In today’s age of television, there are so many options available to choose from on several streaming services and network channels. And when a new television show makes its debut, I have to decide whether I’m going to add it to the ever-growing catalogue of my entertainment menu. For me, at least, with television, since there is so much to choose from, the first episode of any television show must hook me right away to keep me invested. I get that some shows have this thing where, they seem to be saying, “Just watch a few episodes and then it really gets going.” However, with so much to see in so little time, I have to be reeled in by the time the credits roll at the end of the first episode. And not only did the first episode of Amazon’s Invincible meet this criteria, I had to watch the other two episodes I received immediately afterwards. After watching the first three episodes of Invincible, I think it’s already 2021’s best new television show of the year (so far).
Invincible is based on the comic created by Robert Kirkman, who also created The Walking Dead comic series before it became the biggest show on television for some time. This new animated comic book television series tells the story of Mark Grayson (voiced by newly Oscar-nominated Steven Yeun), a teenager who initially has no superhero powers. Mark lives in a home with his mother Debbie Grayson (voiced by Sandra Oh) and his father, Nolan Grayson (voiced by J.K. Simmons) who is also Omni-Man, the most powerful superhero in the entire galaxy. Eventually with the help of his father and others, Mark awakens and develops his own powers. Unless you’ve read the comics this new series is based on, you’ll have never heard of these heroes and villains. They might have similar traits and abilities as some other Marvel and DC Comics superheroes, but they are still different enough.
I know what you’re thinking: yes, it’s another comic book show or movie to watch when we already have so many from just Marvel and DC Comic’s gigantic catalogues of superheroes. And yes, it’s a coming-of-age story about a teenager who gains superhero abilities and is trying to balance his school life while handling this huge responsibility of being a new superhero. It sounds too familiar, right? However, Invincible throws a curveball in this by flipping the switch at any given moment when the action hits. And when the action hits, you can see why it’s an adult animated show: the action sequences are brutal and don’t shy away from showing blood and guts. And most of all, the action presented early on in Invincible is among some of the best in an animated show that I’ve ever seen. Just when you think action sequences in comic book properties can’t get any more jaw-dropping, Invincible says, “Hold my beer.”
Another big draw to Invincible is the voice cast itself. Aside from the three previously-mentioned voice actors, Mark Hamill, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Qunito, Walton Goggins, and Jason Mantzoukas, to name a few, also lent their substantial talents to this endeavor; you can go to IMDb right now and see the rest of the voice cast. In all my years of covering and watching animated shows and movies, I don’t think I’ve ever seen as good a voice cast as the one assembled in Invincible. It is astonishing to say the least.
My only knock with Invincible is that each episode runs around 45 minutes. Almost all animated television shows are around 22 movies, tops. So, to go at this length per episode, I’m a little skeptical about how the pace will keep up throughout the course of its first season at this run length with each episode. However, Invincible’s story so far has done anything but bore me, as I’ve been drawn in to these heroes and villains and how they’re viewed around the world, government agencies, and other universes. And without spoiling anything, the story that presents itself early on in draws you into figuring out what exactly is going on, which has me excited for what’s to come in the weeks ahead.
Invincible begins its first season next Friday, March 26 with three episodes available to stream and then drops a new episode every Friday afterwards, which is Amazon’s same release strategy they did with their mega hit comic book show, The Boys. Invincible has a lot of potential to become the perfect pairing with The Boys and be another Grade-A show for the streamer. It’s not often that a show, whether it be superhero or not, has me craving more from its world. But after seeing everything Invincible has to offer, from the voice cast, to the action and its story, I can’t wait to see where it goes on a week-to-week basis.