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Easter Eggs You Missed In Invincible

Comic book writer Robert Kirkman is best known for penning The Walking Dead, a dramatic horror series which takes a deeper look into the psychology of humanity as it strives for survival in a zombie apocalypse. Most know The Walking Dead as the hugely successful TV series on AMC, which also spawned two spinoff shows — but it was Kirkman's revolutionary graphic novels that changed the game with regard to the zombie genre.

What some fans may not know is that Kirkman released another comic book in 2003, several months before the first issue of The Walking Dead was published. This time, the writer followed the more traditional genre of the medium with the creation of Invincible, the story of a young superhero following in the footsteps of his superpowered father. Teenager Mark Grayson is half Viltrumite, the offspring of a human mother and an alien father. When Mark shows signs of powers at 17, he begins training with his father, a superhero dubbed Omni-Man. 

Invincible was procured by Amazon Studios in 2018 for an adult animated series. The first three episodes made their way to Amazon Prime Video on March 26, 2021. Being that the show not only comes from the mind of Kirkman, but also has him on board as an executive producer, viewers can bet that they can find a number of hidden Easter eggs calling back to Kirkman's other famous work ... among other things. Here are some of the Easter eggs that have been found in Invincible so far.

The Walking Dead Easter egg in Invincible

One of the first things we learn about the character of Mark (voiced by The Walking Dead veteran actor Steven Yeun) is that he's a bit of a nerd. He plays online video games, and he's an avid fan of comic books. In the first episode of Invincible, he can be seen reading an issue of Seance Dog, which appears to be a comic about a crime-fighting canine.

Uproxx was the first to spot this subtle connection between the Invincible comics and The Walking Dead TV series. Fans may recall that the character of Carl wore a t-shirt in the show's early episodes with the image of a dog's paw print with an atomic symbol. This costume design choice is actually an homage to Mark Grayson's favorite comic in the original Invincible comic books, Science Dog. 

So why the name change? According to ScreenRant (via Uproxx), Kirkman chose to change the name in order to retain the rights to Science Dog, which Kirkman and his illustrator Corey Walker had developed into its own comic spin-off in 2011. This made things a bit safer for Kirkman and Walker, should they choose to pursue other avenues regarding the property.

Sandra Oh, Canada!

Another Easter egg that easily may have slipped by viewers in Episode 1 of Invincible is seen in a flashback with young Mark and his father, Nolan. In this scene, we see how Nolan first revealed his superhero origins to Mark when he was a boy. Father and son are sitting on the roof of their house while Nolan tells Mark all about his home planet, Viltrum. 

Young Mark wears a red Canada shirt during the scene, which may spark curiosity considering that the setting of Invincible is in the U.S. So why is Mark sporting a shirt for America's neighbor up north? Possibly because Mark's mother, Debbie, is voiced by Canadian-American actor Sandra Oh. Oh is an Ontario native who made it big in the States thanks to her powerful performances in Sideways and Grey's Anatomy, and more recently from the cult hit Killing Eve. Though Oh applied for U.S. citizenship in 2018, she has stayed proud of her Canadian roots. Perhaps her own background has bled into the fictional character she voices in Invincible, which would explain Mark's pride in his own status as part Canuck.

The school in Invincible pays tribute to a famous actor

In the comics and the animated series, Mark Grayson (a.k.a. Invincible) attends high school with fellow hero Eve (Gillian Jacobs) and love interest, Amber (Zazie Beetz). At the front of the school building in Episode 1, you can just make out its name: Reginald VelJohnson High School. No, it's not named after a U.S. President you've never heard of — Reginald VelJohnson is an actor, and one you've likely seen before.

VelJohnson was made famous thanks to his supporting role in Die Hard where he played Sergeant Al Powell — though he may be best known for his role as Carl Winslow in the 1990s sitcom Family Matters. The family-friendly TV series ran for eight years and was part of the ABC network's famous TGIF lineup. Apparently, Kirkman was quite a fan of the show. He even named the principal of the school B.N. Winslow in the comic books — and it looks like VelJohnson himself may be voicing the character in a later episode. 

Dupli-Kate's brother makes an appearance in Invincible

A scene in Episode 3 shows a guard walking the halls at a supervillain prison facility with a lunch cart. As he walks, he passes by prison cells containing some dangerous-looking characters. One cell is filled with a large group of identical clones in orange jumpsuits, all of them looking like a young man with dark hair. These young men may seem familiar somehow, and there is a reason for that. 

Those who have read the Invincible comics know that the prisoner(s) shown is Multi-Paul, who happens to be Dupli-Kate's brother. Like his sister, Multi-Paul has the ability to create infinite copies of himself. Kate and Paul are under an ancient curse put upon their family — one which gives them their identical powers. Unfortunately, while Kate fights for the good guys, Paul is a supervillain and a member of the Order, a team of sworn enemies fighting against the Guardians of the Globe. Whether or not we will see the siblings face off in a future episode of Invincible remains to be seen.

Invincible Episode 4 reveals what happened to Bi-Plane

Invincible's fourth episode (entitled "Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out") has the title hero going on a top-secret mission into space. Suspicious of Invincible's intentions, Omni-Man turns down an offer from Cecil to protect a team of astronauts for the first manned trip to Mars. Invincible volunteers to take his dad's place, hoping to gain more experience in the superhero game — even though it means being away from his new girlfriend for two weeks. The task seems like a cakewalk at first, but Invincible gets in over his head when native Martians capture the crew.

Before this little complication, though, Invincible gets a nice view of outer space from the roof of NASA's shuttle on the way to Mars. What he doesn't see is the floating corpse of Bi-Plane, the supervillain who was launched into space by The Immortal in the series' first episode. It's a hilarious callback to the earlier episode for those wondering about Bi-Plane's fate.

The dragon in Invincible means more than you think

While Mark is going on his first big space mission, his parents Nolan and Debbie are reenacting their first date with a trip to Rome. The two reminisce while sipping coffee on a terrace when the city suddenly comes under attack. Debbie looks on in horror as a dragon wreaks havoc on a nearby building, but Nolan seems unfazed. "I'm on vacation," he explains.

What some people may not realize is that the dragon is actually a well-known antagonist in the Invincible comics. His name is Mr. Liu, a shape-shifter from China who would later become the leader of the supervillain organization known as the Order. Many years ago, Liu's home was attacked by the dragon, and his family was subsequently killed. In order to stop the creature, magic was used to trap the dragon inside of Liu, giving him the ability to transform into the monster. Given his role in the comics, it's highly likely that Mr. Liu will show up again.

Invincible Episode 5 features a callback to the comic books and a special cameo

In Invincible's fifth episode, Invincible rushes to the rescue when a new villain on the scene starts wrecking the streets of the city. When a building begins to collapse with a family still inside, the hero aids in their escape by holding up a chunk of large rubble. He tells the family not to fear, and to gather their belongings so they can get out.

This shot is taken directly from issue 18 of the Invincible comics — a full-page spread that shows a woman and a child huddling in fear as their home crumbles around them, and Invincible keeping the place from caving in. The dialogue isn't quite word-for-word, but it's pretty close, except that the comic version of the scene fails to give exact context as to how they all ended up in this situation.

Episode 5 also features an anticipated cameo. Mark's superhero activities are getting in the way of the rest of his life, making him late for just about everything and endangering his personal relationships. His tardiness at school gets him a meeting with the school's principal Winslow — voiced by the school's namesake, Reginald VelJohnson.

Immortal Abe

While there's a lot of wild stuff that happens in Invincible Episode 7, "We Need to Talk," there's one blink-and-you'll-miss-it Easter egg toward the end of this exciting chapter.

After the Mauler twins manage to give Robot his new body, they quickly get to work bringing back the Immortal. After all, as one of the clones point out (or is he the Original?), "He's not called 'the Immortal' for nothing." Though their plan is to collar the resurrected hero to do their bidding, the Immortal has plans of his own: to seek out Omni-Man and enact justice for the murders of his team and himself.

At first, it appears that their attempt has failed, but as one of the Maulers beats on the Immortal's chest, we see flashes of the superhero's long life span. One of those flashes shows a familiar scene from American history: the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in the Ford Theater by John Wilkes Booth. But look closer, and you'll see that good old Honest Abe looks awfully calm for someone who knows he's about to get shot. That's right: Apparently, the beloved Emancipator was the Immortal all along. That's quite a big secret to keep for almost 200 years.

Invincible's bloody title logo

Invincible is unique as an animated series in its fearlessness to show disturbing imagery and heightened gore amidst a brightly colored palette. The series demonstrates this each time the title appears; the large letters in yellow are shown against a blue background, splattered with drops of blood. As the series progresses, take a close look at that title. It's subtle at first, but you'll notice that the amount of blood increases with each passing episode.

By the show's season finale, Mark has finally learned the brutal truth about his father and what it means to be a Viltrumite. Omni-Man isn't on earth to protect humanity, but to conquer them for the Viltrum empire, and he doesn't care how many people he has to kill to fulfill his mission. The confrontation between father and son is a bloody one, as Nolan takes countless lives and forces Mark to watch. For this episode, the opening title card shows the word "Invincible" not just blood-spattered, but drenched in red. It's an ominous foreshadowing of what's lies ahead as Season 1 comes to close.