Superman + Dragon Ball Z = Invincible

I don’t know if it’s apparent yet but I love comic books. I rarely read them anymore because in a monetary sense they’re a challenge to keep up with. The last comic I was collecting was the trade paperbacks of a comic called InvincibleInvincible is a project by Robert Kirkman, who is probably more well known for his other comic: The Walking Dead. I’ve read the Walking Dead and it is a good, but obviously depressing comic. Zombie stuff is naturally kind of a downer.

Invincible is very different style of comic. In some ways it has things I don’t like. It’s a blend of the Iron Age of the 90s (where we get our dark hyper-violence) and the Silver Age of Comics which I want to say is around the 70s (which is kind of the height of goofy fun). But it does do the hyper-violence well, and part of that is the element that Kirkman added to an otherwise straightforward knock-off of Superboy: Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z is the anime that kids like me watched because we did not have any other kind of anime. It’s a story about an alien boy raised on Earth, and learned martial arts,  who then ends up fighting aliens who invade Earth, including his own people. In fact, the fights are the entire reason for the show, and the show alternates between training for fights, to the fights, and then back to the training. Dragon Ball Z has many flaws, including thousands of hours of filler and boring story arcs, but none of that can stand against my nostalgia-love, but I also can’t, in good conscious, recommend it to other people.

Dragon Ball Z was influential, and I argue that it’s descendants did the formula it created better. I’d personally recommend either the manga/anime One Piece or the manga One Punch Man. The latter is, I would argue, the perfect end evolution of fight stories like Dragon Ball Z.

So what you see in Invincible is at first a straight-forward Silver Age story about a boy who is the son of Superman (Omni-Man in that universe). He becomes a superhero like his father and proceeds to fight goofy villains and pretty much have a good life. Only eventually it is revealed that his father’s race, the Kryptonians (basically), are actually a space-faring race of super-powered conquerors. Invincible, the hero, is forced not only to fight his father, but also his father’s people to save the world. The stories gradually become very fight centric and the fights are graphically brutal, with bones breaking and blood everywhere. The stories also swing back to Silver Age adventure stories, and they make for a good contrast.

I like the comic, and it has fun quirks. Like 90% of the trade paperbacks are named after 80s sitcoms like “Whose the Boss?”. If you like Dragon Ball Z I can recommend this comic as a good read. If you like superhero comics, I can recommend that too. But if you don’t like one of those, I might recommend skipping it.

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