This article contains spoilers for Invincible season 1.
Between new Marvel Cinematic Universe series and reboots of DC films, the superhero genre has inundated audiences with content at every turn of late. Even people who can’t get enough of seeing Loki grapple with time travel or Michael Keaton cameo as Batman may find it a tad bit overwhelming and stale to be hit with the same old stuff. Thanks to offbeat, unique shows like The Boys and Invincible, however, the superhero genre has a couple of beacons of revolutionary hope for the future.
The latter show is where we’ll turn our focus, as the second season of Robert Kirkman’s (of The Walking Dead fame) comic book adaptation is about to launch the first of its eight episodes on Nov. 3. If you’re a little fuzzy on the details of the first season and where we left off, you’re probably in the majority. Invincible season 1 premiered in March of 2021, so with nearly three years behind us, we’re all due for a recap. Let’s begin!
Nolan Grayson’s Evil Secret
The first season begins innocuously enough. Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) is a typical high school kid with everyday problems. He’s trying to navigate grades, girls, and his future at large, but with one looming issue completely unique to him: his father Nolan (J.K. Simmons) is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man. While Mark doesn’t have any inherited abilities so far, the entire family, including his mother, Debbie (Sandra Oh), assumes that Mark will eventually take after his dad.
When Mark’s revelatory powers finally manifest themselves in the pilot, he’s obviously more than excited to show Nolan that he has what it takes to live up to his family name. For some reason, Nolan is very tough on his son. This is the first red flag regarding Omni-Man’s personality and his expectations for those around him. The seemingly perfect family has holes that can be poked through it, and then the shocking twist comes at the end of “It’s About Time.”
Omni-Man goes into the lair of the Guardians of the Globe, Invincible’s version of the Justice League or the Avengers, and he lays waste to every last hero in villainous rage. The scene serves to demonstrate just how much more powerful Omni-Man is than Earth’s other superpowered individuals and that Nolan is absolutely just a cover-up for the true murderous evil hiding within his soul.
Mark Grayson’s Typical Teenage Life
Invincible actually spends a large portion of its first season showing the ways Mark incorporates superhero life with high school adversity. He wants to date classmate Amber Bennett (Zazie Beetz) without revealing his identity to her. A roller-coaster friendship with a fellow hero, Eve (Gillian Jacobs), known as Atom Eve, brings some flair to the proceedings. And Mark’s friend William gets an interesting subplot in the back half of the season at a visit to a prestigious university.
Along the way, Mark, under his superhero name, Invincible, saves plenty of lives without spilling the beans about his double identity. He defeats a scientist named D.A. Sinclair in the episode “You Look Kinda Dead,” he overcomes Martian warfare in “Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out,” and takes a nearly lethal beating by a powerful villain named Machine Head in “That Actually Hurt.” All of these storylines help to evolve Mark into the hero he is meant to be and puts him on a collision course with his father. Mark and Debbie are unaware of the patriarch’s dastardly executions of the Guardians of the Galaxy until Debbie starts to dig into the situation mid-season. With the help of Nolan’s friend Art Rosenbaum (Mark Hamill), Debbie puts the pieces together and finds out her husband is not what he claims to be.
The Incoming Viltrumite Invasion
The climactic ending to the season ties everything together, not just for the audience but for the characters. Omni-Man is from a planet called Viltrum. And while he claims he’s on Earth to protect it from outsiders, he’s actually been carefully plotting a takeover of the planet for two decades. Mark is supposed to help his father in this quest, especially as Omni-Man points out the fragility of the human race compared to Viltrumites. This alien race is superior to humans in every way, from strength to long-lasting life.
As Omin-Man obliterates massive sectors of humans in Chicago, his attempts to show his son the feebleness of humanity fail. Mark was raised on Earth with these people. He feels it is his duty to protect them, not colonize them. When Omni-Man sees there are fundamental disagreements on the ethics of genocide, he nearly kills his son. Mark evokes a sliver of good within his father, asking him to remember the good times he had with him and Debbie in the preceding 20 years. The monologue is enough to make Omni-Man contemplate his place in the universe, and he leaves Earth for parts unknown.
The Teen Team Becomes the New Guardians of the Globe
The most important subplot of the season outside of the Grayson family circle is the transformation of the Teen Team into the new Guardians of the Globe. Led by Robot (Zachary Quinto), the group is a mashup of differing personalities, including Atom Eve before her defection. The middle of the season reveals that Robot’s true identity is Rudolph Conners, a man who needs a new body or vessel to continue to live and fight supervillains. He takes the DNA of Rex Splode (Jason Mantzoukas) and tasks the Mauler Twins to help build this new conduit for his physical form. The Mauler Twins are actually just one mad scientist who has used cloning technology to give himself a sibling. With his new body in order, Robot can officially lead the Guardians of the Globe in season two!
What Will Happen in Invincible Season 2?
Omni-Man left Earth in tears after Mark was able to convince him of the good that remains in their relationship, one of the more touching scenes in any recent animated show. The second season could go in a variety of directions, but it’s safe to assume that Mark will get to take on a lot more of the hero load for Earth now that his father has revealed his true intentions and temporarily left the picture.
The underlying romantic kindlings between Mark and Eve may take a few new twists and turns, considering that Mark’s hormonal high school instincts were a large part of the meat and potatoes of the first season. Debbie has to reorient her life without Nolan in the picture and lean on her son even more. Whatever the plot is, though, expect plenty of over-the-top graphic violence and a dynamic father-son pairing as Mark tries to turn his father back into the man he thought he knew and save Earth from Viltrum for good!
New episodes of Invincible season 2 premiere Fridays on Prime Video, culminating with a midseason finale on Nov. 24.