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Omni-Man (Invincible character) (Image Comics)

Omni-Man


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Omni-Man is one of the major characters in the Invincible super-hero comic setting.For more context, refer to Invincible’s character profile – but you should be OK without.

This writeup covers issues 1-67 of the series and includes S P O I L E R S for the events therein.


Background

  • Real Name: Nowl-An a.k.a. “Nolan Grayson”.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Deborah “Debbie” Grayson (wife), Andressa (wife), Markus “Mark” Sebastian Grayson (son), Oliver (son).
  • Group Affiliation: Coalition of Planets, formerly Viltrumite Empire.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile, formerly Earth.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 250 lbs Age: 2000+.
  • Eyes: Blue-grey Hair: Black with gray temples.


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Powers and Abilities

Nolan Grayson has the standard suite of Viltrumite abilities — incredible strength and durability (sufficient to quickly lay waste to major cities through brute force or kill entire teams of A-List superheroes in seconds), superluminal flight, the ability to live in hostile environments for up to two weeks, enhanced senses, and superspeed.

Viltrumites also have a very long lifespan ; they mature normally until reaching adulthood, then age very slowly. A 500-year-old Viltrumite looks like a thirty-year-old human being.


History

The planet Viltrum is home to a race of extremely powerful humanoids dedicated to forceful expansion of its galactic empire. The Viltrumites sealed their commitment to interstellar conquest by culling the weak from their own race in a series of battles that killed half the planet’s population.

The Viltrumites then explored the galaxy, seeking out races sufficiently developed to contribute to the Viltrum Empire but not strong enough to repel invasions. Selected planets were given a choice: become vassals to the Empire in exchange for technology that would improve their quality of life or be utterly destroyed.

The program was so successful that some of the servitor races even added their armies to the Viltrumite effort, conquering lesser planets and freeing up the Viltrumite explorers of the World Conquering Committee to focus on the most challenging opponents.


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The Viltrumite that would one day be known on Earth as Nolan Grayson was born during this later era expansion. He was one of their best agents and brought many worlds into the Viltrum Empire’s fold. He did so well that he was made commander of an entire division of Viltrumite warriors, leading them in one conquest after another.

Eventually, the Viltrum Empire had grown so large that almost all of its forces were needed simply to police its space. Expansion slowed almost to a halt. The Viltrumites would not give up conquest entirely, so they chose more subtle means suitable for individual agents.

The highest ranking and most trusted officers would each be assigned a single world. They would live there for five hundred years, studying the planet, learning its people’s weaknesses, and preparing it for Viltrumite rule.

To Earth

One of the first agents chosen, the future Nolan Grayson, was sent to Earth. He was uncomfortable with the variety of the human race compared to the uniformity of Viltrum. He was also dismayed with how unexpectedly volatile Earth was, not being priorly aware of the extent of superhuman activity on the planet.

He swiftly fell into a routine of fighting full time simply to keep Earth from being conquered by other threats both indigenous and alien.

During one of his missions as Omni-Man, the Viltrumite met a human woman named Debbie Grayson. His interactions with her convinced him that he needed to live as a normal human to truly understand them. Omni-Man created a human identity under the name Nolan Grayson, learning about humanity under Debbie’s guidance.

Nolan became a moderately famous author, which allowed him to support Debbie when they decided to get married. At some point Omni-Man gained a contact in the US government, a high-ranking agent named Cecil Stedman. Stedman had a team that monitored world events and coordinated with various superheroes such as Omni-Man and the Guardians of the Globe.

After getting married, Nolan and Debbie Grayson had a son, Mark Grayson. Nolan was unsure that Mark would actually manifest Viltrumite abilities, but he made sure to explain to young Mark the changes he might undergo as he got older.

Nolan did not tell his son Mark about his true reason for being on Earth because he did not want Mark to accidentally reveal it to his mother. Instead, he claimed to be an explorer who chose to live on Earth after becoming enamored of its people. Mark started developing superpowers in high school and became a superhero himself, under the name Invincible.

Preparing to strike

Spurred by Mark’s emerging powers, Nolan realized that he needed to take the first steps toward establishing Viltrumite control over Earth. As Omni-Man, he summoned the Guardians of the Globe, the world’s foremost superteam, to their own headquarters. He then ambushed and slaughtered them.

No one connected Omni-Man with the crime until one of the Guardians of the Globe was resurrected and attacked Omni-Man, seeking revenge. Nolan killed the Immortal again, but his son Mark had already seen the fight and overheard Omni-Man bragging about killing the Guardians.

With his complicity exposed, Nolan Grayson revealed his true mission to his son. He also asked him to join him in establishing Viltrumite dominion over the world, but Mark refused. Omni-Man and Invincible fought, but the son was no match for the father.

Though Omni-Man severely injured Mark, he could not bring himself to kill his own son and fled Earth instead, deeply upset.

Thanks to the earpiece Omni-Man used to communicate with Cecil Stedman, Stedman had overheard the conversation between Mark and Nolan during the fight. Stedman took it upon himself to take care of Nolan’s family. He arranged a horrible car accident in which Nolan Grayson was said to have been killed.

Stedman then arranged for Nolan’s books to become international bestsellers in the wake of his tragic “death.” This would provide financial support for Debbie and Mark for the rest of their lives. Stedman also recruited Invincible into the same position than his father Omni-Man had once occupied.

A rock and a hard place

After leaving Earth, Nolan realized that he could not go back to the Viltrumite Empire. He would be considered a traitor for his weakness in abandoning his post instead of killing his son Mark. He explored the galaxy, looking for a new world to conquer in hopes that finding another planet to introduce to the Viltrumite Empire would lessen his punishment.

Within a week, he found a planet inhabited by humanoid insects with very short life spans. To beings for whom a generation was a mere six months, the powerful and many-millennia-old Nolan seemed especially godlike. Nolan was swiftly chosen to be leader of the entire planet, dubbed the Mantis World in official accounts.

After a few months Nolan had married and his new wife, Andressa, had borne a child, Oliver. This new son looked like a human, albeit one with purple skin.

Realizing that the Viltrumites would be coming for him soon, Nolan summoned his son Mark from Earth to take Oliver under his care. Nolan knew that the Viltrumites would see his new son as imperfect, which would carry a death penalty under Viltrumite law.

Just as had Nolan explained the situation to Mark, a trio of Viltrumites arrived. Mark and Nolan hid Andressa and Oliver and then fought the Viltrumites, who were slaughtering the Mantis World’s native population simply to frustrate Nolan.

The brutal melee ended with all five men badly injuring each other before falling unconscious. When Mark awoke, more Viltrumites had arrived and were taking Nolan away.

Prisoner of the Empire

Feeling that Mark had proven himself worthy of his Viltrumite heritage during the battle and willing to overlook Mark’s resistance as loyalty to his father, the Viltrumites left Mark to take up Nolan’s mission on Earth.

Mark would have one hundred years to put Earth in order for the Viltrumites. If he failed to do so, he would be detained and executed when they arrived at that time. Before being taken away, Nolan made a cryptic request of Mark to read “his books.”

After helping to rebuild the Mantis World’s civilization, Mark returned to Earth with Oliver. Mark learned that his father’s books were a series of science-fiction novels written before he started his more successful career as a travel guide author.

Upon reading the books, Mark realized that they were in fact journals of Nolan’s real-life adventures before coming to Earth and that they listed the various things Nolan had encountered that were capable of harming Viltrumites — knowledge Mark could use to defeat them.

Nolan was imprisoned in a Viltrumite prison, his execution delayed until he recovered from his wounds as the Viltrumites consider it unworthy to kill someone in poor condition. He was eventually joined by Allen the Alien, who allowed the Viltrumites to take him prisoner by pretending to be weaker than he now was.

Over long telepathic conversations, Allen and Nolan not only developed a prison break-out plan but also a friendship. When Nolan had sufficiently recovered and the requisite pair of Viltrumites arrived to carry out the rite of execution, Allen burst free of his shackles and helped Nolan and the other prisoners escape.

Break-out

After the break-out, Nolan confided in Allen regarding the true status of the Viltrumite Empire. One of their enemies had created a biologic weapon called the Scourge Virus. The virus killed most Viltrumites and temporarily weakened all of the others, during which period many of those survivors also perished.

The bodies were so numerous that they now formed a ring around the planet Viltrum, a monument to the costs of conquest. There were less than 50 full-blooded Viltrumites remaining and most of the hybrids were of limited power. The stories of Viltrumites being spread thin due to the vast expanses of their conquered territory was a ruse to cover their drastically depleted numbers.

This was why Earth had taken on such importance to the Viltrumites — human DNA was almost one-hundred percent compatible with that of the Viltrumites as demonstrated by Nolan’s son Mark. The Viltrumites intended to turn Earth into a breeding camp and replenish their population.

Having renounced the Viltrumite ways of old, Nolan now agreed to work with Allen the Alien to find ways to defeat his people. Using the copies of Nolan’s books provided to Allen by Invincible, they began tracking down various weapons, species, and individuals who could pose a legitimate threat to the Viltrumite Empire.


Description

Like all Viltrumites, Nolan Grayson is externally indistinguishable in physiognomy from a human being. He appears to be a broad-shouldered white male in his early to mid-40s, with a somewhat muscular build. Grayson’s square jaw and thick mustache combine with his physique to create an image of a tough but avuncular man.

As Omni-Man, Grayson wore a two-tone body suit, light blue above the waist and bright red below it. The ensemble was completed by light blue boots, red gloves, a red “O” symbol in the center of the chest, and a red cape.

The illustration of a young Grayson in the white suit depicts him in his Viltrumite Empire uniform. The illustration of an older Nolan in the regal uniform depicts him during his time as leader of the Mantis World.

After joining the Coalition of Worlds, Nolan had a new suit created. It is a gray bodysuit leaving the head, forearms, and lower legs below the knees bare. It is accessorized with a wide red band running around the upper torso over the shoulders and extending down the outside of the sleeves along with a short red cape.


Personality

Omni-Man’s human persona is that of a paternal hero who takes his responsibility for protecting others very seriously. There are moments in battle when his domineering Viltrumite personality shows itself around the edges of Nolan’s act though, particularly in his willingness to go on the offense as his default method of handling uncertain situations.

He is very forthright, speaking as openly and honestly as he can while remaining polite. But while Nolan seems to have much more self-restraint than the typical Viltrumite, he still has difficulty controlling his temper at times. He can still act with the unfettered brutality endemic to Viltrumites if he chooses to do so.

Omni-Man preferred to work alone. As a result, even though he was the most powerful and one of the most popular superheroes, he did not have very strong connections with his associates.

Fatherhood

Nolan was a very dedicated and understanding father. He did not try to shelter his son but did take the time to provide guidance and assistance as Mark learned to use his powers. Though Nolan only loved his wife in the sense that one might love a favored pet, he truly loved his son as a fellow Viltrumite.

He ultimately chose to leave Earth rather than kill Mark, which was an extraordinary turn of events as no Viltrumite had ever abandoned his post for any reason prior to that.

Ever since his battle with Mark and his subsequent flight to Mantis-World, Nolan has been rethinking his commitment to Viltrumite ways. He developed a sense of empathy toward others that is alien to most Viltrumites and came to see their conquering ways as a foolish quest that has brought them to the brink of extinction.

He is now working to end the depredations of the Viltrumite Empire, but likely hopes to stop his people without destroying the last of his species.


Quotes

(Getting home just in time for dinner) “Sorry I’m late. There was an enchanted flood in Egypt I had to deal with on the way over.”

The Immortal: “I never liked you.”
Omni-Man (punching the Immortal’s head off): “The feeling was mutual.”

(After punching his son through two high-rises, demolishing both buildings): “Son, now do you see ? This is not your world. One punch from one of our people and thousands lose their lives. Can’t you understand that ? These people are beneath us. Their lives are insignificant at best. This place has nothing to offer you, or any of our kind. It is here to be conquered and improved. Left to its own devices it would be a complete waste.”

(After seeing Mantis-World devastated by his fellow Viltrumites) “They were inferior to us. They were lesser beings. Their deaths are inconsequential. These are all things I am completely aware of. I should not care that they are dead. I’ve had blood on my hands before — far more than this. And yet, I care. I AM ENRAGED.”


DC Universe History

Since Omni-Man and Invincible assisted other heroes but worked independently (in other words, not being full-time members of any supergroup), they could be inserted as is. Placing them on the west coast of the United States would give them enough necessary distance from the home turf of most other major DC heroes to avoid any troubling overlap.

Since the original Guardians of the Globe (GOTG) were obvious analogues for the Justice League, it is possible to integrate the events of the series by having Omni-Man slaughter the actual JLA.

Barring that extreme measure, it is entirely possible to simply throw in the GOTG as a separate superteam though, especially since they were based in Utah, comfortably far away from the east coast cities that were home to the members of the JLA.

An intermediate measure would be putting the Global Guardians in the stead of the GOTG, which would also reflect the more international membership of the GOTG.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Omni-Man

Dex: 10 Str: 26 Bod: 20 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 08 Wil: 10 Min: 10 Occupation: Super Hero
Inf: 06 Aur: 07 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 044 HP: 150

Powers:
Flight: 38, Sealed Systems: 15, Superspeed: 16

Skills:
Artist (writer): 04, Charisma: 08, Martial Artist: 10*, Military Science (Field Command): 06, Scientist: 08*, Vehicles (Space): 06

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Earth, Milky Way Galaxy), Credentials (Viltrum World Conquering Committee, Medium), Expertise (Viltrumite Technology, Alien Threats to Viltrum (as described in his books)), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Near-Immortal, Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Allen the Alien (High), Thaedus of the Coalition of Planets High Council (High).

Drawbacks:
Involuntary Exile (Viltrum), Mistrust (on Earth and Viltrum), Minor Rage.


Omni-Man, Defender of Democracy !

The above stats represent Omni-Man after his Dark Secret was revealed. Prior to that, his Advantages, Connections, Drawbacks, and Equipment were as follows:

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Earth, Milky Way Galaxy), Credentials (Viltrum World Conquering Committee, Medium), Expertise (Viltrumite Technology, Alien Threats to Viltrum (as described in his books)), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Near-Immortal, Popularity (on Earth and Viltrum), Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Cecil Stedman (High), Guardians of the Globe II (Low), Superhero Community (Low).

Drawbacks:
Dark Secret (True mission to conquer Earth), Minor Rage, Secret Identity.

Equipment:
EARPIECE [BODY 01, Radio Communications (Scrambled): 13. This earpiece allows Omni-Man and his US government liaison Cecil Stedman to communicate with one another].

After revealing his mission and choosing to leave Earth rather than kill his son, Omni-Man lost all of the above Connections and Equipment, Popularity (Earth), Dark Secret and Secret Identity, gaining Mistrust (Earth) instead.

When the Viltrumites found Nolan on Mantis-World and learned of him abandoning his post, he lost Popularity (Viltrum) and in turn received Involuntary Exile and Mistrust (Viltrum).

His current Connections were acquired when he befriended Allen and they escaped the Viltrumite prison both were being held in, with Nolan then defecting to the Coalition of Planets.


War of the Gods

Battles between beings such as the Viltrumites result in a lot more collateral damage than typical superhero fights. To simulate these devastating battles, a modification of the Knockback rules is necessary.

When a character is Knocked Back into an inanimate obstacle such as a building, the obstacle is attacked with an AV/EV equal to the EV of the original attack, not the distance of the Knockback.

Example from issue #12 of Invincible:
Omni-Man punches Invincible, adding HPs to the attack to raise his final EV to 36. He rolls high and Invincible gets Knocked Back 5 APs. The first obstacle hit is a skyscraper (Body 25). This is treated as an attack on an inanimate object, making the roll an AV/EV 36 versus an OV/RV 25.
The roll results in 4 column shifts, reducing the skyscraper’s Body to 0 and causing the building to fall. Invincible keeps going and collides with a high-rise building (Body 19). This roll gets no column shifts, but still inflicts sufficient damage to destroy the building. Invincible then hits the ground and stops.

Other than the above, superpowers in the Invincible series are largely immune to collateral effects such as the environmental damage effects listed under the High Speed Movement rules. Omni-Man and Invincible could move at supersonic speeds without causing anything more than a light breeze.


Design Notes

Military Science (Field Command) has not been actively demonstrated but is assumed from Nolan’s time commanding a division of Viltrumite warriors.


By Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: Invincible series (Image Comics).

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham, Bryan Gittens, Eric Langendorff, Dr. Peter S Piispanen.

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