison shank.

You can call it a “secret lair” all you want. It’s just study hall until I see someone get stabbed by a prison shank.

I was never afraid for Invincible. But I (and the reader) NEED to be afraid for him. He is not invincible — despite his name and super-dad. To be honest, it got kind of, well, boring. I dozed off on the couch while halfway through the five issues because there wasn’t much intrigue. Yes, there are missing students with bombs strapped to them — but those baddies are vanquished by issue #4, leaving a whole issue with just character development that, though entertaining, didn’t really leave me flipping pages like crazy. Yes, his dad disappears for an issue into an alternate dimension — but he returns with a crazy story and none worse for the wear, it seems. All their problems are over and done with in three panels or less.

Now, I say all of this, but I love the idea of a true teenage hero, and one that has to deal with living up to the legacy of his father. I haven’t seen a father/son crime fighting combo in comics yet. It makes me play the “What if?” game – What if Superman grew up with his real dad, learning how things worked with him? Would Batman have become Batman had his parents decided to skip the opera that night?

I did have a favorite part, when Invincible and Omni-Man team up to patrol. It was lighthearted and entertaining. I liked their trip out together, even if I’m doubtful of his father’s ability to so quickly solve problems.

He's got a big cape to fill.

He’s got a big cape to fill.

Now, the general make up of the comic: I liked the drawing style, and the use of really BOLD colors for backgrounds in many of the panels, especially if the focus is on a conversation. The lettering wasn’t anything spectacular or unique, but it was easy to read, which is much better than some of the stuff I’ve read. It’s simple, but easy to read and follow. I also love the facial expressions and some of the conversations did make me actually laugh out loud.

Even superheroes read comics while taking a poop. Good to know.

Even superheroes read comics while taking a poop. Good to know.

But now for the final verdict: is this something I would consider keeping up with? If it stays this easy, then no. I want a comic that has me yelling, jumping up and down and pestering Ben for assurances that my favorite characters will be okay in the end. I see that Invincible has carried on (thanks again, Wikipedia), so maybe I’ll look at some synopses and see if things get more dramatic. You can buy Invincible on Amazon, Image Comics or at your local comic shop. Have you read it? Should I carry on with it? Let me know in the comics, and give me some suggestions for future things to read!

About The Author

Hey there! I'm Amanda, and I'm the managing editor for DetroyTheCyborg! I come to the job with a background in journalism, English, American culture and all-around interest in what makes up our site.

For a living, I'm a government reporter for a newspaper my hometown. Seeing as that can be a bit monotonous, I welcome the opportunity to write occasional book (and other) reviews for DTC. If you see a book coming up I should review, let me know!

My interests are many and varied. I love table top games, bad movies (and good films!), music of all genres and the occasional graphic novel. Ben P. is trying his hardest to increase my interest in comic books - stay tuned for the outcome of THAT adventure. When it comes to books, I've yet to find a genre that I won't read. I have a particular affinity to Lord of the Rings and non-fiction first-person explorations - see Mary Roach's Stiff or Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals for examples.

My other abilities? I find that I make a mean batch of cinnamon rolls, and I can (most of the time) keep the crayon inside the lines.

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