Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show, I’m your host, Paul, and in this video, we’re breaking down Invincible Season 2, Episode 3, baby! It’s now out, and we have a lot to talk about when it comes to ALIENS. Throughout this video, we’re going to be breaking down all the Easter eggs, comic book connections, and things that you might have missed in it. Also, I forgot to ask people for thumbs up last week, so this week I’m going to need you to click the thumbs up and click it again… wait… no…
Either way, thank you for clicking this; now let’s get into the brand new episode.
INVINCIBLE SEASON 2 EPISODE 3 BREAKDOWN
Now we begin with Debbie dropping Mark off at the University, which is where he moved to during the comics. A lot of this episode takes place during Issue Zero, which actually happens after Issue 22. What it was was that Invincible had been running for about two years, and the readership was slowly starting to pick up, so what they did is basically release this comic that filled in a lot of the backstory of what had happened.
It had Mark basically talking to Amber and recapping all the stories of what was going on.
In the end, we had the pair kissing, which then took us directly into Issue 23. Just like how they kinda cut away for the sex moments in this, they also used it to transition into Allen The Alien.
This led into us getting the story that we get here, which takes up the majority of this episode.
Now you might remember last week that Principal Winslow said it was his last year, and people assumed that he was retiring.
What’s really going on though is he’s the dean of the university, though at the moment he hasn’t been reintroduced yet.
The entire scene’s kinda heartbreaking for Debbie as she’s lost the family that she’s been building for the past twenty years. Nolan left, and we see that he’s moved on somewhere else and that Mark’s now left to go off and study away from home.
One thing that I absolutely love about the series is how much it’s fleshed out what’s going on with Debbie. In the comics, she was often just always in the background, whereas here they give her way more character development. All that stuff last week with the house, that’s completely new for the show, as is the support group that we see her going to.
That kinda reminds me a lot of the one from Avengers: Endgame in which Cap met with people that were greatly affected by the snap.
This card’s now shown to have a number on the back, but the front of it also gave some clues too. This was actually the Morse code for SOS, with the meetup also massively helping out Olga. She too was someone that lost her superhero husband, but due to the circumstances, Debbie isn’t welcomed in. Kinda heartbreaking that she gets blamed for it all, even though she didn’t really have anything to do with it.
On the phone, we hear:
no last names.
Which is later backed up by:
first names only.
It’s clearly been set up like this in case there are issues from heroes and villains’ loved ones coming face to face. I’m guessing that even the supervillains like Nolan would have someone they cared about that might need support in a situation like this.
Now from here, we cut to Mark readying his room, and the first thing he does is hang up a poster. This is of his childhood hero, Seance Dog, who in the comics was called Science Dog. That poster first showed up during Issue 2, with it being changed for the series to be a Doctor Strange parody. Bringing that over from across his home, we get someone masquerading as him later in the episode.
Seance Dog has the same outfit as Strange, and his change-up was done for a specific reason. Discussing it last year, Robert Kirkman said it was down to property rights, so I’m guessing we’ve got some legal, wobbly wobbly stuff.
Interestingly, Science Dog was also created by Kirkman, with him even getting his spin-off comic at one point.
Now about their dorm, we also have different parodies, including Magnum P.I., but this time they’ve got a Pi symbol on the end. We also have Lady Yaya instead of Lady Gaga, and it just keeps things slightly separate.
William’s side is much cleaner, and he also explains how they use a sock on the door to signal when the room’s occupied.
We also see Mark’s brought across his toys.
Sorry, mate, and amongst these, we can catch Seance Dog and a Shuma Gorath parody. Mark later ends up chucking Seance Dog in the trash, but he has a change of heart because he’s not ready to let go yet. Kinda wish I’d been told that when I was younger because I threw away all my stuff as soon as I hit 14. Spent the last ten years trying to buy them all back except this time they’re now 5 times the price… yaaaay.
So sad just seeing the little lad in the bin, and yeah, come here mate, I’ll never let you go.
Now, in the comics, this story started off in Issue 25, which is when we opened with Mark down a comic store.
The guy behind the desk kept making fun of Science Dog and how crap the comic run was on the whole. Mark said he’d been buying them forever, though, and didn’t really wanna ever break up his run. It was also about him being unable to let go, but here, I think it’s way more impactful by using the figure. Seance Dog was the first character that was a hero to him, and in many ways, this reflected his father. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Seance Dog’s used as the form to connect back with his dad, and it’s a really clever way to bring this whole thing together.
After seeing a sock on the door, we then cut to Amber’s room, and I think that X might be a reference to Ed Sheeran.
The pair start getting it on with Seance Dog falling to the ground, which maybe shows man’s childhood is about to leave him behind. At this point, Amber says:
wait, you don’t have super.
Which might be a nod to the Kevin Smith talk about Superman. Guy brought up how Superman might have to wear a kryptonite condom and really practice safety. If your girl’s in for the kryp-tonite, she knows what to do, and we end up giving the pair some privacy.
We then get this voice-over:
and so dear…
Which riffs on the comics in which we transition to Allen with the text block saying ‘and so dear readers we turn our attentions elsewhere to give young Mark Grayson and Amber Bennett some privacy.’
From here, we get what’s basically the double-page spread from Issue 23 in which we recount what happened with the Unopans.
ALLEN THE ALIEN IN INVINCIBLE SEASON 2 EPISODE 3
They were a peaceful world that had achieved harmony with nature, but the Viltrumites ended up invading the planet and destroying the people there. This is the tactics that the Viltrumites used to use when they were superior in numbers as they couldn’t be outmatched by any forces in the galaxy. However, as they spread out and conquered other worlds, their forces grew too thin, and thus they had to change tactics. Eventually, they’d do what we saw Nolan doing, where he went to a planet and pretended to be its protector.
Eventually, they’d weaken their forces, and this would usher in the Viltrumite invasion.
The show slightly changes things up as they have the Unopans rebelling by using weapons. In the comics, they just fled into the stars and started to experiment on their young. At this point, they were invited into the coalition of planets, which was set up to tackle the Viltrumite threat.
Here we meet their leader Thaddeus for the first time, who’s voiced by none other than Peter Cullen.
If you recognize his voice, this is because he provided Optimus Prime’s, and Thaddeus is a major character in the comics.
Those who’ve read it know that he’s got a secret, and I can’t wait to see how it’s handled in the show. Next to him, we also see a character that looks like Battle Beast, and they may end up tying his species into the coalition early on in the show.
Now for years, the Unopans tried several ways to genetically improve the species to fight the Viltrumites, but many were born disfigured.
That was until Allen the alien. They sort of riff on the helmet Wolverine had when he was Weapon X with there being a big red visor over the front.
This was a panel that appeared in the comics, with the following shots also being similar too. That includes Allen fighting a giant beast and also being laid out flat on his back after he’s been beaten. No matter what happened, Allen couldn’t beat a Viltrumite, and instead, he was made a planetary evaluation officer.
As we learned in Season 1, he’d traveled out to Earth and had even fought Nolan when visiting our planet. We see this moment playing out in a montage foreshadowing Omni-Man’s big return at the end.
Now as we know, this was a mistake and that he was meant to guard Urath; this helped him come across Mark Grayson. Mark’s obviously someone who can help combat the Viltrumite threat, and now we’re getting breadcrumbs for the way the story’s going to go.
Also, love how they change the title card.
This is also what they did with Atom Even, and it’s such a cool thing to add in the episode.
Now his journey back to his headquarters is built off the back of the comics, but they change up what happens with his girlfriend General Tellia.
In the comics, she was more just a scantily clad alien, whereas here, she’s a high-ranking member in the military.
If you think her uniform looks familiar, then that’s because it’s based on the ones from Star Trek: The Next Generation. There were a couple of panels where Allen ended up saving a crew who were designed to look like Picard and co, which Tellia here’s also a member of.
From here, they go out to the council, with Allen discussing Mark and how he went against his father. This whole scene is beat for beat in the source material, with it being extremely important to the overall arc. Thaddeus also mentions the great purge, which was the battle on Viltrum in which only the strong survived. This actually wiped out half their population, which, in the end, led to their numbers being so weak.
For years, they’ve been searching for someone like Mark who can help tear open the Viltrumites’ armor. If you know what’s going on with Thaddeus as well, then you’ll be aware of why his war against Viltrum is so important. Again, I promised Amazon I wouldn’t be doing any future spoilers, but we’ll be back next week talking with Sim Raccioppa about what could be happening.
why are Viltrumites breeding with other races?
And again, this is because their numbers are so low. They realized they’d have to bolster them up by having kids, which is something that happened when they infiltrated the planet.
Now Thaddeus suspects that someone’s a mole, and we see firsthand that this is the case. Someone’s been feeding the Viltrumites info, which leads to the attack later on with Allen.
Now at this point, he returns home, which in the comic is when we saw Tellia.
In the comics, Allen kinda went back and forth on having sex because his species has sworn to only use breeding factories.
I don’t know if it’s because they saw Tellia pressuring him into it that they thought it might be problematic, so they just skip over that and cut to the window. In the comics, we cut to the curtain, which we saw up at the back when he entered the room.
The narrator then talks about returning to Mark, which is when we awkwardly cut back to settle on the curtain. From here, we then go to a satellite, which is where Tellia and Allen went next in the source material.
They’ve got things bang on like how it was there with even the meals being exactly the same. Allen was eating worms, whereas Tellia had a krang-type creature that eats Allen’s food like how it does in the comic.
Now at this point, the Viltrumites attack, which leads into them beating the crap out of him. They do kinda change up the members of the team with the black guy being one that I believe is Lucan. The woman is totally different in the book, but she has appeared in the series before. When we watched the purge playing out, you could catch her amongst the soldiers. She’s pretty mean-looking with a blade at the end of her hair that she swings around like a weapon.
Now they’re here to interrogate Allen to find out what’s happened with Nolan, as abandoning your post is against the Viltrum way. Refusing to answer, they kick the crap out of him in a scene that’s just as brutal here as it is in the comics.
They cut off his arm, smack out his eye, and he gets put under medical care.
Cut to Tellia crying in the hospital, at which point she’s then comforted by Thaddeus. Now here they change things up as we see Thaddeus turning off his life support, which is a completely new thing for the show. In the comics, he just said, “This is the beginning of the end,” whereas here he asks for forgiveness.
I have no idea what they’re doing with this, and it was nice to get a curveball for the way they’re gonna take things. They’re clearly trying to tell us that Thaddeus is the mole, though I do think that that might be a red herring. He could end up suspecting that it’s him or even playing 4D chess to get to the bottom of it. Either way, let me know your thoughts below, and I actually thought that might be the end of the entry. We even get the credits then starting up, which is when we cut back to Earth.
Here we come across Duplicate working out with her other versions acting as a spotter. Rexplode enters, making things awkward, and the pair fight it out. In the end, she says she relates to the Immortal because he’s died as many times as she has. Really helps to flesh her story out, and it’s built off the back of a conversation Immortal has in the comics, where he talks about how he finally met someone who made him feel it was worth sticking around.
You have to see that Immortal has watched everyone he ever loved die, so he’s had a tough time sticking in one place. Throughout his life, he’s lived as several other people, and at one point, he was even Abraham Lincoln. After he was killed, he came back and laid low but decided to become a superhero when the dawn of them first started out.
Normally, at this point, he would’ve left, but Kate made him feel like he should still stick around.
Rexplode just isn’t able to understand, and Kate is looking for someone more mature.
At this point, Shapesmith enters and just weirds everyone out.
I love all the scenes as he’s trying to fit in, and as we know, man’s, of course, a Martian.
From here, we cut across to Rudy in a scene that’s reminiscent of Iron Man 3. In that, we saw a map of Cillian’s brain, whereas here he’s trying to map out his own. Here, he’s trying to figure out why he’s afraid, and he realizes that he’s got something holding him back. The man just wants to be with Monster Girl, and he asks her out.
I’m getting the word ‘nonce.’
Her looking young is also why he chose to clone Rex and grow to 14 so that the two could at least look like they’re the same age. The comics did stuff a bit differently, with Amanda saying she didn’t really like him because he looked like a kid. That happened during issue 36, with Rudy asking her out after a big battle.
Now from here, we cut across to the spouses of superheroes, which is where we see a talk being given by Theo. Voiced by Daveed Diggs, he becomes a big character in the episode that shows how humanity would react to her if they knew.
Outside, we see as Mark’s not really been replying, and he’s left the nest, so now she feels alone. She kinda finds a lot of commonality in Theo, and together the pair go out to a bar.
This takes her mind off her son being gone, and we see as she deletes her message.
Elsewhere, we see Rudy and Amanda getting closer as they line up to go check out a movie. The posters riff on Dracula and the Wolfman, and they ask for tickets to Midnight Slaughter.
In the comics, it was called Machine Gun Slaughter, with this scene playing off the opening of issue 37.
Ironically, the guy there offered them tickets to the science dog movie instead. How they get around it is that Rudy notices someone wearing a Knicks jacket, and he tells the guy that that’s his dad.
He then goes over and says something about how the Knicks are the best team, but the guy selling tickets is disagreeing, so the dude shouts back that he’s telling the truth.
Amanda shows she’s used to this kind of thing and gets an adult to say she’s their parent. From here, they then head out to Burger Mart, and I was kinda hoping that we’d see Eve’s dad here. Alas, we don’t, but Rudy gets to experience new things as man’s never really had a life outside of his tank.
Out at the bar, Theo drops the name Alana, who we met in episode 1 of season 1. Didn’t exactly stick around for long, and she was known as the Green Ghost.
She was a photographer who, after ingesting an amulet, became a character based on the Green Lantern. In the comics, they were originally a man, but I like the change-up here so they can go down this route. Theo and Debbie are very much opposites in every way, with the former not having to deal with the secrets that the latter did.
Across at the university, we also see Mark dealing with his own issues too as William brings up how much he misses Rick. This is the character that was changed into a Reani-men during the DA Sinclair arc that Cecil has since been trying to fix.
Now at this point, we get a knock at the door, which is when we see Seance Dog.
Here, it’s a slight change-up from the comics as it happened in that while Mark was still at home. It was Debbie who ended up opening the door, and at this point, it then led into the fight.
INVINCIBLE SEASON 2 EPISODE 3 ENDING EXPLAINED
It makes sense that Mark takes it away from his classmates here whereas originally he just decided to start fighting him. They fly up because in the comics, Eve explains to Mark that humans never tend to look up. At one point they change into their costumes at school, and none of the humans see them because they’re seen as being smaller and insignificant. Amber is someone who actually does though, which makes Mark believe that she’s special and will understand his superhero life.
In both, Mark questions why he’s like this with the facade clearly not holding up.
Both have the reveal that it’s an insect hiding, with the comic being something that has him using a costume.
He says, ‘It’s taken me most of my life.’
And in the source material, we learn how short this is. Most of the bugs only live for 9 months, which explains why Omni-man became their leader. They don’t even live long enough to remember a time when he wasn’t, and thus, he’s managed to rise up in society.
Desperate to reach back out to Mark, he’s sent this messenger to get him to go out to him.
William kinda peer pressures him into it, and we get a scene in which he informs Cecil he’s leaving. In the show, they really play up the tension, and I feel like him further turning his back on Cecil’s orders is going to drive a wedge between them. I get the feeling the show’s going to have Cecil trying to take down Mark because he believes that he could end up becoming his father.
He also ends up reaching out to Amber, which is a bit impersonal because he calls her from the ship. In the comic, he went to her room, whereas here he just calls, but he tells her he loves her.
Guessing that the connection dropped and hey, young love is tough.
Now from here, we get the six-day journey across space in which Mark just slumps about in the chair. They perfectly mimic what’s in the comic with it lulling us into a false sense of security. That’s why it felt so impactful with what we got in the end with the reveal of Nolan coming straight out of the blue.
Here though, they use that to culminate the Debbie story in which she admits to Theo that her husband was Omni-man. Even though she’s breaking down, Theo doesn’t show any sympathy and warns her that the group might turn against her. It’s such a brutal way to take things, and I was genuinely thinking he might say it’s not her fault, but nope, the man’s colder than Omni-man, calling her a pet.
At this point, she looks up to the stars, and this is where Omni-man, of course, headed into, it’s also where Mark’s now gone too, and we see as he’s reunited with his father. Just like the comics, he’s taken through the planet before coming face to face with his dad. Holding out his hand, he then says the same lines that he does in the comics.
Which brings this entry to a close. Now, as many of you know, I got to talk to Co-Showrunner, executive producer, and writer Simon Racioppa about this character change.
In the end, that closes out the entry, and it was another real kind of analysis of the wake of Nolan’s destruction. I’ve talked before about how I think this is very much like the superhero version of a parent’s divorce in which you go and see your dad’s off doing his own thing. Seeing what Debbie went through reminded me a lot of my own parents’ divorce; it was just taken to the extreme with it being about Omni-man. Still, though, there’s a lot of complexities here, with Mark’s love for his childhood toys even being used to manipulate him. There are so many extra layers to the entire thing, and it adds a wealth of subtext to what’s going on with him.
In the end, this was a really character-driven episode that took things in so many interesting directions. I also loved the Allen the Alien insert which on the first watch just came out of nowhere. Still, though, it was integrated into the episode so well, and I hope you’ve enjoyed our trek through the show.
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