Invincible: What That Big Episode 1 Twist Means for the Show (2023)


The first episode of Amazon Prime's Invincible features a show-stopping Omni-Man post-credits scene. Creator Robert Kirkman discusses why it had to happen.

Invincible: What That Big Episode 1 Twist Means for the Show (1)By Alec Bojalad | |

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Invincible: What That Big Episode 1 Twist Means for the Show (2)

This article contains spoilers for the Invincible comic and Amazon Prime series.

Thanks to more than a decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, post-credit scenes are a matter of course in superhero film and TV properties. They’ve become so pervasive and routine that, at this point, it would take something truly revelatory to shock viewers. Well…here comes Amazon Prime’s Invincible and a certain Nolan Grayson a.k.a. Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons).

This animated series, adapted from Robert Kirkman’s comic of the same name, opts to not only include a post-credit scene at the end of its first episode…it includes damn near a whole new post-credit episode! “It’s About Time” concludes with Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) suiting up and announcing his new “Invincible” monniker to some villains, sending the show to its end credits around the 37-minute mark. But there still remains a staggering 10 minutes to the episode’s run time.

In those 10 minutes, Invincible reveals one of the series’ biggest twists: Mark’s dad Nolan a.k.a. Omni-Man is a real asshole. Remember that exciting casting announcement surrounding Invincible’s Justice League parody superhero team, the Guardians of the Globe? Well, they’re all dead now.


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The whole crew is summoned to a remote superhero location by Nolan and then violently…and we mean violently murdered by the Viltrumite “hero”. The superheroes we lose in this sudden, stunning carnage include: Darkwing (Lennie James), War Woman (Lauren Cohan), Red Rush (Michael Cudlitz), Martian Man (Chad L. Coleman), Green Ghost (Sonequa Martin-Green), Aquarus (Ross Marquand), and The Immortal (also Marquand).

The Walking Dead star power at play in voicing these characters along with the novelty of them being closely aligned to DC Justice Leaguers (Darkwing is Batman, War Woman is Wonder Woman, and so on), provide solid cover for the length of the post-credit sequence. A viewer could be forgiven for assuming that the 10-minute running time means that every Invincible episode will end with another chapter in the whimsical adventures of the Guardians of the Globe.

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Invincible Review (Spoiler-Free)


Why Amazon Prime’s Invincible Had to Be Animated

Welp, it obviously won’t because they’re all dead now. This raises some obvious questions, of course. Why would Mark’s dad go on such an unrepentant killing spree of heroes, including an Oberyn Martell style eye-bursting for Red Rush? According to Kirkman, it’s partly about keeping the genre fresh.

“I think that moment at the end of the pilot is meant to be a little eye-opening and…oh, I even made it to a pun there. But it definitely sets the stage for the show,” Kirkman tells Den of Geek and several other outlets during the show’s press day.

In Kirkman’s original comic series, the Omni-Man reveal doesn’t take place until issue #7. Still, that is quite early in the series’ lengthy 144-issue run. Positioning the violent, unexpected moment so soon sets an unnerving tone for what’s to come. Kirkman (who remains on as a producer and writer) wants to capture that same momentum for Amazon’s adaptation.

“At the end of the episode, you really know what you’re in for. You know what kind of show we are,” Kirkman says. “I’m really happy with how that sequence turned out. I have a version of it on my phone and I watch it over and over on a loop.”


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The post-credit scene twist in episode 1 is so enormous and unsettling that it seems impossible for any show to continue on after it. And yet, we know Invincible does just that since the show premiered its first three episodes on March 26 and is set to release the remaining five in the weeks to come.

The two episodes immediately after the evil Omni-Man twist don’t fully reveal Nolan’s motivations. In fact, Mark’s dad proves to be an exceptional actor, comforting those around him (save for Mark one noticeable heartless slipup) and even delivering a sermon at the Guardians’ funeral. The voice behind Nolan, J.K. Simmons, theorizes that it’s easy for the ultra task-oriented Viltrumite to keep his mind off of what he’s done.

“Whatever is going on subtextually, I think it’s important to (Nolan) to be able to continue with his mission in life and to focus on the task at hand. Especially because, let’s face it, dudes can’t multitask anyway,” Simmons says.

But what is going on with Nolan subtextually? Is he the big bad he appears to be? Or was it somehow the Guardians who were compromised and Nolan who had the unenviable task of taking them down? The answer will likely come shortly. It does so in the Invincible comics in issue #11. If you’d like to know it, read on, but be forewarned that the following paragraphs will contain extreme spoilers for what’s to come in the Amazon series. In fact, let’s go ahead and throw up another spoiler tag.

The following contains major comic spoilers for Invincible.

Remember the story that Nolan told Mark about his Viltrumite race and the planet Viltrum they hail from? According to Nolan, the all-powerful Viltrumites travel the galaxy looking for new alien races to help survive and thrive in a big, scary universe.


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Well, Nolan’s story is kind of true. The Viltrumites are prolific travelers of the cosmos. Only they don’t visit new civilizations to help them, they do so to conquer them and incorporate them into the Viltrum Empire. The Viltrumites are warrior culture singularly obsessed with strength and dominance. They have subjugated and colonized countless civilizations across the galaxy.

For Nolan’s mission on Earth, however, the Viltrumites are experimenting with a new form of conquering. Nolan has 500-some years to incorporate himself into human society and slowly weaken it over time, making it ripe for the incoming Viltrumite invasion. In this mission, Nolan soon discovered that Earth was particularly susceptible to intergalactic threats. It seemed as though some big alien monster or interdimensional terror was rampaging across the planet. So Nolan picked up the role of a superhero to ensure that no enemy could destroy the human race before the Viltrumites had their chance to come and subjugate them.

Viltrumite lifespans are so long and their abilities so powerful, that the human beings around Nolan are little more than ants…up to and including his wife and Mark’s mother, Deborah. The only other creature on Earth that matters to Nolan is Mark. He is to be an ally for Viltrum and a partner in his father’s takeover of Earth.


That’s right: Mark Grayson has a Darth Vader pitch to rule the galaxy incoming soon from his father. It will certainly sound impressive coming from J.K. Simmons, but Mark will be devastated all the same.

Invincible continues to stream weekly episodes every Friday on Amazon Prime.

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Invincible: What That Big Episode 1 Twist Means for the Show (5)

Written by

Alec Bojalad|@alecbojalad

TV Editor at Den of Geek and Television Critics Association member. Based in Cleveland, Ohio. Very upset about various sporting events.

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Invincible: What That Big Episode 1 Twist Means for the Show? ›

Invincible's Most Shocking Plot Twist

Rather than being a benevolent hero representing a peaceful alien culture, Omni-Man is actually an advance scout for a bloodthirsty race of conquerors. He was sent to infiltrate Earth and pave the way for a Viltrumite invasion.

What is the plot twist in Invincible? ›

Invincible's Most Shocking Plot Twist

Rather than being a benevolent hero representing a peaceful alien culture, Omni-Man is actually an advance scout for a bloodthirsty race of conquerors. He was sent to infiltrate Earth and pave the way for a Viltrumite invasion.

What happens in Invincible ep 1? ›

Two large blue brutes come from the ground and start shooting at the White House. And then a group of superheroes (The Guardians of the Globe) turn up to fight. While trying to protect the White House, they have to protect civilians as well.

Why did Omni-Man beat up his son? ›

He asked Mark to join him in conquering Earth, but his son refused and the two battled across locations until he was beaten. Though Nolan had Mark at his mercy, Omni-Man realizes to love his son too much to kill him instead spared his son and fled the planet, crying while flying into space.

Why did Invincible fight his son? ›

On one hand, Nolan pulverizes Mark because he's resisting Viltrum and its grand plans. But on the other, he's trying to beat sense into his son and show him the insignificance of the human race by murdering hundreds of people on a whim and soaking Mark in their blood.

Was Omni-Man the villain? ›

Omni-Man, the former premier superhero-turned-villain in Image Comics' Invincibleuniverse, is notable not only for his superhuman abilities (strength, speed, and invulnerability), but also for his sweet moustache.

What did Mark have after 500 years? ›

The third volume spends much of its time in a drag out, beat down fight between Mark and his father. As Nolan is about to kill him, he asks Mark, “What will you have after 500 years?” and Mark replies, “You.” Mark is left broken and alone, and Nolan flies off into space with tears in his eyes.

Who is stronger than Omni-Man? ›

Strength level

Class 100+: Thragg was said to be the strongest Viltrumite to ever exist which he is stronger than Omni-Man and Invincible, he was able to easily decapitate Thaedus, kill Battle Beast and fatally wound Omni-Man.

Who is the villain in Invincible 1? ›

Levy commanding his army of alternate Invincibles. Angstrom Levy is one of the two secondary antagonists (alongside Robot) of the Image Comics series Invincible. He is a man who can travel to other universes.

What is Invincible at the start about? ›

“Ding, the host has opened the invincible field! As long as the host is invincible in the field…!” As a nerd, Chen Changan travels through the fantasy world, facing countless monsters and ghosts from the outside world, Chen Changan decided not to leave his invincible field before becoming immortal.

Are Viltrumites evil? ›

When the fighting finally ended, the Viltrumite population of just over 6 billion had been cut in half to just over 3 billion. The Viltrumites were thus forever transformed into a militaristic society of merciless warriors.

Do Viltrumites have a weakness? ›

Weaknesses. All Viltrumites possess delicately balanced, sensitive inner ears to accommodate their powers of flight. Thus, certain sounds and frequencies can actually destabilize a Viltrumites equilibrium, causing them to experience severe pain and crippling them by directly attacking their inner ear.

What is Omni-Man's weakness? ›

Omni-Man has been shown to be vulnerable to other Viltrumite attacks and those with similar physical strength such as Allen the Alien. The Sentry would have more than enough power to overwhelm Nolan in his regular form, let alone his darker unrestrained half known as The Void.

Why did Omni-Man betray the Viltrumites? ›

Omni-Man is a trusted lieutenant in the Viltrumite military, and was one of the few commanding officers assigned to conquer planet Earth. So why did Omni-Man kill The Guardians? Because they would have prevented him from accomplishing his mission.

Why is Mark so strong Invincible? ›

Because humans are biologically similar to Viltrumites, this gives Mark the potential to become as strong as any pure-blooded Viltrumite. As Mark pushes himself, he can become faster, stronger, and more durable than he was before.

Why was Omni-Man upset his son got powers? ›

In Invincible, Omni-Man's reaction to his son Mark gaining his powers could be because it triggered the Viltrumite invasion of Earth. In Invincible episode 1, Omni-Man, or Nolan Grayson, comments that he had always hoped Mark wouldn't inherit his powers, hinting at his true reason for being on Earth.

Why did Omni-Man turn evil in Invincible? ›

Omni-Man took a mission to infiltrate and observe a small backwater world on the very edge of the empire, Earth, where he joined the superhero community and married Mark's mother while learning to fit in. His decision to kill the Guardians was to help weaken the planet for his fellow Viltrumites.

Does Invincible have a happy ending? ›

He and Terra then mourned Eve on her deathbed, but just as she was about to pass away, her powers restored her youth. Watching their daughter Terra grow into an upstanding young woman, Invincible and Atom Eve lived long lives into the future, seemingly happily ever after.

What is the final issue of Invincible? ›

Invincible #144: "The End Of All Things" Finale - Comic Book Revolution.

Is Omni-Man bad in Invincible? ›

Mark Grayson faced the ultimate betrayal in the Season 1 finale, as he discovered his father is not the benevolent protector he seemed to be. Omni-Man (a.k.a. Nolan Grayson) isn't a peacekeeper, but rather a conqueror sent to weaken Earth and prepare the planet to be assimilated into the Viltrumite Empire.

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