Sunday, July 27, 2014

100+ Definitions 61



Invincible #61

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): This issue explores the aftermath of the Invincible War. 

Invincible #61 (I#61): The issue opens with a news-reporter recap of the war and scenes of heroes helping refugees and cleaning ruble. 

L-FL: The scene shifts to Mark Grayson voicing his doubts to an unconscious Samantha Wilkins. Cecil Stedman, head of the Global Defense Agency at the Pentagon, arrives to teleport Invincible to a city to help with the clean-up.

I#61: As soon as Invincible appears at the ruined city, he’s attacked by Powerplex (who escaped from the destroyed prison) who blames Invincible for the mass destruction. Eventually, after four pages, Badrock subdues the Powerplex for incarceration.

L-FL: The scene again shifts to Mark Grayson again confessing his reticence about being a hero to Atom Eve.  Grayson leaves after Samantha’s parents arrive.

I#61: Another scene shift has the Sequids seize control of two firemen who have stumbled onto the rubble of astronaut Rus Livingston’s destroyed apartment.

L-FL: The following page shows the Immortal return to life, reject control of Guardians of the Globe, and admits his desire to have kids with Dupli-Kate.

I#61: Following Dupli-Kate’s joy, the comic narrates a two-page incident that portrays Cecil Stedman trying to organize a new Guardians of the Globe. Invincible rejects leadership of the proposed group.

L-FL: The final four pages portray a Viltrumite agent, named Conquest, threatening to kill Invincible. So, for this issue the superhero definition is that a superhero is aware of the consequences that result from his or her possible actions and revisits and considers his goals and reasons for his chosen heroics.

I#61: Very well.

100+ Definitions 60



Invincible #60

Invincible #60 (I#60):  Puny readers, facing you are the imperialistic events of the superlative comic book Invincible.  In these master pages multiple versions of Invincible assemble through the machinations of the dimension-hopping supervillain Angstrom Levy.  This Invincible ensemble possesses the empathy of sharks at a feeding frenzy.  I’ll loosen the electronic gag on this scrawny scribe to elaborate.

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): Each evil version of Invincible (there are at least 16 permutations) attacks a city on Earth with the purpose of ruining Invincible’s reputation.  Cameos abound as the heroes of the Image universe (Union Jack, Spawn, Tech Jacket, Savage Dragon, Witchblade, The Darkness, Shadowhawk, Pitt, Young Blood, Cyberforce, Madman, and many others) assemble to subdue the conquest-minded versions of Invincible.

I#60: Cease your bleating L-FL, I can stomach no more babble that seeps from your lips.
The issue continues portrays that after three days, eight evil Invincibles survive the Invincible War triumphant amidst Earth’s devastated cities.  Then the Angstrom-Levy betrayal occurs.  Disagreeing with the superior strategies of the Invincible octet, Levy cowardly transports the eight to an empty Earth covered with sand.  Listener, speak.

L-FL:  Invincible, Kid Omni-Man and Bulletproof attack Angstrom Levy.  Kid Omni-Man encourages his big brother, Invincible, to kill Levy, and after Mark Grayson (Invincible) agrees, Levy opens a dimensional portal and escapes to a highly advanced medical dimension where the populace refuses to follow his orders. The superhero definition from this issue includes the idea that the best supervillain battles the superhero with the superhero’s own traits and powers.

I#60: My God….

Saturday, July 26, 2014

100+ Definitions 59



Invincible #59

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): The latest installment of the Invincible saga examined here involves the new supervillain Powerplex.  This enemy to Invincible originated from the battle with Omni-Man.  A collapsed building killed Powerplex’s sister and Invincible received the blame for her death and became a target for vengeance.

Invincible #59 (I#59): Questions of cause and effect occupy the forefront of characters’ minds.  What is the origin of any future action?  How much responsibility does an individual carry for influencing the actions of others and the consequences that arise from those actions?  How can anyone know the full results of any action?  Who knows the future effects of this, or any, blog?

L-FL: Well, hopefully the results of this blog don’t, like the actions of Powerplex, incinerate family members.  This posting will bring another definition of superhero as: a powerful creature whose actions cause supervillains to emerge through some muted logic involving unsuspected consequences of a superhero’s action.

I#59: That definition shoves responsibility of destruction and supervillains onto the heroes.

L-FL: Well, no, that isn’t…

I#59: And, if any horrible actions should arise from this 100+ Definitions project, I will summon every #59 issue of Invincible, and we will fly out of long boxes and poly bags and strike you with paper cuts more numerous than comics distributed on Free Comic Book Day.  So if, when, that happens, I’ll find you, and I’ll find a way to kill you.

L-FL: ?!!?

Friday, July 25, 2014

100+ Definitions 58




Invincible #58

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): Issue #58 of the Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley’s superhero comic Invincible must have been edited by the Home and Garden network.  There is a lot of focus on houses.

Invincible #58 (I#58): I don’t know L-FL, that claim seems a bit exaggerated.  The story begins with Mark and Oliver (Invincible and Kid Omni-Man) honing their flying speed…

L-FL:…and the scene ends with Oliver crashing through the roof their house! 

I#58: Yeah, well, the scene shifts to Samantha Wilkins leaving the prison in a business suit…

L-FL:…where she’s secured payment for her and Invincible to work so that they can buy a house!  Then the scene shifts to Immortal and Dupli-Kate house hunting.  Also included is Lethan, Ruler of Atlantis, sitting on his throne, at home, awaiting adventure. 

I#58: *sigh,* yes, there may a hint of a house theme, but this issue also includes Robot halting the reverse aging process for Monster Girl and Shapesmith acquiring a new costume.

L-FL: True, and we also read a scene of Black Samson encouraging and supporting Darkwing, and Rus Livingston (possessed by the alien Sequids) sits in his apartment, his home, with the landlady screaming about two months back rent.  The story also includes Oliver working with his tutor in the living room of his home!  This special Home and Garden Network special issues implies that a superhero possesses a home, literally and/or metaphorically, or is actively seeking a home, a place of belonging, a place of their own, an environment of safety and encouragement.

I#58: It’s a start.

100+ Definitions 57



Invincible #57

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): This issue guest stars the Astounding Wolf-Man.  The comic opens with Robot analyzing remnants of a camera used to spy on Invincible and Kid Omni-Man.  Invincible falsely assumes the Pentagon sent the camera, and when confronting Cecil about the surveillance, finds himself ensnared in a mission to capture the Astounding Wolf-Man and defeat the cyclopean giant that last appeared in Invincible 42.  After cooperating to defeat the Giant, Wolf-Man’s alter-ego (Gary Hampton) explains his innocence regarding his slain wife to Invincible.  Believing the confession, Invincible takes Wolf-Man to Cecil with the hope that he can become part of the Guardians of the Globe.

Invincible #57 (I#57): Wolf-Man’s exoneration doesn’t occur that easily.  He and Invincible fight a mob of Reanimen in the White Room, and have a showdown with the Guardians of the Globe.  After winning the fight, Invincible carries Wolf-Man back to his mansion to see his sleeping daughter and friend Dunford and resolves to clear his name. 

L-FL:  After the defeat of the Giant, Wolf-Man pleads with Invincible to listen to his story.  This plea for an audience continues when the two enter the Pentagon, and it takes a physical threat from Invincible to have Cecil and his henchmen hear the Wolf-Man’s explanation.  So a superhero is one that uses opportunities to listen.

I#57:  That sounds like good treatment for one who may still prove useful to me….

Thursday, July 24, 2014

100+ Definitions 56



Invincible #56

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): In a (hopefully) far less edited installment of 100+ Definitions, issue fifty-six opens with Mark watching Samantha Wilkins sleep in his bed and receiving a phone call.

Invincible#56 (I#56): Mark and Samantha defenestrate themselves, as does Kid Omni-Man, to travel their separate ways.  Mark goes to his ex-girlfriend’s house and discovers wounds caused by her present boyfriend hitting her.  Invincible terrorizes the boyfriend.  Kid Omni-Man patrols and fights a large golden robot.  After helping his brother with the robot, Mark visits Samantha Wilkins and then returns home to talk and train with his brother.  They discover the camera which Angstrom Levy used to monitor the Grayson household.

L-FL: This issue gives a superhero definition of one aware of the dangers and weaknesses associated with humanity in regards to using extraordinary powers and attempts to retain control and sober use of those powers.

I#56: That seems a good line for heroes to maintain, especially since they can say someone was watching us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

100+ Definitions 55



Invincible #55

Invincible #55 (I#55): My story begins immediately after the kiss between Mark Grayson and Samantha Wilkins.  And, after a romantic evening and stress on humanity in the last issue, the two young heroes strip down for sex.  First Atom Eve removes her and Mark’s clothes simultaneously at the atomic scale.  Then Samantha pushes Mark onto the bed and falls atop him while kissing him. Next…X XX X  XXXXXXX X  X XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XX XXXXX XX  X XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX X  XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXCENSOREDXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX X XX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XX X XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXXXXX XXX X XXXX XXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX X
XX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX X XXXXX X XXX CENSORED X X XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XX XXXX XX XXXXX XXXXCENSOREDXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XX X X X XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XX XX XX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX X X XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XX XXXCENSOREDX X X XX XX XXXXX XXX XXXXX XX XXXXX XXXX XX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXCENSOREDXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXCENSOREDXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): Uh, thanks for that, uhm, specific and detailed extrapolation of the first page.

The bulk of this issue narrates the friendship formed between Allen the Alien and Omni-Man in the Viltrumite prison.  When Nolan Grayson, Omni-Man, is retrieved for execution, Allen escapes and with help from Battle Beast, frees Omni-Man and learns that no more than 49 pure-blooded Viltrumites exist.

I#55: The final page of the comic shifts to Mark and Samantha in bed and making enough noise to wake and disturb Mark’s mother.  Beneath the sheets, the couple  XXXXXX XXXX X XX XX X
X X XX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXX XXXX X XXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXX XXX X XX XXXX XX XXXXX XXXXX  XXXXX XXX XXXXX X X XXXX  XXXXX XXX XX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXX X X CENSORED XXXX XXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XX XX XXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XX XXX XXX XX X  X XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX  XXXX XXXX XXXX XX X X X XX  X XXX XXXX XXXX XXXX  ….

L-FL: !!! You should be careful, or the Comics Code Authority could be resurrected.  Still, a superhero is one that can make friends and stand by and support those friends in their time of need.

I#55: You could also say that a superhero is one who XXXXx all night!  Good night.

100+ Definitions 54



Invincible #54

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): Another date issue! This comic begins in a Paris café with Mark Grayson and Samantha Wilkins sitting at a table drinking wine.

Invincible #54 (I#54): It is a superhero comic though, not a romance, so the intimate moment is ruined by some karate twins from the future who appear and kindly abduct Invincible to liberate their world.  These karate twins are the same Double-Dragon brothers Fightmaster and Drop Kick who last appeared in Invincible 46.

L-FL: The Tyrant of the future world is The Immortal who manipulates Invincible into killing him.

I#54: Mark returns to Paris the moment he left and takes Samantha to tour Venice, Sydney, the Sphinx and space before kissing and confessing their love. So, go on L-FL and shift what could be a romantic speak-for-itself ending with yet another superhero definition.

L-FL: Superheroes maintain their humanity and connection to the human race.

I#54: Ah, I love you t--.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

100+ Definitions 53


Invincible #53

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL):  For the pleasure of Owen Craig of the Panel Culture podcast, Invincible 53 opens with a date between Mark Grayson (Invincible) and Samantha Eve Wilkins (Atom Eve).  The couple roasts marshmallows after a picnic meal atop a snowy mountain.

Invincible #53 (I#53): The date ends though because Mark is plagued by his brother’s ease with killing humans and wants to again talk with Oliver about life’s sanctity.  The talk goes poorly (again) and ends with Mark yelling at both Oliver and his mother.

L-FL:  The erosion of the day’s good fate continues for Mark Grayson.  While he patrols the city as Invincible, he initiates a fight with the crime lord Titan who approaches a prison to visit (or attempt to free) Multi-Paul.  The Chinese crime lord Mister Liu produces a tangible soul dragon who fights Invincible and frees Multi-Paul.

I#53:  After the ever-present fight that occurs in every issue, Titan declares war on the crime syndicate; Invincible declares his contentment with Atom Eve, and Oliver agrees to abide by his brother’s values regarding life, but this concession results in a grimace on Oliver’s face for that final panel.  Readers, you figure out how this final panel should be read. 

L-FL:  And dear readers, before you begin wrangling with the ambiguity of this closing image, here is yet another superhero definition: an extraordinary being whose life is divide into extraordinary conflicting social categories (protector, son, brother, boyfriend, friend, guardian, combatant, ethicist to name some of Mark Grayson’s social roles) and whose decisions regarding these categories effect not only their social circle, but the entire planet and distant stellar civilizations.

I#53: That’s an apt definition.  So, now that we’re done here, look closer and I’ll tell you more about the secret camera hidden in the leaves outside of Mark Grayson’s house so that Angstrom Levy can observe his nemesis.  C’mere. 

100+ Definitions 52



Invincible #52

Low-Frequency Listener (L-FL): Dear readers, welcome to the I-52!...the fifty-second issue of the comic Invincible. 

Invincible #52 (I#52):  My covers contain the fight between the Mauler Clones against Invincible and Kid Omni-Man. 

L-FL: The heroes win?

I#52: Of course! Kid Omni-Man straight-up kills the clones with splattery violence by shoving a palm through the chest of one and punching the other’s jaw through his skull. 

L-FL:  That doesn’t sound very heroic.

I#52: Invincible agrees with you on that point.  He tries to explain to his non-human half-brother why killing is bad.   It’s doesn’t go well.

L-FL: Don’t forget to also mention that the clones launched a nuclear missile and Invincible chased it into space and detonated the projectile.

I#52: And Invincible survived!  So, Low-FL, why don’t you give readers yet another definition of superhero.

L-FL: Superhero: a being possession extraordinary powers who protect the lives of others and allow others to retain responsibility for their lives.  Superheroes are guardians and protectors, not executioners.

I#52:  That definition sounds pretty accurate.  Sometimes.