Invincible is one of the best comics out there, but the 13-year-old series that Robert Kirkman launched in the same year as The Walking Dead is coming to an end.
That’s good news for you.
I’ve read more than 100 issues of Invincible, but stopped in 2014. Not because I didn’t like the series; it was just too tough to read issue to issue. I figured I’d wait for the end, or until enough time had gone by that I could consume a few arcs at a time.
Kirkman never thought it would end. He said as much in his explanatory “we’re finished” letter, explaining that he’s always responded to questions of “how long?” for Invincible with some variation of the following statement:
“My greatest hope in life is to one day, when Im much older, be reading an Invincible comic book by younger creators I havent met, who are doing a book that I hate.”
It makes sense. Kirkman wanted Invincible to be his ‘Stan Lee moment.’ The series would outlive his contributions and take on a life of its own.
“I always thought it would be a great honor to see Invincible rise to the level of Superman or Spider-Man in the pantheon of comic book superheroes,” he wrote.
Kirkman and co-creator Cory Walker’s story of an adolescent boy who develops superpowers definitely takes you by surprise. Invincible‘s seemingly formulaic setup is shattered in the second issue as certain truths come to light, and the pieces never stop falling after that.
Twists mean something in this story. Characters die. Globe-shaking events aren’t forgotten. Changes stick. Invincible exists in a living world. That’s an intentional play against type, a subversion of the more static state that traditional superhero stories exist within.
And that’s why, Kirkman recently realized, it’s time to end things.
“The point of this series has always been to celebrate what we love about superhero comics, but always put our own spin on it. To play with the tropes of the genre, but twist them into something new, at all times, no matter what.
“So then, it stands to reason, that if most superhero comics continue forever with no end in sight and over their runs do not, in any way, tell a cohesive story that holds together to form a singular narrative shouldnt Invincible do the exact opposite?”
Invincible is something people care about because they have to say goodbye sometimes. So while Kirkman admits that he always intended for the series to continue beyond his tenure as writer, an end is a perfectly fitting and correct thing to do for this story.
That’s why the fittingly titled arc, “The End of All Things,” will be Invincible‘s last. The 12-part story will conclude with issue #144. That leaves 11 more to go after issue #133 arrives in November.
It’ll suck to say goodbye, but it’s a relief to know that this incredible tale will get the end it deserves.