For more than 10 years, Invincible has been a love letter to the superhero genre, paying homage and remixing plot beats and character archetypes into a series that's become a hit unto its own. That run will be ending next year. An article on Comic Book Resources recounts the contents of a letter to fans that series co-creator Robert Kirkman sent to press today, saying that the final issue of Invincible will be #144. Here's an excerpt:
I've been asked many times over the thirteen years of writing INVINCIBLE how long I think this book will go. Some form of that statement has always been my answer. I always thought it would be a great honour to see Invincible rise to the level of Superman or Spider-Man in the pantheon of comic book superheroes. Characters who far outlived their original stories and eventually transformed into story engines that sort of tell the same story (to a certain extent) in perpetuity for generation after generation.
It wasn't until recently that I realised that goes against everything INVINCIBLE, as a series, has stood for since the very beginning. When Cory Walker and I created him, and with Ryan Ottley, since he joined the team with issue 8, the point of this series has always been to celebrate what we love about superhero comics, but always put our own spin on it. To play with the tropes of the genre, but twist them into something new, at all times, no matter what.
That is why villains sometimes win, and heroes give up... and eventually stop being heroes altogether... and change happens, and sticks, and characters die, and never come back... no matter how popular they are (we maybe should have kept Conquest alive).
So then, it stands to reason, that if most superhero comics continue forever with no end in sight and over their runs do not, in any way, tell a cohesive story that holds together to form a singular narrative... shouldn't INVINCIBLE do the exact opposite?
I haven't read Invincible in years but, when I was keeping up, I always found it a fun, well-executed read that channelled and updated the energy of classic Silver Age comics for the modern day.