With the first season of Amazon’s Invincible underway, I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the animated series’ inspiration, the Invincible comic series from Image Comics.

First appearing in Savage Dragon (an underrated comic in its own right) in August 2002 and receiving his own series in 2003, Mark Grayson is a half-Human/half-Viltrumite superhero born on Earth. His father was Viltrumite and former superhero Nolan Grayson. His mother, Debbie, was human.

Mark gained his powers upon turning 17, as had been revealed to him by his father. His powers, which include super strength, flight, healing and decelerate aging would increase in strength as he used them.

His father, Nolan, was known as Omni-Man. Thousands of years old, he came to Earth to protect it from alien threats…or so we thought. Nolan later reveals to Mark that he was sent here to scout Earth for takeover by the Viltrumite empire. This leads to an all-out brawl that leaves Mark near death and Nolan off to conquer a different planet.

Mark’s future as a superhero is largely formed during his high school years. After a school bully tells Mark he’s not invincible, he has his new superhero name. It’s also in high school where he meets the Teen Team, the first superhero team he’s a part of. One member, Atom Eve, later becomes a romantic love interest of Mark. Several members later join Guardians of the Globe, of which the original team had previously been killed by Omni-Man.

The series weaves through interplanetary wars and superhero rescues amid real-life drama of the teenage years. Invincible has the powers of Superman and the teenage tribulations of Peter Parker.

Invincible is one of the best comic book series’ many people don’t know about, as it falls outside the two big publishers. But it’s a great read from Image.

We’ll see how closely the Amazon series continues to follow the source material. There have been minor changes so far, but the foundation should remain.

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