@tourneymaster: Shooting through a planet doesn’t make you a planet buster. So yes, Rulk is more durable than pretty much any material that makes up a planet (assuming this is Ross) as well as everything else in Invincible.
You need to get to his brain first.
Sure, he can get BFRed. But he can also lay waste to anyone on the invincible team pretty instantly.
By being above literally everything in the invincible universe?
Rulk is flat out more powerful than anything the invincible universe has ever faced and he has flyers on his team that can help with a BFR. So yeah, he’s an MVP.
Mark Grayson (also known as Invincible) is a Viltrumite; a race of superpowered beings that all possess the same abilities to varying degrees:
Heightened healing/pain tolerance
All these abilities are powered by something called Smart Atoms. Invincible is 144 issues long and Mark has evolved both as a character and in terms of power as the series has gone on. So the earlier the issue number, the weaker the Invincible. Some scaling will probably be used throughout the debate to help establish my points, as by the end of the series Mark is easily the second strongest character, and could maybe be argued as the strongest. For more info here's his official Handbook entry:
With that out of the way, shall we get into the debate?
Now, I've been thinking about this debate quite allot recently. Mark and Saitama are both essentially super fast bricks, so I could see why you'd argue for Saitama to beat him handily head on. However there's two pretty glaring problems in your approach:
You've presumed that Mark doesn't have the physicals to hang
You've presumed that this is even going to be a slugfest
To tackle the first point, I do have issues with your feat of Saitama countering Boros's 'surface busting' attack. Mainly because it never gets the chance to surface bust anything and surface busting in of itself is a vague term. Will it completely vaporise just the surface of the planet? Will it cause a dustcloud to form and kill life that way? Will it just heat the Earth up? Without anything solid to go on other than a mere statement from Boros, I'm going to need more than that to really quanitify what we're dealing with here. Saying that, I may as well counter your best feat with one of Mark's own to show that he can take Saitama's best hits. Namely Invincible #75 wherein himself, Thaedeus and Omni-Man bullrush Viltrum at lightspeed, disrupt the core with the help of Space Racer's laser and come out the other side relatively unscathed...
I should probably point out that Mark isn't a planet buster and nor is any Viltrumite, they wouldn't have been able to accomplish what they did without Space Racer. What I want to highlight is the destruction they cause and tank as a result of entering and exiting the planet which is well above anything you've showcased for Saitama. Whilst this is quite high end, Mark shows the ability to shrug off things like city busting attacks quite often, such as Invincible #69 and Invincible #80. The former where he takes repeated blasts from a city busting laser and the latter where he no sells being at the centre of a blast that vaporises Los Vegas and turns the ground to glass.
This should establish a base line for the level that Invincible is operating on consistently. In terms of damage output, Mark has been matching these levels since his early days, such as when he bullrushed Allen The Alien into the moon and caused a huge crater as a result in Invincible #5...
At the very least Mark and Saitama are operating on a similar tier where striking and durability is concerned and I'm only scratching the surface here. Physically, I'd argue that Mark is stronger given that he's been able to carry huge pillars that weigh thousands of tons as early as issue 30. Mark's best raw strength feat probably occured in The Pact #2 wherein he slowed down and redirected a huge Meteor:
If nothing else, the aim of this section is moreso to demonstrate that Mark and Saitama are peers in raw physical output and that neither of them will be beating the shit out of the other from the get go. I might be leaning slightly towards Saitama in a slugfest due to his usage of speed, but it wouldn't be an easy task by any means. However this raises my second issue that I brought up before...
This ain't no slugfest
I feel like you came into this thinking that Saitama held every relevant physical advantage, and whilst this might be true, every physical advantage does not mean every advantage. Invincible has three things that make it hard for me to see him losing...
Saitama may fight faster, but Invincible's raw and operational speed is on a completely different level
Invincible can fly
Invincible has a brain
And boy does he like to use all of these things in unison. For starters, when it comes down to it Mark has loose morals and will kill if he needs to, or sometimes when he doesn't. I think this is nessacary for the strategy I'll be getting to. Secondly, Mark's raw speed makes Saitama's look like a joke. Even in his early days Mark could travel to the Midde East from the USA before his Hot Dog could hit the floor.
Now Mark is comfortably FTL in travel speed and managed to momentarily outspeed an FTL Spaceship(2) in Invincible #77. Mark was able to process what he was doing in that instance and scan Earth for evidence of Viltrumites so it's not like he mindlessly turned off his brain to operate at such speeds. In terms of combat speed, Mark's first fight with Conquest in Invincible #63 was at such a rate that satelite feeds were 5 minutes behind what was actually going on, they couldn't even get anyone else involved because they were crossing large distances too quickly...
It's worth noting how much more powerful Mark became after all of these feats as well (which I'll elaborate on later). To throw in a bit of scaling, Mark's father Omni-Man was so quick that he managed to blitz the entirety of the Guardians of the Globe before anyone could see a thing in issue #7...
This is actually quite simple, likely to happen and one you should have no real counter for. In laymans terms Mark has utilised his speed and flight against physically superior foes by cutting off their air supply or quite literally just dragging them to space and leaving them there. He did this as early as Invincible #17 where he dragged Thomas Winter's to space and just left him there until he passed out.
He used a similar tactic against Conquest in Invincible #72 except it was more combat oriented. He slammed into him to knock the wind out of him and immediately strangled him so he couldn't get a breath. Mark literally had his guts punched out, was slammed into the planet at re-entry speeds and tore up a huge landscape but refused to let go.
This is significant because Conquest could fly and was Mark's superior in every concievable way. The fact that Conquest could fly is the reason he was even able to put up a fight. Finally, Mark did a similar thing in Invincible #142 where he flew Rex off of Earth near instantly and just punched through his stomach when he was practically helpless in space...
I shouldn't have to spell out why this is a near flawless strategy to perform against Saitama:
It doesn't rely on intimate combat speed, which means Mark's raw speed should make him completely impercievable if he wants to be
Saitama can't fly so there's not much he can do once airbound
He's never really encountered anyone like Invincible... Ever, so isn't really prepared for tactics like this
Its's an entirely consistent strategy for Mark to employ
To be honest, I came into this apprehensively because I'm aware how tough Saitama is. On paper it's a relatively even match with each having certain advantages over the other. But then I remembered how resourceful Mark is, he's used to employing different tactics when simply punching something isn't enough to win. I've kept certain cards close to my chest where a straight fight is concerned because I'm interested in seeing if Saitama is capable of dealing with the strategy I've outlined. I'm not sure he does, but I wish you the best of luck in your reply my friend.