The reason behind the killings of the Guardians

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Between Marvel, D.C., and everything in between, it can be hard to stand out in the ever-expanding sea of superhero movies and shows. But Amazon Prime Video’s new animated epic—unrelated to either of those two huge universes—is off to a good start.

With an excellent cast including key players Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Zazie Beetz, and Walton Goggins, Invincible had some built in credibility. But it’s the gushingly-violent twist that comes at the end of the show’s first episode that will have audiences continuing to click play to see what happens next.

While the majority of the first episode follows a fairly traditional superhero formula, we’re initially dropped into a world where the Guardians of the Globe (superheroes modeled on the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Wolverine, and others) are the protectors of the earth, and their ally, Omni-Man (Simmons, a parallel of sorts to Superman) is the greatest and most popular hero.

After an initial battle finds Omni-Man saving the day (as usual), we’re transported back to his home life. His son, Mark (Yeun) is a comic-obsessed 17-year-old still waiting for his hereditary powers to kick in—his father isn’t from Earth, but rather the planet of Viltrum. And so Mark is expecting his powers to kick in at any given moment–and in the first episode, they do. Omni-Man (also known as Nolan) begins training Mark, who chooses the nickname “Invincible.” 

By the end of the episode,the audience see  a scene that shows each of the Guardians of the Globe receiving a distress call, and returning to their headquarters. Arriving at the headquarters, the Guardians realize it has been a set-up, and in an ensuring fight that makes The Boys look like My Little Pony, Omni-Man beats the absolute living hell out of every single Guardian. With blood, guts, eyeballs, and brains everywhere, all of this world’s Batman, Wolverine. Wonder Woman parallels are dead. Omni-Man remains, alive, on the ground. 

Now the big question that arises is-

Why did Omni-Man kill the Guardians of the Globe in the comics?

So, before we get too in-depth with all of this we need to make one thing clear: the twist of Omni-Man killing all of the Guardians of the Globe at the end of the first episode of Invicible does indeed happen in the source material comics. That being said though, the twist comes much later—several issues in. The series, of course, uses it to set up the primary mystery and intrigue of the series.

When Omni-Man first attacks the Guardians in the climactic scene at the end of Episode 1, the heroes wonder if he’s perhaps under someone’s villainous control. And while things could always be different, the way Omni-Man/Nolan has behaved in the episodes following the bloody murders make it pretty clear that he knew exactly what he was doing.

The key to why Omni-Man/Nolan did what he did lies in his heritage as a Viltrumite—a citizen of Viltrum, not Earth. In the comics, Viltrumites are known for conquering other planets as a way of expanding their own empire; however, at a certain point, a virus took almost all of them out. The remaining Viltrumites went to other planets and laid low, planning to destabilize the defenses of the planet they inhabited from the inside out, slowly plotting an eventual uprising and comeback. By murdering all of the Guardians, Omni-Man/Nolan—who, of course, was posing as Earth’s greatest hero—was weakening Earth’s defense for his eventual planned takeover.

<span;>So Omni-Man/Nolan was, in turn, playing the long game on earth. He befriended the Guardians of the Globe, found a loving wife, and even had a son who shares his powers. And there, likely, is where the <span;>real <span;>crux of the series will come: will Nolan convince Mark to join him? Or will the two face off?

We’ll find out in the coming episodes of Invincible!

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