Invincible is the future of adult animation

On March 25, Amazon Prime started to release Invincible, an animated TV show based on the comics created by Robert Kirkman, of the Walking Dead fame, and Cory Walker, a comic book artist who has worked for Image Comics, Marvel, and DC comics. The series follows your ‘average’ high school student Mark Greyson except his father is the most powerful superhero on Earth, Omni-Man, and Mark has superpowers. As Mark goes through the world of being the superhero, Invincible, and trying to live up to his father’s legacy, we get an amazing TV show that is brutal and a welcoming addition to the superhero genre. 

Since the show is relatively new, I will not go into major details of Invincible to leave room for the viewer to have the full experience. I also will not mention anything about the major story points in the original comic to avoid potential spoilers for the show. 

What I truly enjoyed about the show, and the reason why it’s TV-MA, is how brutal and bloody it can get. This show pulls no punches when it comes to the action. You know how usually in superhero movies when a building collapses, or they fight in the street you don’t see the civilians. In this show, you see the bodies of people affected by these fights. This kind of violence and blood isn’t really seen in most superhero media, even less in animation. It adds a sort of realism to the show since if the events were real, there would in fact be immense casualties. 

The characters and performances in this show are truly amazing, especially the family dynamic between the Graysons. Though the voice actors are considered celebrity casted, they are experienced voice actors and know exactly what they are doing. Steven Yeun plays the title character, Invincible, and J.K. Simmons plays Omni-Man. These two are a true highlight of the show with their dynamic and how their relationship starts to fall apart by each episode. Especially with a complicated character like Omni-Man, who’s layers and facade come off each and every episode. Sandra Oh as Debbie Grayson, mother of Mark Grayson, is a driving presence in the story and serves as the audience’s eyes as she herself tries to figure out the mystery of the show. She is the humanity of the Grayson family.

Though the show is based on the original comics, it does make some changes. I believe that these changes are for the best and add to the experience for both newcomers to the Invincible story and for veterans of the franchise. Characters feel more grounded, and some storylines are changed. It shows that changes to the original material, if done right, can evolve the story towards greater heights. 

One of the only aspects of the show I do not like is the romantic relationship between Amber Bennett and Mark. Amber, played by Zazie Beetz,  is one of Mark’s peers, and starts dating him early in the season. Amber is very different from her comic counterpart, and feels more like an individual. Which is great and is an immense improvement for the show. But, the relationship between the two is toxic on both sides though it isn’t presented in that way in the show. Instead it is perceived as just Mark’s fault when Amber herself was borderline unsympathetic in the way she treated him. And the way it is ‘resolved’ in the end feels like a cop out. I hope that they expand upon this relationship in the later seasons since the show has proven to be better at writing than this. 

This show is a hard R, if you are speezy about blood and guts do not watch this show. But, if you are a fan of comics, subversion of expectations, and really good action and animation then Invincible is the show for you. You can find it on Amazon Prime. I rate Invincible Season 1 5-stars out of 5-stars