I have no qualms in readily admitting this, and I do so regularly. Which is why I’m so angry at Marvel and DC - theoretically I’m already biased towards the big superhero circle jerks they always roll out…and yet the hate flows so freely through my veins.
You know what’s really odd about Invincible as well…it plods along in a relatively innocent mindset…no real adult or mature issues are addressed, relatively light-hearted stories, there’s always those silly “This is a family book!” editor’s notes before every love scene or whatever, and by most measures I feel like as if it’s a book that I could give like my 10 year-old cousin to read.
And then suddenly sometimes, out of nowhere, Invincible flies through a guy and cuts him in half, with his intestines and all that flying all over the place, guys covered in head to toe with blood, superstrong punches knocking eyeballs and shit out of a guy’s skull.
Like just all of a sudden! You’re reading this fun, old school superhero story, he’s in a hilarious spot trying to keep his secret identity, tra la la, turn the page, BOOM, two page spread of intestines all over the place.
It gets violent! And Ottley’s style (or maybe it’s the clean inking and bright colouring) doesn’t really lend itself to imminent violence of that magnitude…not like say…Steve Dillon or something. Everytime I read a story illustrated by Steve Dillon, I’m expecting a guy’s eyeball to pop out everytime I turn the page. And it’s not like Preacher and Punisher have influenced that impression of his art in my head, it’s the other way around - it’s Dillon’s stuff that makes those books so gloriously violent. But Ottley’s style is more clean lines and cartoony…more in the Bruce Timm, Darwyn Cooke mold than in the Dillon or any random Constatine artist mold.
So it’s always a fun surprise when that stuff happens…not that Ottley is in any way incapable of telling a completely violent and visceral story at all. But no, I would not give this book to a 10 year-old to read.