It all comes down to this!
Invincible #50 by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley
Cecil Stedman by Kirkman and Ottley
Science Dog by Kirkman and Cory Walker
If you only have room for one superhero comic in your library, it has to be Invincible. No one outside of the comic industry has ever heard of this title, and that is a damn shame. It has been touted as the best superhero comic in the universe, and that is quite arguably a very true statement.
What makes it so badass, you axe? For starters, Robert Kirkman. This guy is a damn good writer. I think somewhere down the line, he will be spoken of in the same context as Stan Lee, Kirby, Ditko, Steranko, Moore, Gaiman, and Miller. The story that he's woven over the past 50 issues has been awesome on so many levels. For one, each arc has been accessible on its own, but ties in very well to the overarcing epic. The characters are interesting, the villains are funny, there's hot chicks - this is just a solid book overall.
Plus, Invincible, the titular character (hehe - tit), is awesome. He's a college guy, but is the most powerful being on the planet (well, at least now he is). His powers are pretty much based on the Superman archetype: flight, super-strength, super-speed, enhanced senses, no heat-vision, though. But the beauty is in how he interacts with the supporting cast and with his villains. He's not just some goody-goody who likes to bake a nice bundt cake at the end of the day. He's in college, so he still has homework to do. And chicks to mess around with. When you're all-powerful, it's pretty tempting to just go around spreading your seed around campus. I know I've had that dilemma on more than one occasion.
In this latest issue, we get a major change for the character. To throw some background in your face, Invincible's been working for the Global Defense Agency - think Justice League or Avengers, just government-backed. In issue 49, we saw a major betrayal, and it plays out quite gruesomely in this issue.
The fight is pretty massive and involves a bunch of other super-power types that Invincible's been hanging with lately. You gotta wonder who cleans up after a major super-hero battle. At the very least, there should be some property damage. In this case, there was even some detached limbs. I think I'd hate to be the guy who has to come in and pick all that stuff up. I hate picking up the spaghetti that my baby boy throws on the ground. I would hope that the carnage clean-up team would have a good compensation package.
You also have to wonder what the insurance premiums would be if your home/business/hot dog cart got smashed up in a superhero melee. If Thor smashed the fruit stand with his hammer, would it not be covered since it's an act of (a) god?
Being the 50th issue, it's a super-sized (and marked up) book, and it has two backup stories that give us a little more insight into the Invincible universe. The first one is about the origin of Cecil Stedman, who runs the GDA. We find out that he's pretty much a Nick Fury type guy, but way more a dick. We've seen characters in other stories before that justify some questionable acts in the name of national/earthly security. That seems to be a good way to get out of things. I remember getting pulled over in college because I ran a red light. I told the cop that I had to for, you know, national security. For some reason, he didn't believe me, even though I was wearing my solid gold boustiere and thong...
The second backup story is about Science Dog. Science Dog in an anthropomorphic bipedal dog. Think Brian from Family Guy, but with more clothes. And guns. And a jetpack. You totally want to read the story now, don't you?
Who should read this book:
People who still believe in heroes.
People who can appreciate outfits in primary colors.
People who go unconscious when eating poison apples.