In “Invincible Universe” #8 writer Phil Hester and artist Todd Nauck shift the focus over to Redeye, the Brazilian crimelord with deadly eyebeams. A prisoner in a prison of his own design, Redeye is an amalgamation of a number of crime archetypes, most notably: Lex Luthor, Darkseid and Norman Osborn.
In the dialog for Redeye, however, I hear an accent not unlike Ricardo Montalban, as the comic book converses with Slaying Mantis about the rigors of his current condition. Hester makes every character in “Invincible Universe” #8 personable and readable. While I would still personally find great benefit in character identification tags of some sort, Hester mostly does a good job of identifying characters through their dialog. He does identify the locales quite plainly, with straightforward lettering from Rus Wooton. In a universe filled with characters, Hester manages to drown out the cacophony of billions of voices and pares down the critical components to a handful of members of the Global Defense Agency in each issue. “Invincible Universe” #8 features Slaying Mantis, Wolf-Man, Ms. Popper, Best Tiger and Claire Voyant as they try to navigate the certain trap Redeye has set for them.
Although his artwork is more effervescent than one might expect for a story that features subterfuge and death, Todd Nauck’s style brings an engaging playfulness to “Invincible Universe” #8. Nauck’s characters are vital and expressive, not limited to staged poses, but capable of moving throughout the comic book, seemingly of their own accord. Colorist meshes quite nicely with Nauck’ work, maintaining a pure comic book style to the colors for the characters, but adds in texture and pattern to the backgrounds and scenery. The energy Nauck adds to “Invincible Universe” #8 is not directly measurable, it truly is immense. Plucking beats rom Hester’s story, Nauck is able to add life to the comic book and personality to the characters.
“Invincible Universe” #8 is a fun read that feels like a John Ostrander issue of “Suicide Squad.” I’ve enjoyed this series from the start and find that it continues to be a nice alternative to mainstream comics that bring along substantial baggage. Yes, there is baggage in place in “Invincible Universe” #8, but the story is brisk enough and smartly paced enough to welcome new readers in and returning readers back.