Invincible: What Are the Sequids?
Brenton Stewart
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the fourth episode of Invincible "Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out," streaming now on Amazon Prime.
It's only appropriate that in an episode titled "Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out" the hero of Invincible would find himself in space, but while he's there he faces problems the American astronaut never had to deal with. Endeavoring a two-week journey, Invincible accompanies a manned mission to Mars that reveals that planet is inhabited by a race of parasitic cephalopods known as sequids. And they pose a far greater threat than their visage suggests.
Initially the mission was not supposed to involve much danger at all. Intended as a means to get Omni-Man off the planet so that government spook Cecil Stedman could further investigate the hero, he instead resists the idea and leaves his son Mark to take over the mission. Meant to hang back and only intervene when trouble occurred, the Mars mission quickly proved eventful when Invincible turned away for a mere moment and found his charges completely disappeared.
Following their trail across the desert planet, Invincible quickly came across a hatch in the ground indicating their subterranean decline. But the moment he opened the hatch, alien squids attacked him from all sides attempting to leech off him. Mildly annoyed at first, he quickly disposed of the aliens and found the tunnels beneath the planet's surface lined with them. Right alongside the sequids were the Martians themselves, and it was through the shapeshifting aliens that Mark learned the sequids' true nature.
As a parasitic race that controls the mind of their host and links it to a hive mentality that connects the whole race, the sequids are actually quite similar to the DC race of extraterrestrials known as Starro. Also similar to DC extraterrestrials are the local Martians, with the green aliens capable of shapeshifting in both superhero continuities. Where Invincible most markedly deviates is that the threat the sequids pose is not purely due to their psychic control, but also due to their sheer physical strength.
The Martians' shapeshifting makes them immune to the sequids' control, and Invincible's invulnerability grants him the same immunity, but it is because humans are vulnerable to the parasites' exploitation that the Martians seek to execute them. Invincible narrowly rescues the astronauts from execution, but by the episode's end he misses one. Covered in sequids, the mind-controlled figure smirks at the Martians, and we see for the first time why they were so alarmed. He lifts an arm and a mass of sequids form a tidal wave that crushes the Martians beneath their mass.
Though it's seen only briefly, this is the sequids' true power. Strong for their size, and with numbers far greater than any of the races around them, the sequids coalesce around a single sentient mind they control and act in complete unity. Though they cannot control the Martians directly it is clear that they are more than enough of a physical match, and the episode gives further disturbing implications that their threat may turn to Earth.
The Martians' technology is barely seen, but given that they have such advanced energy weapons it would not be a huge stretch to imagine they are a spacefaring race. If the sequids have any access to move off world then Earth would be a likely target. With the recent death of the Guardians of the Globe, and the allegiance of its foremost hero Omni-Man greatly in question, the planet could be more vulnerable than ever. The series' hero may be immune to the aliens' influence, but everyone else is not quite so invincible.
Invincible stars Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Andrew Rannells, Zazie Beetz, Mark Hamill, Walton Goggins, Jason Mantzoukas, Mae Whitman, Chris Diamantopoulos, Melise, Kevin Michael Richardson, Grey Griffin and Max Burkholder. The series is produced by Skybound, and executive produced by Robert Kirkman, Simon Racioppa, David Alpert and Catherine Winder. New episodes are released Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.