Invincible has finally returned to Prime Videos, which means it’s finally time to see the lasting effects of Omni-Man’s attack.
The season 2 premiere of Invincible introduced a bevy of fun new storylines to explore as Mark Grayson/Invincible and his mother Debbie Grayson navigate their new reality. The events of the season 1 finale way heavily throughout this premiere so be sure to catch up before diving into season 2.
In short, the world’s greatest superhero Omni-Man turned out to not have the Earth’s best interest at heart. This betrayal hit his son Mark and wife Debbie particularly hard as he turned his back on all he stood for and did so brutally.
Editor’s Note: This episode contains spoilers of the first episode of Invincible‘s second season called A Lesson for Your Next Life.
In an alternate dimension, Invincible (Steven Yeun) sides with his father and brings Earth to its knees. Mark seeks to bring down a resistance and during a raid, Angstrom Levy (Sterling K. Brown) escapes through a portal.
Back in the main continuity, Mark grapples with his new normal as he attempts to be a superhero in secret because he feels guilty for the Chicago incident.
Mark seeks out Global Defense Agency Director Cecil Stedman (Walton Goggins) and asks to begin working for him as a hero. Cecil claims Mark isn’t emotionally ready and declines the offer.
The Mauler Twins (Kevin Michael Richardson) escape from prison and learn it is Levy who broke them out. Levy, a self-proclaimed pacifist, explains he has gathered all his different variants from other dimensions and wants to combine their knowledge into him so he can solve the world’s problems.
The new Guardians of the Globe change as Cecil makes a newly resurrected The Immortal (Ross Marquand) leader while Bulletproof (Jay Pharoah) joins the team. Cecil eventually accepts Mark’s offer though The Immortal tells Mark he doesn’t trust him.
As Levy and the Maulers attempt to transfer the knowledge of all the Levy variants into one, Invincible shows up and engages the Maulers, leading Levy to prematurely abort the experiment. Mark feels guilty again, but Rex Splode (Jason Mantzoukas) consoles him.
In a moment of normalcy, Mark and Amber (Zazie Beetz) both find out they got into Upstate University and will continue dating there.
Later on, Levy and one of the Maulers survive the incident, but Levy’s brain has become deformed and he vows vengeance on Invincible.
It was nice surprise starting the episode off with a swerve. While we all knew Mark strongly rejected his father’s calls to join him in making Earth join the Viltrum Empire, you couldn’t help but question if Mark changed his mind down the road.
The animation for this show remains exquisite. This was on full display during the montage of Mark helping people in secret. Pair that with Radiohead’s “Kharma Police” and you had a phenomenal montage.
That’s what Invincible does so well. It makes great use of its animated environment. Sure, the violence is over-the-top gory, but that never makes it feel campy. I would argue that it’s the everyday animations that help Invincible really shine as a cartoon.
That and the voice acting. Sandra Oh really shines as Debbie. This is a woman in pain after her husband called her nothing more than a pet and a blip on the map. Oh’s performance shines as she carries that pain into this season.
The rest do a phenomenal job in their roles. I’m particularly excited about Sterling K. Brown joining the show. I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him in The People v. O.J. Simpson back in 2016. He shines once again.
And that brings us to his character. It didn’t take long for Angstrom Levy to become a compelling villain. I always believe supervillains are at their best when they are crazy (i.e. The Joker, The Green Goblin, etc.).
The incomplete transfer of all the Levy variants leaves Levy prime unable to distinguish his memories from the others’ minds. This should prove to be a fun set up and a role I’m excited to see Brown embracing.
He tends to play the more calm villains (see Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Black Panther) so seeing him crazed at the end of the episode was exciting.
One of the reasons I’ve loved Invincible is it really embraces the alter-ego. Superhero shows tend to make the hero itself the main personality while the civilian persona is secondary. Invincible flips that and focuses heavily on the civilian in many cases.
Mark is going through something that can be really relatable to some. Not only is he gripping with the trauma of the Chicago attack and the countless death, but it was his father who caused it all while gas-lighting him through the process.
That’s heavy and Mark tries to bury it in returning to superhero work. This will be an interesting dynamic to watch as the season wears on.
An early concern is there seemed to be a lot of plot lines forming. My worry is the show may try to stretch itself too thin.
You have at least five storylines from the new Guardians of the Globe along with numerous others. Heck, Mark has two distinct storylines he’s encountering between what’s happening to Mark the high schooler and Invincible the hero.
I have faith the producers can make this work after a stellar first season. It is something I’ll be keeping an eye on as there will be a lot to follow.
Invincible has always handled its various characters so well and I care about all of them. It was nice to see Rex get some development. I would also like to see more Atom Eve in the future as she was a breakout character from the first season for me.
Also, where was William? Mark gets a touching moment with his bully once he returns to school, but he best friend was no where to be seen?
Final Score (4 out of 5 stars)
Invincible is off to a fantastic start.
The show introduces some excellent story points, but may have overdone what it has introduced. This could’ve led to the sidelining of some important characters, namely Eve and William.
Still, the future looks bright for fans of the show as Sterling K. Brown looks to deliver a memorable performance as the villainous Angstrom Levy. That’s not to forget about the ever-looming threat of Omni-Man’s return to finish the job.
It took two years to finally return to Prime Video but it was well worth the wait.
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