Invincible Review Part 1 (S1E1-3) [No Spoilers]

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Invincible Review Part 1 ( Season 1, Episodes 1-3) [No Spoilers] – An incredible series about the work it takes to be a hero even for a natural

The time has finally come! We’ve been hyped about this series since it was announced back in June 2018, and got even more excited when the trailer dropped and Amazon Studios announced the release date. Now we’re a week away from the series premiere (3/26/2021) and I can share my love and maybe get some more of you hyped with my Invincible review.

If you don’t want to read my fondness of the ground-up approach or admiration of the hard work required even for the naturally gifted, the gist of my Invincible review is going to be of very high praise. In a progressively saturated genre, Invincible carves out its own place feeling unique and different while fully embracing its similarities and staples of the genre.

Based on the comic book of the same name, from creators Ryan Ottley, Cory Walker, and Robert Kirkman, Invincible is a series about an aspiring new teenage hero named Mark Grayson, whose father is the most powerful superhero on the planet. Essentially the son of Superman, but in this world, it’s Omni Man. While he may have the power, the speed, and be “invincible” like his father, he also feels an enormous amount of pressure to live up to his father’s reputation. Mark learns very fast that even with all the power in the world and being invincible, being a hero requires a lot of work and causes a lot of pain.

Invincible takes a ground-up approach to the superhero genre and feels like a positive mirror to the negative perspective of Amazon’s other superhero-oriented program The Boys. This world of superheroes is a dark and dirty business filled with corruption, violence, and hidden agendas. However, in contrast to the generally corrupted and morally depraved baseline the superheroes in The Boys tend to have, Invincible’s heroes largely really want to be heroes and sacrifice a lot to do so. They also have flaws but tend to be more human flaws like being a cheating boyfriend not using their superpowers to create a religious cult. I’m

What helps ground Invincible’s world really well is how vulnerable the heroes are. I mean this mostly in the physical sense, as the heroes here get hurt. It shows how easily a slight misstep could lead to fatalities and how much work it takes to be a hero. The physical vulnerability gives more gravitas to the emotional and human vulnerability of all the characters. Mark Grayson’s emotional vulnerability is a big contrast to his physical invulnerability. He’s a teenager who is going through a lot of firsts, dealing with his otherworldly powers, and discovering what it truly takes and means to be a hero while dealing with his teenage emotions and learning to live with and up to the reputation of the world’s greatest superhero; who happens to also be his father and mentor. This is not taking into account the external problems of the world. To sum it up, the drama of the series is relatable, engaging, and extremely entertaining.

On-top of the gripping story, the series boasts an incredibly gifted cast that is perfectly cast. Mark Grayson is performed by Steven Yuen, who brings a perfect blend of unsurety, cockiness, earnestness, naivety, and dorkiness. J.K. Simmons as Omni Man/Nolan Grayson has an innate commanding presence that just emanates wisdom, gravitas, and power. Sandra Oh as Debbie Grayson provides a warm and knows-better mother who keeps her high-flying family on the ground. The list is almost endless, Zazie Beats as Amber, Andrew Rannells as Will, Seth Rogen as Allen, etc. Each voice very distinguishable but also perfect to embody the characters. With only three episodes, the cast list goes well into the double digits and even the smallest bits are perfectly executed. Three other voices who have larger roles that you get to bask in are Gillian Jacobs as Atom Eve, Jason Mantzoukas as Rex Splode, and Kevin Michael Richardson as Mauler One & Two. Jacobs’s role is a truly inspiring dramatic performance, where Mantzoukas and Richardson’s voices are so perfectly matched to their character designs that it provides a menacing comedy that gets you to laugh at things you might normally feel bad about.

Lastly, I want to talk about the art of the series. Invincible’s art and design are akin to that of the DC Animated programs, which I would say has Young Justice base with Justice League Unlimited detailingIt provides an overall heir of light and positivity that beautifully contrasts with the darker components of the show. The contrast in the visuals really heightens the emotional and dramatic impact of the darker elements of the series. The vibrance of the show is very similar to other animated hero programs that are billed for children, but the depth and veracity of the content are on par with The Boys.  So, definitely, not a kids’ show.  Though I’m sure they will be drawn by the heroic figures and vibrant colors, they may be mortified by the inevitable gore that comes from super-powered beings clashing.

Invincible has all the elements to be Amazon’s next hit series. It has an incredibly impactful human story in a ridiculously non-human world, which seems to be a specialty of Kirkman’s series. It has a perfect award-laden cast for every role that simultaneously gets viewers to recognize their voice and not recognize them as the character. And gorgeous art that beautifully highlights and amplifies the contrasting forces of the story. Invincible has all the best ingredients and still comes out greater than the sum of its parts. Invincible effortless distinguishes itself as a unique property in the long-list of super-hero-based programming. To put it simply, the show is good and enjoyable every episode. I say good and enjoyable because the last big superhero show was objectively really good. But the first two episodes were not enjoyable. It was enjoyable as a 3-episode bunch and as a season/series, but as a two-episode introduction, I know I was not the only person who did not enjoy where it left the audience. For its great story, masterful performances, and sheer enjoyability, my Invincible review a 5/5.

 

Invincible ReviewInvincible

Season 1 Release Date: March 26, 2021 (on Amazon Prime Video)

Based On The Comic Books By: Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley

Executive Producers: Robert Kirkman, Catherine Winder, David Alpert, Simon Racioppa, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg,

Supervising Director: Jeff Allen

Cast: Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Andrew Rannells, Zazie Beetz, Mark Hamill, Walton Goggins, Jason Mantzoukas, Zachary Quinto, Mahershala Ali, Melise, Kevin Michael Richardson, Grey Griffin, Khary Payton and more

Invincible Review Part 1 (Episodes 1-3)
5

TLDR

Invincible has all the elements to be Amazon’s next hit series. It has an incredibly impactful human story in a ridiculously non-human world, which seems to be a specialty of Kirkman’s series. It has a perfect award-laden cast in every role that simultaneously gets viewers to recognize their voice and not recognize them as the character. And gorgeous art that beautifully highlights and amplifies the contrasting forces of the story. Invincible has all the best ingredients and still comes out greater than the sum of its parts. Invincible effortless distinguishes itself as a unique property in the long-list of super-hero-based programming. To put it simply, the show is good and enjoyable every episode.

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