Invincible


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Invincible #27 © 2005 Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker. Published by Image Comics. (Cover art by Ryan Ottley and Bill Crabtree.)

Invincible

(pop culture)

Teenage superhero Mark Grayson is the title character of the Invincible comic book series that was co-created by writer Robert Kirkman and is published by Image Comics. Kirkman, a prolific comics writer, is now perhaps best known as co-creator of the comics series about zombies, The Walking Dead (2003), which has been adapted into a successful television series on the AMC cable network. Invincible made his first appearance in another Image comic written by Kirkman, Tech Jacket #1 (November 2002). The Invincible comic book debuted in 2003, and was co-created by artist Cory Walker, who was succeeded by artist Ryan Davies in issue #8.

Mark Grayson is the son of author Nolan Grayson and his wife Deborah. Nolan was really an alien from the Vitrumite race, who had become the superhero Omni-Man on Earth. When Mark was seven, Nolan revealed all this to him, claiming that the Vitrumites were a peaceful race. Eventually the superpowers that Mark inherited from his father emerged, including superstrength, superspeed, high resistance to injury, and the ability to fly. Mark became the Invincible, a costumed superhero, sometimes acting as his father’s sidekick.

But Omni-Man was actually a sleeper agent for the Vitrumite Empire, which intended to conquer Earth. Omni-Man finally began preparing the way for the Vitrumite invasion by murdering the members of Earth’s superhero team, the Guardians of the Globe. Discovering his father’s true mission, Invincible waged a tremendous battle against Omni-Man that devastated a city. Omni-Man nearly killed Invincible, but, unwilling to kill his son, instead fled from Earth. Invincible thereafter joins a new Guardians of the Globe and continues his superhero career.

Kirkman co-created many other superheroes in the Invincible series. The original Guardians of the Globe parallel many members of the Justice League. Aquarus, a fishlike humanoid who was king of undersea Atlantis, possessed super-strength and could breathe in or out of water. The original Darkwing was a crime fighter based in Midnight City who costumed himself like a bird of prey. He lacked superpowers but instead relied on his skills as a detective, peak physical condition, and specialized weaponry. The Green Ghost swallowed an amulet that enabled him to fly and turn intangible. Martian Man was from Mars, and had shapeshifting powers, the ability to fly, and superstrength. The Red Rush was a Russian who could move at superspeed. The superstrong War Woman was a warrior princess from the mysterious “Other Realms.” These characters evoke Aquaman, Batman, Green Lantern, Martian Man-hunter, the Flash, and Wonder Woman, respectively. Omni-Man killed all the original Guardians except for the superstrong Black Samson, and the Immortal, whose regenerative powers enabled him to survive even after Omni-Man temporarily decapitated him. The Immortal does not age, is virtually unkillable, and has lived for millennia; he adopted America as his home, and even served as President under the guise of Abraham Lincoln!

Black Samson and the Immortal both joined the second Guardians of the Globe. Among this second team’s other members are Bulletproof, who is nearly invulnerable to injury; Dupli-Kate, who can create duplicates of herself; Monster Girl, who can transform into a superstrong monster; Rex Splode, who could cause inorganic materials to explode; a Martian shapeshifter called Shapesmith; and Shrinking Ray, who could shrink himself in size (and who was apparently killed). Another Guardians member, Robot, originally seemed to be a sentient robot. In fact, he was a deformed human genius named Rudy Conners, who operated a robot body by remote control. Conners has since transferred his mind into a cloned human body, which has an implanted device that enables him to control one or more robot bodies mentally. Dupli-Kate, Rex Splode, and Robot previously belonged to the Teen Team group. The Guardians recruited many new members from around the world in the 2010 miniseries Guarding the Globe.

A video adaptation of Invincible, with highly limited animation based on the original comics artwork, was released in 2008 and has been telecast on the cable television network MTV2 and sold via iTunes. —PS

References in classic literature ?
Slowly he brought the pressure to bear, and then as in days gone by he had given Kerchak the chance to surrender and live, so now he gave to Akut--in whom he saw a possible ally of great strength and resource--the option of living in amity with him or dying as he had just seen his savage and heretofore invincible king die.
The surgeon's invincible arm stole round the young lady's waist, and answered mutely with a squeeze.
Have you never observed how invincible and unconquerable is spirit and how the presence of it makes the soul of any creature to be absolutely fearless and indomitable?
There was something within his own breast with which the invincible fidelity which that youth had preserved, corresponded much better than it had done with the religion of Thwackum, or with the virtue of Square.
But a voice behind me, the unmistakable voice of Wolf Larsen, strong with the invincible certitude of the man and mellow with appreciation of the words he was quoting, aroused me.
But there was Alan, standing as before; only now his sword was running blood to the hilt, and himself so swelled with triumph and fallen into so fine an attitude, that he looked to be invincible.
The Baronet owed his son a sum of money out of the jointure of his mother, which he did not find it convenient to pay; indeed he had an almost invincible repugnance to paying anybody, and could only be brought by force to discharge his debts.
Another difficulty lay in the invincible disbelief of the peasant that a landowner's object could be anything else than a desire to squeeze all he could out of them.
My life had hitherto been remarkably secluded and domestic, and this had given me invincible repugnance to new countenances.
Afterwards, when we had learned that he was the son of a woman who had many years ago ruled a small Bugis state, we came to suspect that the memory of his mother (of whom he spoke with enthusiasm) mingled somehow in his mind with the image he tried to form for himself of the far-off Queen whom he called Great, Invincible, Pious, and Fortunate.
The blue dungaree trousers turned up the calf, one leg a little higher than the other, the clean check shirt, the white canvas cap, evidently made by himself, made up a whole of peculiar smartness, and the persistent jauntiness of his gait, even, poor fellow, when he couldn't help tottering, told of his invincible spirit.
I sup- pose at that period I did exist on food in the usual way; but the memory is now that in those days life was sustained on invincible anguish, as a sort of infernal stimulant exciting and consuming at the same time.