I have to say the short seasons on streaming are a real pain in the butt, but damn is it effective at leaving you wanting more.
Invincible, Amazon’s latest animated superhero project, concludes today with its season finale. I Want to take the time to not just discuss the finale but the eight episode season overall. Let’s do it! The Good and the Bad.
1: The Mix: The pilot episode of the series was slow. Though by the gruesome end you find that the pacing and “general audience” delivery were nothing more than red herrings. This show was always intended to be a mind F*** of adult action. If the show had to be described I would say it is somewhere in between Young Justice and The Boys. It isn’t afraid to go where it needs to and in doing that doesn’t become mindless and gratuitous entertainment. There’s real story here and real characters and real stakes. Everything comes together so nicely that it creates a show that feels like something brand new in a genre that should feel oversaturated by now.
2: Violence: The end of episode one will haunt me forever, but goodness did the season finale give it a run for its money. I have only recently picked up the comic books and while the show is incredibly faithful to it, it takes the material and accents/builds where it can in a really successful way. We know the show isn’t afraid to kill, but while seeing Omni-man hold Invincible against the incoming train you still think they wouldnt…They do. It’s exploding body after exploding body and you are just left with your jaw on the floor and your heart at your butthole.
Again, it doesn’t feel gratutious. The show knows who Omni-man is and what he is there to do. In that knowledge the creators know this is absolutely something he is capable of and there is no reason why he wouldn’t go there; especially if it is for the sake of recruiting his son.
I hate to say it but the show’s use of violence adds to the fun and creates a unique environment in animation. I believe we are conditioned, for the most part, to see gruesome violence in animation as a means for comedy, but the thing about Invincible is that it manages to use it to raise the stakes of its drama. No better example than this battle between father and son! He is literally killing everyone around them to make his son see his ways. The fight ultimately concludes with the reveal that it’s not out of pure evil but, in a way, to hide the fact that he loves his son and is afraid of losing him.
3:Build up: Were there some episodes in the middle there that were a bit slow? Sure! Yet I accepted them because I suspected they are trying to make a series that is ultimately rooted in its characters. Having a character driven show can make the smallest of shifts in action and confrontation so much heavier because of the intimate time spent with them. The faceoff between Mark and his father is EARNED. We have see this building up for weeks and it has been a quiet source of anxiety while seeing other plots born or build. I appreciate that effort and I am curious for how much deeper it can go with these characters in future seasons.
4:Character Investment: Already mentioned, but the investment in every single character is appreciated. Boy did I have anxiety about William at the beginning of this show! Was he really just there to be a typical gay supporting character?
The college visit episode turned into one of my favorites for the season. Again, it felt fresh and new. It gave me comfort that somewhere down the line we will get to see more of his development along with Rick. ALSO, extra points for allowing actual LGBT actors to voice those characters!
Every single member of the cast feels like they have a place in this broader story and it’s elements like those which is why ensemble projects are my favorites.
1: Eight Episodes!?: This is literally my only complaint about this show. The season was only eight episodes?! How long do we have to wait?!
It was only just announced this week that the series has officially received the greenlight for seasons two and three. This means that production has not started and we are likely going to need to wait a year before we can revisit the world of Invincible… Sigh… What else is on?