Invisible Republic #3 Review

Written by: Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko

Art by: Gabriel Hardman

Publisher: Image

Three issues in and Invisible Republic has definitely proven itself as a series worth reading. It has a great feeling of tension building and intrigue, rendered to perfection by Hardman’s gorgeous pencils. It has also became evident however that this series is definitely a slow burner, while the series and its issues work great in context as an overarching story, it’s hard to review it an issue at a time, as most of my issues with the individual chapters will be rendered null when the trade comes out. Keep in mind therefore that while I do love this series, reading it issue to issue is probably not the best way to enjoy this story.

After the ending last issue that saw Arthur outed as a killer, the issue allows for some great development between him and his cousin Maia as they deal with this new situation. Hardman and Bechko manage to walk a difficult line between making Arthur threatening and imposing without making him flat out evil. There’s a heavy grey of ambiguity surrounding his actions, he’s a very hard character for us and Maia to read which allows for some very tense moments and interesting situations. Back in the present day Babb’s investigation leads to an exciting chase scene, which usually doesn’t work, but Hardman manages to make look great. Overall there’s some great moments in this issue that highlight the strength of the series, though not much forward momentum to the overall mysteries of the series.

Throughout the book, Hardman’s art remains just as vital to the story as any other element. Hardman is a great artist for showcasing how crucial art is to storytelling in comics, his panel layouts are dynamic with the aforementioned chase scene feeling exciting despite the lack of moving images. Arthur’s character too is enhanced by Hardman’s perfect capturing of emotions, capturing the raw, frightening look to the unhinged character. While the modern city’s grey landscape can still be a bit much at times, it suits the story and portrays this world as a desperate, broken one without any need to tell us. The scene of crowds fighting each other for supply drops are very impactful, with all the emotion being captured without the need for dialogue or over explanatory text boxes.

Like I said though, there’s not much forward momentum in this issue and the main mystery doesn’t progress very far by the end. This doesn’t mean the issue is bad or artificially decompressed or anything, like I said there’s some great character and world building on show that remain the highlights of the series, it’s just become evident that this series is a slow burn and will be better appreciated when read in trade. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, comics are perfect for serialised storytelling after all, I just think the depth of the story will be more enjoyable when read in a collected format. This doesn’t dampen my recommendation however, Invisible Republic is still a highly entertaining series with a great premise and a fantastically flashed out world and characters. It definitely gets a recommendation, albeit with a warning that its pace is pretty slow.