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Comic Book / Invincible

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Mark: I think I'm finally getting superpowers.
Debbie: That's nice. Can you pass the potatoes?

Created by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker, this Comic Book series revolves around the life of Mark Grayson, who is pretty much your typical high school student, except for the fact that he is the son of Omni-Man, the most powerful superhero on the planet. Over the course of his heroic career, Mark, as the superhero Invincible, has fought aliens, joined super-teams and bounced from dimension to dimension. All the while, he has to deal with choosing a college, graduating high school and, of course, falling in love. well as his own father trying to kill him, the destruction of various major cities, mass murder and interplanetary warfare.

The series has become well known for combining brightly coloured superheroes with often very dark themes and gore laden fight scenes. Very rarely are superhero tropes played perfectly straight, often getting twisted into new directions that give a heave to the status quo. The series ended in February 14, 2018.


No relation to the French comic ‘’Imbattable’’ which is also translated as ‘’Invincible’’, the 2005 movie about Vince Papale starring Mark Wahlberg, or Werner Herzog's 2001 film about Zishe Breibart, or Michael Jackson's last album.

In 2018, it was announced that an Invincible animated series would be headed to Prime Video. It is currently set for release on March 26, 2021, and has an All-Star Cast including Steven Yeun as the title character and J. K. Simmons as Omni-Man.

Now has a character page which Needs Wiki Magic Love. Please put all character-related tropes there.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abortion Fallout Drama: During the course of their relationship, Atom Eve becomes pregnant with Invincible's child. Shortly thereafter, Invincible leaves Earth to take part in a cosmic war and is gone for months, with Eve never telling him she's with child. When he returns, Eve tearfully tells him that she had an abortion, feeling that she wasn't ready to have a child by herself since there was a very real possibility that Invincible wouldn't come back. Invincible doesn't criticize her for having the abortion, instead lamenting that he wasn't there for her during her time of need.
  • Achilles' Heel: Viltrumites have few weaknesses. The easiest one to exploit is their equilibrium. Due to the fact that Viltrumites can fly, they have incredibly advanced and complex inner ears. This makes them extremely vulnerable to high-pitched frequencies. It can do everything from causing severe pain to inducing a waking-dream coma, and can possibly kill them outright. At the very least it immediately disrupts their ability to fly.
  • Air Jousting: Many of the aerial battles between Viltrumites end up like this in Invincible, thanks to them being a race of Flying Bricks. One of the most goretastic moments of this is the fight between Thragg and Battle Beast, who fought a bloody battle for days.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Lampshaded.
    Mark: Wait a minute! Are you guys speaking English?
    Martian: No. What's English?
    Mark: Um...never mind.
  • All There in the Manual: All the information, such as Shrinking Ray's possible origin, insight on Atlantean culture and background on villains like Kursk, are revealed in The Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: The original Guardians of the Globe (except maybe Black Samson, who seems to be an Iron Man Expy) were thinly-veiled clones of the Justice League of America. Additionally, most villains faced in the first volume are 1:1 counterparts of Marvel villains (i.e., The Elephant=Rhino, the Lizard League=Serpent Society, etc.)
    • This was acknowledged by the creators themselves in the second trade paperback. They went with easily recognizable archetypes because they simply didn't have time to come up with wholly original characters and make the reader care about them as well.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted.The Viltrumites are originally portrayed as Might Makes Right conquerors who considered all other species slaves. Omni-Man's genuine love for his son and wife was depicted as aberrant. After the loss of their homeworld and the majority of their species, it eventually turns out that the Viltrumites are not always evil, - that their violent, deranged behavior was due to their incredibly flawed Social Darwinist philosophy that was kept going through self-perpetuating peer pressure. Once the survivors are allowed to settle in a society with a functional social dynamic, almost all the surviving Viltrumites return to normal social bonding, with only two exceptions.
  • And Show It to You: After a grueling, days long fight, Thragg disembowels Battle Beast and yanks out his heart. Battle Beast thanks him for it.
  • Appropriated Appellation: How Mark got the name “Invincible”.
  • Arc Words: "It's time I told you where you/I really came from," coupled with a full-page close up of the speaker(usually Nolan) extending their hand to whoever they're about to narrate to.
    • Nolan says this to Mark in issue 2 when telling him the sanitized and palatable version ofhis secret origin as a scout for the Viltrumite Empire.
    • He does it again in issue 11 when revealing that the Viltrumites were actually a race of psychotic Social Darwinists who intend to conquer earth by force.
    • He does it again when explaining to Allen the story behind the Scourge Virus and the circumstances by which there came to be only 50 Viltrumites left alive in the universe.
    • Nolan is on the recieving end of it from Thragg, after he reveals that Nolan and Mark are actually the rightful heirs to the Viltrumite Empire.
    • Mark gives a modified version of the same speech to his son in the last issue of the series.
  • Arch-Enemy: Eve can't think of another way to describe Killcannon, who she's been tangling with since she was a teenager.
    • Mark's Arch-Enemy is probably Angstrom Levy. Even though he appears sporadically, Levy is the only major villain in the series with a personal vendetta against Mark and vice versa.
    • Later on, Thragg takes this role as he is responsible for Oliver and Omni-man's death, while Thragg hates Mark for being part of the reason he was exiled by the Viltrumites.
  • Arm Cannon: This is Killcannon's gimmick. He actually still has a working hand on that arm, which gives him a leg up on a lot of other characters who have this.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Space Racer is a threat even to the Viltrumites because he has a unique Ray Gun that can blast through anything, including the core of the planet Viltrum - allowing Mark, Nolan and Thaddeus to fly in and rip it apart from inside.
  • Art Evolution: The series started with Cory Walker, who has a simple, clean style. A few issues in, he is replaced by Ryan Ottley, who, at first, does a decent approximation of Walker's style, but as time went on, his style became a lot more dynamic and detailed.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The comic has a bright, colorful look akin to most superhero comics of the 2000s and 2010s however it's a violent comic filled to the brim with tons of blood and gore.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The secret base of the Lizard League is supposedly located in the Everglades. Surrounded by mountains. Uh huh.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Invincible sees himself as being above the law and Cecil simply because he's the strongest on the planet.
    • The writers themselves made it a point early in the series to show this Viltrumite attitude as a bad thing, and so Invincible's increasing tendency toward this mindset is an alarming bit of Character Development. Eventually Mark sees the error of his ways and begins to solve problems with talking instead of fighting.
  • Atlantis Is Boring: At first the most notable thing about the place is the fact that Omni-Man killed the king. The trope gets decidedly less straight the second time the place is visited, with Lethan trying to keep the city running despite the attack of Octoboss and other standard superhero/supervillain intrigue.
  • The Atoner: Thadeus and Omni-Man not only want to atone for their sins, but but for the sins of the whole Viltrumite empire.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Thragg, the head of the Viltrumite Empire, is the strongest, best fighter of his people. Not a single one of the group sent to kill him gave him more than a bloody nose. Subverted when the rest of the Vilturmites learn that Nolan is the son of their previous Emperor. They immediately switch their allegiance from Thragg to Nolan, despite Thragg still being by far the strongest. Emperor Argall, they say, was followed for his wisdom, not his strength.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: As of issue 102, Nolan is the Emperor of the Viltrumites.
  • Badass Mustache: Every male Viltrumite (Conquest has a particularly nice one). This is completely cultural, as Mark never grows one (apart from times when he is unable to shave). There is actually a specific name for the removal of a beard grown by a Viltrumite in disguise. The ancient Viltrumite traitor Thadeus, now the leader of the Coalition of Planets, performed the Toolock Pull (literally ripping the beard off his face) to show his Viltrumite mustache in a pretty hilarious reveal.
    • Really, if Mark ever starts growing a mustache, watch out.
      • One of the alternate-reality Invincibles that Angstrom Levy recruited had the Viltrumite mustache.
      • In the final issue, Mark, now the Emperor of the Viltrumite Empire, explains that he has foregone this tradition as a symbol of the new path the Viltrumites are on.
  • Battle Butler: Black Samson's butler Sanford, emphatically against his employer's wishes, crashes the Guardians of the Globe's funeral because he had been preparing to kill them himself as revenge for them firing his employer when he lost his powers.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Often addressed. Mark is an idealist in a world where idealism rarely works out (although he has scored a few victories by appealing to the better nature of his opponents.) Cecil, on the other hand, often tells Mark "I Did What I Had to Do."
  • Blood Knight: Battle Beast and Conquest.
  • Body Horror: The Sequids escape annihilation by hiding in their host's throat.
    • They try this again later with Rex. It doesn't work, as he manages to crush them both before they can latch onto him.
  • Boxing Battler: Knockout, as her name implies.
  • Brick Joke: Objects Mark tosses across the world with his Super Strength will occasionally crash down several issues later. In London.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Black Samson lost his powers, and was booted from the Guardians of the Globe. Crestfallen, he stayed in his mansion for weeks. He developed a power suit to compensate, and got onto the new team. His powers eventually returned.
  • Calling Your Attacks: "Invincible Punch!" ...which is mercilessly mocked and lampshaded by everyone who hears Mark say it.
  • The Cameo: Every so often, another Image hero will put in an appearance of varying lengths, be it as a guest star (The Astounding Wolf-Man) or just a one-panel cameo (Spawn).
  • Cape Punk: A mixture of Deconstruction and Reconstruction elements constantly switching like a revolving door.
  • Captain Ersatz: All over the place.
    • Damien Darkblood, Demon Detective, who dresses exactly like Rorschach from Watchmen, looks just like him when viewed from the back, and has some of the same speech quirks.
    • The Guardians of the Globe are a whole super-team of really obvious Captains Ersatz. There's Aquarius (Aquaman), the Red Rush (the Flash), Darkwing (Batman), the Green Ghost (Green Lantern), War Woman (Wonder Woman), Martian Man (Martian Manhunter) and they all die. Omni-Man acts as the group's Superman prior to The Reveal, and The Immortal is a heroic version of Vandal Savage.
      • And then there's Shapesmith, another shapeshifting Martian later on in the series, but he's a Plastic Man expy.
      • As a bonus, all of their profiles in the Handbook obliquely mention the pasts of their Justice League counterparts. Especially Darkwing.
    • The Viltrumites themselves resemble the Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z, given their world-conquering tendencies.
    • The Elephant, Powerplex, Battle Beast, Bi-Plane, and Titan mirror Spider-Man villains The Rhino, Electro, Kraven The Hunter, The Vulture, and Tombstone.
  • Cardboard Prison: Stronghold Prison is broken out of so often that they go out of their way to hire Invincible just to slow things down...and then they have another breakout.
  • Catchphrase: "This is so gay" when he's carrying another man (in a necessarily suggestive pose) while flying. May be said by Invincible, the passenger or some third party, for slightly mysterious reasons.
    • At least one female passenger has uttered the line after simply realizing that the person he most usually transports this way is male. In a similar vein, Atom Eve says it while she's carrying her boyfriend while in flight, commenting on the role reversal rather than the contact.
    • Eventually Mark starts carrying people by holding onto them just under their armpits. He still receives a common complaint—that it's really uncomfortable.
    • Both complaints usually elicit one of two reactions from Mark: Either "I know" or "Shut up."
  • Chekhov's Gun: Oliver comes from a planet with a population proven to create fast aging and viable Viltrumite hybrids. Thragg uses this to repopulate the Viltrumites after his banishment and quickly builds a new and powerful army.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Re-Animen. Mark fought them several times without he or the reader having any idea what they were or where they came from, but they became plot-significant with the introduction of their creator D.A. Sinclair.
    • Just about any character who appears briefly is likely to become important later on.
  • Clark Kenting: Omni-Man and Atom Eve. Mark himself may qualify given how often his mask gets ripped.
    • Lampshaded and/or deconstructed. In two early stories, Mark is recognized by his teacher even with his mask on. Apparently masks are enough to hide your identity from the general public, but not from people who actually know you.
      • The second time isn't really surprising. Invincible and Atom Eve show up at the home of their teacher, who we saw earlier knows them well-enough, and Eve wasn't wearing a mask or a different hairstyle, so it would have been easy to figure out who she was, and then guess at who her companion could be.
  • Cloning Blues: The Mauler Twins are a mutated Mad Scientist and his clone. They simply cannot agree on which was the original.
    • Eventually, a sequence of events occurs which guarantees the original—whichever he may have been—is now dead. The Twins miss a single beat...and then commence arguing over which is the lower-generation clone!
    • They are also, coincidentally, blue clones.
    • Later subverted,when the one who was the "higher" clone started lazing around and ordering the "inferior" clone about, it seems Cloning Blues was part of their motivation to actually do their work, so the "inferior" kills the lazy clone then clones himself to ensure equal partnership.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens regularly in some of the really intense fights.
  • Color Character: Past members of the Guardians of the Globe: Red Rush, Green Ghost and Black Samson (though Samson is the latter hero's actual last name).
  • Completely Missing the Point
    Invincible: In about six hours, I lose my virginity to a fish.
    Cecil: Good Lord. You're a virgin?
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: Capes Inc, and their leader Commander Capitalism.
  • Cousin Oliver: Lampshaded, as Mark's younger half-brother's name is actually "Oliver"; the requisite Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome has been hand-waved or justified, depending on who you talk to, by his mother being from an alien species that ages much faster than humans or Viltrumites.
    • His name being "Oliver" is also a reference to Ol-Vir, a Daxamite (Superman pastiche) Legion of Superheroes villain, who also started out as a bratty kid with superpowers.
    • When he gets older, he vaguely looks like Damian Wayne from Batman...with purple skin.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Machine Head produces a team of super-powered bodyguards, most of whom are easily defeated Elite Mooks. Then there's Battle Beast, who effortlessly beats Invincible and puts Black Samson and Bulletproof in the hospital. The former makes him a major breach of the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, as he may be stronger than the average Viltrumite. Which is later confirmed when Battle Beast is recruited into the Viltrumite War; while no match for Thragg (initially), he can tear through lesser Viltrumites with ease.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Subverted by, uh, Monster Girl, who is cute...except when she's a monster.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Issues 80 and 81 lampshade this heavily. In 80, Mark encounters a guy who'd invented a "gravity gun" in his basement and used it to rob a bank. He had considered selling his invention, but he needed the money now and that sounded like a long and complicated process. He is really bad at being a supervillain, and Mark lets him go (and returns the money back to the bank) with the advice that he should just sell the technology. In 81, it turns out that he sold the a bank robber. He didn't know who to see or call about this stuff. After capturing the second robber, Mark takes the guy to Cecil, who gives him a very high-paying job to invent new weapons.
    • He's not just inventing new weapons. After Dinosaurus glassed Las Vegas, claiming that the city was a tremendous resource drain and that people would use the land much better if the area were a giant solar power plant, the aforementioned inventor took the idea and ran with it. Now he and Cecil have built a solar plant that provides clean power to nearly half the people in the country.
    • Mark and Eve delve into this themselves with *Invincible Inc.,* attempting to rent Mark as private security to high-priority targets like prisons and power plants. It eventually disintegrates due to Mark's inability to meet his commitments in light of all the other stuff going on in his life.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: Subverted, since he got his powers when he was 17, and not only did he know they were coming, he couldn't wait to have them.
    • Monster Girl was cursed to age backwards when she was 16.
  • Darker and Edgier: It doesn't get much darker than Midnight City (which is blocked from all sunlight), but when local superhero Darkwing bites it, his sidekick takes up the cowl and starts killing the remaining criminals.
  • Deal with the Devil: At the end of issue 77, Mark accepts Thragg's cease-fire arrangement.
    • Later on Issue 84 has him break out Dinosaurus in an attempt to find better ways to save the world.
    • And later than that, in issue #100, Mark accepts the offer to return to working for Cecil in exchange for not facing the legal repercussions of his actions with Dinosaurus.
    • The Viltrumites under Mark's father and most of the world governments ally themselves with Robot, even though the former is aware of his purge of most people (heroes or villains) capable of stopping him because as it stood too many lives would be lost trying to fight him.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The comic picks apart tons of superhero tropes, depicts a world of Black-and-Gray Morality, is willing to feature graphic violence to emphasize that heroes aren't holding back, subverts many classic superhero origins and motifs, and rather viciously deconstructs the idea of teenage superheroes. And yet in the end it reconstructs the genre—no matter how many tropes it subverts or deconstructs, the heroes are still heroes protecting the world from evil and many times their idealism and courage ultimately wins out over the cruel and cynical villains.
  • Defector from Decadence: Mark doesn't realize it at first, but being raised among humans turns him into one.
  • Depending on the Writer: Invincible and The Astounding Wolf-Man have an odd case of this happening between two series by the same writer with the character of Cecil Steadman, who appears in both series. In Wolf-Man, Cecil is shown to be much nicer than in Invincible; for example, he's willing to believe the best about Wolf-Man (that he didn't kill his wife), whereas he always believes the worst about Invincible (that he's a bad guy working with his father). On the other hand it's fairly well-known that Cecil tends to hold grudges (by his own admission) and Gary has never given Cecil a reason to doubt him, unlike Omni-Man or Invincible.
    • For the record, Cecil's appearances in Guarding the Globe and Invincible Universe, which do feature a different writer than the main series (Phil Hester), are somewhere right in the middle — Cecil's unquestionably a good guy but he's still all too capable of crossing the line.
    • It could also be justified - if Cecil trusts Wolf-Man, and is wrong, the consequences are much less severe than if he trusts Mark, and is wrong - Wolf-Man can be taken down fairly easily, but Mark is a lot tougher, and could potentially kill millions and enslave the world.
  • Disappeared Dad: Easily one of the only examples that is more horrifying than the one from Guyver.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted, hard. The scene is depicted as utterly horrific, and when the victim (Mark), reveals what happened, his girlfriend (Eve) is shocked, but entirely sympathetic and supportive, firmly telling him not to torture himself with the idea that he might not have fought back hard enough because he secretly wanted it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After the defeat of Thragg and Robot and dealing with his newly discovered son by Anissa, Mark takes his place as the Emperor of the Viltrumites. Decades and perhaps even centuries pass - Eve discovers she's functionally immortal, Terra outgrows her rebellious phase, Markus Murphy makes peace with his dad and takes his place as Invincible and the Viltrumite empire finally becomes a force for good.
  • Elite Mooks: Machine Head's super-powered bodyguards, one of whom turns out to be strong enough to potentially come back as a Big Bad.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Mark's real first name, Markus. Hardly anyone besides his family and his best friend knows about it.
  • Enemy Mine: Invincible teams up with the rock-covered supervillain Titan to take out the crime lord Machine Head. Titan was using Invincible to eliminate the competition.
    • Later Mark teams up with Dinosaurus, because despite being a sociopath he actually has good ideas for how to improve humanity. He just doesn't care how to get there. Mark figures he can control Dinosaurus enough to keep him from killing innocents...and if push comes to shove, Invincible's one of the few people with the physical strength to stop him, so why not be standing right next to him if things go horribly wrong?
    • Mark had to team up with one of his own evil counterparts in order to survive against the only other remaining evil counterpart. This alliance was short-lived — as soon as they were safe the evil Invincible betrayed Mark by taking the remorseful, surrendering Angstrom Levy back to his home dimension.
  • Evil Twin: The Invincible War was all about this — Angstrom Levy recruited 16 evil versions of Mark as part of his revenge scheme. Mark himself barely fought any of them, though. By the end of the story, only 8 survived, and were unceremoniously dumped in a wasteland dimension. Angstrom had intended to retrieve them, but due to his defeat, the group was stranded there and ended up resorting to cannibalism until only two survived.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Robot is a robot. Subverted, as there's actually a human inside the robot. He originally controlled the robot remotely. Later he builds an army of remote controlled robots, making it difficult to tell which one is the "real" Robot.
  • Expy: The series is full of them, mostly minor background characters but a few have been important recurring characters. The title character's father Omni-Man starts out as an Expy of Superman (but 10 issues in, his plot becomes Beware the Superman). The original Global Guardians team were all expies of the Justice League until they were killed by Omni-Man and a more original team took over. Expies of Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Robin remained important supporting characters longer than the rest. Cecil is Nick Fury but just barely managed to keep his eye.
    • Originally, Invincible was going to be named Bulletproof before Kirkman & Walker changed his name and costume. Later in the series, the Guardians of the Globe inducted a new member, Bulletproof, with the aforementioned costume and similar powers to Invincible.
      • Gets taken a step further when after Mark is taken out of commission by being exposed to a virus, Bulletproof helps Eve with their business by taking up Mark's costume to do the jobs.
    • Mark himself is basically Peter Parker but with Supermanesque superpowers. Interestingly, series artist Ryan Ottley ended up drawing for The Amazing Spider-Man after Invincible wrapped up. His Peter Parker is pretty much identical to Mark but with a slightly different hairstyle.
  • Eye Scream: Omni-Man's right eye is punched out during his fight with Thragg, and later on Thragg gets one himself when Battle Beast sinks his fang into the Regent's eye. Both Omni-Man and Thragg recover from this.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After ruling over the Flaxan dimension for one-thousand years, Robot decides to conquer Earth... and effectively succeeds in doing so by issue 114.
  • Failure Hero: Closer inspection of his actions and their consequences in the story reveal Invincible to be this. He often makes reckless decisions and ends up paying for them later, costing the lives of millions of innocent people and making himself more disliked than he already was. Examples include his interference with Levy Angstrom's experiment which turned the man to supervillainy and eventual genocide via alternate reality Invincible clones, blindly making deals with the blatantly shady and unscrupulous Cecil Stedman, rescuing Dinosaurus in attempt to use his evil intellect for good which caused millions to drown from melted ice caps after it didn't work out, making deals with Thragg to have him and remaining Viltrumites live on Earth, frequently changing his kill and no-kill stances, and eventually deciding to not even try to stop his hero-turned-tyrant comrade Robot from taking over the Earth. Even when he tries to leave Earth for a quiet life with his family, his bad decisions once again catch up with him when Thragg tries to have him and his family killed.
  • First-Episode Twist: More like Volume One Spoiler if you're going by the hardback collections. Omni-Man and the Viltrumites are ruthless conquerors.
  • Fish People: The Atlanteans.
  • Flying Brick: Invincible, Omni-Man, and all other Viltrumites, along with The Immortal, Allen, and Bulletproof all have this power set.
  • For Science!: Sinclair's main motivation.
  • For Want of a Nail: Angstrom Levy notes that in all the alternate realities he's been to, very few Invincibles have been good. The common factor for an Invincible being evil or turning evil has been a lack of an Atom Eve.
  • Freudian Excuse: Rex Splode and Monster Girl's respective backstories. Rex's difficult behavior stems from how he literally has no friends and a family that never wanted him, while Monster Girl's self destructive vices are her way of coping with her "condition".
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: These pop up now and then. Unusually, they are treated by the writer with all the gravity they deserve: very little. One notable one was vanquished by all the guest stars and supporting characters in the series working together while the series protagonist, Mark, was unavailable. It was a Crisis Crossover reduced to the B-plot of one or two issues of one title.
  • Gilligan Cut: In #73, Oliver emphatically refuses to eat any of the big alien bug/crustacean Nolan's caught for dinner. The next page has him messily eating it and asking if there's any more.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted with Atom Eve.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Extremely common in this series. Some heroes, many villains and all Viltrumites who aren't under the effects of the Scourge Virus will eventually regenerate their wounds, though it takes a fairly significant amount of time without medical treatment. Invincible himself had been disembowelled during the Viltrumite War and it took him over a month in a coma to recover. His only medical aid then was getting his intestines stuffed back and his father dripping broth down his mouth.
  • Gorn: Used to an extreme degree, and very often. The Viltrumites absolutely tear their victims apart, and nearly every fight seems to leave someone missing a limb, their intestines, a cycloptic eye, or their brain. Notably, every battle where this happens is a really big deal.
  • Has Two Mommies: Flaxan Emperor Monax, one of whom is Monster Girl.
  • Heel–Face Turn: D.A. Sinclair and Omni-Man. Also Powerplex.
  • Heel Realization: Omni-Man has one of these when he's about to kill his own son. This eventually leads to his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hero Killer: The Viltrumite villain Conquest, twice responsible for the worst beatings Invincible has ever received. The first one resulted in all but one of Mark's limbs being broken (after which he headbutted Conquest into a coma and then promptly passed out), and the second one had Conquest disembowel Mark while being choked to death. Though both times, despite beating Mark nearly to death, Conquest loses. The second time Conquest is Killed Off for Real.
    • Robot
  • Heroes "R" Us: The Guard Organization.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Inverted, in that Atom Eve is the one that wants Invincible, who's dating another girl. It ends up being played straight, as Invincible breaks up with his initial girl and ends up in a relationship with Eve.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rex Splode and Darkwing II during the Invincible War. Subverted in that Darkwing II actually survived his, and returns from the pocket dimension he was trapped in in the very last issue of the series.
  • Honor Before Reason: Battle Beast is sent to kill Thragg, but he also wants a fair fight against enemies that are his match or stronger. When he goes up against Thragg one last time, he helps Thragg kill the alien beasts sent to kill him, disembowels himself to match Thragg's injuries and then discards his sword and warhammer. Thragg is impressed by this and waves off his minions who were coming to rescue him.
    • Omni-Man refuses to have Thragg executed because he feels it clashes with his new goals for the Viltrumite Empire.
  • Human Aliens: Viltrumites. The majority have black hair with a few blond/brown exceptions, but otherwise are virtually identical to humans. Justified, seeing as how they're nearly 100% genetically similar to humans.
    • Averted by just about every other alien race in the series, however. After the Viltrumites and Expies of the crew of the Enterprise, even the most human aliens have colorful/textured skin, various appendages, and other significant physiological differences.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: The reason behind Omni-Man's Heel–Face Turn. And now that the Viltrumite war is over, with those remaining living in disguise on Earth in order to repopulate, the various Viltrumites are shown to develop compassion not just for their mates, but for humanity in general. When Thragg had to reprimand a subordinate for blowing his cover to help fight off an alien invasion of Earth, the subordinate justifies his actions by saying that one of the sixteen women he loves was directly threatened by the invasion.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: doubles as a Taking You with Me, Invincible drags Thragg into the Sun and has a fight to the death while their clothes and skin are scorched off by the heat.
  • Identical Panel Gag: Hilariously invoked in this page, featuring a comic book artist talking about reusing panels.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Most collected editions are named after sitcoms.
  • Idiot Ball: Probably well within the borders of Too Dumb to Live. Cecil Stedman, putting world-destroying villains (like Conquest) in Cardboard Prisons, and faking their deaths.
    • It's especially frustrating since Stedman always emphasizes lethal force as the best course of action to Mark's face but never follows his own advice.
    • Eventually, Mark tries to do exactly the same thing as Cecil with the murderous but brilliant Dinosaurus, thinking that he can make use of the villain's intellect while preventing him from harming innocents. This turns out to be even more disastrous than Cecil's similar attempts.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The surviving 8 of Angstrom's evil Invincibles resort to cannibalism after being stranded in the wasteland Earth dimension. Only two survive by the time the original Invincible finds them. One of the two has become notably deranged and obsessed with eating human flesh and has to be killed.
  • Informed Attractiveness: In the aftermath of the Conquest event, Eve reforms her body from scratch, with Mark noting that her breasts look bigger. Eve remarks that when she rebuilt herself some "improvements" were unconsciously made. That said, her bosom doesn't look any different than usual - Eve was always quite busty since day one, the way Mark immediately notes how bigger she is now doesn't match the unnoticeable "change" in her actual design.
    • In the extra material in the Trade, Kirkman states this was intentional, saying that it wasn't really supposed to be noticeable to anyone but Mark. However, artist Ryan Ottley did shamelessly show her cleavage off a little more than usually from that point.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Dupli-Kate had been something of a Gold Digger (the huge mansion and immense wealth of The Immortal helped jumpstart their relationship) and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing (was a serial cheater), but has improved significantly. She still has her moments, like when she notices that an overweight Atom Eve was shedding some pounds and wonders if it's for Mark. When Eve tells her that Mark likes her regardless, a dumbfounded Kate asks her why.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Teamed up with Spider-Man. As Kirkman was at the time the writer of Marvel Team-Up, he was able to tie one issue of that book in with Angstrom Levy's attempt to wear Invincible down by tossing him into random other universes. A single panel in the corresponding Invincible issue implies that Mark also got sent to the DC Universe and teamed up with Batman.
  • In the Blood: A theme that comes up later in the series is Mark struggling with his natural Viltrumite violent streak. For a period of time, it seems to be winning, but Mark eventually realizes that he can control it.
  • Invincible Villain: Robot appears to be dangerously close to this (or maybe he has crossed into this). Let us count the ways:
    • He is a sociopathic Well-Intentioned Extremist Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Villain with Good Publicity (so much of an Extremist that two of his harshest critics are his own abandoned wife and child);
    • His first move was to kill the majority of the superheroes on Earth (which was a Curb-Stomp Battle of epic, gory proportions, killing many beloved characters on-screen);
    • He manages to convince Mark to let him continue his villainy (a decision that disgusts Mark so much that he abandons Earth with Eve);
    • He creates a Utopia on Earth so perfect that nobody but his more hard-core haters can say he's wrong;
    • The remaining superheroes attempt to pull a resistance together, only to discover that there is absolutely no place to hide or run from him anywhere on Earth-he is just letting this resistance exist because he allows it;
    • In the same issue that showcases this, he manages to convince almost all among the resistance (except the ones who hate him the most, which includes the aforementioned wife and child) that he is in the right and they all do a Face–Heel Turn right there on the spot;
    • When they all leave, he tells the remaining resistance members that he will allow them to live for now and will wait their move;
    • The alien governments (including Allen's and the Viltrumite remnant now governed by Nolan) refuse to do anything about Robot, because either Earth is an Insignificant Little Blue Planet in their eyes or, in the case of the Viltrumites, survival of their race comes first.
    • Eventually Subverted, when Mark fights him in space, away from his drones, and responds to his Hannibal Lecture by punching him through the chest... then taking his brain and putting it on life support, ensuring it's unable to do anything more than think and communicate, so Robot's brilliance can be filtered by someone with a functioning conscience, like the Immortal.
  • Is That What He Told You?: In issue #2, Omni-Man tells Invincible about the Krypton-like world that he came from. In issue #11, he admits that he left out the part where they were a conquering race of Supermen.
  • Julius Beethoven da Vinci: The Immortal was Abraham Lincoln. However, as long-lived as he is, he seems to have a fairly average human memory, and as such recalls very little of his distant past.
  • Just Eat Him: Averted when Komodo eats Shrinking Ray. The last we see of Ray is him being popped into Komodo's mouth, but presumably he does chew him, otherwise he could regrow himself in Komodo's belly before the digestive juices went to work.
  • Karma Houdini: D.A. Sinclair and Darkwing are both shielded from justice by Cecil, who has use for their unique talents. Learning this drives a bitter, incensed Mark to leave Cecil's employ.
    • A later development would see Cecil protecting Mark from the consequences of his actions, in exchange for Mark returning to work for him. Mark is well aware of the irony, but isn't bitter about it — now he understands what was going through Sinclair and Darkwing's heads when they crossed the line, and agrees that they deserved another chance.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Conquest, although it took two tries.
    • Rus Livingston.
    • Thaedus.
    • Magmaniac.
    • Most of the original Guardians of the Globe are killed by Nolan early in the series. A few (such as Immortal) return. Most do not.
    • Apparently half the new Guardians of the Globe and a number of former Invincible villains during Robot's purge.
    • In the final few arcs, things are really kicked into high gear, as one might imagine: Battle Beast, Oliver, Nolan, Anissa, and finally Thragg are all killed.
  • Knight Templar: Cecil.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After Thragg admits that he doesn't care about his own children and only sees them as disposable fodder, Ursaal and what's left of her siblings immediately surrender to the Coalition to put an end to the bloodshed.
  • Large Ham: Doc Seismic's villainy is of the "old school, histrionic" variety.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: In the issue where Mark is bounced from dimension to dimension by Angstrom Levy, he meets Batman and ends up on worlds similar to Y: The Last Man and The Walking Dead, the latter of which Kirkman writes.
    • And, of course, when Allen the Alien's flight back to Earth interrupts the travel of the almost-Enterprise-D. The crew later became recurring characters up to and during the Viltrumite War.
  • Legacy Character: Aquarus, War Woman, and Darkwing of the original Guardians of the Globe all had someone take up their mantle after their deaths. Aquarus probably deserves a special mention, because the position comes hand in hand with being king of Atlantis — there will more or less always be one. War Woman is an unusual case, as the original was a superhero, while her successor is a mass-murdering supervillain. After the death of Rex Splode, Robot took his name to honor him.
  • Logical Weakness: Viltrumites are generally Nigh-Invulnerable, but sonic attacks can hurt them a lot. Robot explains that this is because to fly under their own power, they must have complicated and delicate inner ears for balance.
  • Long Game: Robot and Monster Girl hatch a plan to overthrow the Flaxan royalty and become the heads of state. The plan was scheduled to be effective about 300 years after their capture. It worked.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The series is very fond of this trope.
  • Mad Scientist: They don't come madder than D.A. Sinclair, who would perform painful operations on living people to turn them into superstrong zombielike minions. He'd tear out their vocal cords so they wouldn't be able to scream when he cut one of their arms off and such. After Invincible gets him a job working for Cecil, Sinclair gets better.
  • Male-to-Female Universal Adaptor: Both Omni-Man, Thragg, and Allen the Alien have interspecies romances with plenty of sex, so this trope is implied, though not explicitly shown.
    • During the Viltrumite War, the human superhero Techjacket mentions the he and his sorta-girlfriend (a member of the Geldarian race who gave him his suit) do not have "compatible parts."
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Monster Girl is a tough fighter and smokes cigarettes, Robot is more quiet and introspective.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Between Nolan Grayson (Omni-Man) and Debbie Grayson. Possibly also between Mark and Eve, which is averted thanks to Eve's regeneration into her younger self upon her death(s) from old age.
    • Almost exaggerated with the union that gave birth to Oliver, which was between Nolan and an alien mantis-woman whose people have significantly shorter lifespans than even humans.
    • Also the relationship between late teen Dupli-Kate and the Immortal, who's been around since the start of human history and was Abraham Lincoln. The relationship between a centuries old Monster Girl and the Flaxan princess counts as well.
  • Meaningful Name: Atom Eve, Dupli-Kate, Multi-Paul, Rex Splode, Shrinking Ray.
    • But not Invincible. Which he lampshades on occasion, usually after suffering a Curb Stomping.
  • Me's a Crowd: Dupli-Kate, and her villainous twin brother Multi-Paul. Interestingly, it's made explicit that each of them has a "number zero" body kept far from the "number one" body, which most people (readers and characters alike) think is the original, as a sort of backup copy in case something bad happens to all of the rest of them. This comes in handy, of course, when the Lizard League somehow manage to kill all of the bodies Kate creates to fight them.
  • Messianic Archetype: Curiously enough, Battle Beast is this for his own people. He brought his planet peace and utopia... but in doing so, became addicted to battle and left to seek out worthy opponents. Apparently they still hope for his return.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Omni-Man's family and friends seem to be more upset about him lying to them than him killing thousands of innocent people. Even though Omni-Man has a Heel–Face Turn later on, he doesn't seem to feel remorse about those deaths either. This dilemma would be dealt with in a future Invincible issue where Omni-Man was now forbidden from ever returning to Earth by Cecil to act as some form of punishment for getting all those people killed while still being able to work with Cecil.
    • However, the deaths were a consequence of the battle between Invincible and Omni-Man, and not something Omni-Man intended to do... at the time. Omni-Man seemed to be more apathetic about the lives lost, seeing their deaths as proof of his and Invincible's superiority and why choosing to rule over them was the "right" course of action.
      • Well, the "battle" starts with Omni-Man sucker punching Mark, straight down into a city. He then uses this, the deaths of thousands, as a reason as to why Humans are beneath them. I'd say that those deaths, at least, are something it's implied he fully intended.
  • Mood Whiplash: Starts off as a lighthearted teenage superhero comic, then, all of a sudden Omni-Man kills off the Guardians of the Globe in a particularly gruesome fashion. From that point, the series continues to bounce back and forth between light-hearted and somber. Kirkman has said he deliberately started it out light-hearted just to make Omni-Man's murder of the Guardians that much more shocking.
    • Issue 80 contains funny scenes about William's coming out, a hilarious lampshading of Cut Lex Luthor a Check, a jab at the DC reboot (and at Kirkman's own difficulties keeping a proper release schedule) and Las Vegas and everyone in it getting utterly vaporized. Ow, my neck...
  • Most Common Super Power: Parodied. Eve did herself a boob job on the verge on death using her powers. It is that important for a female superhero.
    • And Knockout in the Capes, Inc backups wears Gag Boobs to help her image. Her boyfriend, a fellow member of Capes, points out that they're ridiculous, until she points out that her salary went way up after she started using them.
  • Mundane Solution: His neutralization of Allen the Alien in issue #5.
  • Myth Arc: Invincible and Allen's struggle against the Viltrumite Empire.
  • My Brain Is Big: Angstrom Levy, much to his dismay.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: After learning that Omni-Man is the rightful ruler of the the Viltrumites, Thragg attempts to kill him. During the attack, Thragg reveals the truth to Omni-Man, who responds by insisting that he doesn't want to rule. Their scuffle draws the attention of the other Viltrumites who perform a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Thragg, sparing his life only at Omni-Man's insistence and subsequently placing Omni-Man himself on the throne.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Thadeus, Omni-Man, and Invincible end up destroying the entire planet Viltrum. Since there are no living Viltrumites on the planet, this is supposed to be a heroic act. But weren't there any other life forms living there? The subject is never brought up.
    • Other than that, Invincible usually averts the No Endor Holocaust typical in many superhero comics: whenever there's a big battle that destroys buildings and levels cities, a large number of civilians die. One story arc even has the family of one those deceased civilians trying to avenge her death by killing Invincible, who they view as being responsible.
      • Dinosaurus leads the Deconstructor Fleet one level deeper on this topic: He takes issue with superheroes rebuilding cities after climactic battles for several reasons. His main concern is that they're doing the human race no favors, ecologically speaking, by rebuilding unsustainable cities. He's also angry that their superpowered assistance deprives thousands if not millions of people of jobs. It's also implied that rapid rebuilding keeps people from realizing just how frequently and horrifically this universe gets torn up by super-conflict.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The female members of the unnamed race whose king Omni-Man became have these, despite clearly being insectoids. The fish people of Atlantis have them as well.
  • Not His Blood: In Brit, the titular Brit is completely invulnerable to any form of damage whatsoever. Thus when he emerges from a battle with a nosebleed, he reassures his allies that it's not his blood, but that of the alien he was beating up. It doesn't stop his superiors from deciding that he needs to be cut up and replicated. Later, after he's persuaded to return to defend the planet, we see it happen again... This time, it actually is his blood, because this one isn't the real Brit. He's actually an imperfect clone whose invulnerability is starting to wear off.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Mark provides a Lampshade Hanging in issue #42:
    "'I'm Invincible.' Ugh. I've got to stop using that line right before I get the snot beaten out of me."
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Doc Seismic looks like a pushover, but he nearly took Invincible out in his first appearance. Then he engineered a plot to take out the world's heroes, which largely, to his surprise, succeeded in phase 1. Did we mention he utterly defeated Invincible in that same issue?
    • The Lizard League. Even they admit they're seen as jokes... until the Guardians have to fight them for the first time without any of their heavy hitters. It doesn't go so well.
  • Older Than They Look: Monster Girl and Robot are both in their late 30's but in the bodies of young adolescents due to one being a clone and the other deaging. After their stint in the Flaxan dimension, they're over 700 years old.
    • Bulletproof, who appears to be roughly Mark's age, at one point claims to be almost 40 years old.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Battle Beast. He first appeared early in the series when Mark was possibly the strongest person on Earth, at a time when no Viltrumites other than Mark and Nolan had been seen, and was apparently nothing but an Elite Mook for the issue's villain. Then he easily beat Mark nearly to death, and only retreated because he had expected a greater challenge. He has since come back to fight Viltrumites.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: In one issue, Invincible faces a villain with the power to absorb force and kinetic energy; he wins by punching the bad guy until he's been overloaded with so much energy it travels through the floor, vaporizing his family and emotionally crippling him. This was NOT his intention. In a rematch, Mark uses a reverse tactic; he refuses to fight the villain, who then uses up his reserves of energy until he is depowered.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Viltrumites apparently need nothing more to disguise themselves than a fake beard. To the point where the removal of a false beard is considered ultimate proof of Viltrumiteness.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Dupli-Kate abuses it.
    • Atom Eve also uses her powers to remove clothes... and place them, neatly folded, in a drawer. She's not irresponsible.
  • Precision F-Strike: Issue 108 ends with one, following Robot's betrayal.
    Mark: Holy fuck.
  • Psycho Electro: Powerplex, who is genuinely out of his mind in his fanatical obsession with killing Invincible.
  • Puberty Superpower: Kind of subverted, Mark doesn't start to get powers until he's 17, at least 3 or more years after he would have gone through puberty.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: The entire staff of Capes, Inc. Invincible himself becomes this shortly after severing ties with Cecil, Eve having set up Invincible, Inc. so he could support himself.
  • Punny Name: Atom Evenote , Rex Splode, Dupli Kate, Multi Paul, Shrinking Ray.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: the Sequids.
  • Put on a Bus: Robot and Monster Girl in issue 71, the first issue of Guarding the Globe. They're back as of issue 82.
  • Randomly Gifted: Mark inheriting powers was not a sure thing, and a few heroes manifest theirs spontaneously.
  • Ray Gun: As a pastiche of old-timey pulp space heroes, Space Racer naturally carries one of these. Except his is more akin to a handheld Wave-Motion Gun - it's a weapon so powerful that it can punch through anything made of matter, and is what enables Thaedus, Invincible, and Omni-Man to destroy the Viltrumite home world in a single blow.
  • Reality Warper: Atom Eve has the ability to alter molecules, which provides a low-level form of reality warping. Her powers tend to take a toll on her physically when she overuses them, and because of that she tends to use her powers more like a Green Lantern Ring, rather than using them to their full potential.
  • Reconstruction: To a degree, the series is a reconstruction of superheroes, or maybe just of the '90s Anti-Hero subgenre. The book is incredibly gory and bloody, yes, but that's just what would happen if a Flying Brick punched a normal person. Mark tries hard to be The Cape (without actually wearing one), and it's getting very hard to stick to his code of conduct, but he's still helping people because it's the right thing to do. He doesn't like or agree with Cecil Steadman, but he admits that with world-ending threats all over the place, Steadman is often the lesser evil. Storylines that would be Crisis Crossovers when published by other companies have the same long-lasting implications without the massive tie-ins and Kudzu Plots.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: At the end of the storyline "Reboot?", Mark Grayson is given a tough choice between staying in the past where he can keep saving people by using his knowledge of the future at the expense of erasing the existence of his daughter, or going back to his future, where he can resume his life with his wife and daughter, at the cost of a world where all the tragedies he could have avoided have happened.
  • Red Right Hand: The males of the Viltrumite race all have mustaches. With four exceptions, all of them are bent on galactic domination which they believe is their right due to their inherent superiority to the "lesser" races. In addition, the villain Conquest, second strongest warrior of the Viltrum empire until Mark kills him, has a mechanical hand.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted, but not in a particularly pleasant way. The smartest 'hero' did a careful analysis of Earth's social, political and criminal problems. He devised a solution, carefully double-checking his work to ensure that Earth would become a utopian ideal. And then he killed anybody, hero or villain, who could prevent him from carrying out his plan.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Notably averted, mostly, by Viltrumites and other characters with Super Strength. They rarely or never show super-anchoring, super-leverage, or the ability to keep large things from collapsing under their own weight. Viltrumites may be strong enough to lift trains, but a train would fall apart when lifted by something the size of a human. The biggest object anyone ever picks up are solid, like boulders, and even then we see rubble.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Averted, Robot can't really relate to his teammates' problems, and he doesn't particularly want to either. No Tin Man here, no sir.
    • Somewhat subverted in that the visible Robot is actually being remote-controlled by the (horribly deformed and unable to survive outside of his nutrient tank) human who just doesn't relate to humanity, probably in part due to his superhuman intelligence and isolation. After being cloned into a new human body, he starts relating more.
  • Rogues Gallery: Played With. Mark does have a few recurring villains that show up now and then and he has some relationship with, such as the Mauler Twins, Titan, The Giant and Doc Seismic. However, the absurd power difference between Mark and his foes makes him see very few of them as a threat, much less take them particularly seriously. Even with villains that occasionally do pose a threat and have a personal vendetta against Mark (such as Doc Seismic) don't really see him consider them personal enemies. The primary notable exceptions are Regent Thragg and Angstrom Levy, who are basically his archenemies.
  • Royal Blood: A DNA test showed that Mark, and potentially his father and brother, are the long lost descendants of the old Viltrumite King of which Thragg is supposed to hand the throne over to when found. Thragg found out and killed the scientist that discovered it because he is enraged that Viltrum's most infamous traitors are the heirs to the throne. Eventually the truth does come out.
  • Rule of Fun: A fairly recent issue had a fan write in asking why the Sequids go for an all out attack instead of guaranteeing victory by slowly infiltrating our society. Kirkman's answer? "Well that wouldn't make for a very fun comic, would it?"
  • Running Gag:
    • Someone commenting how gay carrying someone while flying is. At first it was Mark with his friend, but then other characters started to comment about it.
    • Someone (mostly Allen) having loud sex in the other room, with another character being unable to sleep.
    • Mark's inability to remember fighting The Elephant, despite fighting him multiple times.
  • Scenery Gorn: any fight involving a Viltrumite becomes this. Or when it's shown that the planetary ring around Viltrum is made of all the Viltrumites that died by the plague.
  • Screw Destiny: Invincible refuses to follow in his father's footsteps as a world conqueror.
  • Secret Project Refugee Family: Subverted: Atom Eve was the only "good" subject. When the others escape, they try to kill her because of the Hell they were put through to live up to her. Her "family" dies... but at the end, she turns a picture of her real family into a picture of them.
  • Self-Deprecation: Phillip Schaff, the in universe writer of "Science Dog", is an extremely unflattering Author Avatar of Kirkman.
    • In his first appearance he explains that reusing panels saves a lot of time and money and readers are too dumb to notice. note 
    • After a particular sudden and horrifying event Shaff shows up in the next panel talking about a decision he made that was "Heavy handed. Jarring. Overly dark. Hell, even out of place." but justifying it on the basis that he owns the comic and can do whatever he wants.
  • Sequel Hook: The last issue features scenes of Angstrom Levy's son and Battle Beast's daughter being set up as future foes of the two new Invincibles.
  • Shared Universe: Has fought villains from some of Robert Kirkman's other comics, and has teamed up with Zephyr Noble, Firebreather, and Shadowhawk. In general, characters from Kirkman's other books (besides The Walking Dead) show up often — a few of them being major supporting characters, like Brit and Cecil (Brit), Tech Jacket and Donald (Tech Jacket), and Kid Thor and Knockout (Capes).
    • An odd example; Invincible frequently guest-stars characters owned by other Image creators, like the Savage Dragon, and the series has a number of Heroes of Other Stories that clearly aren't main characters of the Invincible title but are created and owned by Kirkman himself. The series evokes a Shared Universe like Marvel or DC, but this one title does almost all the heavy lifting for it.
      • Due to the whole "creator-owned" thing, Image as a whole does an odd variant of the shared universe: there's a slightly different "Image universe" for each creator, where the other creators' characters exist, but aren't as big a deal as they would be in their own universe.
    • He also briefly crossed over with Spider-Man when Kirkman was writing Marvel Team-Up.
  • Shout-Out: Each trade paperback is named after a different sitcom.
    • In the first issue, Omni-Man's tailor said that he initially thought that Omni-Man's powers were solar-based, in an allusion to the character's similarities to Superman.
    • Also in the first issue we see crooks in suits running away from a botched diamond heist.
    • The Viltrumite Grand Regent bears a startling resemblence to Freddie Mercury.
    • In the last issue of Invincible Presents: Atom Eve, just behind her picture frame is a chibi Atomic Robo figurine.
    • The second issue features the Twin Pines Mall.
    • Darkwing's hometurf Midnight City turned into a crime-ridden hellhole after a magical disaster forced most of its inhabitants and law enforcement out. Cecil even refers to it as a no man's land.
    • In Volume 7 Invincible faces off with a villain with the power to open portals to other dimensions. At one point when flying through a portal he crashes into a man in a trench coat with four mechanical arms coming out of his back, and the portal obscures a person wearing a red glove with a web design on it.
    • In issue 44 a student at Upstate University is wearing a shirt with Francis on it, complete with his "hi-technicaaal" catchphrase.
    • Issue 97 has a panel with a woman cosplaying as Michonne leading around a "zombie" at a comic convention.
    • One of the places visited by Angstrom Levy is a dimension where a virus killed all the Y chromosomes; i.e. the same ordeal Yorick survived in Y: The Last Man.
    • Issue 127: An alien refers to Eve as his glip glop.
  • Show Within a Show: Mark's favorite comic is Science Dog.
  • Silence, You Fool!: Monarch Prime, the Immortal.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: The Sequid/Lizard League arc.
  • Skip the Anesthetic: In the first issue of Invincible Universe, Robot performs surgery on a supervillain who is also the host for a monstrous dragon. To keep the dragon from escaping, the surgery has to be performed with no anesthesia.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Immortal. He always acts like he's the most powerful hero on Earth, but, as Invincible points out, he is actually fairly weak in comparison to the other Flying Bricks in the series.
    • He could be the most powerful non-Viltrumite on Earth and he would still look like a Small Name, Big Ego, considering that the protagonist is a Viltrumite.
    • You know it's bad when even the non-flying brick heroes start kicking his ass.
    • Although a lot of his 'egotism' stems from the fact that the Immortal is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and has Who Wants to Live Forever? and the other negative immortality tropes in full play.
  • Status Quo Is God: Typically subverted; the comic tends to have overarching plotlines that change and advance the series direction. Played straight with Invincible's death in issue 100.
  • Stealth Pun: The Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe put forth the idea that minor villain the Elephant has a perfectly photographic memory. That's right. The Elephant never forgets.
    • Doubling down on the Elephant, it is later revealed the white man in the costume is a black man magically transformed by the amulet that gave him his powers. So he's a white elephant, fitting as he just keeps turning up. Although this is revealed moments before he IS gotten rid of at long last.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Every hybrid child of a Viltrumite will inherit their powers. But more than that, their genes are explicitly "more dominant than dominant", often making their children have a higher percentage of Viltrumite genes than their non-Viltrumite parents. Humans are already genetically similar enough that human/Viltrumite pairings produce hybrids that are nearly 100% Viltrumite.
  • Super Senses: Invincible has to keep reminding people that he doesn't have these.
    • Doesn't have super-hearing, at least. His father regularly reacts to threats further away than Mark can notice, although that might just be Cecil giving him heads-ups, and Mark tends to be the first to see things when flying.
  • Supersoldier: Whatever purpose D.A. Sinclair originally intended for his Re-Animen, this is what they became once Cecil hired him. He's even managed to make ones out of the dead alternate Invincibles from the Invincible War.
  • Take That!: In response to the promotional campaign for Marvel's "Heroic Age" event (which spawned some Memetic Mutation), a series of similar images were released depicting various Image characters joining the Guardians of the Globe - with plenty of snark toward the Wolverine Publicity used by Marvel's campaign.
    • Issue 80 contains an obvious Take That! at the DC reboot. Mark goes to his local comic shop to catch up after returning from space and is surprised to see so many books have been relaunched. The clerk derisively snarls that "these companies have no integrity." Also made fun of is Kirkman's own difficulty meeting deadlines.
    • When the Guardians of the Globe are called together in issue 7, most of them are in the middle of something, or just finishing up taking down a villain, so the call comes across as a bit of an annoyance. But Aquarius, the Aquaman expy, is asleep on his throne and his reaction is, "Finally, some action!"
  • Tearjerker: Invincible fighting his dad.
    Omni-Man: You will live to see the end of this civilization! Everyone and everything you know will be gone! WHAT WILL YOU HAVE AFTER 500 YEARS?!
    Invincible: You, dad. I'd still have you.
  • Tentacled Terror: Octoboss, a minor villain, is a horrifying anthropomorphic octopus who straddles the line between Humanoid Alien and Starfish Alien. His head and hands are all masses of super-strong Combat Tentacles. Since Invincible is in part a Spider-Man homage, Octoboss is probably based loosely on Doctor Octopus.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Magmaniac and Tether Tyrant.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Allen the Alien. Literally. Also Invincible himself, who becomes stronger as he ages and uses his powers. In just a few years he's reached a point where he's almost as strong and fast as his dad, replacing the retired Omni-Man as the world's most powerful superhero.
  • Transplant: Many characters from Kirkman's other Image comics have become minor characters in Invincible once their own series have ended. Most notable examples are Tech Jacket and Brit.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Post Heel Turn Robot successfully takes over Earth, killing many regular characters, converting others to his cause and convincing Mark to accept this is for the better.
  • The Plague: The main one infected the Viltrumite population, killing 99.999% before a vaccine could spare the rest.
    • After the end of Viltrumite war with most of the Viltrumite's hiding on Earth, the Coalition of Planets decides to recreate a stronger one and try again, despite the fact that a majority of the Earth's population would also probably die due to their genetic similarity to Viltrumites.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: For roughly the first third of the comic, Mark has to balance his civillian identity with his superheroics, first as a high school student, and then in college. Subverted after his heroics eventually undermine his ability to keep up with his college courseload, and he ultimately winds up dropping out after realizing there's no job he could get with a college degree that would pay more than what he could make using his powers.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Flip-flopped: after a long absence, Nolan/Omni-Man returns determined to make his son proud of him. It takes a lot of doing.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Robot, after his time as emperor of an alien world, takes over the Earth, slaughtering much of the cast in the process. He uses his power to bring about world peace.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: After having both his arms broken, Mark beats Conquest to near-death by using his face as a hammer.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The issue is raised multiple times, mostly by Nolan - especially considering that aside from Conquest, Thaedus, and Thragg, he could well be one of the oldest characters in the series. Viltrumites live so long that even romantic links with other Viltrumites dissolve over time, and to love a "lesser" species initially seemed unthinkable to him.
    • To a lesser extent, the Immortal. An alternate future version is shown to have drifted into madness after outliving all of his friends and loved ones.
  • The Worf Effect: Battle Beast is casually swatted away the second he tries to attack Thragg. He was actually assumed dead for some time after this, but eventually turned up alive.
    • He is ABSOLUTELY keen on taking another shot at him in issue 106.
  • World's Strongest Man: When the series first started, Nolan was this. No one came close to being as mighty as Omni-Man. Later on characters come in and show that Nolan's far from the strongest, and currently the mightiest in the galaxy is Thragg, the Viltrumite's ultimate warrior.
  • You No Take Candle:
    • Kursk, in the few instances he's seen speaking English. He appears to be learning, because his English has improved dramatically the second time he's heard to speak it, but his grammar and syntax are still very poor.
    • Octoboss' English is probably worse, though; you often need to really use your imagination to understand what he's trying to say.
    Octoboss: Advance, Squidmen! They am source of all Earth weapon and technology. We take control and have what they have! Then, apparently, us can arrive home!
    Squidman: <Why do you insist on speaking to us in with their words when you don't know their language well?>
    Octoboss: PRACTICE!
    • Battle Beast's girl friend Thresha.


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