Atom Eve Deserved Her Own ‘Invincible’ Special

Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for Invincible Atom Eve.

The world of Invincible is filled with many unique characters. Some serve as homages to the worlds of Marvel and DC, while others are wholly new takes on classic superhero tropes (take Zachary Quinto‘s Robot, for example.) This extends not just to the Image Comics/Skybound series from Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley but also the animated series it’s based on. One of the characters that has become a fan favorite is Samantha Eve Wilkins, aka Atom Eve (Gillian Jacobs/Jazlyn Ione/Aria Kane). The pink-clad heroine uses her matter manipulation ability to fight crime alongside Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) and was recently the focus of an animated special that debuted last week on Prime Video. That special delves into Eve’s past — and showed all the reasons why she’s just as compelling of a character as Mark.

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Eve Was Built to Be a Weapon — and Became a Hero Instead

Atom Eve
Image via Prime Video

The Atom Eve special takes place during Eve’s birth and follows her into her preteen years as she comes to grips with her power. It turns out that she was the result of an attempt to create a living weapon; however, the scientist in charge of the project ends up having a change of heart and slips her into the arms of a couple who lost their child. Sam has an odd childhood; she’s fairly quiet, yet seems to know a great deal about chemistry (she builds models of molecules out of Legos and scribbles down chemical formulas on paper.) Eventually, she decides to take up superheroics, which puts her back on the government’s radar.

Eve is shown to be a very proactive hero throughout the special, which makes her stand out not just in the world of Invincible but in the superhero genre. Most superheroes often react to crimes as they happen; Eve actively seeks out crime and quickly prevents it. Despite warnings not to use her powers since could tip off the government, she does so because she feels a duty to help people. Early in the special, Eve tells her friend, “I want to make a difference.” That single statement fuels her actions as a superhero while also serving as a look into her future. She genuinely wants to make a difference in the world.

Eve’s Life Serves as a Direct Contrast to Invincible’s

Image via Prime Video

Watching the special, it’s fairly clear that Eve’s origins serve as a parallel to Mark Grayson’s journey as Invincible. While Mark had a solid relationship with his parents (even though his father Nolan was attempting to conquer Earth on behalf of the Viltrum Empire), Eve fights with her parents on a daily basis. Her father (Fred Tatasciore) belittles her every chance he gets, while her mother (Grey Griffin) stands by and watches. Mark had his father (J.K. Simmons) to teach him how to use his superpowers; Eve more or less had to learn to be a hero on her own. Eve also has to fight her own “siblings,” who have powers like her but are rapidly decomposing and hate her. In perhaps the most affecting scene, she loses her birth mother and her siblings on her birthday — and once again gets into a fight with her adoptive parents. She then storms to her room and uses her powers to recreate a photo so that it shows her “real” family.

The biggest difference between the two characters is the way they choose to utilize their superpowers. While Mark is content to try and be the best superhero he can be, Eve feels like she can do more with her powers than punching out bank robbers. Eventually, she travels to Africa and starts using her powers to terraform the Earth, creating a self-replenishing food supply. Plot developments like these help set Invincible apart from other superhero stories as they take a realistic look into the different ways heroes can use their powers to help mankind. It also brings Eve’s goals from the special full circle — helping the hungry is definitely a way to make a big difference in the world.

Atom Eve’s Special Highlights the Possibilities of the ‘Invincible’ Universe

Poster for Season 2 of Invincible
Image via Amazon Prime Video

The Atom Eve special actually has its roots in a spinoff comic series, Invincible Presents: Atom Eve, and it’s not the only one. Similar spinoff series included stories that focused on the boisterous Rex Splode (Jason Mantzoukas) as well as the superhero team the Guardian of the Globe. Even more series like Tech Jacket and The Astounding Wolf-Man spread out into the far corners of space as well as the supernatural, making a universe that feels as lived-in as anything in DC or Marvel. Each and every one of these characters could hold their own in a spinoff special, which could give the Invincible Universe the same longevity as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the DC Animated Universe. It wouldn’t be the first time a Kirkman series led to a media explosion; the popularity of The Walking Dead has seen a fleet of spinoffs centered on the world of the Image Comics series that Kirkman co-created with Tony Moore on AMC.

In fact, Kirkman hopes to see more Invincible animated specials in the future: “She’s one of the most popular characters in the show. And so we wanted to really give her a showcase, and as far as, like, doing other episodes with different characters in a similar way, I’d love to. We’ll just have to see.” Whoever does receive a special in the future will definitely have to look to the Atom Eve special for inspiration; not only does it give a fan-favorite character some much-needed dimension, but it showcases why Invincible has been a lasting figure in comics for 20 years. This world is ripe with potential, and the Atom Eve special has only scratched the surface of said potential.

The Big Picture

  • Atom Eve’s origin story reveals that she was created as a living weapon but chose to become a heroic figure instead, which sets her apart from other characters in the series.
  • Eve actively seeks out crime to prevent it, showing her proactive approach to heroics and her genuine desire to make a difference in the world.
  • Eve’s journey and her use of her powers contrast with Mark Grayson’s as Invincible, highlighting the different ways in which superheroes can choose to utilize their abilities to help mankind.

Season 1 of Invincible and the Atom Eve special are currently available to stream on Prime Video, while Season 2 premieres on November 11.

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