That Actually Hurt
Episode 5 of Invincible begins with Invincible himself off acting as a superhero, stopping a foe called Kill Cannon. Only, this causes him to turn up 20 minutes late to meeting Amber. This balance between working as a hero and living as a normal teenager continues to take its toll, and form the crux of the drama in this episode.
By contrast, we see Titan off looking for a specific chip which, as we soon see, is vital for his boss Machine Head. Titan wants this to be his final job though but Machine Head is having none of it. This Mafia-esque boss reassures him this is his life now and Titan is way too good at his job so he needs to keep working.
Titan heads home and breaks the news to his family. Vanessa and Fiona are not happy, especially given this line of work affects them too. However, he reassures them that he has a plan.
This plan involves writing out Invincible’s name in yellow paint across his rooftop. Mark does eventually show up, greet Titan once again. Titan wants to overthrow Machine Head, claiming he’s stuck in this nightmare thanks to a debt he owes.
Mark is conflicted, and speaks to his Father about the choice he’s faced with. Nolan claims helping Titan is “beneath him” although Debbie backs up her son, unhappy with her husband’s nonchalant attitude. In fact, Debbie is starting to have her doubts about his validity.
The next day, she sends Nolan off on a big errand across the globe. Calculating the distance and speed, this gives her 20 minutes to search the house and look for clues that could link to the Guardians of the Globe massacre. With several minutes to spare, she finds Omni-Man’s bloodied uniform.
Mark decides to help Titan, doing the right thing and helping out everyone rather than picking and choosing the good guys. Mark does tell Titan they need to make it quick, especially given his date with Amber later on that day.
Meanwhile, the Mauler brother creates another clone for himself. While he does, Robot shows up and asks them for help. He wants them to update him on tissue growth, promising to make it worth his while.
Back with Machine Head, Titan and Invincible break in but their plan immediately goes awry when it turns out our villain has hired a whole bunch of goons to take the pair out. Uh oh.
These superpowered foes are too much for them… until the new Guardians of the Globe show and help turn the tables. At least to begin with anyway. Mark is left a bloody mess on the ground. Black Samson is defeated too while Monster Girl finds her face smashed in.
As the group finally thwart their foes, paramedics arrive just in time to scoop the trio of heroes up and take off.
With Machine Head apprehended, Titan double-crosses Mark as it’s revealed that he’s now going to be in charge of the city. As he embraces his wife and daughter, we cut across to the lab. There, doctors work hard to use Mark’s blood as a key to try and defeat the viltrumites. Nothing seems to be working and for now, time is running out.
The Episode Review
Invincible roars out the gates this week with an excellent episode. The whole conflict between being a hero and living a normal life is something that’s captured really well here. Although the 90’s Spider-Man series managed to portray the same struggle, here it feels much more raw and grounded.
Interestingly, seeing Mark trusting Titan and then betrayed right at the end is a nice touch and shows that sometimes people with the best intentions actually do have an ulterior motive. This certainly proves to be quite the interesting conflict going forward, and thus far Invincible has thrown a lot of characters and villains our way to keep things feeling fresh.
Another bloody battle at the end helps to put everything into perspective, with Monster Girl and Black Samson looking the worse for wear. Hopefully they’ll be okay but we’ll have to wait and see to be sure.
For now though, Invincible delivers an excellent chapter of action, drama and bloody superhero violence. Roll on the next episode!