‘Invincible’: Who Is Anissa & Why Is She So Controversial?

Anissa and Mark

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Anissa, a character in the comic series ‘Invincible,’ has become a focal point of controversy due to her complex and dark storyline. As a Viltrumite warrior sent to Earth, her actions, particularly in a distressing scene involving the protagonist Mark, have sparked intense debate among readers. Her role not only challenges conventional narrative arcs but also delves into the unsettling aspects of the Viltrumite culture. In this article, we’ll explore who Anissa is and why her character has become so controversial.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Anissa, a Viltrumite warrior in the ‘Invincible’ comic series, is central to the storyline due to her complex role and controversial actions, including raping Mark.
  • The scene involving Anissa and Mark is a significant narrative device in “Invincible,” impacting the characters deeply and provoking discussions about power, consent, and trauma in superhero narratives.
  • Anissa’s character is shaped by Viltrumite culture, known for its emphasis on strength, dominance, and expansion, which influences her actions and decisions, particularly in her interactions with Mark.

Anissa’s role in the Viltrumite mission

Anissa plays a crucial role in the Viltrumite mission in the ‘Invincible’ comic series. As a Viltrumite warrior, she is tasked with ensuring the Viltrum Empire’s expansion and dominance. This mission becomes more complex on Earth, particularly after Nolan, the initial Viltrumite envoy, fails in his duties. Anissa’s role then shifts to monitoring Mark, Nolan’s son, and ensuring he carries out the Viltrumite agenda.

One of the key aspects of the Viltrumite mission is to interbreed with other species to strengthen their ranks. Anissa, being a Viltrumite, is under pressure to contribute to this aspect of the mission. However, her approach is different; she is not interested in procreating with humans but instead focuses on Mark, who is half-Viltrumite, half-human. This choice leads to some of the most controversial moments in the series.

Anissa’s character is deeply intertwined with the Viltrumite culture, which values strength and dominance. This cultural background influences her actions and decisions throughout the series. Her involvement in the Viltrumite mission is not just a duty but also a reflection of her adherence to the values and norms of her society. This adherence brings her into direct conflict with Mark and sets the stage for some of the most contentious and disturbing scenes in ‘Invincible.’


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The controversy surrounding the Infamous scene

The infamous scene in ‘Invincible’ involving Anissa and Mark has been a major point of controversy due to its graphic depiction of sexual assault. This moment stands out in the comic series for its stark portrayal of violence and power dynamics, diverging significantly from typical superhero narratives.

Traditionally, superhero stories feature protagonists who are almost invulnerable, but this scene flips that concept, showing the hero, Mark, in a vulnerable and victimized state. It’s a challenging narrative choice that has sparked intense debates among readers and critics about the portrayal of such themes in a comic book, a medium often associated with more straightforward tales of good versus evil.

The scene also touches on the sensitive and less frequently addressed topic of male sexual victimization. It’s rare for popular media, particularly in the superhero genre, to depict a male character being overpowered and assaulted by a female character. This has led to discussions on gender roles, the nuances of consent, and the representation of sexual violence in media.

While some readers commend the series for its unflinching approach to difficult subjects and for bringing awareness to the issue of male sexual assault, others question the necessity and execution of such a graphic scene in the storyline. This divide in reactions underscores the complexities involved in handling sensitive topics in storytelling, especially within genres not typically known for exploring such issues.

Understanding Anissa’s character and Viltrumite culture

Understanding Anissa’s character in ‘Invincible’ requires delving into the Viltrumite culture, which plays a significant role in shaping her actions and attitudes. Anissa, as a Viltrumite warrior, embodies the values and norms of her society, which is characterized by its emphasis on strength, dominance, and a rigid hierarchy. Viltrumite culture is brutal and uncompromising, with a focus on the survival of the fittest and the expansion of their empire through conquest and breeding. These cultural aspects are crucial in understanding why Anissa behaves the way she does, especially in her interactions with Mark and other characters.

Anissa’s actions, while shocking and controversial, are consistent with the expectations of her society. Her mission on Earth, which includes monitoring Mark and ensuring the Viltrumite agenda, is influenced by this cultural background. The Viltrumite approach to breeding, which is pragmatic and unemotional, further complicates her character. Anissa’s reluctance to engage with humans and her focus on Mark, a half-Viltrumite, highlight the complex interplay between her personal desires and the demands of her culture. This dichotomy between individual will and cultural obligation is a recurring theme in Anissa’s storyline, providing a deeper insight into her character and the Viltrumite society as a whole.


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Through Anissa’s character, ‘Invincible’ explores themes of power, control, and the impact of cultural conditioning. Her character serves as a window into the Viltrumite way of life, offering readers a glimpse of a civilization where might makes right and emotions are often subordinate to duty. Understanding Anissa’s actions requires acknowledging the influence of her cultural background, which is pivotal in shaping her worldview and her interactions within the storyline.

What happens to Anissa? Here’s how she dies

Anissa, despite her controversial actions and complex character in the ‘Invincible’ comic series, unfortunately fades into the background as the story progresses. Her character, rich with potential for further exploration, is largely overlooked, and she doesn’t receive significant attention again until the events leading to her demise.

Her death occurs during a crucial battle scene. Anissa, in a redemptive turn, saves Eve, another central character, from being killed. However, in doing so, Anissa sustains severe injuries. Despite Eve’s attempt to save her using her powers, Anissa’s wounds prove too severe. In her final moments, Anissa expresses a complex mixture of remorse and defiance. She acknowledges the gravity of her actions towards Mark, especially the assault, yet she doesn’t express outright regret, citing the birth of her son, Marky, as a result of that encounter.

Anissa’s death is significant as it brings closure to her arc, albeit in a way that some fans feel is abrupt and lacking in depth. Her character, rife with contradictions and morally gray areas, ends on a note that leaves a lasting impression. The manner of her death, her last words, and the circumstances around it encapsulate the complexity and moral ambiguity that ‘Invincible’ is known for. Despite being sidelined for a significant portion of the story, Anissa’s final act and her acknowledgment of her past actions add a layer of depth to her character, making her demise a poignant moment in the series.

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