After more than 13 years of publication, Robert Kirkman has announced the upcoming conclusion of Skybound and Image Comics' "Invincible," the acclaimed superhero series he created with Cory Walker, which has been illustrated by Ryan Ottley since issue #8. The series will end with "Invincible" #144, the final issue of the 12-part "The End of All Things" arc, which is slated to start with #133 this November -- meaning there's more than a year left of "Invincible" to go.
Kirkman explained why he's ending the series in a letter to fans released to news outlets including CBR. In the letter, he explains that while for years his hope was that "Invincible" would one day be taken over by another creative team and live on for decades like Marvel or DC Comics' superhero icons, he recently realized that wasn't true to the spirit of the book.
"The point of this series has always been to celebrate what we love about superhero comics, but always put our own spin on it," Kirkman wrote. "To play with the tropes of the genre, but twist them into something new, at all times, no matter what."
Additionally, Kirkman wrote that he had been writing towards a conclusion of his story, and learned that Ottley was interested in moving on from "Invincible" at some point -- making for a natural point to end the book.
"Everything was converging in this one story, and looking back, I realized I'd been working toward this the whole time," Kirkman wrote. "In talking it over with Ryan I learned, much to my surprise, that the idea of drawing something other than 'Invincible' someday... and not being stuck in this monthly grind we've been in for well over a decade... appealed to him."
"Invincible" debuted in January 2003 as part of an Image Comics superhero line -- the same year that Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" comic book series debuted, providing the early origins of a global phenomenon. The book tells the story of young superhero Mark Grayson, who inherited superpowers from his alien father. "Invincible" has gained a fan following and critical praise over the years for continually both honoring superhero tropes and subverting them, sparking multiple spinoff miniseries along the way.
At 144 issues, "Invincible" will stand as one of the longest-running independent superhero comic books in the industry's history. "Invincible" #130, featuring the return of co-creator Cory Walker on art, is scheduled for release on Aug. 24.
Kirkman's full letter follows below.