For the past ten or so years, superheroes have dominated popular culture. Marvel Studios and Disney destroy the box office annually with the newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with DC and Warner Brothers trying to keep up with the DC Extended Universe.
In the world of comics, however, there are a litany of titles and series that are completely independent from these two giants, the most popular of which is most likely Image’s “Invincible.” After dominating the indie comics scene for over a decade, the adult superhero story has finally gotten an animated adaptation which premiered on Amazon Prime last week.
“Invincible” follows Mark Grayson, a normal, run of the mill teenager. The only thing that makes him different, however, is that his father is Omni-Man, the world’s most powerful superhero. When Mark finally gets his own powers, he jumps at the chance to become a superhero, but quickly finds out fighting evil isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The first three episodes of “Invincible” are amazing. The first episode pulls audiences in and tricks them into thinking that it is simply another generic superhero story. Everything feels wholesome and normal until the end of the episode hits viewers like an atom bomb. The first episode’s final scene (no spoilers here, don’t worry) changes absolutely everything viewers thought they knew about the series, hooking them into at least the next two available episodes.
Though the original story of “Invincible” is good enough to hold its own, the folks at Skybound spared no expensive when it came to getting a stellar voice cast. The series is led by Steven Yuen as Mark. Though Yuen is best known for his role as Glenn in “The Walking Dead,” he has really come into his acting career as of late, and he brings his full acting chops to this series.
The series is full of other A-list actors, such as J.K. Simmons as Omni-Man, Sandra Oh as Mark’s mother, Zachary Quinto as Robot, Gillian Jacobs as Atom Eve and tons more. Even the supporting cast features huge names such as Seth Rogen, Zazie Beats, Mark Hamill and Clancy Brown. Each of these actors embraces their roles, completely blending into their characters.
The only thing holding the first few episodes of “Invincible” back is its animation. Though its clear that most of the budget went into the battle scenes (which look stellar), many of the interstitial shots look a bit rough. Many of the scenes where the characters take to the skies in flight look particularly bad, taking viewers out of the experience completely.
The first three episodes of “Invincible” will absolutely blow fans of the superhero genre away, and maybe even captivate those that are starting to feel fatigued by it. It presents a captivating mystery at the end of the first episode that begs for answers and sets up a fantastic beginning of a series.
Though the animation can be a bit rough sometimes, the story and voice cast should be enough the bring viewers back each week for the next episode. With any luck, the rest of the season will keep up with the quality of the premiere.