Invincible #110 features an uncommon scene in comics: the rape of the main male character. In the issue, Mark Grayson, Invincible, is attacked and raped by a female character. The scene is graphic. While nothing adult is shown, there is no question that the woman physically overpowers and forcibly rapes Invincible in order to get pregnant by him. When finished, she then retorts that Invincible should “Man up. It’ll probably take a few more times. I’ll see you soon.”
I do not read the comic, but I am familiar with the general plot of the story. My understanding is that the female character is part of the same alien, Kryptonian-like race as Grayson, which explains why she is able to physically overpower him. What makes the scene unique is that it does not shy away from showing a woman doing what people usually assume a man would do. The scene does not appear to be played for comedy.
It is unclear how people will react to this. I suspect that a number of fans will take is a Grayson wanting it deep down. Some may take it as a male role-reversal fantasy (this seems the more likely feminist take), while others may find it genuinely disturbing.
My opinion is that this an excellent job of reframing how people think of female-perpetrated rape. The scene is not pretty, funny, or tame. It is violent, visceral, and clearly rape. Any reaction people have to the scene will be a reflection of their own opinions, not those of the writer Robert Kirkman.
Granted, this could be a move by Kirkman to boost sales. It will certainly get people talking about the comic, and perhaps buying that issue. I hope this is not a sales ploy because sexual violence against men and boys is a serious issue. People do not talk about it enough and often do not treat it with the same care and concern they give to sexual violence against women and girls. Invincible #110 has the potential to spark a discussion that few, feminists in particular, want to have.
Let us see where this goes. Below are the pages featured on the Bleeding Cool article about the issue: