Taylor Swift (From the Vault), Unlocked 1.5, ALT, Invincible, Vlure and Shin Godzilla!

Invincible (on Amazon Prime)

Nick: I discovered Invincible well over a decade ago with Invincible #0. Starting with that issue was something of a blessing and a curse; the issue actually came a few years into the series’ run and was something of a recap issue. Unfortunately, this issue spoiled the twist that drives most of the comic book. Several years passed before I picked up the first volume of the collected edition at a local used bookstore. I read it and went back to get the second, then the third, then the fourth, and so on.

I’ll admit that I took a break about midway through, mostly for shelf space. However, the announcement of a star-studded animated adaptation of the series that premiered yesterday on Amazon Prime—which I will be covering in the coming weeks here on 25YL—inspired me to pick the series up and finally finish it. I would definitely recommend that anyone else that’s only read part of the run should go back to it; you won’t be disappointed.

I’m pleased to say that I can also recommend the show, of which I’ve already seen the first three episodes. The show manages to capture the comic’s unique blends of lightheartedness and extreme violence, off-color humor and life-and-death stakes, and secret and super identities.

Created by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), both the comic and the show follow the coming of age of Mark Grayson, a teenage half-alien half-human whose powers have just started to kick in. Following in the footsteps of his father Omni-man, an incredibly powerful Superman-esque alien from the planet Viltrum, he dons the persona of Invincible while he tries to balance being a superhero, high schooler, boyfriend, and son. Few comics manage to be about an unabashedly fun superhero whose everyday life is as interesting as their superhero persona as Invincible, and while I’m not sure that the show is entirely there yet, it has time to grow.

The cast list is really impressive: Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) stars as Invincible, with Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Omni-man, Emmy nominee Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) as Mark’s mom, plus Zazie Beetz, Walton Goggins, Gillian Jacobs, Jason Mantzoukas, Zachary Quinto, Mahershala Ali, Mark Hamill, Seth Rogan, Jon Hamm, Mae Whitman, and a host of others in supporting roles. I think some of the voices work better than others, although that could also be my bias after voicing almost 150 comics in my head (at the same time, I was already reading the Mauler Twins in Kevin Michael Richardson’s voice, so pretty spot-on casting there).

The mixture of tones doesn’t always work and I can’t say that all of the jokes land, but the show is engaging and fresh. When the first three episodes were done, I found that I was just as excited to see where the show goes as I was when reading the comic, and just as disappointed that I had to wait as I was in between bookstore trips. While the first three episodes were firmly rooted in the comic, the show has also already shown that it doesn’t feel obligated to follow the comic to the letter. With so many epic storylines to play around with from the comic, I hope that we get to see how the show handles them in the years to come.

Written by TV Obsessive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *