Labeled as the "crossover event of the decade" and featuring a double-gatefold cover, this issue of "Invincible" attempts the impossible -- to tell a "summer event" story in one single issue.
Kirkman does a splendid job of jamming a whole bunch of story into one issue. This issue literally brims with characters, and if you happen to be a relative newbie to "Invincible" (like me) you might find yourself overwhelmed by all the characters and the slam-bang-bloody action. That's right, slam-bang-bloody action is aplenty in this issue. Kirkman gives everyone panel time while letting the main characters have a little more exposition (although, honestly, I still felt like I needed a scorecard or a program). This issue might be intended to be a jumping-on point, and I chose to read it as such.
Ottley delivers a wonderfully detailed book in a style that is all his own, yet echoes somewhere between Todd Nauck and Pat Gleason. Having to render twenty versions of the same character had to be a daunting task, but Ottley does so with flair and sharpness. At no point are the primary characters unidentifiable, even though some of the tertiary characters might get blended (literally by Invincible in some panels) into the landscape. Some of the panel layouts and orientation is pure brilliance. The Day Three spread, in particular, puts all of Ottley's skills on display. It also gives the coloring a chance to be more than just "colors."
The colors are marvelously executed, adding a depth and a texture to the panels that Ottley's economy of line and shading greatly benefits from. As with the artwork from Ottley, it must have been a bit of a challenge for Plascencia to render so many variations without falling into a muddled morass of muted hues. The colors here should be studied for how event coloring should look.
I bought this book with only minimal knowledge of "Invincible," and most of that is from other readers or friends telling me, "This book is awesome!" or "You gotta read it!" or some such. Invincible is a Marvel character in the worst possible DC scenario, yet rises above both. While I sure don't know all the backstory, I'm certain there's no lack of resources to get me up to speed as I look to the future for the next issue.