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The ‘Invincible’ Train Scene Is One of the Darkest Superhero Moments Ever

The following story contains spoilers for the Invincible Season 1 finale.


  • Invincible took full advantage of being animated in its Season 1 finale, featuring one of the most violent and depraved scenes in the history of TV/Film’s superhero genre.
  • Others may come close—but Invincible plays this train scene violence for what it is: horror.
  • It sets a key character down a path with, really, no imaginable return.

    The good news: there’s going to be a season 2 (and season 3) of Amazon Prime’s hit superhero animated series Invincible. The bad news: the lasting memory of the finale may be the darkest and most deranged moment in the entire superhero genre of film or television. The show’s finale, titled “WHERE I REALLY COME FROM,” contains what can only be described as the Invincible train scene. And anyone who’s seen it will know exactly what you’re talking about.

    Quick recap for anyone who hasn’t seen (or for those with a weak stomach): the Invincible finale served as the culmination of the entire first season, which began with the major twist of Omni-Man/Nolan Grayson (JK Simmons), ostensibly Earth’s greatest hero, killed all of the Guardians of the Globe (basically the Justice League). Nolan’s 17-year-old son, Mark (Steven Yeun), got superpowers of his own, and became a hero going by the name Invincible. While others—including Debbie, Mark’s mother and Nolan’s wife—figured Nolan’s guilt out over the course of the season, it took until the finale for Mark to figure it out. And it meant a violent, wild, and most notably, heart-wrenching fight between father and son in the season finale.

    But the scene of note took things to a different level. And it’s something that…really, could only even be as bearable as it was (and it was seriously fucked up!) because the show is animated, and not live action. To show viewers just how strong and powerful these two beings are, Nolan held his son’s head out in front of an oncoming train like a battering ram. “Maybe this time you’ll learn,” he says, just before Mark’s slightly bloodied face splits the train right down the middle, eyes, lungs, intestines, and all sorts of blood and gore flying everywhere. The train flips off the tracks, and it is just dark.

    Amazon Prime


    As some, including a Twitter user named @nerdwopinions, have noted, this marks a major change, which never really shows the damage and lack of regard for human life that Omni-Man and the Viltrumites really have.

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    Others compared it to another famous superhero train scene, in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. That movie, of course, is significantly lighter in tone, and is live-action. When Doctor Octopus sets an above ground train through midtown (which, uh, doesn’t exist in real life), Spider-Man saves the day using the full extent of his powers, as the passengers rally around him and protect his identity. The civilians in Invincible, as noted, aren’t so lucky.

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    I mean, comparatively let’s just think about it for a second. The MCU won’t even be a part of this conversation, as that entire tone—until Deadpool 3 and maybe their Blade movie happens—is distinctly PG-13.A month or two ago, it was a big deal in Zack Snyder’s Justice League had a bad guy leave a slight blood stain behind after being smacked against the wall. Campy stuff from the ’90s like the original Blade had some fun effects, but nothing that really rattled you to your core. Even the recent gory stuff, like Deadpool—as good as those movies are—are played for comedy and fun (by design, of course). Deadpool taking a guy out with his swords isn’t supposed to make you feel stick to your stomach; it’s supposed to make you pump your fist in the air.

    Invincible Volume 1: Family Matters

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    The only competition for most depraved superhero scene in film or television history is going to be The Boys. And, yes, there is a ton of blood, gore, and general violence in the two seasons so far of that show. Hell, there was an entire plot line in Season 2 surrounding heads exploding. Still—much of this is played for shock, yes, but humor as well.

    The Invincible train scene was purely, utterly played to scare us. As if the rest of the fight and what we’d seen wasn’t enough, this moment is meant to put us in Mark’s shoes—with Omni-Man holding him as the two uber-powerful beings barrel through an entire train, likely killing hundreds (and with their blood and guts flying all over the place), Mark is just as helpless as we are. We see what’s happening, and nothing can help stop it. This isn’t played for laughs or humor–this is horror.

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    The Invincible finale did take a page out of the MCU‘s book when it came to the confrontation between Nolan and Mark. Nolan was convinced he could just take Mark out and start over, just 17 more years to create another offspring who might help him in his conquest of Earth. But an emotional flashback—just like Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier—unlocked something, and Omni-Man was softened; he couldn’t do anymore, and flew away.

    But that must be where the comparisons between the two stopped. Bucky Barnes was MCU’s brainwashed assassin; he did terrible things, but he never had a choice—he was used as a weapon. We see Nolan murder people, by choice, with his bare hands. While the hope is that Mark can find some closure, there should be no redemption arc for Nolan here. And we have to imagine the added inclusion of gratuitous murder scenes only figures to confirm that in the future of Invincible.

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