10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About Omni-Man
Invincible takes the basic concept of Superman – an alien from another world who comes to Earth to protect it – and turns it upside down in the form of Omni-Man. Though Nolan Grayson isn’t the main character of the animated series, he is arguably the most important, as fans of the original comics know.
Taking a deeper dive into the comic books, which ran for a total of 144 issues from 2003 to 2018 at Image Comics, will give fans of the animated series a better understanding of who Omni-Man. It may also give some insight into where his fascinating and complex story is going into future seasons of the hit show.
10 A Superman Analog
Invincible explores a lot of classic superhero tropes, but often does something unexpected with them. One of the biggest and most obvious is that Omni-Man is essentially an analog for Superman. Both men come from alien worlds, adopt human identities, and serve as a protector of mankind.
Omni-Man is very similar to Superman in terms of his powers as well. Both have superhuman speed, strength, and stamina. Both can fly, though Omni-Man can fly through the void of space without any protection. Superman can do this in some iterations, but not in others, like the ’90s Superman: The Animated Series.
9 Father Of The Hero
Another way Nolan Grayson is different than Kal-El, at least traditionally, is that he is a father. Omni-Man actually isn’t the main hero of the comics or the show. That’s Mark Grayson, Invincible. In the comics, Mark just wants to be just like his famous and powerful superhero father.
Their relationship is portrayed as a somewhat typical father-son relationship, in the context that Nolan is a man consumed by his work, and Mark both wants to be like him and wants his dad to be more of a presence at home. Their fascinating dynamic forms the heart of the comic book series.
8 Not A Hero At All
Fans of the Amazon animated series reading the comics for the first time will discover some changes in the story from the long-running Invincible comic book series by The Walking Dead creator, Robert Kirkman. What’s consistent is the portrayal of Omni-Man, who really isn’t a hero at all.
Fans discover in issue 10 of the comic book series that Omni-Man is actually an alien warrior sent to Earth to conqueror it by the Viltrumites, the alien race he is part of. The Viltrumites send warriors like Nolan to planets to make them vulnerable to eventual attack and invasion.
7 Murder Of The Guardians Of The Globe
This shocking fact plays out mostly the same in the comics as in the show, but with some key differences. Both hinge on the violent murder of the superhero team the Guardians of the Globe at the hands of Omni-Man. Their deaths are a necessary part of his plan to prepare the Earth for invasion.
The Guardians of the Globe, a Justice League of America analog, were called to their secret headquarters by Omni-Man, who claimed an emergency. He used the ruse to out them off guard and he killed them all. The fight is much more violent and bloody in the show, however.
6 The Creation Of Omni-Man
Just as Kal-El didn’t come to Earth as Superman, Nolan Grayson didn’t arrive as Omni-Man. His superhero identity was a product of his relationship with Cecil Steadman, a government agent and one of the first people Omni-Man met when he arrived on Earth.
Steadman helped him craft the persona of Omni-Man so he could fit in better on Earth, where the Guardians of the Globe already existed. Omni-Man also adopted the name of Nolan Grayson to better assimilate into human culture, eventually marrying and becoming a father.
5 Abduction By The Flaxans
A big change between the comics and the first season of the show is Omni-Man’s experience with the Flaxans. These alien invaders attack the Earth and he and his son, who has just discovered his own superpowers, take them on. But the Flaxans abduct Omni-Man back to their homeworld.
This is different in the show, where Omni-Man has been incapacitated by his fight with the Guardians of the Globe, which happens earlier in the narrative. In the comics, he is a prisoner in the Flaxan native dimension until he leads a revolt and eventually fights his way back home.
Omni-Man is one of the most powerful characters in Invincible, by far. His true power – and his true nature – are revealed in the comics to his son when he battles The Immortal for the second time. Omni-Man had killed The Immortal, along with the rest of the Guardians, or so he thought.
When he savagely murders him a second time, Mark is there to see it and the truth comes out. Nolan reveals the truth about his origins and his purpose on Earth to his son, which sets up the larger conflict of the comic book series between the Viltrumites and Earth.
3 The Heir Of Argall
It’s later revealed in the comics that Nolan Grayson isn’t simply just another Viltrumite warrior. He is actually the Heir of Argall, the son of the great leader of the Viltrumite Empire and the next in line to the throne. The problem is Thragg, the Grand Regent, doesn’t want to give it up.
Thragg has been the steward of the throne since the murder of Argall at the hands of Thaedus, a Viltrumite who wanted to end his people’s war-like ways. Thragg is a militant monster who wants to expand the empire – and keep power – no matter the cost.
Nolan eventually betrays his mission and his people, realizing he loves Earth and his family more. That leads to a bitter and bloody conflict with the forces of Thragg. He tries to mitigate this by conquering another planet, Thraxa, without a fight, but that doesn’t stop his people from claiming their due.
A major battle on Thraxa ends with Nolan Grayson severely injured. A Viltrumite warrior, Lucan, breaks Nolan’s spine and takes him prisoner. Mark is barely able to escape the attack alive.
1 Friendship With Allen The Alien
Unlikely friendships, like those in the Avengers comics, are another superhero trope Invincible plays with. While a prisoner of the Viltrumites, Nolan Grayson starts an unlikely friendship with a former enemy, Allen the Alien. Allen actually isn’t a supervillain anymore than Omni-Man is a superhero.
Allen is revealed to be a ringer of sorts, who travels to alien worlds to test the abilities and powers of superhuman beings every three years. He is an evaluation officer for the Coalition of Planets, dedicated to resisting the violent expansion of the Viltrumite Empire through the cosmos.
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