Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Cory Walker
Warning! Contains spoilers AND adult content!
Robert Kirkman’s Marvel work sucks. There, I took it out of my system. I never got into any of his Marvel creations and blame him for destroying Ultimate X-Men. I was ready to hate Kirkman for all of eternity until I got into his creator-owned works, all of them published through Image Comics, now a company he’s a partner in. Capes was entertaining, The Walking Dead is touching and terrifying despite all the kitsch and Brit is totally awesome.
Now Marvel publishes via MAX this violent mini-series by Kirkman and his Invincible artist Cory Walker. Seems a bit weird, as this project was announced over a year ago and since then Kirkman left Marvel to focus fully on his Image work and his new role as partner, and especially after he publicly criticized Marvel and DC for their irrelevance. “Now let’s try and sell a book by this guy”, must have been the thought that crossed Marvel’s marketing people. Not that Destroyer got much of publicity…
Destroyer. Hmm. A Golden Age renegade, a super-agent/soldier created by Timely Comics in the early 1940′s. His origin has something to do with Nazis, I think. Now he’s an old (very old) badass super strong government problem solver that keeps hiding behind his old green, alien-like mask. The biggest difference is, when he takes the blood-soaked costume off, the Destroyer is Keene Marlow, an old family man who’s late to his granddaughter’s birthday party. After two recent heart attacks Marlow is diagnosed by his doctor, who says that the calmest action can get him killed, not to speak about his line of work. He doesn’t have a chance. Sadly, Marlow hides the truth from his wife and instead goes to finish his work before it’s too late, starting with his prisoned great nemesis who also happens to be Marlow’s big brother. Which means four more issues dominated by the color red are ahead of us.
The biggest problem I had with this story is that it sounds too much like a Brit story. Keene Marlow and Brit are so much alike they could have swapped the title, publisher and character names – and no one could tell. so leaving originality aside, how did this story fair? It was a good start for the mini-series and feels a lot like a Kirkman Image work more than his Marvel works, which is already a good thing.
Walker’s somewhat cartoonish art style mixed with all the brutality adds a lot to the story. My only problems were with the human faces (they all looked distorted in a way) and Keene’s brother during their final battle (he was some kind of a mutant, but even these creatures need a reasonable anatomy). But overall, nice art. I’m not all too familiar with Invincible, so at least Walker’s art was new to me.
3 out of 5 beating, blood-dripping fresh hearts.