In a world of Blockbuster Avengers movies, whispers of a JLA movie, and an upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, the shared superhero universe thing is taking center stage. Image Comics is no exception. In light of these phenomena, this issue provides a good example of why Invincible Universe — conceptually speaking — is a good idea.
Note: This recap may contain spoilers!
We explore Chupacabra/Francisco and how he is dealing with his alcoholism. Cast Iron died a while back, compensating for Chupacabra’s inebriated state while the two of them were trying to save the world from certain destruction (a special note for planet-saving superheroes: friends don’t let friends fight super-villains drunk). As part of Chupacabra’s recovery, he has to make amends with those his addiction has hurt. Since Cast Iron is already dead, that means going to Siberia and apologizing to the family.
Francisco was expecting a tough time of it, but he wasn’t expecting this. It turns out Cast Iron’s powers run in the family, and it’s a family that uses those powers to run an organized crime mafia type organization that has nothing to fear from the authorities as they exploit the locals for their own nefarious means. Cast Iron’s status as a crime fighter got him kicked out of the family. The family launches into a battle against Chupacabra that displays both their arrogance and Francisco’s cunning.
The action scene is compelling, and the setup is good. I would have liked to have seen more detail about how Francisco went from “I’m trying to hold back because I understand them being angry at me” to “Wow, they are trying to kill me, I better take them more seriously” to “These scum bags have to be eliminated, and I’m the hero for the job.” But I guess you can only pack so much into one issue.
So why is this proof that the Invincible Universe series is a great concept? Because Invincible has spawned all kinds of cool characters and side plots that, on their own, could be great titles. The Invincible Universe concept, which is turning out to be a method for sometimes fleshing out cool characters and other times exploring spin-off story twists, is a great way to take advantage of that. Now all we need is for Disney to buy Image Comics and make things happen in Hollywood. That’s the only thing missing. Also, what I said just now about that being the only thing missing was sarcasm.
But the point is this is a pretty good issue. It makes me want to see more of Chupacabra. It also makes me look forward to seeing who else they are going to throw at us.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars