Thursday, July 07, 2011

Invincible Ultimate Collection, Volume 2 by Robin Kirkman, Ryan Ottley and Bill Crabtree

Invincible is a Superhero who is really a highschool kid named Markus Grayson. He's the offspring of a human woman and an alien, a Viltrumite who posed as a human superhero named Omni-Man. But his Dad turned out to be a villain, not a hero, and he was just the first infiltrator who was checking out the planet so that his people could come in and conquer the entire Earth.

Now, with his father gone, Mark has to take his place as a defender of the Earth, finish his last year of High School, fight off alien invaders, graduate, and start college. But this time, there is going to be some very upsetting developments for Mark: First, his mother takes up drinking to try and forget her problems and her broken heart, an undersea race whose King his father killed wants Mark to marry their Princess, because their race believes that only the strongest should rule them, his girlfriend, who is alarmed that Mark is talking to himself, carrying a beeper and keeps running off when it goes off, thinks that he's become a drug dealer, and the alien he met and fought in the first book returns to his people, bringing them the news that there is a half-Viltrumite who doesn't share the evil of his people and is willing to fight them to defend his home planet. But when someone on the council that Allen the Alien is passing on information to the Viltrumites, what will that mean for Mark and the people he defends on planet Earth?

He isn't the only one whose life is undergoing changes. Mark's mother can't deal with the pain of rejection of Mark's father, and she's turned to the bottle in a big way. Can her friendship with Art, the man who made her husband, and now her son's costumes, save her? Or her connection to Claire Bono, the wife of the Hero known as Super-Patriot, bring her back from the brink? Or will it take something else to make her see how self-destructive she is being, and snap her out of the funk she is in?

And Mark's friend Will, who he will be living with in college, is having his own problems with his girlfriend, Eve, who just happens to be Atom-Eve, the superheroine. When he finds out her secret, he becomes so clingy and immature that she realizes what a mistake it was to do so. And when Eve decides to give up being a Superhero to actually do something good with her powers, can Robot and the rest of the new Global Guardians take up the slack?

Robot is having his own problems- his leadership is constantly being undercut by their government liason, and Monster Girl is constantly aging in reverse- becoming younger and younger the more she uses her powers. And like Baby Herman from Roger Rabbit, with a 50 year old lust and a six month old "winky", she still feels all the attraction and lust of a 29 year old woman, despite looking 13 or 14. Can Robot find a cure or a help for her, and who is the baby in the bottle ordering him around?

The end of the book shows the origin stories of a number of other heroes in the book, from the Immortal to Atom Eve, and including "Monster Girl", but not Robot.

This is another excellent compilation of Invincible. Mark is growing up, and older, and has to deal with a great number of changes in his life. For one, he now seems to be the Earth's foremost protector, taking the place of his father, and he has a great number of expanded duties and responsibilities, just one of which is trying to save his mother from the emotional black hole she has fallen into with the death of his father.

Another is preparing for college, and all that that entails, while simultaneously taking on multiple heroic deeds. And lest we forget, he's not the only one out there. While the rest of the galaxy might take some comfort in the fact that Mark isn't like his father's people, his Dad nearly killed him, and while he abandoned the fight for what seemed like no reason, it's very likely that the other Viltrumites aren't going to be as careful with Mark as his father was, and they have no reason to spare him. If he opposes them, they will kill him.

I suppose my question is "Will Mark's Dad try to save him again?" if the Viltrumites return to try and conquer the earth, and what is up with the rest of the Heroes his Dad used to hang with? What is going on with Robot, and can he save Monster Girl from the side-effects of her own powers? We can see how she got her powers, but they are actually more of a curse, and she just uses them to become a superhero. It's interesting to see how Mark deals with his fellow heroes, and new foes. A good book, and definitely recommended.

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