When I first began writing this piece, I set out with the intention to do a list of comics worthy of the blockbuster film (or series) adaptation treatment. Though when I first wrote the article my computer crashed (creators.co saves every few seconds my ass, tell that to my missing four pages) I realised that out of all the comics on my list, there was one all the more glaring. One that in all honesty, was a bit unfair its been overlooked so long, especially in this day and age of franchise world building, when it lend itself to that trend so well.
What if I was to say there was a comic book, that featured a popular superhero, and this superhero was not yet tied to any film or franchise currently and doesn't even look to even have one in the works? (haven't heard anything anyway) A comic that has regularly been in the monthly top sellers throughout its lengthy lifespan. A top selling, popular superhero, with a dedicated fan base that was neither DC or Marvel?
Now what if I was to say the writing of this book was superb, while the art revels in the traditional wonderfully, creating a highly relatable, superhero world, which was equal to or even better than anything Marvel or DC have produced in recent years.
A wholly original superhero origin that both pays homage to the traditional superhero comics of yore, while also turning these tried and true archetypes on their heads, manipulating the reader into thinking they know where it's going. Though the old school, relatable technique is all just an act, lulling you into a false sense of security only to be knocked asunder when the plot takes an unexpected turn.
Part Ultimate Spider-Man, part Watchmen, the story of a young boy inheriting his superhero fathers powers, along with some unexpected baggage, of which their is a lot.
The comic is Invincible, its written by Robert Kirkman (yes, that Robert Kirkman) and it's published by Image comics.
Its kind of inexcusable that Marvel are making buckets of money off the most obscure, unknown characters (Scott Lang/Ant Man, Jessica Jones... Rocket Raccoon) while classic comics like this are being overlooked. Featuring a carefully plotted, rich, universe of superheroes, often parody's of more popular ones (ie. Batman, Aquaman etc) again, keeping things relatable for the reader, it's really very clever. It's only shortcoming was when they began introducing other Image heroes into the world, merging the Invincible universe with the Image one. The satirical world of Invincible was perfectly fine with its cast of all new superheroes, without adding cameos from US Patriot or Savage Dragon for no apparent reason. Reminds me of the early issues of Sandman, when it was still part of the DC universe, with Green Lantern popping up to chat with Morpheus. Jarring to say the least. Regardless, the book is fantastic, luring you in with its supposed 'traditional' tropes, them BAM! you're thrown to the floor left in shock and disbelief at the the latest massive plot revelation.
It's one of my all time favorite comics and while I find the earlier issues the best, when it was mainly satirical of standard superhero fare, before it became a little more derivative of standard superhero fare, but hey it's been a long journey to get to this point and couldn't think of anyone more deserving than Mr Mark Grayson (yes that's a nod to Robin... familiarity, get it?) AKA Invincible.
Why I haven't heard any rumblings of a big budget film release, with its wide range of heroes and villains, its various super teams, offshoots and solo spin offs, with a vast comic book world that looks like Marvel but feels like Vertigo, is beyond me? It's just waiting to be picked up. I said the same thing about Preacher for years, "read this freakin comic, but why is there no bloody film?" Well now that Preacher has got the live action treatment (television at least) I'v now turned my focus to Image's unsung hero, the one still selling books, and isn't stuck in a haze of 90s unable to escape it's previous shadow (yeah I am looking at you Savage Dragon, Spawn and Shadowhawk) Isn't it about time Invincible got it's fair due. It may not be a household name, and the first may not be a blockbuster at first, but it's not a story that could ever be told in just one film, if it's made well, word will spread, Kickass wasn't a household name either, and look how that turned out, the first film anyway, guarantee you, Invincible, the next Kickass. Heard it here first ;) Which brings my first article in a new section I'll be doing where I pick a part comics unsung heroes, the ones I deem worthy of a Hollywood film franchise...
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