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Warning: The following contains spoilers for the original Invincible comics and Invincible Season 2 Episode 7, “I’m Not Going Anywhere,” now streaming on Prime Video

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Summary

  • Anissa in Invincible Season 2 is a pivotal character forcing Mark to confront Viltrumite danger.
  • Anissa’s comic book controversial plot twist may not be adapted in the animated series.
  • Anissa’s arrival hints at impending cosmic battles and potential changes to her character.

The following article contains mentions of sexual assault that occurred in the original
Invincible
comic book series.

Invincible season 2 has formally introduced Anissa, a Vilturimte warrior who eventually became the original comic’s most controversial character. Invincible has been an interesting adaptation to watch unfold on Prime Video, with the animated show taking many cues from the original comics. However, there have been several tweaks to the show, ranging from shifting cultural norms to seemingly doomed characters like Shrinking Rae surviving Invincible. This means any important upcoming character from the comic could easily be reinvented for the animated show, potentially reworking some of the comics’ more horrifying characters and concepts into something more palatable to modern audiences.

One of the characters who could most benefit from that tweaked approach is Anissa. Played by Shantel VanSanten, Anissa is a dangerous but calm Viltrumite who plays a pivotal role in forcing Invincible to confront the dangers posed by the expansive Viltrumite Empire (as well as leading directly to the heartbreaking break-up between Mark and his girlfriend, Amber.) Anissa’s arrival serves as a portent of upcoming battles likely to unfold during season 3 of the animated superhero series. However, her presence in Invincible could also be quietly setting up one of the original story’s most controversial and shocking plot turns.

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Who Anissa Is In Invincible Season 2 (& What She Wants)

A Good Reminder Of How Dangerous Viltrumites Are

Invincible season 2 has formally debuted Anissa, who is one of the most dangerous and controversial characters from the original comic book series of the same name. Anissa makes her presence known in Invincible by interrupting a date between Mark and Amber. Threatening Amber’s life if he doesn’t have a conversation with her, Mark is forced to don his costume and confront his fellow Viltrumite. Anissa is revealed to be an advance scout of the Empire, sent to check on Mark’s progress in preparing Earth for their arrival. Anissa is critical of humanity but surprisingly committed to their potential survival.

Anissa helps Mark save numerous humans during a giant monster attack, but quickly tries to force Mark to admit humanity needs the Viltrumite rule. When Mark resists, Anissa showcases her combat skills and handily defeats Mark in a battle. Despite Mark’s abilities, Anissa is never at risk of losing their fight. The only reason Mark survives the fight is because she spares his life. Anissa leaves the planet to report back to General Kregg about Mark’s resistance, but she’s quickly distracted by Allen the Alien. The episode serves as a good introduction of Anissa and how dangerous she can be.

Why Anissa Is So Controversial In The Invincible Comics

Invincible‘s Most Controversial Storyline, Explained

Invincible Anissa Season 2 3

Anissa is one of the most important Viltrumites in the Invincible comic, playing an important role in the original story. While she’s an important player in the comics’ central conflict, her biggest importance comes later. After the Viltrumite War storyline, Anissa briefly relocated to Earth and became a surprising potential love interest for Mark. However, her attraction to Mark led to the comic’s most controversial plot beat. Tasked with replenishing the Viltrumite population after the destruction of their home world, Anissa decided she would only procreate with Mark. Despite Mark’s refusal and resistance, Anissa attacked him and sexually assaulted him.

Anissa’s rape of Mark is a major turning point in the comic. It leaves Mark with PTSD as he initially struggles to deal with the trauma of the event. His romantic relationship with Eve was briefly jeopardized when he told her the truth, with Eve initially unsure if Mark had been a willing participant in the act before realizing the impact the event had on Mark and working to help him through the pain. Anissa was impregnated after this encounter, leading to unexpected the birth of Invincible’s son Markus (in contrast to Terra, the daughter Mark consensually had with Eve.)

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Invincible’s TV Story May Not Adapt THAT Anissa & Mark Moment

How Invincible Could Tweak Anissa As A Character

Invincible Anissa Season 2 5

There’s reason to believe that Anissa’s appearance in Invincible doesn’t necessarily mean the show will feature an adaption of her sexual assault against Mark. The event was highly controversial when it happened in the original series. The way the comic dealt with this was also met with incredibly mixed results. Anissa fell in love with a human during a five-year time-skip that followed her assault of Mark, and eventually became a defender of Earth by the end of the series. The character refused to regret or accept accountability for her actions, making it hard to accept her redemption given the severity of her crime.

Anissa is already similar to her original incarnation, but the character seems more primed to understand and accept humanity than she did in the original comic. “I’m Not Going Anywhere” could set up her eventual romance with a human as part of turning the character into a more sympathetic figure in the story. It seemsunlikely that the series would repeat Anissa’s crimes. The show could possibly cut this subplot entirely, or potentially alter her relationship with Mark to make him receptive to her advances. It would be surprising to see the Invincible show directly adapt this turn of events.

What Anissa’s Arrival Means For Invincible Season 3

The Viltrumite War Is Coming

Invincible Anissa Season 2 9

The arrival of Anissa serves as a reminder to Mark that the Vilturmites are more dangerous than any other threat that Invincible has put against Mark. Anissa’s presence in Invincible suggests that the show is steadily approaching the Viltrumite War storyline from the original comics. Anissa could be tweaked a bit from the original story, reducing some of her vicious acts while turning the Viltruite into a more sympathetic character. A likely result of that change would be removing her assault of Mark, potentially cutting it out entirely. This could have a serious impact on the direction of the story.

Anissa will likely still be a deadly foe to the heroes of Earth and their intergalactic allies in immediate upcoming stories. While she may eventually be willing to fight and even die for Earth in the final stretch of the comics, she’s clearly far from that place in the current point of the story. Anissa’s arrival in Invincible moves the show closer to cosmic battles that endanger the entire universe. It’ll be interesting to see how Invincible uses the character going forward, and if they make any serious changes to the character ahead of her most well-known (and controversial) actions.

Invincible Season 3 Poster
Invincible

Based on the comic book character by Robert Kirkman, Invincible follows Mark Grayson,  a seventeen-year-old who leads a seemingly average life save for the fact that he lives behind the shadow of his superhero father, Omni-Man. Mark goes on to develop superhuman abilities, but he must also learn that his father’s legacy isn’t as glitzy and glamorous as he’s been led to believe.

Cast
Mark Hamill , Gillian Jacobs , Jon Hamm , Mae Whitman , Steven Yeun , Walton Goggins , Ezra Miller , Jonathan Groff , Sandra Oh , Djimon Hounsou , Khary Payton , Seth Rogen , Jeffrey Donovan , Sonequa Martin-Green , Mahershala Ali , Malese Jow , J. K. Simmons , Clancy Brown , Zazie Beetz , Zachary Quinto , Jason Mantzoukas , Nicole Byer
Network
amazon prime video
Showrunner
Simon Racioppa



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