Sunday, March 14, 2010

Destroyer #1-5

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Cory Walker

Robert Kirkman has a unique way of writing super-hero comics, that doesn't seem to translate well when he gets his hands on established, continuity-rich characters, but works amazingly well when he either creates his own world, or takes over a mostly-obscure one.

In Destroyer, he grabs ahold of the old Marvel/Timely Golden Age character, and gives us a story set in present day that supposes that the character has been working as a super-hero (and perhaps the world's only one) since the war. In this series, Keen Marlow (the Destroyer) is approaching his hundredth birthday, and suffering from a heart condition. He's still indestructible, and can be shot, bombed, or dropped from great heights with no ill effects, but his next heart attack is expected to be his last.

With the knowledge of his impending demise weighing heavily on him, he sets out to kill off any of his old nemeses that are still around, and to find the evil Scar, who had ripped off his wife's arm years before. At the heart of this book is Keen's relationship with his family. His wife wants him to retire, as does his daughter, who is married to his former sidekick (although she doesn't know this).

The creative team of Kirkman and Walker gives this book a feel very much like the earlier issues of Invincible, yet without Mark Grayson's youth and energy. The villains that are created (or updated?) for the Destroyer are as wacky and bizarre as the ones that regularly appear in Invincible, and the action plays out much like that series. Really, there's no reason why Kirkman couldn't have just made this a creator-owned series with a few simple cosmetic changes.

This is good stuff. It's nice to see a Kirkman story that has a clear ending, and his work on developing these characters and their relationships is very strong. It's also just nice to see some solid Jason Pearson covers.

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