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Tim Kring, the creator of TV hits Heroes and Crossing Jordan, has returned with Invincible, a show that is set in the same universe as those series, albeit in the future, when superpowers have become fairly normal. The show is centered around Mark Grayson, the son of the world’s greatest superhero, Omni-Man (played by genre stalwart Greg Grunberg), and the show opens with Mark’s mother dying in a plane crash, and Mark’s subsequent discovery that his dad is secretly the killer of his mother
Invincible is a superhero comic book series originally published by Image Comics and later acquired by Robert Kirkman. Although the comic is based upon characters originally created by Kirkman, the comic itself is published by Skybound, Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics. Since its debut in 2003, Invincible has become one of the most successful comics of the new millennium.
CHECK : Invincible – Season 1 (2021)
If you really want to do what I do, you have to be prepared for anything.
Invincible is an animated series from Amazon Prime and executive producers Seth Rogen and Robert Kirkman (who also created the comic book The Walking Dead). Based on Kirkman’s comic book of the same name, the series follows teenager Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun) as he masters his newfound superpowers. Of course Mark gets excited when his skills are shown. He wants to live up to his father’s expectations. His father is Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons), the world’s greatest superhero. Mark tries to find a balance between his new responsibilities, his studies, his part-time job and his newly blossomed love life. While Invincible has a fairly standard superhero origin schedule, the first post-credits episode takes a turn more in line with films like Guys or Watchmen. I haven’t heard much about Invincible, either from the critics I follow or from TV fans in general. I remember thinking everyone was only talking about the Boys when they were there; same with Mandalorian and WandaVision on Disney+. But when I saw the ads for the series on IMDb, I was intrigued by the unique art style, and I’m willing to watch anything superhero related. Now that the season is over, I want to take a look at the aspects of Invincible that make it different, how it could have been better, and how it all fits together.
Mark leads a pretty normal life for a teenager. He has loving parents, a disappointing social life and an after-school job. When Mark first gets his superhuman powers, he and his parents, Nolan and Debbie (Sandra Oh), are excited and seem ready for the next phase of their lives. But things are changing fast for Mark, and not just in a good way. Most of the superheroes die in one fell swoop, leaving Omni-Man and another villain to defend Earth. This puts even more pressure on Mark, which soon affects his interpersonal relationships and school performance. Mark’s biggest ordeal is discovering that his father has been hiding a dark secret from him and everyone else.
I’ll start with the most obvious: Invincible’s art style is unique to the anime series. I’ve never read the source material, but from what I’ve heard, the layout of the series is very similar to Cory Walker’s drawings in the comics. I have to say that the commercials for this movie reminded me of Star Wars: The resistance is visual, and thankfully the show is nothing like this monster. Honestly, this is one aspect of Invincible that I didn’t immediately like. The fluidity of the animation and even the movements of the characters, as well as the reduced shadows, make me feel like I’m in a comic book. While I understand where they’re coming from, it’s not for me. In fact, I think the comic book aesthetic has been replicated with great success in other cartoons. Into the Spider-Verse comes to mind: Not only did this film masterfully recreate the look, but it also made the comic book characters come to life. The frame rate in Invincible is surprisingly low, with the exception of the action and fight scenes, which are lightning fast and sometimes hard to follow. The character design is not bad, but the shadow reduction is not good, and the movements seem too slow. It’s fluid, so I can’t say it’s abrupt, but it feels delayed. I also feel like they could have developed the characters’ facial expressions more, especially when they are in turmoil. Animation is the art of exaggeration, and exaggerating facial features and expressions visually conveys a lot to the viewer. Also, I don’t think Invincible uses color very well. It’s strange for me to say this, but it’s actually a pretty diverse use of color. Each superhero has a different color, and the series explores many different locations. But all the colors seem to have faded. I think it has to do with shadows; because most things only have one color/shadow, they lack dimension and look flat. This overexposed look detracts from my faith, and the overall look of the series. What could have been rich and vibrant seems to have been washed out too often. I have a feeling the animation in this series will be love it or hate it for many. Unfortunately, I fall into the latter category. Other than that, the buildings and backgrounds of the series are very successful. Too bad the visual focus of the show, the characters, are not. On the other hand, the musical score of the series, created by John Paesano, is huge and very moving.
Although film and television are visual media, I don’t consider the appearance of the subject to be the most important, or even decisive, factor. Invincible has an impressive cast: J.K. Simmons and Steven Yeun play Nolan/Omni-Man and Mark/Unbreakable, respectively. Sandra Oh shines as Debbie, the devoted wife and mother of Nolan and Mark whose lives are turned upside down. Mark’s girlfriend Amber is played by Zazie Beetz, and his friends Eve and William are played by Gillian Jacobs and Andrew Runnells respectively. Walton Goggins plays Cecil Steadman, head of a shadowy government company that, among other things, supports superheroes….. support. Zachary Quinto is the voice of Robot, the leader of a group of young do-gooders called Team Teens. Jason Mantzoukas (Big Mouth, Close Enough) plays Rex Splode, Eve’s friend and Mark’s first rival. I was excited to see Clancy Brown and Mark Hamill as a demon named Damien Darkblood and a tailor in Art’s super suit. Not only are they among my favorite voice actors, but it’s funny that they both played DC comic book characters. Hari Payton, Mahershala Ali, Grey Griffin and Seth Rogen complete the supporting cast. Steven Yeun is fantastic as Mark/Unvincible. I haven’t seen The Walking Dead, but I was a big fan of Avatar Wang’s role in The Legend of Korra. Of course, the main character gives Mark Yeun more opportunities to use his dramatic muscles, and that’s great. J.K. Simmons is another Korra alum. He played the role of Aang’s son and the reformed leader of the Air Nation, Tenzin. Simmons’ work speaks for itself; his performances are always top notch, no matter the size of the role. Omni-Man goes through a lot of emotions and complex situations in Invincible, and I don’t think they could have found a better actor for the role.
The plot and characters of Invincible took some time to captivate me. I’ve only seen the series once, but the first time around, the first episode seemed very boring until the post-credit stinger started. I think I understood the point; everything was very familiar, the stereotypical elements of a superhero story. I think the first episode was meant to give the viewer a false sense of security so that the scene after the credits could deliver the final blow. It’s very effective, and I became more interested in the story with each episode. When I got to episode 7, I couldn’t wait to see what was next. It was also really nice to see many of the early settings (some of which I had almost forgotten about) come back into play later. The same goes for the characters, albeit to a lesser extent. I really liked Mark and Debbie, as well as the secondary characters like Eva and William. Although I really liked her at first, Amber started to disappoint me after a while. His lack of understanding of Mark’s situation pissed me off. Even after he tells her his secret identity, she remains cold and distant and leaves him. She also gets upset easily when she doesn’t have hers. Fortunately, she reveals herself at the end. Cecil, Darkblood and Art are greatly enhanced by the performances that come with them. I still think Mark could have been a more interesting and likable protagonist. In the beginning, they use the tactic of making everyone treat him badly so that you sympathize with him. And it is surprisingly very effective. Eve’s subplot with Rex and his parents was a pleasant surprise. I was worried that she would take Rex back after her affair with Dupli-Kate, another teenager, and the terrible advice from Eva’s father made that even more likely. Rex is a selfish jerk, but Eva’s parents are even worse because they tell her that she can’t do superhero stuff on her own and that she needs a man to protect her. It’s like they’re trying to destroy their only child’s self-esteem. At the end of the season, all I can say is: Good for you.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie Invincible. It got better as the series went on, even if the overall look of the series didn’t work for me. An excellent cast, impressive music and an increasingly compelling plot elevate what could have been a standard, mediocre superhero origin story. I like the Guys much better, especially the second season, but Invincible stands out enough to justify its existence.
Location – 7.5
Actor – 10
Progression – 8
Production planning – 6
Animation/Action – 6
An excellent cast, impressive music and an increasingly compelling plot elevate what could have been a standard, mediocre superhero origin story.
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