Invincible season 1 review (2021)

Invincible may very well be one of the best comic book adaptations I’ve ever seen and it’s only just beginning of its potential. The writing is phenomenal, the characters are developed properly, and the action scenes are insanely gory and entertaining to watch.

Invincible follows teenager Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who, to his neighbors and the common folk, he’s part of a normal family consisting of himself, his Mom, Debbie (Sandra Oh), and his Dad, Nolan Grayson (J.K. Simmons). His father just so happens to be the strongest superhero on Earth, Omni-Man, who originates from the planet Viltrum. With Mark being half Viltrumite and half human, he gains powers at 17 years old and must learn to balance being a superhero while also dealing with everything else in his everyday life. In some ways, it takes him to his limits and this new journey he’s on is a journey of self-reflection and figuring out who he really is.

Part of the reason why I wanted to see this series is because it’s a superhero story. I’m a sucker for superhero stories if I’m being honest, especially good ones. When I say “good,” I mean those with great character development, coherent story-telling and progression, and, at least for animated properties, good editing/animation and fighting sequences. Seeing all the buzz about this series and how it checked all of those boxes, it was time to check it out. Amazon seems to be on a roll with superhero content, specifically with The Boys. As fantastic as that series is, I can honestly say Invincible is a better superhero story in many ways, and I feel I was engaged with it a bit more. It’s sort of crazy to say that, considering how much I adore The Boys. But, let me dig deeper into why Invincible is shaping up to be one of the best superhero shows I’ve ever seen.

You also get to see the dynamic between him and his father. As you know, his Dad, Omni-Man, is the strongest superhero on Earth, so he has some pretty big shoes to fill. It’s not like he’s making Mark’s life any easier either. He’s pretty hard on him throughout the first season and is always pushing him to his very limit in order to get the best out of him so he can reach his potential as a superhero.

So much so, you start believing Mark is just a terrible superhero at some point because of all the bad luck he’s having and the mistakes he’s making. Sometimes, the outcomes are fatal, and it’s pretty devastating to watch what happens because of his screw ups. Of course, it isn’t intentional and you can obviously tell it’s taking a massive toll on him since his motives are genuinely good. Then again, it doesn’t always translate into something good. The first couple of episodes really do grab at the viewer and make you care for Mark and his current struggles.

Back to the point of the “same old origin story,” things truly take a turn at the end of the pilot. I won’t spoil it since it’s probably the biggest plot detail in the entire first season and literally changes absolutely everything about the show, including what’s going to happen, and how you’ll feel about a certain character. It’s incredibly shocking to see what happens so early on and how it’ll effect every other storyline being told moving forward. Again, I won’t be digging much into obvious spoilers about the story. Just experience it for yourselves and I promise you, it’ll be more than worth it.

Besides Mark, the show is stacked with properly developed characters who feel important in one way or another. Everyone has a role to play and they never feel wasted or useless. Obviously, there’s Omni-Man, who’s simply intimidating just looking at him. He’s obviously inspired by other superheroes, most notably Superman, and in some ways, he resembles him. For example, the figure, the red cape, his powers (super strength, speed, flight, near invulnerability), and so on. Confidence seems to ooze off him in every scene, but I guess that comes with the territory since there’s no one who can do a damn thing to hurt him long term (or at least not yet).


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