An adaptation of “Invincible” is in development at Universal Pictures and we’re super excited. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are slated to take the series to the big screen, and with 144 issues of source material, at least one comic book-editorial-staffer is confident they're the right guys for the job (Just please be better than the “Green Hornet,” okay?)
For those unfamiliar, “Invincible” is about Mark Grayson, who is just beginning to develop the powers his alien father passed down to him. Mark’s father Nolan, a.k.a. Omni-Man, is the one of the most powerful superheroes on earth. Mark decides to become a superhero and his father mentors him along the way. That is of course until the big ole twist of the series: That Nolan is really a high ranked member of an evil alien race who was sent to conquer Earth. Now, it’s up to Mark to stop him.
Robert Kirkman’s self-proclaimed love letter to the superhero genre is packed with so much action that we don’t know what this movie has in store for us, so here are the events and characters we’d like to see in “Invincible’s” big-screen adaptation.
15 GRAPHIC VIOLENCE
We’re really hoping this movie gets an R rating. As fans of the series are acutely aware, the “Invincible” series doesn’t exactly shy away from intense graphics and gore. Don’t believe us? Just look at what Angstrom Levy looks like when he gets killed. Go ahead and Google it, but fair warning: it's pretty gross.
Part of what makes “Invincible” so badass is that its use of blood and gore adds a level of realism to the series. For instance, Omni-Man is powerful enough to punch through bodies, and that fact makes him downright terrifying. The violence and gore, often used tactfully by the series’ art team, is used to illustrate the ferocious power of heroes and villains alike, and the movie wouldn’t be a proper nod to it’s roots without it. We also just straight up want to see Omni-Man punch through people, or to see how powerful Mark can be when he isn’t holding back.
14 COOL GADGETS
One of the mainstays of any great superhero universe is a secret government organization with cool gadgets. The Marvel Universe has Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D and the “Invincible” one has Cecil Stedman and the U.S. Pentagon. Cecil’s level of influence is virtually unknown, and over the course of the series we see just how cool his gadgetry is. For example, in issue #13, he casually drops the fact that since America drinks water laced with a chemical that inhibits the eye’s ability to see certain frequencies of light, he uses those frequencies of light to hide things in plain site. That being said, we still hope the movie updates the fact that Cecil communicates with Mark via beeper.
That being said, the good guys aren’t the only ones with awesome engineering skills. Over the course of the series’ run, the Mauler Twins continue to surprise us again and again with their ingenuity and seemingly limitless ability to build cool gadgets. For example, they build a machine that helps Angstrom Levy copy the memories of the versions of himself from different universes into his own brain and they help Robot clone a new body out of D.N.A. from Rex Splode to help him transfer his memories into the new body. The movie wouldn’t be the same without cool gadgets.
13 THE MAULER TWINS
Among the first villains Mark encounters, the Mauler Twins are tinkering evil geniuses, despite their stocky and downright Hulk-like appearance. What makes this duo great is their charm that almost lifts them right off the page. For starters, these two are constantly bickering. One of them is actually a clone of the other, but even they don’t seem to know which is which. Despite their bumbling, they seem to have a deep knowledge of science. When we meet them in issue #2, they’re harvesting parts from video game consoles to construct a robot army. Honestly, game recognizes game (pun intended).
The twins aren’t just likeable yet deplorable villains, they also admire their enemies. They show up at the Guardians of the Globe’s funeral to show their respects, which is a classy move if we say so ourselves. We also have them to thank them for reanimating the corpse of The Immortal, who is the “Superman” of the “Invincible” universe. Over the run of the series, the twins are at the center of some pretty extraordinary events, such as building incredibly creative machines for both Angstrom Levy and Robot.
12 ANGSTROM LEVY
Introduced in issue #16, Angstrom Levy is one of the major supervillains of the series. Armed with the ability to open portals in space and time, he seeks to learn the secrets of the universe and its various timelines. He does so by collecting and convincing the versions of himself from the different timelines that he visits to help him on his quest. Next, he breaks the Mauler Twins out of prison to build a machine that can copy the memories of his alternate counterparts to his brain. But when Invincible shows up to thwart the twins, Levy stops the machine, causing an explosion that leaves him totally disfigured and straight up gross-looking. He blames Invincible for the incident, discovers his secret identity is Mark Grayson and becomes hellbent on ruining Mark’s life.
Though Levy isn’t part of Invincible's origin story, we’d love to see Angstrom make an appearance. His superpower could make for some pretty wild visuals and could lead to amazing cinematic-crossover potential. For instance, in issue #33, Levy sends Mark into various realities, including the Marvel and DC universes. He’s a psychopathic supervillain and we’d love to see him make his big screen debut.
11 THE DEATH OF THE GUARDIANS OF THE GLOBE
It’s hard not to be hyperbolic when talking about this event because it’s a twist the likes of which even Jonathan Nolan would be impressed by. The Guardians of the Globe, a.k.a. the “Invincible” universe's Justice League, are shamelessly reflective of the heroes they’re paying homage to. Each member of the Guardians of the Globe lineup is an obvious pastiche of a member of the Justice League of America, both visually and in terms of their respective abilities.
We’re pretty confident that the obvious homage to the Justice League would play hilariously to audiences that are used to seeing these heroes up on the big screen. What’s more is the fact that back in 2003, we totally didn’t see their brutal murder coming. Their death is the first time we see Nolan for what he truly is: an evil member of the Viltrumite race determined to weaken earth’s defences in preparation for an all-out invasion. We’re itching to see this event on the big screen. Maybe it would take an R rating, but we’d love to see Rogan and Goldberg tackle some “Kill Bill” style gore. For goodness’ sake, Omni-Man decapitates The Immortal with his bare hands! Move over Buzz Lightyear, there’s a new karate-chop action guy in town!
10 ALLEN THE ALIAN
Born in a breeding camp, Allen is one of the strongest members of his borderline extinct race. He works as the Evaluation Officer for The Coalition of Planets and his job is to test the various planetary guardians to determine how strong each planet is. Kind of badass, right? He gets better, because he’s one of the only beings in the “Invincible” universe that can go toe to toe with a Viltrumite.
Mark meets Allen early in his the series’ run and quickly befriends him. His connection to the Coalition of Planets and his relationship with different races across the galaxy would make for an awesome character on the big screen. Witty and unable to be intimate due to having been raised in a breeding camp, he’s a complicated and interesting character with a lot of heart. After Mark recovers from his fight with Omni-Man in issue #13, Allen becomes someone Mark can confide in. We think Allan’s might and charisma would make for a great character in the upcoming film. Also, we nominate Dave Bautista to play the role.
9 THE IMMORTAL VS OMNI-MAN
The Immortal, a.k.a. the “Invincible” universe's answer to Superman, never liked Omni-Man, and we know this because it’s the last thing he says before Omni-Man decapitates him in issue #7. Despite losing his head, The Immortal and Omni-Man are almost evenly matched in terms of size and strength. Once The Immortal is revived by the Mauler Twins in issue #9, and he finds Nolan in issue #10, the proverbial gloves come off.
The battle between The Immortal and Omni-Man is not drawn out, but rather is a brutal battle laden with baggage and backstory between these mighty heroes. It ends, of course, with Nolan refusing to hold back and unleashing all his fury behind a punch through The Immortal’s torso, sending him plummeting to the earth’s surface in two pieces. Not only would this battle be extremely epic on the big screen, but this is also where Mark discovers that his father isn’t who he says he is. Yikes. Not exactly subtle about your evil intentions, are ya, Nolan?
8 CECIL STEDMAN
The highly ranked U.S. Government Liaison and the Director of Global Defense Agency needs a big-screen appearance. Mark meets Stedman in issue 13, and it’s then that we realize just how much influence he has over the world. Firstly, he is the one who recruited Omni-Man to defend Earth from harm. Nolan carried a beeper that called him into action whenever danger was afoot and Cecil is the man who was behind the beeper telling Omni-Man were to be. Once Omni-Man leaves earth, he recruits Mark to intervene in an emergency.
Cecil is an amazing character and we hope we can feel him pulling the strings and making things happen in “Invincible’s” film adaptation. In addition to being a man with a plan, he also puts Robot in charge of assembling a new Guardians of the Globe team in issue #9 since all the original members had been murdered by Nolan. Also, being a government agent, he has access to some pretty amazing tech, despite using a headpiece and, again, a beeper to contact the superheros he has working for him. Hopefully his tech gets a nice upgrade. At least give Stedman an iPad or something.
7 A TAKE-CHARGE ATOM-EVE
What’s a good action movie without a love interest? Mark and Atom Eve, a.k.a. Samantha, have an on-and-off, will-they-or-won’t-they relationship that will have romantics shaking with anticipation. With unlimited chemistry in battle and off-duty, the two sent us on a wild roller coaster of emotion. When we meet Samantha, she’s dating her longtime boyfriend and fellow Teen Team member, Rex Sloan (a.k.a. Rex Splode). But when Samantha catches Rex cheating on her with her Teen Team-mate Dupli-Kate, Mark starts dating Amber, another high school student! But trust us, the drama doesn’t end once Mark and Samantha finally get together.
What’s amazing about their relationship is that Atom Eve isn’t your archetypical love interest. She’s a powerful being with infinite scientific knowledge who can manipulate matter on a subatomic level. What’s more is she can use her abilities to fly, make air turn solid and more. Though Samantha eventually decides that her powers would be more useful with aid-work in Africa, as seen in issues #19 and #20, we’d sure like to see a version of Samantha taking charge of situations and schooling Mark on how to be a superhero.
6 ROBOT AND HIS BIG REVEAL
Oh boy, now here’s an awesome character. Robot is exactly what he sounds like: a self-aware, conscious artificial intelligence, skilled in all things combat and everything engineering-related. Prior to being introduced in issue #2, Robot founded the Teen Team and was such a skilled leader that he was eventually recruited to join the Guardians of the Globe. Once they were murdered, he was entrusted to hold tryouts to recruit a new team. However, in issue #13, The Pentagon evaluates Robot and informs him that his team isn’t quite as efficient as the original roster.
We think Robot does a pretty fantastic job filling the void that the former Guardians of the Globe left behind and we think it would be great to watch his amazing mind at work on the big screen. He’s a reliable ally to Mark and he welcomes him to join the new Guardians on their missions. Plus, and here’s the kicker, we’d love to see his big reveal make it to the big screen, namely, that he’s actually a disfigured man living in a tank who controls a robot’s body remotely.
5 OMNI-MAN VS INVINCIBLE
Easily the most climactic and significant event in the entire "Invincible" run, both in terms of scope and emotional magnitude, was when Mark stood up to his father Nolan. We knew that Nolan was planning on telling Mark the truth about why he came to earth, but unfortunately, Mark witnessed his father murdering The Immortal in issue #10, which was the catalyst they needed for the fight to begin. In issue #11, we find out Nolan’s true backstory, and issue #12 features one of the most brutal fights in the entire run of the series.
The fight is downright barbaric, with Nolan beating his son inches from death’s door. What’s even more shocking is when he says that his spouse Deborah is nothing but a pet to him, and that he has almost no attachment to her or Mark, as he can always make more offspring during his lifespan. He betrays everything that Mark knows to be true, and having no allegiance to the Viltrumite race, Mark does everything he can to stand up to his father. Honesty, we’ll bet a lot that this event will likely be featured as the climax of Rogen and Goldberg’s adaptation, and we can’t wait to see if we’re right.
4 RECRUITING THE NEW GUARDIANS OF THE GLOBE
Early in “Invincible’s” run, the universe's Guardians of the Globe gets a major facelift, and it’s up to Robot to hold tryouts for the league’s new members. As Mark notes in issue #9, Robot gets an impressive turnout of heroes from all over. We’re thinking this scene would be a perfect way for Rogen and Goldberg to introduce some humorous characters into the mix, with heroes from the comics as well as potentially silly heroes with funny abilities. What better way to see if you’re made of the right kind of hero stuff than proving you won't cower in fear when faced with a bunch of armed robotic sentinels?
We also hope this scene makes the movie because of the introduction of Monster Girl. Rex Splode antagonizes what he assumes is a little girl, and she pulls a fast one on him by using her powers to transform Hulk-style into her ferocious alter ego, impressing Robot and earning her place on the new Guardians of the Globe squad.
3 THE FLAXAN INVASION
With no shortage of amazing and creative villains to fight, the heroes of the “Invincible” universe have a lot cut out for them. One of our favorite alien races featured in the run of the series are the Flaxans, a warring race of humanoid beings who age at an accelerated rate once they reach the dimension where Mark and the gang live.
We really think these guys would play to Rogen and Goldberg’s comedic strengths, as the first time Mark and Nolan encounter the species in issue #3, their accelerated aging causes them to be quickly defeated. This scene is also significant because it’s the first time we see Mark and Nolan fighting side by side, and the first time we get a glimpse of Nolan’s true colours. A particular panel shows Nolan heave an alien tank at the Flaxan soldiers, bellowing the foreshadowing roar, “Get off my planet.” Mark is visibly slightly taken aback, probably because he isn’t used to seeing his father lose his temper like that.
2 DEBORAH'S DEPRESSION
Deborah is one of the more tragic characters of the “Invincible” series and we hope to see some of that grit hit the big screen. Nolan’s reveal that he was actually sent to learn how to weaken Planet Earth’s defenses by living among them was particularly troubling in the way that he revealed his true feelings for Deborah.
For starters, up until this moment, it seems like Nolan and Deborah have the perfect, albeit slightly too nuclear, relationship. She’s a strong, loving mother to Mark and seems to have a solid level of agency within her relationship with Nolan, as seen with her sass in issue #6 before she and Nolan engage in … whatever adults do when they’re alone *ahem* *ahem*. We laughed out loud when she tells Nolan that he’d “ better get [his] super speed out of [his] system” first. Oh, Deborah. The Nolan reveal hits her hard, sending her into a deep depression. We think that exploring her character further and giving her a little more agency would make her a standout character in the film.
1 NOLAN'S REDEMPTION
We’re pretty confident that Rogen and Goldberg’s screenplay will revolve around Nolan’s betrayal and subsequent exodus from earth. This triggers some incredible character development in the form of Mark stepping up as one of Earth’s most powerful protectors, as well as causing so much of his guilt, and changing his relationship with his mother and the characters around him. In issue #26, Mark finds his father on the planet Thraxa.
Nolan reveals that he knew that if Mark didn’t join him, he’d have to kill him, which is why he left earth. He also knew that abandoning his post would be certain death at the hands of the Viltrumites. It is revealed that despite his 1,000-year lifespan of being devoted to the Viltrumite people, his life with Deborah changed him and made him empathetic and loyal to the people of Earth. That being said, he knows that reintegrating himself on earth and reconciling his relationship with Deborah will be extremely difficult after everything he’s done. Nolan is an amazing, flawed character with emotional depth and redemptive qualities, and we can’t wait to see how his storylines shake out in the upcoming flick.
What moments do you want to see in the “Invincible Movie?” Did we miss your favourite moments or characters? Let us know in the comments!