In the first edition of “The Way-Booked Machine” we are not going too far back in time, just a few months, for one of the craziest arcs in Invincible. We could do so many articles about all the intertwining stories that Robert Kirkman has connected so well into a living breathing quilt of blood, guts, and action. Kirkman has a way of taking something small from any issue of Invincible and then bringing it back to kill the titular character thirty issues later. If Mark ate a PB&J in issue twenty-five, it will try to slice his throat open in issue forty-five. That’s the closest metaphor I could come up with to illustrate the arc Kirkman creates within the comic. Without spoilers, of course!
The story arc begins where the last one is ending, in issue #109. The villain Angstrom Levy, who first appeared in issue #16 (I’m telling you–think PB&J), had been pulled into another reality with a evil version of Mark or Evil Invincible. Invincible and Robot decided to chase after him. Invincible just wants his revenge against Levy for kidnapping his wife and trying to kill him, and Robot is there to assist, as far as we know.
We enter the world of Evil Invincible. He remembers Mark and takes him to Levy, who he has been conducting experiments on, trying to use his powers opening portals, to try and conquer other universes. This leads us to Robot revealing his true intentions. He sends a sound wave to stop Evil Invincible and Mark in their tracks. He kills the scientists in the lab, kills Evil Invincible, and then kills Levy. He explains to Mark that he is going to take over their world and he really doesn’t want to kill Mark, but he also sees that if Mark wanted to, as Invincible, he could challenge Robot’s reign. He intends to leave Mark there in the other universe. Issue #119 picks up with Mark dealing with the aftermath of it all.
As far as we know now, the only important thing that happens in this issue is that Mark finds a way home. He also makes a body for the Robot on that world and the body is a clone of his, which I think is going to come back to haunt him back later on. Issue #110 starts with Mark racing home to his pregnant fiance, Eve. He gets home and we see that Eve is very pregnant now and through them arguing we find out six months have passed and Eve thought Mark was dead. She won’t listen to his story about how Robot is evil and tried to kill him and she tells him to get out. Heartbroken, he leaves. Crushed, sad, and defeated, Mark doesn’t know where to go.
What happens next is one of the most adult places the comic has ever gone. Mark gets cornered by another one of the Viltrumite (his race), the only female left. She is tired of trying to mate with humans, so Mark is the next best thing. He doesn’t want it and she doesn’t care. She assaults Mark, and leaves him alone and broken. She also makes sure he knows that this wouldn’t stop here. Kirkman ends issue #110 with a broken and abused Mark.
In issue #111, the war with Robot begins. Mark recovers from what happened in the end of the last issue and heads over to Cecil to give him a heads up about Robot. During their discussion Robot comes from the shadows and kills Cecil, making sure Mark knows that his Cecil’s death is on his head. He tells him don’t fight it and it will all be over soon. Mark won’t take this and fights Robot, but of course Robot isn’t in his suit. He also let’s Mark know that he is with Eve. Mark rushes over and is now face to face with a newer and stronger model of Robot’s suit. He tries to fight, but Robot uses Eve and rips off her leg. All Mark can do is grab her and rush her to a hospital to try to save her life and their baby.
In issue #112, it starts with a massacre of a lot of heroes we come to love. Here is where we see Kirkman trying to make a way for new readers. Most of the issue just consists of Robot murdering the heroes in his way. He then confronts his wife and she will not agree to what he is doing and he throws her out into space. Issue #113 starts off with three stories. Robot still hunting down heroes, but failing because he is distracted. The Viltrum find Robot’s wife and try to save her, and Mark is waiting to see what happens to Eve and his child. Eve gives birth to a healthy baby and Mark gets to hold his child, but Eve is still in surgery. The few panels between Mark and his child are very touching in this very chaotic storyline. In the next page we see Eve is doing better and Mark goes to her. They try to discuss what happened, but Mark is too distracted. He leaves to talk to his father, who is now the leader of the Viltrumites. He discusses Robot and how he is coming here to talk. Mark wants to fight, but his father won’t let him. Mark goes back to Eve as his father makes a deal with Robot to make sure his race is safe. Eve tells mark to fight, and Mark is going to do so.
This is it, issue #114. Mark heads out to beat some sense into Robot, but his father stops him, telling him that they already made a deal. Mark and Eve don’t take to kindly to this and he takes off after Robot, who just took out the rest of the heroes. He faces Robot, but there is no way to win. Robot has an army of suits and he has the power to take Mark down. He also knows Mark’s true weakness, which is Eve and the baby. Mark gives up and leaves. Robot has conquered the world and all Mark can do is take his family and leave the planet. The story ends with Robot looking back at his life and the friends he has betrayed. Kirkman leaves the readers wondering what’s next. Where does Mark go? What will happen between him and Eve? What will happen to the planet? He ties up many loose ends, but leaves so many more open. He gives the long time readers a shock to their system and gives new readers somewhere to hop on. Now I have to ask you dear reader, are you prepared to dive into the world of Invincible?
I hope you enjoyed the first edition of “The Way-Booked Machine”. What is your favorite Invincible storyline? What storylines would you like to learn about or your favorite ones that you want us to cover? Leave those, any comments, and questions below!