“Invincible Universe” #5 does what no other comic book can possibly do this month (maybe not even this year). Writer Phil Hester and artist Todd Nauck open this comic with protagonists trying to gently dissuade mind-controlled gorillas. It might seem like a one-sided battle for characters with super powers, but as Brit points out, the gorillas are an endangered species and need to be handled carefully.
Invincible, Robot, Yeti, Kid Thor and others join Brit on the scene, giving the reader a fistful of super characters in the span of a couple pages. Hester keeps the dialog bouncy and upbeat, despite the odd circumstances and the obvious tension surrounding the event. With such a wide array of characters, it wouldn’t hurt to have subtle reminders, like caption box tags or a roll call inside the front cover. Hester mostly addresses characters by name throughout the story, but one or two manage to squeak by, which inspired me to refamiliarize myself with the cast — as it likely will for avid comics readers who read a significant amount of material every week. That’s a minor nitpick there, as Hester does a great job balancing out the vastly diverse cast while also providing refreshers on power sets alongside personalities.
One character that does have a chance to shine a bit brighter than the rest is Best Tiger. Captured and interrogated, Best Tiger is exactly where he wants to be and the collaboration between Hester and artist Todd Nauck makes that scene electrifying and fun, but also a little bit gross. Hunter and Shapesmith join Best Tiger to investigate the allegations that Supreme Leader Cho of North Korea is taking strides to keep his country invested in the super-powered arms race as the United Nations gears up for its first meeting since Dinosaurus flooded the globe. While I wouldn’t normally associate Nauck with espionage adventure, he handles this scene wonderfully, just as with every other scene in this comic book.
Nauck’s work is animated and agile, filled with just enough detail to be dynamic and informative. The artist has built a world, defined a sprawling cast of characters and continues to add to the fabric of this world in “Invincible Universe” #5. While I’m still acclimating to the characters and the landscape of Robert Kirkman’s other comic book creation, the high energy level, fun art and excitingly unpredictable story in “Invincible Universe” #5 will have readers looking forward to the next installment of this adventure.