Pick of the Week

March 19, 2008 – Invincible #49

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.5
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.4%
Users who pulled this comic:

Size: pages
Price: 2.99

It’s finally happened! The inevitable!  The first time Invincible has been chosen as the Pick of the Week. It’s taken years and lots of complaining from the rest of you, but finally Invincible gets its due here on iFanboy!

What took so long? Well my dear faithful iFanboy readers, Conor, Josh and I were all late to the game on Invincible, diving into the trade paperbacks, but it wasn’t until recently that, unlike the majority of the comic reading world, I made the jump from trade paperbacks to issues! I know! Unheard of! I rationalized that Image Comics had presented a jump on point for new readers with issue #42, and it seemed like a good time to make the jump. You’ve heard us talk about how great this book was and Josh and Conor have talked about how they love reading it in trade because it just flows so well, but I was curious about reading it in issues. Could it sustain my interest from month to month (if we’re lucky, ahem Mr. Kirkman and Mr. Ottley)? Would it pack the same the punch that I got from reading it in trades?

This is my 8th issue since making the jump, and you know, I’ll be honest, it really hasn’t paid off. The publishing schedule has been sporadic, which can kill the rhythm of even the best monthly book. And something that I detected as far back as the last trade I read, Invincible was getting a bit boring. Nothing was really amping up the excitement and enjoyment that I had experienced earlier in the series. Sure it was good, and it was a shining example of the future of superhero comics, but much like some comics out this week like Captain America and Ex Machina, it just kind of rolled on, staying consistent in it’s quality but it wasn’t anything to run out into the streets for.

I have a feeling that Robert Kirkman felt the same way about the book, or if he didn’t, he’s using the approach to the milestone 50th issue as an excuse to bring back that level of excitement really the only way he can.

NOTE: In respect to my iFanboy brethren, I’m not going to spoil anything about the story in this issue.

So what happened in issue #49 to get me excited again about Invincible? Two distinct things:

First, Kirkman is doing what he has to in order to make the series matter again — he’s changing the paradigm.  From what happened in this issue (not telling!), issue #50 is going to be mind blowing and after that, there isn’t any way things remain the same. Success can be a challenge for some comic creators, they can hit on a good formula which resonates and is enjoyed by the readers But then they’re stuck, either afraid or unwilling to deviate from the original concept. In order for a monthly comic book to last an extended period of time, things need to change. Look at the history, the X-Men got replaced with completely new characters, The Thing quit the Fantastic Four, even Spider-Man and Captain America quit at one point. It’s the guts to change things up that make a good comic great and it looks like Kirkman doesn’t have any fear to pull that trigger (as if reading The Walking Dead wasn’t enough proof) and screw up his characters lives.

Second, moving from trade to issues really hadn’t paid off yet in terms of what I was looking for. I was looking for the issues experience to provide a good ongoing story, but at the same time provide a kick in the nuts type ending with each issue that would make waiting for the next issue untenable. Well, it took 8 issues, but it happened. As the story picked up from issue #48, concluded and developed into what appears to be the conflict for issue #50, this issue did a perfect job of providing action, drama and story development leading up to a classic, comic book styled cliffhanger.

Right about now, I’m enjoying my decision to move to issues. Not only has Invincible rose to the top of my stack of books, but I know what happens in the story as it happens! None of this waiting for the trade nonsense!

Of course I’m kidding around. It doesn’t matter how you read Invincible, it’s solidly one of the best comics of this decade and can stand on its own compared to any of the super heroes by the Big 2. But you know this already, right? Because you read it in trade, don’t you? I knew it.

Ron Richards
It’s gonna be real lonely on the podcast…

Did you read Invincible #49? Add a comment and tell everyone what you thought!


  1. Sweet I can’t wait to read it.

  2. I’m glad it was your pick this week cause this book never would have been picked otherwise.

  3. Alot of trade-only readers will be very annoyed with this choice Ronald. Might want to rethink that spoiler policy before Sunday…

  4. Fantastic pick.  The "paradigm shift" moment you reference was truly amazing— similar to the big shift moment earlier in the book’s history.

    My POW would have been Super Friends #1.  I bought it for my oldest kid, my 4-year old son, and read it to him at bedtime—and he loved it.  His first comic, my POW.


    In the adult books- Cap and Invincible were both great—I probably also would have picked Invincible of those two.  Then I had three good but not great books- Fear Agent, Fables, and The Sword.  Then, after that, my books were basically a big ol’ steaming pile of mediocrity: Batman And The Outsiders, Checkmate, Flash, Justice League, Robin.  It was quite the chore to even finish those books—I can’t see me picking up the next issue of any of them (except maybe Flash, just out of character loyalty, heaven help me). 


  5. I didn’t read the whole review because I’ve only read the first hardcover of "Invincible" so far.  But I totally guessed that Ron would make this the pick, if only for the spectacle of Josh and Conor yelling at him about going to issues.  Should be a fun show.

  6. You can read it.  It’s spoiler free.

  7. THANK YOU RON! i had been feeling that invincible and walking dead had been getting the short stick on the podcast because it seemed that everyone only read them in trade, and so they would never get chosen for pick of the week. I was excited to see the new book of the month feature because i knew it would only be a matter of time until the the trades were featured there. and i would settle for that, but it was great to see invincible #49 as the pick. I know it was the best thing I read this week. and it’s finally getting it’s spotlight.

  8. It would be agonizing for me to read either Invincible The Walking Dead in issue form.  Every SINGLE issue ends with a terrific cliffhanger.  It’s said that Vaughn is the best cliffhanger writer, but I think that Kirkman wears that crown completely uncontested in my mind.  Reading in trade is hard enough because I have to wait 6+ months for that cliffhanger to be resolved, but at least I was able to simply turn the page after the last 4 or 5 cliffhangers.  Whenever I read a trade of Invincible or Walking Dead, I always finish it in one sitting.

  9. I actually jumped on the single issues with #38, then went back and read the first hardcover. I still have to read the second and third hardcovers, so this book is a bit of a conundrum for me. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great book and love reading the single issues, but I just wish I could force myself to pick up the remaining hardcovers and read them in one sitting so I have better backstory on all the characters. Hmm….sounds like a good use of my tax refund, no?

  10. Hey now – not all of us read Invincible in trades!  I’ve been lucky to have been reading since issue #1 and still have the 3 Hardcovers sitting on my bookshelf.  The last 2 issues leading up into the big 5-0 next month (or so) have been great.  And that cliffhanger – I need to the next issue to ship as soon as possible!  Great pick and I’ll be very happy to hear this discussed on the podcast this week.

  11. I love Invincible and have always read it in issues, but I have to concede to my trade-waiting brothers and sisters: I have no damn idea what happened last issue.

  12. I’ve only read the first four trades of Invincible and have really enjoyed them.  That said, I have not fallen all over myself to get the rest of series because there’s just too much good stuff monthly and I don’t have the money for it.  I am glad to see that’s it’s getting recognized by the iFanboys as it richly deserves to be pick of the week (or has at some point).

    My pick this week goes to The Circle #5!  While nothing in my stack really stood out, this pick is for sentimental reasons as it has been canceled indefinitely.  It’s a real bummer because this issue was really strong, and I feel like someone ripped off my nicotine patch to early because all I want is more.  So, this pick in in respect to the great thing that Brian Reed and Ian Rosfeld had going.

  13. This was great.  Can’t wait for


    ISH 50!  Yea 

  14. Thanks for showing Invincible some love, Ron. This issue was a savory, tasty treat that sets up what is yet to come. I cannot wait to see what the payoff is over the next year.

  15. Damn you, Ron!  Daaaaaamn yooooooooou!

  16. Thanks for the tip, Josh.

    And I *knew* Conor was going to say that.

    On trades vs. issues, I can’t really comment about "Invincible.’  But I am in a similar dilemma with ‘Ex Machina.’   I read the first (however many trades there are) almost in one sitting.  I’ve been reading individual issues since then, and I suspect they would read better in trade.  But I’m so fond of these characters, i’m not sure I can wait that long.  I was starting to think I should drop the subscription, anyway (as this review mentions, it’s gotten a little slow).  But I thought this week’s issue was a nice return to the core of the series — which, to me, is Hundred’s character and the relationships with the people he’s closest to.  So now I think I’ll stick with it. 

    I’m considering a special storage system for ‘books that will probably read better in trade, but that I still want my more-or-less-monthly dose of’ — ie, bundling them together for easy rereading.  It’s not like there are that many books that I have a great urge to reread at the end of an arc (Vaughan, Whedon, and some of Brubaker’s stuff may be about it), so this could be a workable plan.  But then, I don’t read as many titles as a lot of people, so I can see the trade option making sense.

  17. Spoiler!


    Couldn’t the body at the end of the Captain America be the body of Steve Roger fished out from the ocean? 

  18. oh wow. i think i might pick up the trades. i always sort of sto to look at it when i’m a henley’s but for some reason i never really felt like i should get it. maybe i’ll take a chance with the first trade.


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