This story contains spoilers for Invincible episode eight and the end of Superman & Batman: Generations.
With some time now between us and the finale of the first season of Invincible, we thought we’d highlight what appears to be a very deep cut comic book reference in episode eight.
In this episode, after it has been revealed that Omni-Man is essentially an immortal colonising super alien, he tells his son Mark the following about how the Viltrumite race and how they age.
This plot point about the Viltrumite longevity is also the subject of the “think, Mark!” meme, but that’s a story for another day.
Now for the comic reference. Superman & Batman: Generations is a four-part standalone arc which shows the titular pair fighting crime and injustice starting in the past and stretching out into the indeterminate future.
Near the end of the last issue Batman finally tracks down Superman thousands of years in the future. Bruce Wayne has managed to stay alive thanks to the Lazarus Pit. At an earlier point in the comic, Ra’s al Ghul captures an elderly Bruce Wayne and explains that the pit has a maddening effect on those who use it, and he believes that by the two of them jumping in together one will emerge immortal, without the insanity, while the other will be consumed.
Batman, of course, wins out here, but it’s Superman who we care about when it comes to the Invincible reference.
After discussing their advanced age, here’s what Superman has to explain how he has managed to live for so long:
Omni-Man, like Homelander in the The Boys, is a take on the Superman mould as an evil reflection of the comic book icon, so this comparison between them makes a lot of sense.
That being said this may not be a reference at all and simply a coincidence. Immortality and the In-universe explanation for it has been done countless times in fiction so it’s not difficult to see two independent sources creating similar lore for it.
With that in mind “the older we get, the slower we age” is just so close to “the longer I live, the more slowly I age” that we thought it had to be a reference.
Are we clutching at straws here? Let us know.
Below we’ve also included two pages from the comic to give better context to the panel above. We highly recommend giving the arc a read too, especially as the four issues are collected into a single hardback in the DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection Volume 80, which is where we read it.