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by yo go re

So who'd win in a fight: Omni-Man or Homelander?

When Invincible came out, the twists and turns of its story were (obviously) unknown to audiences at large. Now that the comic has been turned into a cartoon and the cartoon has been turned into a whole series of memes, it's pretty safe to say most people know the deal by now. But still, spoilers.

Born on the planet Viltrum and sent to Earth, Omni-Man is one of the strongest beings in the world. In his secret identity as Nolan Grayson, he's a successful author, but as Omni-Man he uses his powers of strength, speed, flight, an invulnerability to keep the planet safe alongside the Guardians of the Globe, a superhero team, and the Global Defense Agency, a governmental agency. When his son displays developing powers of his own, Nolan begins training Mark to follow in his footsteps.

The Invincible comic had clean, simple art, so the animated series was able to hew quite closely to the original designs. Omni-Man is a pastiche of Superman, so he's wearing a plain bodysuit with a knee-length cape drifting behind him. The figure was sculpted by Chris Dahlberg, who's given him definite muscles, but without going into full-on "let's outline literally every muscle in the human body" territory. Like with Invincible, the costume elements get sculpted edges, but it's an incredibly shallow edge, so you may not even notice it's there at first.

The big difference between Superman and Omni-Man is that Omni-Man has a mustache. In fact, his race - the Viltrumites - is named after the philtrum, that dip between your nose and your lip. You know, the part that would get covered by a mustache. The crazy thing is that despite having a more distinctive facial feature than Clark Kent does (and also not wearing glasses), still no one makes the connection between Nolan Grayson and Omni-Man.

Like Superman, Omni-Man's costume is red and blue, though not in the same way: the blue is such a light powder blue that it's almost gray, and the red covers his entire legs rather than just his party area, meaning his boots need to be blue, for contrast. He also wears gloves rather than bare-handedly spreading his identifiable fingerprints all over town. His logo looks like an oval with a line in it, but then you realize that's an O with very thick sides. A matching line runs down the center of his torso, and similar notches serve as decorations on his gloves and boots. And his skin is the right color, so what the hell happened with the Invinicble figure?

His articulation is fine, but unremarkable. Omni-Man gets a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, H-hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and hinged rocker ankles. His head moves up and down better than Invincible's did, but it's still not enough for him to look straight ahead while he's flying. But he can hover menacingly, looking down at someone beneath him. There's a hole in the small of the figure's back, and the set includes a simple flight stand for him. It's not articulated or anything, just a straight pole with a 90° bend at the tip, but it's enough to lift him off the ground. Kind of? If his legs are straight, it's the exact height to keep his feet on the base.

Omni-Man is a larger person than Invincible, so he has room for fewer accessories. There's still an angrier head and a bunch of extra hands, but no chunk of concrete. Aww! His hands include fists, flats (for those flying poses he can't tilt his head enough to get into), grips, and a pair to let him play ball with his son: a left hand wearing a baseball glove, and a right hand gripping a ball. It's pretty neat how the two figures don't duplicate one another in that area, encouraging you to get both to have a full game of catch. You know what would have been awesome, though? We'd have gladly forgone the "clawing" hands in exchange for a pair with just the pointer fingers extended. "Think, Mark!"

When we watched Invincible on Amazon Prime, Shocka mused that he wished there were toys. "Well hey, good news," I said, "DST has the license and is doing them in just a few months." And sure enough, here we are. Diamond Select delivered some really nice toys that capture the characters well. The only thing we're surprised we haven't heard anything about yet is a set of "bloody" variants, splattered with red paint.

-- 04/09/22

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