After an earth-shattering betrayal, Mark fights to rebuild his life. In the face of apocalyptic threats, he discovers new allies and wrestles with his greatest fear – that he might become his father. Invincible Season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video – watch it here.
Since the closing minutes of Invincible’s season premiere back in 2021, fans of the superhero animated series have been trained to expect the unexpected. Assuming you haven’t read the literal comics the show is based on, this Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) penned adult-drama with caped crusaders is packed full of shocking moments and hard-hitting twists, setting it a cut above the genre. In Invincible we follow the adventures of Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) as he navigates the average teen experience; graduation, girlfriends, and a super-powered, alien bloodline that causes his dad, Omni-Man (J. K. Simmons) to lose his mind and attack Earth.
Taking inspiration from tentpole comic book franchises and infusing it with mature writing, bombastic set pieces and some raw emotional story beats, Invincible never shies away from the gritty realities of being a superhero. With season two of the show underway right now on Amazon Prime, we take a minute to recap the most shocking moments we’ve seen so far – excluding the fourth and final episode this year so there’s at least some mystery left!
WARNING: Invincible Season 2, episodes 1-3 spoilers ahead.
Dad Strikes Back
“Hello son, it’s been a while” amazing how six little words could be so shocking but as credits rolled on episode 3, we come face to face with Omni-Man once again— only this time he’s apparently become a god-king on a planet of cute ant-aliens. When we last caught up with Invincible’s old man, he was, well, laying into his own son and claiming some pretty radical ideas about Earth’s future. And while the trauma of that massive season one finale ripples through much of season two, I don’t think any of us expected to be seeing Omni-Man again quite so soon. Decked out in new bronze armour and sporting far too calm a demeanour, we find Omni-Man extending a hand to Mark when they first meet again. Is this an olive branch? A trick to get Invincible away from Earth so the Viltrumites can stage an attack? And how twisted was it that he tricked Mark into meeting him on a far-off alien world by having a shape shifter travel to earth and present themselves as Mark’s childhood hero Séance Dog??
Somehow, Donald Returned
Speaking of Omni-Man’s disastrous rampage through season one, his reaction to finding out Cecil Stedman (Walton Goggins) and the Global Defense Agency had placed him and his family under surveillance was to swiftly and brutally kill Cecil’s top-man, agent Donald Ferguson (Chris Diamantopoulos). With his spine in a bad way and his cover blown, we watched Donald go out on his own terms, detonating a small yield bomb in a futile attempt to slow Omni-Man’s murderous quest. It was a killer moment, and a great nod to the depth of the man who was often standing in the shadow of much larger characters. But despite his apparent obliteration, Invincible’s mum Debbie Grayson (Sandra Oh), along with the audience, was stunned to see Donald back at work at the GDA in season two as if nothing had happened. Despite her obvious shock, Donald appears none the wiser to his recent death and we’re left wondering how and why Cecil has seemingly raised the dead. Good help is hard to find, I guess.
Invincible in the Shadow-Verse
Invincible season two has seen Mark doing his utmost to convince not just himself but those around him that he’s not his dad. Omni-Man’s betrayal of Earth’s greatest heroes was bad enough, but the damage done to his family has left an especially raw wound in both Debbie and Mark, both dealing with the trauma in dramatically different ways. While Debbie seeks comfort in the bottle and strangers, Mark has largely suppressed his simmering anger and done his best to be the best Invincible he can be. But when Cecile dispatches him to handle a literal cursed city, his composure slips.
With Darkwing (Lennie James) unceremoniously dispatched in the show’s premiere, his hometown of Midnight City has been left without a hero to defend its crime riddled streets. In his absence, a sinister magician has blanketed the city in the Shadow-Verse, a strange void that houses unseen horrors that feed on psychic fear. The Shadow-Verse alone nearly took up a whole slot on this list, the show’s constantly expanding mythology keeping things fresh and intriguing. Invincible is pulled into this new realm and provoked by Darkwing’s successor, who taunts Grayson about his lineage and feared destined fate. It’s in this literal dark place, away from Cecil and the world’s view, that Invincible taps into the fear Omni-Man instilled in the world, threatening Darkwing II and letting us know that maybe not all is well behind Invincible’s mask.
Though if we’re talking about shocking Invincible moments, it’s hard to look past the opening minutes of season two. Following a brief fight between Invincible and Immortal (Ross Marquand), already a strange scene setter, Omni-Man blasts into frame as father and son kill the unkillable giant (again) and begin a joint assault on Earth. Omni-Man is practically beaming with pride as he talks about the way Mark finally came around to his Viltrumite ideology, agreeing to help his dad conquer Earth and even recording some very affable videos to convince his fans that the annihilation of the world as they know it is cool, actually.
At this point I even double checked that I hadn’t missed an episode or whole season, but the truly shocking moment of this opener was yet to come. After tracking a resistance group to an underground hideout, Invincible and Omni-Man launch an attack on the gathered heroes, with Robot getting the worst of Omni-Man’s brunt while Atom Eve (Gillian Jacobs), the leader of the resistance, goes toe-to-toe with her former friend. It’s clear that her powers can’t stand against his and as he laments not wanting to kill her, we watch Mark Grayson, light of the show, methodically snap Eve’s neck, leaving her in a paralysed state, tears beginning to stream down her face. It’s not just shocking, it’s harrowing, and while this entire sequence is eventually revealed to be a multi-verse situation, the idea that in most other worlds Mark could inflict his kind of violence on his friends is a hugely ominous-man note to open the season on.
This Missive, This Machination! (the Whole Episode, Really)
Putting together a list of shocking moments from season two when an episode like “This Missive, This Machination!” is in the mix feels unfair to the previous two episodes. Not only does it house the Omni-Man return cliffhanger mentioned above, but you could easily make the case for that being the least shocking moment from the episode. Kicking off with a pretty standard set up, we see Mark, his girlfriend Amber (Zazie Beetz) and his best mate William (Andrew Rannells), arriving at college and getting situated in their dorms while Debbie tries to adjust to her newly empty-nest. While Debbie’s path will eventually lead her to a pretty devastating encounter with one of Omni-Man’s many victims, Mark and Amber celebrate their first night *together*. A very cute, intimate scene is abruptly interrupted by a fourth-wall breaking voiceover however as a surprise narrator (Paul F. Tompkins) pulls the camera away from Earth to give us a galaxy-sized expansion of the show’s parameters.
Complete with overly cheesy title card sequence, the show pivots to follow a day in the life of Invincible’s intergalactic buddy Allen (Seth Rogan) as he attempts to convince an alien council of the Viltrumite drama playing out on Earth. Here we’re introduced to a whole new cast of characters, from Allen’s partner Telia (Tatiana Maslany) to his boss Thaedus (Peter Cullen), both of whom are immediately embroiled in a Viltrumite plot to undermine a growing resistance movement in the galaxy. It’s impossible to list all the shocking moments in this cutaway segment, from the stupidly funny running sex jokes, the surprise arrival of new Viltrumite faces, the brutal beat down they give Allen, and the eventual reveal of Thaedus’ betrayal. It’s a perfect distillation of the show’s growing range and packed into an episode that already delivers on the shock and awe.