Invisible Republic (comics)
Cover to Invisible Republic #1, art by Gabriel Hardman
|Publication date||March 2015|
|Main character(s)||Croger Babbs, Arthur McBride, Maia Reveron, Liv Woronov|
|Written by||Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman|
|Vol 1 (#1–5)||ISBN 978-1632154088|
|Vol 2 (#6–10)||ISBN 978-1632156587|
|Vol 3 (#11–15)||ISBN 978-1534300637|
Invisible Republic is an American comic book series created by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman and published through Image Comics with an expected length of 30-50 issues. The first issue was released on March 18, 2015 to good reviews.
The story is set on a distant moon colonized by humans. After the fall of a dictator who had ruled for four decades, disgraced reporter Croger Babbs begins an investigation into the hidden truths behind the dictator's rise. The narrative is split equally between Babbs' adventures during his research and flashbacks depicting the dictator's early days.
Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, who are married collaborators, began working on Invisible Republic in 2009 as a followup to their graphic novel Heathentown. They discussed the concepts and characters for years before they began writing anything. The title and some character names come from a 17th-century Irish ballad and anti-recruiting song. The project was delayed in favor of work-for-hire comics such as Deep Gravity for Dark Horse Comics and Planet of the Apes for BOOM! Studios.
The series was announced at the 2014 Image Expo, where it was described as "the epic history of the rise of an empire." The first issue was released March 18, 2015, and the series maintained a nearly-monthly schedule thereafter. Three paperback editions have been released. Each one contains five single issues. They were released in July 2015, August 2016, and April 2017. The series went on hiatus after issue 15 while the creators did work-for-hire projects for other comic companies. In February 2018 Bechko said they were planning its return.
In a 2015 Newsarama interview, Hardman described Invisible Republic as a big story with an ideal length of around 50 issues. In 2018, the expected length had been shortened to 30 issues and Bechko mentioned a possible companion prose novel set prior to the events of the comic.
After the fall of the Mallory regime on the distant moon Avalon, disgraced reporter Croger Babbs travels there hoping to find redemption by writing the truth behind how the deceased dictator Arthur McBride came to power. Babbs has trouble finding any leads when he literally stumbles across a diary written by McBride's unknown cousin, Maia. As he reads her eyewitness account of McBride's ascension in the past, he finds her tale has real ramifications in the present as other parties learn of the diary and try to get it from him.
The debut issue sold nearly 23,000 copies and was ranked the 103rd best selling American comic by units in March 2015. Reviews were mostly positive with review aggregator Comic Book Roundup showing an average rating of 8.6 out of 10 based on 20 reviews. By the third issue sales had fallen to just above 8000 units for a rank of 207, a drop which is slightly larger than typically expected for new comic books. It continued to receive critical praise however, with Multiversity Comics' Jess Camacho saying the third issue "continues to be a refreshing addition to the science fiction genre." In a review for The A.V. Club, Oliver Sava complimented Boyd's use of color to provide contrast between the narrative's two temporal settings. He also described the plot as "dense" and believed Hardman's background as a storyboard artist allowed him to use creative layouts that take advantage of the medium. Overall, Sava found the themes of Invisible Republic to be chillingly plausible.
- February 19, 2015, "Breaking Bad Meets Blade Runner in Invisible Republic", Newsarama (accessed August 4, 2015)
- O'Keefe, Matt (August 18, 2016), "Matt Chats: Corrina Beckho and Gabriel Hardman Talk Expanding Their ‘Invisible Republic’ with Volume 2," Comics Beat. Retrieved March 26, 2018
- July 23, 2014, "Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko Bring Invisible Republic to Image", ComicBook.com (accessed August 4, 2015)
- March 17, 2015, "Gabriel Hardman details the evolution of Invisible Republic", Robot6 (accessed August 4, 2015)
- Castle, Alice W, July 23, 2014, "Image Expo: Gabriel Hardman Brings "Kinski" To Print, Reveals "Invisible Republic" With Corinna Bechko", Multiversity Comics (accessed August 4, 2015
- Fitzpatrick, Insha (February 21, 2018), "Corinna Sara Bechko and Gabriel Hardman Talk About Bringing One of the Coolest Lanterns to Life," Geek.com. Retrieved March 7, 2018
- "Comic Book Sales Figures for March 2015", Comichron (accessed August 4, 2015)
- "Invisible Republic #1 Reviews at ComicBookRoundUp.com", Comic Book Roundup. (accessed August 4, 2015)
- "Comic Book Sales Figures for May 2015", Chomichron (accessed August 4, 2015)
- May 13, 2014, "Mayo Report: Marvel's "Amazing" April Sales Numbers, Comic Book Resources, "Sales on new titles are volatile, with second issue drops averaging nearly 32%" (accessed August 4, 2015)
- January 20, 2015, "Comic Book Sales Charts & Stats", Sales Charts, "Second issues averaged a drop of 37%", (accessed August 4, 2015)
- Camacho, Jess, May 28, 2015, "Pick of the Week: Maia and Arthur Come To A Crossroads in Invisible Republic #3", Multiversity Comics (accessed August 4, 2015)
- Sava, Oliver (September 23, 2016), "Interplanetary politics breed intrigue and suspense in Invisible Republic," The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 26, 2018