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Athena Scalzi

Spoiler-Free Thoughts On Invincible So Far

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… an Amazon Prime original animated series about superheroes? Interesting.

I hadn’t heard of Invincible at all until my friend mentioned it, and I was shocked I hadn’t seen anything about it. Me, loving superheroes, immediately watched it. At the time I watched it, the first three episodes were out, and I binged all three in one night (even though it was like one in the morning when I started, and each one is forty-five minutes long).

Funnily enough, after I watched it, I started getting ads for it everywhere. Which I don’t mind, but it is odd. You would think the algorithm would know that I’m already super into it (haha SUPER).

Anyways, there’s only four episodes out right now, so it’s a little soon to be making calls about whether or not it’s a masterpiece or revolutionary or anything like that. However, I wanted to talk about some of the reasons I like it so far and why I think you should give it a try.

To give some context, Invincible is about a high school student named Mark Grayson, who is the son of the world’s greatest superhero. He, however, is a late bloomer coming into his powers. After finally getting them, he becomes a superhero known as Invincible.

Before I discuss the reasons the show itself is good, I wanted to take a minute to address how fantastic the cast is. Just looking at the lineup, you know you’re in for something special. Steven Yuen, J. K. Simmons, Zazie Beets, and Zachary Quinto are just a few of the amazingly talented people involved in this show. So, definitely a promising cast.

What I expected from this show and what I got were two totally different things. I can almost guarantee it will knock you on your ass within the first episode, which is something I can appreciate in a show. You think you have a standard, run of the mill superhero show on your hands, but you don’t know what you’re in for.

It’s fun, it’s colorful, it’s humorous, it’s all the positive things a superhero show should be. But it’s also dark, and mysterious, and more than a little disturbing.

The characters are relatable, and better yet, likeable. Invincible has Superman-like powers, but unlike Superman, he’s more human. I don’t just mean that literally, but in terms of character. He’s a high school kid, struggling with hormones and navigating bullies and crushes, and he can accidentally be a dick sometimes, but is all around a good guy. He’s human. Between Superman’s perfection and Batman’s unyielding brooding and moodiness, humanity is not something you see often in heroes.

On top of that, the secondary characters are so much more than just extras in the main character’s life. They’re more than the best friend that offers one liner advice, and more than the girlfriend that gets captured by a villain and becomes the “damsel in distress.” They’re their own, unique, fleshed out characters that are a lot of fun and have a lot of personality.

Aside from the characters, the fight scenes are pretty enjoyable. I really like the animation style, it’s very much like watching a comic book come to life. Seeing combat in this style is especially interesting. Fighting in comics has always been something I struggle following along with, just because I feel like a lot of the movements and punches can get lost in between the panels. To me, comic fights end up being hard to follow and it’s unclear what’s going on. Invincible does not have this problem, so you get all the pros of the comic style with none of the cons.

So, yes, I think this show is really great so far and I’m really enjoying it. But it’s important to address the issues it has, too. To be clear, this is not an issue that is specific to Invincible, but is something that seems to be an issue in almost all adult animation I see.

Not to be a total stick in the mud or anything, but adult animation consistently has the problem of trying to prove that it is for adults by being overly gratuitous in terms of gore, violence, sex, etc. Adult cartoons always seem to be trying too hard to show it isn’t for kids by putting in shocking amounts of blood and nudity, when it’s not really called for. Don’t get me wrong, I love violence and nudity! But I think there’s a line between tasteful and too much. And adult animation almost always crosses that line in an attempt to show that it is, in fact, adult.

Invincible seems to be guilty of this as well, but only in small doses. It’s not a constant or consistent problem, but it is note-worthy, at least. It’s not raunchy or full of sex or anything, but it can be gory. So much so that I was watching a scene through my fingers in shock and a bit of disgust.

So, aside from Invincible seeming to be afflicted with the usual adult animation curse of being overly graphic in one way or another, it’s really great! I do, in fact, recommend checking it out if you have Prime, since it’s free and whatnot.

I have high hopes for this show and am really looking forward to the rest of the season!

Have you seen it yet? What do you think so far? Who’s your favorite character? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!

-AMS

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