Invincible Jumps from the Page to Prime
I’ll be honest. While I’ve seen the character here and there, I’ve never actually read an issue of Invincible. I mean, it’s kinda hard to miss him with the bright yellow with light blue and black contrast. He would give the original Robin a run for the money on standing out in a crowd. Of course, when you’re as powerful as Invincible is, you really don’t need to worry as much and drawing attention to yourself instead of others is probably a good thing. Before the series started, that’s about all I’d be able to tell you about him, but when I heard that an animated series was going to be released, I knew I should check it out. Amazon Prime aired the first three episodes last Friday. Invincible always looked like he’d be such a wholesome character and, from what I’ve seen in the first 3 episodes, he is. That’s why I was surprised by the level of gore and violence that occurred already. Given that Amazon Prime’s line-up also includes The Boys and the creator of this character also created The Walking Dead, I guess I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was.
When we first start the first issue, it’s not with Invincible or even just Mark Gray and it’s not with his father, Omni-Man. The first heroes we get to see are when an attack is interrupted by the Guardians of the Globe, this world’s version of the Justice League…. literally! There are versions of Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and (very loosely) Green Lantern. (I often wonder how so many people get away with near duplicate version of the Justice League. Though, as usual, Aquaman gets no respect and his version is an actual fish-man.) The oddball out is a character called the Immortal, presumably for good reason. If it seems like Superman is missing, he isn’t. Our Superman counterpart here is Omni-Man who shows up a little into the battle, but he’s not a member of the group and really doesn’t seem like a team player anyway. Right from the start, I really didn’t like his attitude.
When we finally get to see Mark Grayson, he still doesn’t have his powers, but that doesn’t last too long. If it did, we’d run out of show. We do need to set the stage and we do that by him trying to protect a girl and getting his ass kicked for it. I mean, every awkward, comic book reading geek needs a bully to push him around, right? Well, it seems he also needs a gay best friend. While William doesn’t fall into the flamboyantly gay trope, he also doesn’t hide that he’s gay at all. One of his earliest lines is commenting on how hot he thinks Omni-Man is which has really got to make Mark uncomfortable. It’s later that day that Mark experiences his first feat of super-strength. From the way Mark’s father commented earlier about how Mark hadn’t gotten any powers yet, you’d think he’d be happy but he just gives Mark a blank look. At this point, I’m seeing him as more and more of an asshole. We get a flashback at that point to when Omni-Man told his son that he’s actually an alien fromn a world of super-powered people and he came to Earth to protect it. The next morning, the training starts and we see that Omni-Man would make a terrible coach with the way he treats Mark who is just learning to use powers he’s had less than 24 hours. When Mark decides go play super-hero on his own, his father takes to him the show’s very own male version of Edna Mode to get a costume. Of course, he needs a name first. Once he comes up with it and the costume, Invincible is out on his own fighting crime. He also does more than his share of property damage still, but I guess that’s beside the point.
Jump next to scenes of the Guardians getting alerts on their phones making them head off to the emergency. They all show up at their base but no one knows who sent the alert. This is always the first sign that something is wrong. (We finally have the trope!) In walks Omni-Man. Remember that gore and violence that I mentioned at the beginning? Well, we have it here in spades as Omni-Man makes quick work of the team, smashing in heads, punching through chests, breaking necks, and out right beheading the members. As powerful as they all were, they didn’t seem to have a chance against him even though he did end up pretty beaten and bruised at the battle’s end. Omni-Man collapses and the first episode ends. As much as I didn’t like Omni-Man, I didn’t see this happening and I especially didn’t expect to see it quite so graphically. I’d also like to know how Omni-Man was able to get access to the Guardian’s communication signal. Now, it really surprised me that this happened so I had to look it up and while, it did happen there too, it didn’t do so until much later in the book’s run. Robert Kirkman said he has his reasons for moving this up right to the beginning.
Jump to episode 2 and a government agency shows up at the headquarters and starts taking care of everyone. (How did they even know to show up?) Most of the heroes are just a big mess but it looks like the Immortal may live up to his name though as they seem to have technology made specifically for this situation (He was the one beheaded.) on hand. (How did they know they’d need that particular equipment? Maybe they had some sort of vehicle with just about everything they might need.) They do find Omni-Man alive though and take him back to their back to nurse him back to health. Once Mark and his mother are informed of this, Invincible heads off to his first big battle as a huge amount of aliens come through a portal to invade Earth. While there, he meets the Teen Team for the first time. People are getting slaughtered and splattered right and left as well have tons of more gore. Thankfully, the aliens ended up getting really old really fast and retreat.
Jump to the next day and Mark just happens to run into Atom Eve who is a student at his school. (Can anyone explain to me the symbol on her costume which looks like the female symbol with an X over it?) Also, what a coincidence that they get to meet for the first time the day after they meet in battle. I guess stories in general would get boring if not for a lot of coincidences though. They hit it off and start hanging out. Jump back to the government agency who is now cleaning up from the invasion on top of the stuff going on at the Guardians’ headquarters. And speaking of the headquarters, we get introduced to a chubby demon detective there named Damien Darkblood who thinks something is wrong and wants to look into it. (He seems to have some form of psychometry and is getting flashes of the battle.) There’s actually something I like about him. Before we get too far with him, we go to Eve introducing Invincible to the Teen Team just before they head back into battle with the aliens from before who seem to have figured out the time/aging issue. Uh oh! Thankfully, the leader of the team (Robot) figures out a solution to their solution. (This is starting to look like it’s going to be the old “You know that I know that you know that…” bit.) The invasion get driven off (again) in time for Mark to fly back and find out his father is conscious, totally healed, and saying he has no clue what happened. Yes, he’s still an asshole and getting to be a bigger one with every moment.
Move on to the bully passing on a message to Amber, the girl Mark protected early on that she’s interested. Before that can go anywhere…. you guessed it… the aliens are back with an even better solution. This time, Omni-Man is there and he runs them back through their portals to wherever their world is. While there, he goes totally psycho, killing everyone and pretty much destroying their world until they portal him home.
That leads us to the third episode and the last one we have until next Friday. Here, we deal with the public learning about the death of the Guardians. Robot is put in charge of forming a new Guardians of the Globe which consists of a few members of the Teen Team and some others. Eve doesn’t join because she found out that Rexplode cheated on her with Dupli-Kate. (OMG! Those names!!! So cheesy!) Invincible isn’t a member either. Mark does have a study date with Amber though and it seems he needs advice from a gay guy on how to get ready for a girl coming over since his room is a total mess. Of course, the government agency calls on him right then to fight a bad guy so he tells Amber he needs to run out for a bit. He and Eve take care of the villain and bond some more before he heads back to Amber who has been waiting an hour according to her and didn’t do so happily. Given flying and fighting time, that’s probably not bad. She could have been waiting a lot longer but she doesn’t know that. She spent her time reading some issues of Seance Dog, a comic which I personally would love to take a look at. It looks like a canine Doctor Strange. (Dogtor Strange? OK, please don’t hit me for that. I had to!) Eve officially breaks ties with Rex but shows up at Mark’s place to see him making out with Amber. I guess he got her to come around and forgive him somehow, but I feel really bad for Eve. I like her a lot better than Amber. Now, remember those bad guys that attached right at the beginning? Well, they are in some villain jail but that suddenly doesn’t last long as someone is helping them from inside to escape and that person turns out to be Robot. Now I’m really confused. That one I didn’t see at all. Also, Damien approaches Omni-Man’s wife regarding his suspicions. I can’t wait to see where this part goes, especially since Omni-Man could see his breath afterwards which is an odd thing that happens when the demon is around. I would expect heat from him, not cold.
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing episode 4 this Friday. We’ll only be getting one episode a week from now on it seems. Tossing us a few at the start was definitely a good way to draw us in. From what I see online, there will be a total of 8 episodes with the season ending on April 30.