After a brief hiatus, we’re back! for WBM SPRING 2021 Movie & TV Preview: Week 2/Week3! Today we’re going to take a look at the excellent new Amazon Prime series, INVINCIBLE…
Amazon Prime’s New Series INVINCIBLE
At first glance, Invincible appears to be another coming-of-age superhero tale mixed with a variation on The Superman Archetype. However, this fantastic new series from Amazon Prime actually subverts every troupe and expectation that comes along with the above mentioned stories, to create it’s own wonderfully rich and unique series. Invincible is based on the phenomenal comic book series of the same name from writer Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead. Animation is the perfect way to tell this story because the universe of Invincible is as wild and creative as the Marvel or DC Universes. If you like superhero movies and TV, but are looking for something new from the genre, Invincible is the series for you.
So What’s It About?
17 year old Mark Grayson is a typical teenager, except for the fact his father is Omni-Man, the world’s greatest superhero. Kind of like Superman, Mark’s dad is an alien from another world called Viltrum. Omni-Man, or Nolan Grayson, came to earth on a peacekeeping mission and eventually met his wife Debbie. Being half Mark will inherit his fathers abilities. When he finally does, he jumps right in the superhero game. Whether it’s rescuing people or stopping bad guys so low, working with all the superheroes like teen teen or the guardians of the globe, or working with his dad who is training him on how to use his abilities and develop them over time. Nolan and Debbie are still very much in love and Mark is over the moon about finally got his powers. There’ loving family who care deeply about one another. However, things aren’t as perfect as they seem.
Though not a full-time member, Invincible often works with superhero groups like The Teen Team and The Guardians of The Globe. The member of the team team that in March is most friendly is Adam and Eve, if you can go to Marks high school. Mark finds himself in an interesting love triangle between his new girlfriend Amber and fellow superhero Atom Eve, who undeniably has feelings for Mark.
This series has so much going for it, I almost don’t know where to start. The vocal performances are fantastic, mostly due to the stellar voice cast. Steven Yuen (Glenn from The Walking Dead) plays the series lead, Mark Grayson/Invincible. This was pitch perfect casting and Yuen doesn’t disappoint with a excellent performance. Sandra Oh plays Marks mom and wife of J.K. Simmons’ Omniman, The worlds most powerful superhero. Speaking of, another highlight in the series is JK Simmons, who adds another iconic comic book character to his resume as Mark’s father Omniman, the world’s most powerful superhero. His performance in the Spider-Man films as J. Jonah Jameson is one of the best marriages of character and actor in any superhero film. Jameson and Omni-Man couldn’t be more different from one another, yet it’s a testament to Simmons’ versatility as an actor that he brings such nuance and subtlety this fascinating and complicated character. With supporting roles that include John Hamm, Gillian Jacobs, Walton Goggins Zachary Quinto Seth Rogen, Kevin Michael Richards, and many, many more. Invincible is absolutely stacked with amazing talent.
Not The Same Old Superhero Story
During the show’s quieter moments, like Grayson’s sharing some family time at home, the animation isn’t dissimilar to the type of animation you’d see in on DC Animated Films or Young Justice on HBO Max (Another MUST WATCH series). It’s a clean, stylish lock, that certainly works, but has a bit of a “stock” feel to it. I almost think this is a deliberate choice by the creators, to once again manipulate viewer expectations. The entire show is about subverting classic superhero stories and over the last 10 or 15 years we got used to a certain style of animation, like what I described above. Then the show cuts loose and it’s a feast for the eyes. The action sequences and fight scenes are detailed, visceral, and brutal. This series doesn’t pull any punches.
I should also mention this is an excellent adaptation. When I think of all the big moments and characters that I would really want to see at this point in the story, as a fan of the original comic book, everything I’m looking for is there and then some. It never feels overstuffed, the pacing is pitch perfect. A lot of character, plot, and mythology for giving to us in the first four episodes, but it never feels like too much. Which brings me to another important part of the series identity. Like the comic book it’s based on, Invincible is extremely violent. They do a fantastic job of showing just how gory and vicious the damage could be if someone with powers like Superman really cut loose. The series wisely doesn’t over do it when it comes to how many ultra violent scenes there are. It never comes off as gratuitous. When we do get a particularly brutal scene it’s in service of the larger and really packs a wallop.
For comic book fans as well as anyone looking for new and different from the genre, Invincible is a MUST WATCH!
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