Invincible Universe is one of those books that polarize readers before its debut. On one hand you have the casual fans of Invincible going " Hells yeah more Invincible shit!!" and then on the other you have the Kirkman "loyalists" who are looking at it like ..."uh..Isn't this why there was a Guardians of the Globe book? Why you gotta fuck with my pull list yo?!?" I am one of the few who falls somewhere in the middle by looking at it like this, yeah there have been Invincible spin-offs before but the one that got the most attention was a spoof team teaser which included President Obama and Harry Potter if I'm not mistaken. Here with the Invincible name smack dab in the title, it garnishes much more attention than Guarding the Globe and also is less specific enabling the plethora of supporting characters appearing in Invincible ample opportunity to get their shine on.
Invincible Universe #1 picks up immediately after the traumatic events of “The Death of Everyone”, where savage scientific savant Dinosaurus pulls an Adrian "Ozymandias" Veidt and does something biblically terrible for the greater good in the big picture. I highly suggest before picking this up you familiarize yourself with that story so when this book opens up with death tolls and a ragged Invincible covered in blood you're not sitting there like ...dafuq going on in here?
My first thought upon reading this issue was, well this was pretty decent but anyone without at least some knowledge of the material the book is titled after is going to be lost as fuck by the end of this. As I stated this opens up with Director Cecil (he's like this universe's Nick Fury) offering to give Mark aka Invincible his old job back working as a gov't super-agent for Cecil again. With not very many options post the Dinosaurus flood he was partially responsible for Mark is both relieved and surprised to even get this one, which he obviously accepts because fuck prison.
From there we dive right into Cecil dealing with a new assistant the newest Agent Edelman because as we find out Cecil gives zero fucks to learn his assistants names so the last 10 have all just been referred to as Agent Edelman regardless who they actually were. From the jump we see that Agent Edelman #11 is not in for a completely smooth transition into her new job despite having a damn impressive resume in government work. What follows is a Hodge-podge of aftermath from the recent crisis which is a bit too much to go into detail with in this review.
I cannot stress enough how helpful it is to have read the “Death of Everyone” before you attempt to read this. Seriously if you didn't at least Google some reviews of it before reading this, you are probably not going to have a good time. This is really my only major criticism of this book. The writing is done by Phil Hester who effortlessly captures the "Kirkman" vibe of the parent book and shows promise for the future tales to come. Even reintroducing a ghost dragon bearing villain from a little ways back that is as appealing and fits in just like all the awesome sauce events that have appeared in Invincible related stuff prior to this.
Todd Nauck, a choice I'm on the fence about does a great job using his signature style to blend into the art we are used to seeing in Invincible books while still staying true to his style. The only problems with the art is that Ryan Ottley is THE Invincible artist so anything similar does inspire the urge to write it off as a cheap copy. Thing is though Ottley is still kind of a noob compared to Nauck and while the inevitable comparison does not lessen either artist per say, I know for a fact a legion of noobish wannabes are spreading out across sites and forums all across the internets spouting off about Nauck jocking Ottley's style. So for the mental pains I get just from the idea of the horribly spelled trolling this will inspire I'm giving this book a bitter sigh.
Still though not letting the soon to come idiocy of trolls ruin a good thing, this book is already spot on what you'd expect from a good title set in the Invincible universe w/o starring the titular character. All in all, whether you agree with the Guarding the Globe repackaging or not, just be thankful you still get to see all your favorites somewhere and if this launch goes well then I'd expect to see many more spin-offs in the same vein.
Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: Todd Nauck
Publisher: Skybound and Image Comics
Release Date: 4/10/13