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The Invasion graphic novel, published in October 2020, was adapted by Chris Grine and based on The Invasion.

Synopsis[]

When a group of friends stumble upon a downed alien spaceship and its dying pilot, they're given an incredible power - they can transform into any animal they touch. With it, they become Animorphs, the unlikely champions in a secret war for the planet.

Plot[]

Young teenagers Jake and Marco leave the mall one evening. On the way out, they meet Tobias, and later Rachel and Cassie, who are together, and decide to walk home together. While taking a shortcut through an abandoned construction site, an alien spacecraft lands nearby. The badly injured alien pilot, an Andalite named Prince Elfangor, emerges from the ship and through a telepathic method known as thought-speak explains to the kids that he is dying, and the Earth is being invaded in secret by a race of aliens called the Yeerks, a slug-like parasitic species who infest species through their ear canals and take complete control of the human's body, turning them into what is called a Controller.

The human hosts are still self-aware but the Yeerk in their head has complete control over their body and what they say and do. Elfangor tells them that more Andalites will not come to Earth for a year or more, and by then, Earth will already be completely taken over. To combat the Yeerks, he gives the humans morphing ability: the power to become any creature they touch by absorbing the creature's DNA. Elfangor warns them to never stay beyond two hours in a morph, or they will be trapped in that form forever.

Elfangor is eaten

Elfangor is killed

The Yeerks, led by Visser Three, the only Andalite-Controller in existence, arrive to kill Elfangor and eliminate all traces of him and his ship. As they arrive, Elfangor explains to the children what the aliens accompanying Visser Three are, humans which have already been enslaved by the Yeerks, Hork-Bajir, a fearsome-looking but peaceful race enslaved by the Yeerks, resembling large lizards with blades on their arms and legs, and Taxxons, a forever hungry race which willingly allied with the Yeerks, resembling giant centipedes standing on their bottom half. After taunting Elfangor, who remains defiant, Visser Three morphs into a giant alien and eats him alive, while his army destroys the ship. The five human teenagers hide and watch, but are discovered and chased by the human and Hork-Bajir Controllers. A voice orders the Hork-Bajir to not bother taking them alive, but the group manages to escape, shaken but more or less unhurt.

Jake morphing Homer GN 1

Jake morphs into Homer

The next morning, a Saturday, Tobias visits Jake and informs him that the previous night was not just a dream; he had already morphed his pet cat, Dude. He morphs in front of Jake to prove it, and tells him that the animal's instincts are also part of the morph. Even after witnessing him morph, Jake is reluctant to use the power to fight the Yeerks, but Tobias wants him to be their leader. He convinces Jake to morph. Jake reluctantly acquires and morphs his family's pet dog, Homer, and they are nearly discovered by Jake's brother, Tom. Tobias leaves, and tells Jake to meet the others at Cassie's farm. Before going, Jake finds out Tom is no longer a member of the basketball team, and has joined a new club, The Sharing.

Jake meets Rachel, Marco and Tobias at Cassie's farm, where he shows them a newspaper article about teenagers setting off fireworks at the construction site. Marco voices an extreme reluctance to fight the Yeerks, due to his mother already being dead, while Cassie is revealed to have already morphed a horse. As she demorphs, a police officer arrives, nearly seeing her and informs them that he is investigating the story about the teenagers setting off fireworks in the abandoned construction site the previous night. He asks if they know anything about it, and the five of them realize that the police officer is a Controller. He also seems to recognize Jake, asking him if he is Tom's brother, which Jake confirms. He then tells them that he is also a member of the Sharing, and invites them to join it. After he leaves, they decide to hold off on fighting the Yeerks for the time being.

Jake punches Marco

Jake punches Marco

Later that day, at Jake's house, Tom expresses a similar interest in the teenagers at the construction site and presses Jake and Marco for information. Marco realizes—much to Jake's anger—that Tom is also a Controller. Tom invites Jake and Marco to the next meeting of The Sharing, which is holding a meeting with a bonfire on the beach. Tobias arrives, having morphed a hawk, and tells Jake and Marco that Elfangor telepathically sent him flashes of pictures before they left, and he is trying to decipher them. So far he has figured out that the Yeerks, in their natural state live in a Yeerk Pool, and must return every three days to absorb Kandrona rays. They realize that two people they suspect to be Controllers have invited them to a meeting of the Sharing, and decide to investigate it to see if the Yeerks are involved.

That night, the group attends the bonfire. When the full members go off to a separate meeting, the kids regroup, and Jake morphs his dog, Homer, to go investigate. In dog morph, he spies on the members, and quickly determines for certain that The Sharing is a front organization for the Yeerks to recruit new hosts. He also discovers that their assistant principal Chapman is the leader of The Sharing and a human-Controller, and was the voice directing the Hork-Bajir at the construction site. As he returns to the group, he sees Cassie looking for him, and she is spotted by the policeman, who questions why she is at a full members only meeting. She quickly comes up with the excuse that she was looking for her dog (Jake) but he remains suspicious. Regrouping, Jake tells them what he has found out, and they agree to fight the Yeerks, with Jake vowing to save his brother.

On Monday, Jake morphs into a green anole lizard to spy on Chapman, and discovers that there is an entrance to the Yeerk Pool, a large, underground cavern where the Yeerks can feed and recuperate—in their school. After discussing their idea to go to the Yeerk Pool to rescue Tom, the teenagers (minus Tobias), newly christened as Animorphs by Marco, decide to acquire more dangerous morphs at The Gardens, a large zoo and amusement park.

On Tuesday, Jake, Rachel, Cassie and Marco visit The Gardens, where Marco acquires a gorilla, after which he and Jake are separated from Rachel and Cassie by security, who chase them. They steal a golf cart and escape into a tiger enclosure, where Jake acquires a tiger before getting out and reuniting with Rachel and Cassie, and leaving. Rachel is later revealed to have acquired an elephant.

On Wednesday night, the Animorphs decide to infiltrate the Yeerk Pool in order to rescue him, but find that Cassie has been kidnapped by the policeman-Controller. With no time to plan a strategy, the four remaining Animorphs head into the Yeerk Pool. They discover how large it really is, and find many humans and Hork-Bajir, including Tom, in cages. Jake and Marco are found by a few Controllers, but they are saved by Rachel, in elephant morph. Jake and Marco morph tiger and gorilla, respectively, and the three attack the cages and free some of the prisoners, including Tom.

Animorphs GN1

The Animorphs in battle morphs

Tobias and Jake manage to rescue Cassie, but as they and the free hosts run for the exit they are find themselves outnumbered and outgunned by Visser Three and his Yeerks. Visser Three morphs into a giant eight headed creature and attempts to burn them, while the Controllers try to recapture the people. As many of the escaping hosts are either recaptured or burned, Tom attempts to attack the visser, but is knocked aside and recaptured. In the end, Jake, Rachel, Marco, and Cassie barely escape along with one woman who was a former Controller, and Cassie reveals, sadly, that the policeman-Controller was killed. Jake goes home and cries, and listens as Tom returns home some time later, still a Controller.

Much later that night, Jake is awakened by Tobias. Although he managed to escape, he has stayed in morph too long and is now stuck in morph as a red-tailed hawk. Jake is upset, but promises to keep fighting the Yeerks until the Andalites arrive.

Appearing[]

Protagonists:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Organizations:

Items:

Mentioned:

Major/Highlighted Events[]

  • The Animorphs meet Elfangor who tells them about the Yeerk Invasion and grants them the power to morph.
  • Elfangor is killed by Visser Three soon after.
  • When Jake informs his older brother Tom that he didn't make the basketball team, Tom reveals that he quit playing basketball and joined The Sharing.
  • The Animorphs attend The Sharing with Tom, There Jake discovers (in dog morph) that his older brother is in fact a Controller and The Sharing is a scam created by the Yeerks in order to obtain new hosts. The Animorphs also discover that their vice principal is a controller.
  • The Animorphs visit The Gardens and acquire elephant, gorilla, and tiger morphs.
  • The Animorphs decide to take their first mission to the Yeerk Pool to rescue people from becoming Controllers.
  • The Animorphs discover Hork-Bajir prisoners as well.
  • The Animorphs succeed in rescuing one human prisoner but Jake is forced to abandon Tom when the latter leaves to fight Visser Three.
  • The next day, Tobias visits Jake in hawk morph and reveals that he's trapped in morph due to staying in morph past two hours.

Morphs[]

Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake Golden Retriever (Homer), Green Anole Lizard, Tiger Golden Retriever (Homer), Green Anole Lizard, Tiger
Rachel African Elephant African Elephant
Tobias Cat (Dude), Red-Tailed Hawk Cat (Dude), Red-Tailed Hawk (becomes trapped in morph)
Cassie Horse Horse
Marco Gorilla (Big Jim) Gorilla (Big Jim)
Visser Three -- Antarean Bogg, Unnamed Creature with Eight Heads and Eight Legs

Notable Differences from Original Novel[]

  • In the original book, Jake specifies that he and Rachel are cousins. In this graphic novel, their familial relationship is not mentioned.
  • Many of the character dialogue from the book are given to different characters in the graphic novels (ex. in the book, Rachel is the one who mentions Marco wanting to be a big, hairy guy whereas in the graphic novel it is Cassie who says it.)
  • The graphic novel changes the hair color and styles; in the books Marco has long hair for the first nine books before getting it cut short in the tenth book. In the graphic novel, he has short hair to begin with. The graphic novel depicts Tobias as having long hair past his shoulders, although in the books, Tobias' hair was not that long. Jake and Tom also have light brown/ginger hair, even though they have dark brown hair in the books.
    • The change to Marco's hair length was intentionally done as he wanted readers to have something to look forward to in subsequent graphic novels, where he would slowly make Marco's hair longer.[1]
  • In the graphic novel, the kids all seem to be friends from the get-go. Tobias greets Jake and Marco amiably while at the mall and points out that he had run into Cassie and Rachel earlier. Marco greets Tobias warmly as well, while Tobias and Tom also seem to know each other. Later on at Cassie's farm, it is mentioned that Marco had been there before and had gotten sprayed by a skunk. In the books, Tobias was not part of their friend circle. Additionally, while Jake and Marco were friends and Rachel and Cassie were friends, Marco and Cassie were not friends and he had never been to the farm until after he became an Animorph; Marco was also not friends with Tobias, and the two did not really know each other well enough to share greetings. Jake was the only one who knew all of them, and was the pivotal reason to why all five walked home together that night. Tobias, who had a hero worship for Jake, invited himself to walk home with Jake and Marco before Rachel and Cassie happened to run into them, at which point the girls decided to walk home together with the boys as it was late. As the outsider of the group, Tobias only spoke to Jake and did not talk to Marco, Rachel or Cassie at all until the Elfangor incident, which brought all five of them together as friends.
  • The graphic novel depicts every human with black eyes, thus omitting the specific eye colors the Animorphs had. This however is a stylistic choice in terms of the art style and should not be considered an inconsistency.
  • When entering the abandoned construction site, Marco is hesitant to enter out of fear of ax murderers, while Jake calls him a chicken for it. In the books, Marco had no reservations and it was Jake who was worried about entering due to the possibility of ax murderers. Marco also mentions the fact that his parents would punish him if they knew he was there; Marco did not mention his parents much in the book since his mother was dead and his father was depressed.
  • When the kids wonder if aliens can speak English, Cassie mentions that they do on "Trek Wars," as Marco corrects her that it is called "Star Trek." However, in the book, Cassie doesn't make this mistake.
  • When Visser Three eats Elfangor, the original novel depicts Taxxons eating some of Elfangor's remains. This scene is omitted in the graphic novel.
  • After Jake morphs into Homer, Tom enters the room and doesn't ask who Tobias is, instead asking why Homer is wearing Jake's clothes and Tobias informs him that he and Jake were dressing Homer up for fun. When he asks where Jake is, Tobias replies that he went to get more clothes for Homer. In the books, Tom just walks into the room and asks who Tobias is and where Jake is; Tobias responds that he is Jake's friend and that Jake is "just around" after which Tom leaves.
  • At The Sharing's members meeting, Iniss 226 is mentioned by name.
  • Marco's line of "idiot teenagers with a death wish" is omitted from the graphic novel.
  • The graphic novel slightly changes the timeline of events. In the book, Jake attends The Sharing meeting on Saturday, where he overhears "Tom" mentioning that he would visit the Yeerk pool on Monday night. Jake acquires the lizard on Saturday night and uses it to spy on "Chapman" on Monday morning, with the Animorphs acquiring their battle morphs and visiting the Yeerk Pool on the same day. In the graphic novel, Jake attends The Sharing's meeting on a Saturday night, where he overheards "Tom" mentioning he would be going to the Yeerk pool on Wednesday. Jake acquires the lizard on Sunday and morphs it to spy on "Chapman" on Monday; the Animorphs then acquire their battle morphs at The Gardens on Tuesday before going to the Yeerk Pool on Wednesday. Additionally, Tobias does not join the Animorphs on their excursion to The Gardens in the graphic novel.
  • The cages at the Yeerk Pool in the book are regular bar cages with a padlock. In the graphic novel, they are advanced containers with an electronical lock.
  • In the original book, Jake, Rachel and Marco did not yet learn how to morph clothing during their visit to the Yeerk pool, and thus would've been nude when they demorphed upon escaping. The graphic novel avoids this visual issue by adding a scene where Rachel asks Jake and Marco if they had learned how to morph clothing as well, with Jake confirming it.
  • When the Animorphs escape from the Yeerk pool, they demorph as they climb the stairs and revert back to human by the time they emerge into the school hallway. The woman they save reacts to the animals she was with suddenly being human, but the Animorphs pay her no mind. In the book, the Animorphs were still in battle morphs (with the exception of Rachel, although she was only half-demorphed) when they emerged out of the janitor's closet and back into their school, and thus the woman that they saved did not know they were human.

Trivia[]

  • The graphic novel is set in the 1990s, just like the original book.[2]
  • Chapman is depicted as having a full beard. He is also one of the only two human characters (the other being the gray-haired security guard on page 156) who has eyebrows which are the same color as his hair; the other human characters, regardless of hair color, all have black eyebrows.
  • One of the video games at the arcade on page 4 has a picture of what looks similar to a Hork-Bajir on the side.

Goofs/Inconsistencies[]

  • Marco states that his parents would punish him if they knew he entered the abandoned construction site. However, Marco's mother is not present in his life (as she disappeared two years prior and is believed to be dead) while his father does not interact with him due to his depression over his wife's disappearance.
  • When Elfangor reveals that he's dying, he is depicted shedding tears. However, Andalites are stated to be unable to shed tears in the novels.
  • Visser Three refers to Elfangor as "Your Highness." However, 'Prince' is not a term of royalty for Andalites, which Visser Three would know of since he possesses an Andalite host body, who happens to hold the rank of War-Prince as well.
  • When Marco steals the golf cart at The Gardens, he immediately crashes into a wall. The front of the cart is then shown to have no damage; however, just a few panels later, when Jake gets back into the cart, the front is drawn to be damaged.

Gallery[]

Elfangor eye closeup andalite chron "Someone took a picture of me? Not cool. Do you see what I'm wearing? I'm Spandex-boy. Totally not cool."

The image gallery for The Invasion (Graphic Novel) may be viewed here


References[]

Books
Main Series #1 The Invasion | #2 The Visitor | #3 The Encounter | #4 The Message | #5 The Predator | #6 The Capture | #7 The Stranger | #8 The Alien | #9 The Secret | #10 The Android | #11 The Forgotten | #12 The Reaction | #13 The Change | #14 The Unknown | #15 The Escape | #16 The Warning | #17 The Underground | #18 The Decision | #19 The Departure | #20 The Discovery | #21 The Threat | #22 The Solution | #23 The Pretender | #24 The Suspicion | #25 The Extreme | #26 The Attack | #27 The Exposed | #28 The Experiment | #29 The Sickness | #30 The Reunion | #31 The Conspiracy | #32 The Separation | #33 The Illusion | #34 The Prophecy | #35 The Proposal | #36 The Mutation | #37 The Weakness | #38 The Arrival | #39 The Hidden | #40 The Other | #41 The Familiar | #42 The Journey | #43 The Test | #44 The Unexpected | #45 The Revelation | #46 The Deception | #47 The Resistance | #48 The Return | #49 The Diversion | #50 The Ultimate | #51 The Absolute | #52 The Sacrifice | #53 The Answer | #54 The Beginning
Megamorphs The Andalite's Gift | In the Time of Dinosaurs | Elfangor's Secret | Back to Before
Chronicles The Andalite Chronicles | The Hork-Bajir Chronicles | VISSER | The Ellimist Chronicles
Alternamorphs The First Journey | The Next Passage
TV Tie-Ins Meet the Stars of Animorphs
Graphic Novels #1 The Invasion | #2 The Visitor | #3 The Encounter | #4 The Message | #5 The Predator | #6 The Capture
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