Written by: Ron Bricker
While not entirely obscure, Allen the Alien is a recurring character within Image Comics’ Invincible universe. Having his first appearance in Invincible #5, Allen is a member of the Coalition of Planets. His job is to visit assigned planets throughout the universe and evaluate their defender (‘champion,’ in the series). So that’s it, he flies from spinning ball to spinning ball looking for someone worthy of defending it from threats like the Viltrumite empire (a seemingly unstoppable force within the Invicible universe).
But what I’m interested in is not his abilities or his origins, no, I’m interested in why he even shows up in the Invincible universe at all. Like I said, Allen the Alien is employed by the Coalition of Planets as an official Champion Evaluation Officer. And for the past several decades, unbeknownst to the citizens of Earth, Allen has been flying to our blue ball in order to challenge Earth’s previous champion known as Omni-Man. Every year, Allen is thwarted by Omni-Man in dismal fashion and then he leaves… content that our planet is in good hands.
Until that fateful day (isn’t it always?)… Allen flies towards Earth ready to challenge its champion only to find a new contender staring him down in orbit. That man is Invincible’s main character, Invincible. He spars with our hero for a while until Invincible himself decides that maybe the best course of action would be to simply sit down and talk to Allen. He does just that and finds out that Allen is there to evaluate his abilities as a defender.
But this is where Allen is wrong… planet Earth was never scheduled to be evaluated. In fact, the planet Allen has been skipping out on every year for at least a decade was the planet known as Urath. Allen the Alien, Champion Evaluation Officer of the Coalition of Planets, confused Urath with Earth and has been doing it wrong ever since.
He learns of his folly and disappears into space… and that’s it. That’s all we see of Allen for almost another 20 issues. We pick him up again later in the series, but what stands as a single issue introduction, in my mind at least, is possibly the best single character origin I can think of.
Brought to help save Earth by simple dyslexia, Allen the Alien is a character worth checking out. Read about his life and so much more within the pages of Invincible, simply an amazing book. I’ll be looking forward to Allen’s next cameo, and if you catch up to Invincible, so should you.