Invincible (S1) | The Incredible Adult Animated Series

I grew up reading and watching manga, and adult animated series like this one is the closest thing produced in the west that has the same level of complexity and excitement that animes have. Invincible is the name of the series, and the Image Comics series by Robert Kirkman it’s based on, the show has a long and incredible voice cast that includes Steven Yeun (Minari, The Walking Dead), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) and J.K. Simmons (ZSJL, The Stand).

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Premise: The series revolves around Mark Grayson, a normal teenager, except for the fact that his father, Nolan, is the most powerful superhero on the planet – Omini-Man. Shortly after his seventeenth birthday, Mark begins to develop powers of his own and enters into his father’s tutelage.

Review: I was glued to my TV for the three episodes premiere. I was amazed by the story, the action, and the depth the series showed in that debut. Despite all that I paused the show after episode five. Every week there was something to discuss, whether it was a great action sequence, an interesting new character, or the way a storyline was evolving. But I wanted to binge that show, and there also was weekly episodes of TFTWS, whole seasons of various series (S&B, The Irregulars) that I wanted to watch, and movies (Concrete Cowboy) that premiered at some points.

The premiere was proof that Invincible has so much story packed in each episode that I couldn’t watch it if I wasn’t 100% engaged in the series. It’s in fact one of the things I like the most about the show. Everything feels deliberate, there’s little to no fillers in the episodes – I don’t think there is any but someone somewhere might find something -, great interpersonal relationships, and a solid plot.
There’s the core story about Mark and his family, which is the hook of the show, one that pays off in the end a thousand times. But there are smaller storylines mixed in that are interesting, even if a bit generic for some of them, and could have to potential to develop into a bigger storyline in later seasons. As for the core one, there are subtle clues laid throughout the season that hint at the reason for the episode one ending. If you’re like me at least one of your theories will be right on the money but it doesn’t negate the enjoyment of seen this playing out.

I mentioned the cast earlier and it makes a huge difference when you have an all star cast voicing these characters. Whether you recognize their voices or not the difference is felt. It elevates the show, help distract from some of the weaker aspect of the show. There are few, some you might not notice – like the slight dip in quality in the animation at times, or one character that’s not so well written – given the mountain of great things about the series.

I think I should mention the violence. Again it’s adult animated, it really is. The show is gory at time, it’s not for the fainthearted, but to me it’s not made for shock value. The violence is one of the grounding aspects of the show. The interpersonal relationships are realistic and relatable, and here the violence is as well. When there’s battle near civilians, there are casualties; if a super powered individual punches another, it’s going to leave a mark. The show does not hold back.

Invincible might not look like anything special at first but it’s excellent. It plays with our expectations of a superheroes show, it’s adult, violent, a really refreshing superhero series.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Invincible has been renewed for a 2nd and 3rd season,
if you’re interested in the comics that inspired the show, help us by getting them from the links below:

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