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The Complete Guide To The Invincible Comics

The Invincible comics are an electrifying entry into the superhero genre that turn traditional tropes on their head. As we venture into this series, we discover the story of Mark Grayson, a seemingly typical teenager, who's anything but ordinary considering his father is the most powerful being on the planet.
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Created by writer Robert Kirkman and initially illustrated by artist Cory Walker, these comics offer a fresh perspective on heroism, legacy, and the cost of power. Much like the highly praised TV adaptation, the Invincible comic series captivates readers with its rich character development, unexpected plot twists, and vivid artwork that spans over a decade of storytelling. From the early days of Mark discovering his abilities to the epic battles that test his morals and physical limits, Invincible is more than a comic; it’s a multi-layered saga that keeps us questioning what it really means to be a hero.

Origins of Invincible

Invincible is the brainchild of Robert Kirkman, who is well-known for “The Walking Dead” comics. Teaming up with Cory Walker and later with Ryan Ottley, they brought Invincible to life, creating a fresh and dynamic universe within the superhero genre. The comic was first published by Image Comics, a notorious company for giving creators the freedom to retain rights to their creations.

The central character of Invincible, Mark Grayson, starts as an ordinary teenager. His character development is deeply intertwined with discovering his powers and his lineage as the son of Omni-Man, a powerful extraterrestrial superhero from the planet Viltrum. These revelations propel Mark into a world of heroism and challenge that shapes his journey as Invincible.

The first issue of Invincible hit the stands in 2003 and ran for an impressive 144 issues, concluding in 2018. Invincible quickly set itself apart from other comics by combining relatable coming-of-age themes with the larger-than-life spectacles of superhero conflicts. It straddled the line between the familiar tropes of the genre and the unexpected twists that kept readers coming back for more.

Invincible characters

In the richly illustrated world of Invincible, we encounter a diverse cast that spans earth-bound heroes to cosmic entities. Our journey through the series introduces us to memorable characters, each with distinct personalities and complex relationships.

Mark Grayson (Invincible)

Mark Grayson, or Invincible, is at the story’s heart. As a teenager, he develops superpowers, inheriting them from his father, Nolan Grayson, also known as Omni-Man. Mark’s struggles with his identity and responsibility give depth to his character arc. Mark’s story is a riveting exploration of responsibility, morality, and identity. Initially reveling in his powers and the excitement of being a superhero, Mark’s journey becomes more nuanced as he faces the harsh realities of his responsibilities. The comics delve into Mark’s struggles with his father’s legacy, the expectations placed upon him, and the personal sacrifices required by his role as Invincible.

Nolan Grayson (Omni-Man)

Nolan Grayson, better known as Omni-Man, is a pivotal figure in the Invincible comics universe. A member of the Viltrumite race, Nolan is the father of Mark Grayson (Invincible) and initially serves as Earth’s greatest protector. His complex narrative weaves through themes of power, conquest, and redemption, making him a deeply multifaceted character. Nolan’s story is a profound exploration of the burdens of legacy and the cost of ambition. Initially presented as the epitome of heroism, his character takes a dramatic turn as his true motives and the darker aspects of the Viltrumite mission come to light.

Family and friends

Mark’s family forms the pivotal backbone of his story. His father, Nolan Grayson, was Earth’s greatest superhero before certain truths came to light. Debbie Grayson, Mark’s mother, is the human anchor who provides him with emotional support. Mark also has an adoptive brother, Oliver Grayson, who plays a significant role in his life.

Allies

Throughout his journey, Mark is surrounded by a close-knit group of allies. These include the super-strong Atom Eve, the teleporting Allen, the Alien, and the reformed villain Robot. They are not just allies in battle but also friends who contribute to Mark’s growth.

Villains

A hero is often defined by his adversaries, and Invincible has a rogues’ gallery to challenge him. Major villains include the power-hungry Angstrom Levy, who becomes one of Mark’s greatest enemies. The sinister Mauler Twins and the coalition of planets led by Thragg also provide significant threats that test the limits of Invincible’s strength and resilience.

Viltrumites

The Viltrumites are a central and formidable force within the Invincible comics universe. Originating from the planet Viltrum, this race of superpowered beings is characterized by their incredible strength, speed, durability, and long lifespans. Their society is built on the principles of survival of the fittest, relentlessly focusing on conquering and improving other worlds through their intergalactic empire. The Viltrumites’ story is a complex tapestry of imperialism, power, and evolution, making them a pivotal element in the narrative landscape of the series.

Storylines

Mark Grayson, better known as Invincible, is at the epicenter of the series. We watch as he evolves from a typical teenager to a powerful superhero. He’s the son of Omni-Man, Earth’s mightiest hero, and inherits his father’s Viltrumite abilities. The central narrative grapples with Mark’s struggle to balance his personal life with the colossal responsibilities of being a hero. Surprising revelations and challenging moral decisions mark his journey.

Major arcs

  • Introduction Arc: This is where we first meet Mark, learning about his powers and joining forces with the Teen Team, including Atom Eve and Rex Splode.
  • The Viltrumite War: A pivotal moment where Mark and his allies confront the Viltrumite empire, impacting the series’ direction significantly.
  • Conquest Arc: Introduces one of the most formidable adversaries, leading to some of the most intense battles.
  • Reboot? Arc: Pushes the boundaries of the narrative, exploring an alternate reality, providing a unique twist on Mark’s story.

Artistic style

Invincible is renowned for its bold and colorful artistic style, which has become a signature aspect of the series. Initially crafted by artist Cory Walker and later by Ryan Ottley, the visuals combine crisp lines and vibrant coloring that bring the characters and the world to life. The transition between artists maintained the energetic aesthetic that fans love, while each brought their own nuances to the table. For a firsthand look at Walker’s formative issues and Ottley’s extensive contribution, their detailed work can be seen in the pages from early and later issues.

The cover art for “Invincible” issues grabs our attention with its striking designs and clever use of color and composition. Most covers feature our hero, Mark Grayson, in various dynamic poses and scenarios that tease the high-octane adventures within. The covers are more than just protective bookends; they are carefully crafted pieces of art that often symbolize the core themes of their respective issues.

The Invincible comics

How many Invincible comic issues are there?

There are 144 issues of the Invincible comics, spanning a rich narrative that has significantly impacted comic book value with its compelling storytelling.

How can I read the Invincible comics?

You can enjoy reading comic books like Invincible by purchasing them from comic book stores, online retailers, or digital platforms like ComiXology. Libraries and subscription services also offer access to these comics.

What is the main plot of Invincible?

Invincible follows Mark Grayson, a teenager who inherits superpowers from his father, Omni-Man, and faces challenges that test his morals and resolve, reshaping his understanding of heroism in a world full of complexities.

How does Invincible comics end?

The Invincible comics conclude with Mark Grayson achieving peace across the galaxy and addressing the legacy of the Viltrumites. After a series of epic battles and personal losses, Mark takes on a leadership role, working towards the betterment of Earth and the Viltrumite Empire. In the final issues, we see a significant time skip where Mark’s daughter, Terra, and his son, Markus, are grown up. Mark reflects on his changes, emphasizing peace and cooperation over conquest. The series ends on a hopeful note, with Mark passing down his experiences and ideals to the next generation, ensuring that his legacy of peace and heroism continues. This conclusion wraps up the series with a focus on growth, redemption, and the enduring impact of one’s actions on the future.

How does Invincible comics compare to the show?

While both the comics and show share core narratives, the Invincible series adapts the source material with some changes to characters, plot pacing, and details, offering a fresh take on reading comic books originally.

Are the Invincible comics finished?

Yes, the Invincible comic series concluded with issue #144, wrapping up its extensive and influential run in 2018, but its legacy continues to influence fans reading comic books today.

Common Invincible questions

Is Invincible related to Marvel or DC?

Invincible is neither part of Marvel nor DC. It is published by Image Comics, offering a unique and independent universe that stands apart with its distinctive storytelling and character dynamics.

Who is the most powerful character in Invincible?

Thragg, the leader of the Viltrumite Empire, is often considered the most powerful character in Invincible, showcasing unparalleled strength and resilience that challenge even Omni-Man and Invincible.

Could Omni-Man beat Superman?

While Omni-Man and Superman possess immense strength, their abilities have never been directly compared in any official comic book crossover. Theoretical debates among fans highlight the raw power and ruthlessness of Omni-Man against Superman’s balanced strengths and moral compass.

Does Invincible have any spin-offs?

Yes, there are several spin-offs and tie-ins, including Invincible Universe and Guarding the Globe, which expand on the world of Invincible and explore stories of other characters within the same universe.

What comics are similar to Invincible?

Fans might enjoy reading The Astounding Wolf-Man, also by Robert Kirkman, which shares a similar tone and universe. Other recommendations include Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen and The Ultimates by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch for their groundbreaking approach to superhero storytelling – which happens to be one of the best Avengers comics you can read.

Ryan Toomey
Ryan Toomey
Ryan is Upbeat Geek’s editor and connoisseur of TV, movies, hip-hop, and comic books, crafting content that spans reviews, analyses, and engaging reads in these domains. With a background in digital marketing and UX design, Ryan’s passions extend to exploring new locales, enjoying music, and catching the latest films at the cinema. He’s dedicated to delivering insights and entertainment across the realms he writes about: TV, movies, and comic books.

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