The animated series Invincible has finished its first season on Amazon Prime. Fans going to the comic books it’s based on may not be sure what key issues of the story of Mark Grayson, the superhero Invincible, to start with. The comic ran from 2003 to 2018 with many important spinoffs.
While some fans may want to dive in and read the entire 146 issue run of the core series, others may want to pick and choose the most important moments. Fans looking ahead to the future story of the animated series will likely find clues to its direction in these key issues from the comic books.
10 Invincible #1
The best place to start with the comic books is at the beginning. Invincible #1 came out in 2003, written by Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead comic book franchise.
The first arc, which runs between the first issue and issue #6, tells the story of how high school student Mark Grayson discovers his superpowers. Fans get the foundation of the story of his father, the very Superman-like Omni-Man, which will take some very dramatic and dark turns as the comic book progressed.
9 Invincible Presents: Atom Eve
One of the most important figures in Mark’s life and in the story of the comic is Samantha Eve Wilkins, aka Atom Eve. Fans first meet her when Invincible encounters the superhero group the Teen Team. Her backstory is recounted in Invincible Presents: Atom Eve.
Though this limited series appeared many years later, chronologically it takes place before and during the beginning of the core series. That makes it essential for readers looking for the complete story of the key characters from the beginning of the comic book series.
8 Invincible Presents: Atom Eve & Rex Splode
Another key mini-series that goes back into the history of the Invincible story is Invincible Presents: Atom Eve & Rex Splode. This comic gives readers insight into what Atom Eve and her colleague on the Teem Team Rex Splode were doing before the beginning of the core comic series.
The two heroes are dating at this point, but what’s really interesting in the series is the look into their tragic pasts. Both characters are the subjects of government experiments and exploitation, which this series shows in a dramatic fashion.
7 Invincible Universe
There are numerous spin-offs from the core title. Not all of them are key, but one that will help fans of the animated series get a better sense of the world is Invincible Universe. This anthology-style series ran in 2013 with stories by Phil Hester and art by Todd Nauck.
The series follows numerous characters, including the Guardians of the Globe, Tech Jacket, the Astounding Wolf-Man, and more, in various adventures that help fill in the blanks about the broader world of the story.
6 The Astounding Wolf-Man
The Astounding Wolf-Man is one of the most significant spinoffs of the main title. It ran for 25 issues between 2007 and 2010 and told the story of Gary Hampton, who had been turned into a werewolf.
Though it doesn’t necessarily play into the overall story of the Invincible comic, this title does a great job of giving fans insight into the overall Invincible universe and showing how deft the franchise is at exploring all kinds of comic book tropes. This one plays with not just superhero tropes, but horror ones as well.
5 Invincible War
One of the most important comic book arcs in the entire run is Invincible War. This major story arc runs through the main title between Invincible #60 to #70, as well as Astounding Wolf-Man #13 to #18. This critical story arc sets up the invasion of Earth by the evil Viltrumite Empire, the alien race from which Omni-Man originates.
This story is just the beginning, with Mark Grayson put on his heels by the return of his former enemy Angstrom Levy, as well as the introduction of Universa, one of the coolest Invincible villains.
4 Viltrumite War
Perhaps the centerpiece of the entire Invincible run, the Viltrumite War sees Mark Grayson and his friends trying to defend the Earth against the invading Viltrumites, led by Regent Thragg. Thragg is one of the most powerful characters in the Invincible universe, but he’s only one of many superpowerful enemies in this story.
This arc, running between Invincible #71 to #84, is one of the most brutal storylines in the comic, with numerous character deaths and a cataclysmic final battle.
3 Guarding The Globe
A major spinoff that ties into The Viltrumite War is Guarding The Globe. The all-out war runs through Guarding the Globe #1 to #6 and focuses on the second version of the Guardians of the Globe superhero team, assembled by Mark Grayson.
The Guardians of the Globe are a bit of an homage to the Justice League of America, and that dynamic is one full display here as the team bands together to fight off the invading alien army.
2 The Death of Everyone
The Death Of Everyone is a major storyline that takes place between issues #97-100 of the core series. The story begins with Invincible fighting Dinosaurus over climate change, which then escalates rapidly and dramatically into a series of tidal waves inundating major cities all over the world.
In this storyline, Mark Grayson appears to die at the hands of the supervillain, leading to critical series of events that set up the finale of the overall story.
1 The End Of All Things
The End Of All Things is the final story arc of the series, running for twelve issues between #133 and #144. In the final arc, Mark Grayson assumes the mantle of the Viltrumite Emperor and has his final battle with Thragg. His father, Omni-Man, also dies in this arc, truly leaving Mark on his own.
Mark liberates the Earth from the fascistic rule of the Robot and all is well that ends well, giving the character and the world of Invincible one of the rare true endings in comic books.
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