Mark Grayson as Invincible with Angstrom Levy reflected in his eye lenses | Agents of Fandom

Every Comic Book Easter Egg in ‘Invincible’ Season 2 Episode 5

The greatest superhero show in the universe returns with an all-new episode filled with Easter eggs from the comics.

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Invincible Season 2, Episode 5.

The greatest superhero show in the universe returns with all-new episodes! Dealing with the aftermath of the explosive mid-season finale, we find our hero must face the consequences of his battle with the Viltrumites and his absence from Earth. Will Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) be able to pick up the pieces of his life? Will the Viltrumites enact their plan to take over the Earth? Will Allen be ok? All of this and more are revealed in the all-new episode of Invincible, now available on Prime Video.

One of the biggest strengths of Invincible is how the creators are able to stay true to the source material while blending moments and storylines from the comics, and updating some of the material to give characters and moments more depth. Let’s look at some of the comic book references from the newest episode of Invincible and how the show translated the comics to the screen.

Mark Grayson Has To Pick Up the Pieces on Thraxa

Art by Ryan Ottley of Invincible facing Viltrumites while protecting his brother for the cover of Invincible #29 | Agents of Fandom
Mark Grayson will always face danger to protect the innocent. Image Credit: Ryan Ottley/ Image Comics.

Most of this episode is based on issues #30-31 and #39-40 of the Invincible comics. We begin this episode right where we left off, with Mark witnessing the destruction of Thraxa from his and Omni-Man’s (J.K. Simmons) battle with the Viltrumites. One change from the books is that we see a lot more of the destruction of Thraxa as Mark is carried from the battle, which drives home the consequences of his and Omni-man’s actions.

We also get a conversation between Mark and Andressa (Rhea Seehorn) in which we see Mark taking responsibility for what happened and apologizing. The rest of the scene plays out much the same way in the books, but this small addition adds a lot of depth to Mark and is an excellent parallel to the finale of last season and the destruction left on Earth.

Another reference to the comics we see is when we catch up with the Guardians on Earth battling Omnipotus (Ross Marquand). This battle happened in the opening pages of Invincible #27, with his dialog matching word for word to his speech in the comics.

Debbie and Mark Have a Better Relationship Than the Comics

Mark and Debbie share a moment together from Invincible Season 2 | Agents Of Fandom
Omni-Man may be Mark’s dad, but Debbie is the one who raised the Hero. Image Credit: Prime Video.

We then see Mark return to Earth with his new brother and come home to tell Debbie all about what happened. In Invincible #30, Mark more or less just dumps the kid with Debbie (Sandra Oh) before going off to meet with Cecil (Walton Goggins).

Here, their conversation plays out a bit differently, with Mark again taking more responsibility and even offering to quit school, saying he can’t abandon his brother. This is an excellent example of the show taking the central theme of a scene from the comic and using it to explore our characters a bit deeper.

This applies to almost every character, but most notably Debbie. Debbie in the comics is quite different from the show. In the comics, she is very dependent on Nolan and their relationship. When he leaves, Debbie is much more distraught over him leaving the family and develops a drinking problem, even showing resentment toward Mark.

Here, we see Debbie is much more in charge of herself and rightfully puts the blame on Nolan, not Mark or herself. When confronted with Mark’s new brother, while justifiably pissed, she takes the opportunity to see the differences between Mark and his father, as opposed to the similarities, and supports him. In the comic, however, it’s only after Mark leaves the baby with her that she comes to accept him.

Donald Faces a Harsh Truth About His True Nature

Art by Ryan Ottley from Invincible #27 showing Donalds robot parts for the first time | Agents Of Fandom
Donald is 98% machine in the comics with plenty of cool features. Image Credit: Ryan Ottley/ Image Comics.

Our next departure from the comics comes in the form of Donald (Chris Diamantopoulos), when he finds out he’s a robot and then confronts Cecil about it. In the comics, Donald was always aware of his cybernetic origins, which we see our first glimpse of in Invincible #27, with it fully explained later in Invincible #30.

The storyline of him being killed over and over and having his memories wiped is new for the show, but it is another excellent example of the series taking opportunities to use the source material to add more depth to its characters. It’s a slight change, but one that makes Donald a much more complex character and reminds the audience of the consequences of Omni-Man’s actions from Season 1.

Amber’s Autonomy Increases, but She Still Deserves Better

Mark and his girlfriend Amber embracing each other in the sky after Mark's absence in Invincible Season 2 | Agents Of Fandom
Mark and Amber’s relationship reaches new heights from the comics. Image Credit: Prime Video.

Mark then goes to see Amber before being confronted by Cecil. This scene is very similar to its comic counterpart (Invincible #30), with the significant difference being Cecil’s threat to take Mark’s brother in order to get Mark to comply.

We also see Debbie and Mark refuse his help in taking care of the baby. In the comics, Mark and Debbie are paid by Cecil, which is the basis of his argument on why Mark needs to check in with him and follow orders. Debbie is more than willing to take his help in the comics, so adding this to the show feels like another way the showrunners are giving Debbie a bit more autonomy.

Another change from the comics here is Mark’s reunion with Amber (Zazie Beetz). Amber is another character who, much like Debbie, is more in charge of herself and not entirely defined by her relationship with Mark. She is very supportive and understanding of Mark’s superhero life in the show but still has her issues with Mark’s constant absence.

In the comics, Amber is much more upset about Mark being gone, even saying that she is not sure if she is happy with this whole superhero deal, signifying the first time Mark realizes the effect his life has on Amber. Here, the show focuses more on the things Mark missed in Amber’s life as opposed to her just being upset that he was gone. They can have an actual conversation about what is going on between them, giving Amber much more authority in the dynamic of their relationship from the comics.

The Sequids Are Terrifying in Comic or Live-Action Form

Art by Ryan Ottley of Invincible facing the alien Sequids for the cover of Invincible #40 | Agents Of Fandom
Alien hiveminds are no match for Invincible! Image Credit: Ryan Ottley/ Image Comics.

We then jump ahead to Invincible #39, when we learn that a large Martian ship is coming to Earth with a horde of Sequids — the alien squid creatures from the Mars episode in Season 1. Shapesmith (Ben Schwartz) reveals himself to be a Martian to the other Guardians and tells the history of the Sequids’ enslavement and his escape from Mars.

A major difference from the comics is in Shapesmiths’ motivations for leaving Mars. Here, he explains that Martians live underground, and he always dreamed of seeing the stars, which led him to take astronaut Livingston’s place and come to Earth. In the comics, Shapesmith is part of a revolutionary group that believes the Sequids should be free and is tasked with replacing Livingston so that the Sequids can bond with him and escape Mars.

The Guardians of the Globe Feel the Heat Early On

A close up shot of Rex Splode with multiple Dupli-Kates behind him in Invincible Season 2 | Agents Of Fandom
Trouble is never far behind Rex Splode and Dupli-Kate. Image Credit: Prime Video.

As most of the team goes off to battle the Sequids, the remaining Guardians are left to deal with the Lizard League who have just taken over a nuclear missile silo, leading us to a very memorable moment from the comics and an explosive ending to this first episode.

The fight between the Lizard League and the Guardians occurs in Invincible #40 and happens much the same way with a few minor changes. The battle we see here is much more brutal than on ink. In the comic, Dupli-Kate (Malese Jow) and her duplicates are torn apart much the same way, with Komodo Dragon standing among the remains.

Here we get an up close and personal shot of the final smash of Dupli-Kate, really driving the impact of her death home to viewers. Similarly, Komodo Dragon eats Shrink Rae (Grey DeLisle) in the comic, but in the show, we get the intense scene of her re-growing inside him before he ultimately crushes her. Something we see a lot in Robert Kirkman’s work is how he uses violence to amplify and incite emotions in the audience, and the increased violence in this scene makes their deaths more impactful and shocking.

Thaedus and Allen the Alien Are Key Deviations From the Comics

Leader of the Coalition of Planets Thaedus sports a mustache in Season 2 of Invincible | Agents Of Fandom
Omni-Man and Mark aren’t the only Viltrumites to rebel. Image Credit: Prime Video.

There is one post-credits scene to this episode where we find Allen (Seth Rogen) waking up after healing from his encounter with the Viltrumites in Episode 3 and are left with the reveal that Thaedus (Peter Cullen) himself is a Vilturmite defector.

This scene is from Invincible #38 and happens much the same way, with one key difference being that Thaedus doesn’t shut off Allen’s machines as we saw in Part 1 to trigger his reactive adaptation which allows him to grow stronger from a near-death encounter. In the comic, this is just an ability Allen naturally has. It seems this was added for extra suspense in his episode earlier in the season but it could be a sign of some more changes to Thaedus’ character that we could see down the road.

‘Invincible’ Makes the Right Changes Time In and Time Out

Promo material for Invincible Season 2 showing Mark in battle with the reflection of Omni-Man in a pool of blood | Agents Of Fandom
Will Mark be able to escape the shadow of his father? Image Credit: Prime Video.

The way the creative team translates the source material to the screen is amazing, making Invincible one of the best adaptations of a comic book ever.  The changes from the comic not only feel justified, but essential in making this story as impactful and awe-inspiring as the source material, leaving fans both new and old with something to get excited about.

New episodes of Invincible premiere every Thursday on Prime Video.

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