Going into this issue, I wasn’t aware that this would be the final one (though the farewell address points out that it has more to do with a creative depature, and the book could fully return later), but when I became aware of it, it made me love it all the more. Phil Hester concludes the story of the newly reformed Lizard League, now with some fresh, new recruits in the form of several members of the Guardians of the Globe, horribly turned to reptillian versions of themselves! A very simple oversight by King Lizard results in one of the biggest laughs of the issue, if not the entire series, but I won’t give that away. I’ll just say seeing the adorable dog transformed into an adorable dog lizard is the second biggest laugh. We also get to catch up with Chupacabra and Titan as the latter makes a surprising reveal of his own in an effort to help the troubled hero overcome his demons once and for all. These characters are extraordinarily well-defined and played to each and every one of their strengths. Nearly everyone gets at least a moment to shine and it’s a delight to see the team functioning as well as it does, in spite of the massive cast.
Todd Nauck’s linework is, as always, a stylized joy. Character proportions are exaggerated, but never inaccurate within its own style and perspective and the designs of the reptillian Guardians is far, far more thought-out than many books would bother with, particularly for such a one-off joke, but that’s a large part of the fun. Gabe Eltaeb’s colors, as always, are half of what makes the cartoonish look work as well as it does, bringing a bright, wild energy to a book that is practically cover-to-cover action.
The Chupacabra storyline is a B-story in every sense of the term: it doesn’t seem fully fleshed out and takes away from the main story going on. I understand that the point of it is to be a more personal, low-key battle, but when the actual battle is for a hundred million lives, it makes a superheroic drinking problem seem very, very small potatoes. If only this weren’t the final issue, I’d actually like to see the storyline, which I think has a lot of great potential, get its own issue as this book is famous for spotlighting members of the roster in their own issues.
This is a completely worthwhile end to what’s been a great series. It not only made the normal Invincible book feel larger and more fleshed-out, it became great in its own right and completely worth reading, even if you had no interest in Invincible. The book will, no doubt, shortly be collected in trade, and there’s no reason not to jump in if you’re ANY kind of superhero book fan.