Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show, I’m your host Paul, and in this video, we’re breaking down… Invincible Season 2 Episode 1, which is now out and throughout this video, we’re going to be going through the Easter eggs, comic book differences, and our thoughts on the show. I’ve just finished up a major read-through of the original work, and I really want this breakdown series to not only talk about how it references the comics but also some of the differences they added in to change things up.
We also interviewed co-showrunner, executive producer, and writer of this first episode, Simon Racioppa. In it, we talked about the new season and answered the questions that you really want to know.
‘INVINCIBLE’ SEASON 2 EPISODE 1 BREAKDOWN
Now, episode 1 has a bit of a misdirect early on, as it actually picks up in an alternate universe in which Mark decided to join up with his dad. This world actually showed up early on in the comics and it debuted during issue 16 along with Angstrom Levy. It started off with Mark putting a message out over Times Square telling the citizens that if they resisted, they’d die. From here, we cut across to a version of Levy running to a box which was actually the secret entrance to the resistance’s hideout. Down here, we had Robot and The Immortal who was beheaded just like how he is in this opening fight. That itself calls back to when Omni-Man first killed the guardians, as he cut off The Immortal’s head in an attempt to kill him.
Compared to the comics, the show’s way more expanded, with us meeting several of the multiversal characters and seeing the damage that this Mark has marked his world with. In the source material, all there really was was the big screen and shocked looks of despair on the people’s faces.
Opening with The Immortal getting killed, this instantly lets you know how dangerous these two are. The Immortal has normally been the one who’s stood as the final stand, and he, of course, also rushed out to face Omni-Man when the truth was revealed. Going down like this has left Earth pretty defenseless, and we hear as Mark tries to reassure Earth that joining them is the right thing to do.
This sort of riffs on the Times Square message a bit, in which he tells them that just because they’re in control, it doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. As he says on the giant screen, being part of the empire comes with its benefits, and the comics actually argued pretty well that joining them could be positive. Due to their scientific discoveries, they’ve pretty much wiped out all kinds of diseases. They’re also able to protect the planet from invasions and ensure that no one ever goes hungry.
You can actually see why Mark would’ve sided with his dad, and the temptation of power to a team shows how strong our Mark actually is.
Now, as they say, they’d bring peace to Earth for thousands of years, and only upon depleting Earth of its entire resources would we be left to die, yay.
Kinda reminds me of that guy who spoils every movie and show and that subscribing to him is actually the right thing to do.
Nah, obviously, they’re a completely oppressive people that would use humanity and stomp us out, and thus the resistance has started to mount up. These broadcasts are something we’ve seen in the series before with Omni-Man delivering a message worldwide during episode 3.
The citizens are terrified, and that takes us to Levy, or rather a version of him who we see moving through the street. He wears a hood to cover himself, and this is similar to what we see some of the civilians wearing during the comic broadcast. Going into the secret entrance which is located in a bus instead, we see far more of a hive of humanity than what we got in the comics. Robot is also in his original form too, as in this world he didn’t get to change, whereas the other did.
Now in the comics, this happened much later on than where it was positioned in the first season, with him not being copied into a clone until Issue 35.
Mark fought his dad during issue 12, so you can see how much they’ve changed things up. I think that in this multiverse, they may have killed Mauler who then couldn’t help the transfer and thus he got stuck like this. As we learn, Rexplode was killed too, and Eve’s turned into her nightmare timeline version. This is a completely new addition for the story, with us also learning that Mark and Eve were an item. If you’ve read the source material, then you’ll know what this is hinting at, and it’s awesome seeing these different alterations.
I kinda view the comics as its own multiverse thing too, and I love seeing the changes and surprises that they bring to it. It feels way more brutal with how it plays out here, and what Mark does to Eve is so messed up.
Snapping her neck, this ends up leaving her paralyzed, and it adds some depth and metaphor to what’s going on with the invasion. Mark wants to leave humanity completely paralyzed, and though he’ll help to keep her alive, she won’t really be living. All she’ll be is stuck, unable to rise up or make something for herself, which is also what will happen with this version of humanity.
[interview clip] What’s so messed up is Omni-Man then says.
So that’s what you were practicing on the protestors. Now at this point, Levy speaks up with Sterling K. Brown delivering a chilling monologue.
All Omni-Man cares about, though, is getting his lunch and murdering en masse the rest of the resistance. You can just see the terror on their face, and it’s such a chilling way to open up the season.
Now Levy too gets grabbed by the prime version of himself who, in both, opens up a comic and pulls himself through. What they’ve done with the show is kinda condense several of his moments across the issues so they can tell a major part of his arc during one episode. For example, in the comics, he’d have things dotted throughout and would rescue the Maulers during issue 17. Then, issue 22, he’d be working with the machine, with 24 being where they combined all their brains.
What you get is a way more streamlined story and also his prime version explaining what’s going on. Basically, the way that Levy works is there’s the prime version of him who can open up portals that allow him to travel across the multiverse. The closest big example I can think of is America Chavez, though Levy debuted almost ten years earlier.
Unlike America, he stays in the same spot across all realities, though, whereas she’s able to jump about from place to place. So for him, say…he’d be sat in his living room and then portal his living room in an alternate reality. If there was something else there, then he’d hit whatever that is, so he needs all the knowledge from the other Angstroms to navigate the multiverse. This is also how when the Maulers escape the prison, they see a dead version of the guard because they’re in the position the prison was just in an alternate universe.
So basically, Angstrom could warp into the prison, pull them out, and then warp to another reality, walk outside the limits of the grounds, and warp back to be outside.
Now back in the main timeline, we cut to Mark at the site of the last place he saw his father at. Broken and beaten, the blood still remains, and this was a really defining location for him in many ways. It’s also the place that we started at the beginning of episode 4, and we have the site where he grew closer and further apart from his father.
To the sound of “Karma Police,” we hear Thom Yorke singing over the top of Mark going about his superhero life. It’s clear he’s just going through the motions, though, and doing it for the sake of doing it rather than finding it fun and exciting like he used to. The term “Karma police” was coined by the band when they said they’d call the karma police if someone did something bad. What it really meant, though, is dealing with feelings of stress and having people look at you in a negative way. That’s something Mark has to deal with, and he flies by a giant screen while people look up at him.
I think this is the same place where Mark broadcast from in the alternate dimension, and we can even catch the same woman from that intro scene standing in the crowd.
Any kid who’s watched their parents go through a divorce will instantly be able to relate to this, and you can just feel the isolation and almost guilt seeping through the screen as Mark moves through the city.
At this point, an elephant supervillain based on the rhino rushes out, and Mark busts them up. This fight actually pulls directly from the comics, with us seeing it play out at the midpoint of issue 8.
It’s clear Mark is just detached from everything, and he doesn’t really stop to chat to the people he’s helping, and instead, just does his job and moves on. This is in the case of a car chase, ambulance flight, and bank robbery. The music and tone are a far cry from the rock and pop songs we got in the original series, with it letting us know that the light in Mark’s life has gone along with his dad.
Now at the bank, we see two returning characters in Magmaniac and Tether Tyrant. These two are from both the comics and the show, with them appearing during the Titan Takeover episode. Appearing on pages 455 in the omnibus, Tether Tyrant was with no one even knowing what he really does.
Now, though things are bad with Mark, we see that there’s still some positivity in the world. Earth is starting to rebuild, and Debbie’s going back to work as a real estate agent. Still, though, there will always be these reminders, most notably the house across the street where Donald and his surveillance team were located.
Caught by Omni-Man, he ended up self-destructing and leaving it a crater.
Now out in the desert, we see the prison in which the Maulers are kept. The guns are still primed on the surface, and during their season 1 escape, one of them was killed trying to get out.
The guard here always kinda reminded me of Captain America, and during season 1, a Mauler broke his arm. This was then up in a cast during the finale, which the Maulers also talk about here.
Now the portals appear, pulling them out of the cells. During this scene, we also cut to a prisoner who is actually Duplicate’s brother, Multipaul. Multipaul’s going to play a major part down the line, and it was so cool seeing a tease to him here.
Now in the alternate dimension, we pretty much get a scene that’s pulled right out of the comics in which he takes them through a timeline in which the prison was wiped out. We can catch the iguana showing how the realities are similar, but that there are these key differences. Now why he needs the Maulers is because of their abilities to move minds and help him navigate the multiverse without danger.
In the comics, he had to mark locations with a red X to know where to travel to, whereas this will give him the knowledge to move without risk.
Anyway, from here, we cut to Reginald Vel Johnson High School. Do this Easter egg almost every video, but it’s a new season, so why not. Reginald Vel Johnson is named after the actor who played B.N. Winslow in Family Matters. This character then inspired Principle Winslow, who Reginald Vel Johnson now provides the voice of.
Inside, we see as Todd hugs it out with Mark, and you might remember him from the first season as being someone who hit Mark in this exact same spot. We hear that the cover story for Nolan being gone is that he was killed in the house explosion, whereas in the comic, they put it down to a car crash. That house actually didn’t appear in the comics, so it’s a nice way to tie the two events together.
Cut to the Burger Mart where Mark used to work, and we see as he’s meeting up with Cecil. This is a slight change-up from the comics, as in those, Cecil met him in his room, and then he went out to Burger Mart with William and a buddy. At this point, his old manager confronted him, whereas that was a scene that they used in season 1.
All Mark wants to do is go back to saving people, and this is to make up for what happened in the massive fight. Cecil says he needs to focus on his grades, though, and that will be the best way to get his head straight. All Mark wants to prove, though, is that he’s not his dad, which is a theme that reappears throughout these entries.
Now, Nolan, as always, has an ulterior motive, and the reason he doesn’t trust Mark’s because he’s half Viltrumite. He understands the loyalty that one would have with their dad and therefore wants to keep him on a short leash. As we saw in the intro, the pair working together would destroy the planet, and even things like helping the Guardians is something he’s not deemed fit for.
Now, they take him in a way different arc to the comics, as in those, they didn’t really have the complexity that they have here. Even in issue 14, he was back out battling the Flaxan Empire with the Guardians, all at his side. This feels way more developed than what it was in the source material, and I loved the extra character depth that they added here.
WHAT HAPPENS IN ‘INVINCIBLE’ SEASON 2 EPISODE 1?
Now the villain they’re fighting is known as The Giant, who is ripped right out of the comics. He says,
“I wanna be president of America,” Which is something that he also says during his comic appearances. Now, it’s a pretty infantile thing to say, and that’s because The Giant’s actually an 8-year-old boy. Falling through a portal, he was bewitched by a wizard who wanted to use him as a way to smite his enemies. However, he didn’t count on kids being so rebellious and thus he ended up going on a rampage.
We get to see the Guardians busting him up, and they sort of act like an Avengers stand-in. Robot now has a sort of heads-up display like Iron Man, and we see Monster Girl sliding down a building just like how Hulk does.
We see how the former struggles with the fear of battle, as in the past, he’s controlled things from a neural link.
Now, at this point, we cut to the docks, which is also where Levy was based at in the comics.
This is the place he took his doppelganger to after pulling them out of the portal, but they just condense stuff here to have it with the Maulers.
He promises them a world, and among these, we see one that looks like Midnight City. This was based on Batman: The Animated Series, and judging by the red sky, I think it’s the same.
All this otherworldly knowledge is something that Angstrom wants, but in the end, when he’s scorned by Invincible, his goals change.
Now he ends up showing the Maulers the family of Levys, which is similar to the panel in the comics in which he showed both his doppelgangers and then them the same thing. The machine explanation actually happens later on in issue 20, so that kinda gives you an idea of how the story’s paced out.
Cut over to Debbie, who we see coming across Olga in her home, who you might remember was with Red Rush. Red Rush was, of course, killed by Nolan, and the pair are kinda in the same predicament. Debbie talks about how she was in Italy last year, which is a vacation we saw during season 1. She’s still not used to him being out of her life, and Olga understands to some degree.
Debbie still can’t get over being classed as a pet, though, which was one of the coldest lines in the entire show.
Olga gives her a card that will allow her to deal with what she’s dealing with mentally. Cut to the guardians of the globe base where they’re getting berated for how they handled the 8-year-old cyclops. This moment is brand new for the show, and it reminded me a lot of General Ross’s talk during Civil War. In that, he showed the destruction the Avengers had wrought, which in itself had harmed innocent lives. That’s very much the case with what we see here, and we can catch the dead left in the destruction.
Chalking it up to a failure of leadership, this all rests at Rudy’s feet. The Immortal is now the one in charge, and as we know, he’s led the guardians before. Rexplode goes off on him and acts like a jerk, but hey…honestly, you shouldn’t treat the guy too harshly.
In the comics, we got a secret origin for him in which it talked about how he came from a poor family. The man was picked up and then experimented on, which is how he was able to get his powers. Going back to see his parents, he watched as they’d profited off him and were happy with him gone, which acted as a really devastating reveal. The comic even said next time he’s acting like a jerk to have a little compassion and hey, Rex…it’s ok…you be a jerk.
Now Bulletproof is also brought in too, who comes from the comics. A little bit of trivia, but in the source material, Mark was actually offered his costume when he was first starting out. Art had it just lying around, and it was only when Mark asked for a custom one that it got changed up.
Now if you’re looking for some new clothes yourself, then definitely check out our merch store located just below the video. We’ve just launched the first in our Classic Movies Breakdown VS design, which is inspired by two James Cameron Classics. We’ve also got Loki and Ahsoka designs on there too, as well as a theory time one and a lot more.
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We also see as Rudy and Monster Girl get a little closer, and she was the person that made him want to duplicate himself. Noticing that she took a shine to Rexplode, he then cloned his body, and the two are slowly gravitating towards each other.
Speaking of getting closer, we see Eve and Mark meeting up at school, with the former coming to visit him to see how he is. Currently, she’s out living in the woods, whereas in the comics, she’d moved all the way to Africa. Mark just feels distant, though, and like he can’t connect with his dad leaving a massive hole in his life. Mark says that when he was a kid, he just wanted to be his dad, but now he’s moving in the exact opposite direction.
Cecil doesn’t know whether he can be trusted or not, and we cut to him watching surveillance footage of the Maulers. This is ripped right out of the end of Issue 21, but Donald’s been added in to give his character more to do. He was kinda kept out of the way during these early stories, with him becoming way more important later down the line.
Now Mark begs him to go back into the field, and this leads to Cecil finally putting his trust in him. This leads into a scene that was ripped right out of issue 24, with pretty much all the moments in it riffing off that. It’s such an amazing battle scene in the source material, and watching it come to life made for a big final fight scene.
It’s kinda got a basis in horror, with the mind transfer seeming agonizing as Angstrom gets smarter. In the end, he comes out looking like a monster, and this is due to the experiment getting interrupted. Mark arrives and finally seems happy once The Maulers challenge him to a fight.
I do kinda feel bad for Angstrom in a way because with this, his heart was in the right place and all he wanted to do was use the multiverse to help people. There’ll be realities out there that can help cure diseases and make a utopia with all the combined knoweldge.
No one man should have all that power, though, and thus he unleashes the other Maulers he’s been working with. This bit is pulled right out of the comics, but they added a bit about how they thought they’d been working alone. Mauler is all about being the superior one, and even among the clones, they argue about who the better one is.
Now, just like in the comics, Angstrom ends up taking the helmet off when he realizes that the Maulers are going to kill Mark. The last thing he wants is a legacy built on blood, and in both, this causes the machine to explode. Among the wreckage, we see the dead Maulers, which is just like how it’s presented in the source material. The guardians then show up just like they did in that, but the blood on Mark’s hand makes him feel like a monster.
All his actions have led to even more destruction and death, with Mark feeling like he failed. All he ever wanted to do was help people, and in many ways, he sort of echoes Levy. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and it’s something that both he and Levy are going to have to deal with.
Returning home, he sees how he and his mum are now in a divided home, but some good news has come for him in the mail. Both he and Amber have been accepted to Upstate University, and it feels like a win in what’s been a pretty dour entry.
Still, though, Mark hasn’t won the trust of everyone, and we see as the Immortal confronts him at home. It brings things full circle from that opening scene in which an alternate Mark ended up helping to kill him.
‘INVINCIBLE’ SEASON 2 EPISODE 1 ENDING EXPLAINED
This scene itself is actually pulled directly from issue 14, with the dialogue and meeting place being exactly the same. It’s kind of a depressing way to close it out, with the comics then having Mark go meet Cecil, who told him the convo he had with his dad in their fight had been leaked. Dramatically, I think this works way better as the impact of that was cut short by that being the next thing. Here, though, you really feel for Mark, and to make matters worse, both Mauler and Angstrom survived.
We see the half-mauled Mauler, which itself is what he emerges looking like in the source material.
Levy also comes out looking worse for wear, with his giant brain now protruding out of his body. Grabbing it and screaming like how he did in the comics, he swears vengeance on Mark. Having memories from across the multiverse has meant that in every reality, Mark and his dad killed millions. These memories now being part of Levy means he swears revenge, which sets up a big arc.
We finally get that title reveal with them teasing Invincible throughout the entry. Dropping it here just adds so much more impact, and we end with Mauler calling him a jerk as Levy leaves. It’s just like the comics, and I can’t wait for you guys to see what happens down the line with where this arc goes.
Now, on top of this, I also asked about whether there were any crossovers we could be getting with some other Amazon superhero characters.
So yeah, lots to look forward to, and I really enjoyed this first entry. I know I probably obsess over issue numbers and stuff, and blah blah, look, I’m a nerd. But I always love how they combine certain storylines, take them in new directions, and generally just change the flow and where the series is going.
They added so much depth here and made Mark a way more layered character than what I was expecting because they kind of brushed over his dad leaving in the comics. Here it’s far more introspective and perfectly deals with the depression that you often have when a parent’s no longer in your life. I know you guys can apply this to a lot of things as well, and it just adds an extra layer of relatability in a show that’s dealing with superhumans. Really good first episode filled with action, emotion, and some nice twists and turns.
Also, just… just had the sheer like, freaking hell moments that Invincible’s known for.
And yeah, I really enjoyed it.
Obviously, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and we will be back next week with even more bits of our interview with Simon. Make sure you stay subscribed and let me know your thoughts below on what you want to see in the season.
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