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Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

REVIEW: ‘Invincible’

“Invincible” delivers entertaining satire with a meaningful story

“Invincible” stands out as a particularly unique entry in the superhero genre, following a teenager discovering his powers in a violent world of

Cole Bertelsen

superpowered beings.

“Invincible” subverts traditional superhero stories, akin to “The Boys,” another series by Amazon Prime Video. “Invincible” satirizes common tropes and expectations, taking a seemingly unserious approach to storytelling. However, it holds a meaningful story at its core. 

Two characters are most impressive among an incredibly varied cast: the title character, Invincible, and his father, Omni-Man. Season one builds the groundwork of this pair’s relationship before tearing it apart. The twist at the end of the first episode sets the tone for the rest of the show. Omni-Man, essentially the Superman of this world, presents himself as a compassionate alien driven only to help humanity. That man proceeds to ruthlessly kill every member of the world’s strongest hero team in a brutally efficient scene. 

Omni-Man hails from the planet Viltrum. Its inhabitants are all gifted with flight, extremely long lifespans and overwhelming strength and durability. Viltrumites are eventually revealed as a conquering race, relentlessly weakening every planet they find to add to their empire. 

That is Nolan’s mission as Omni-Man on Earth. While earning trust to more effectively destabilize the planet, he marries and has a son, Mark. As Mark grows up into a young man with powers, dubbing himself Invincible, he soon has to face off against his father.

This all sounds like the somewhat intriguing twist on a character like Superman that at this point is overdone: what if he was evil? However, this show thrives through its ability to take this premise and fully explore it. 

Nolan was raised on a planet where only the strong survive and the weak don’t deserve to. An entire life of indoctrination like that is immensely hard to break out of, and Nolan doesn’t easily. He commits many heinous acts before displaying potential for redemption. 

At the end of Season 1, Mark’s love for his father overwhelms Nolan, leading to him abandoning Earth and his mission, something no known Viltrumite has ever done. Nolan never expected his family ties to impact him, but it made him more human than he realized.

Season 2 continues these plot threads, focusing on Mark growing as a hero before reencountering his father. Throughout the season Invincible and other heroes experience loss, failure and unintended negative effects of their actions. 

The voice acting is especially good in “Invincible.” Steven Yeun plays Invincible extremely well. He captures the glee of a teenager discovering he has powers while struggling through the trauma of everything he’s experienced.

Sandra Oh surprised me in the role of Mark’s mother, Debbie. Her scenes coping with the betrayal of her husband are emotional, and Oh’s performance sells it.

The show is most carried by J.K. Simmons. His voice is very distinct, and he sells the role of a proud father and ruthless murderer simultaneously. Many of his lines are incredibly intimidating.

The show is an adaptation of a very long comic run of the same name. As a reader of that comic, I’m extremely eager to see that story continued onscreen. The first two seasons of “Invincible” are a tiny portion of the comic’s full story, leaving many more seasons of material but also a long wait for fans eager for the conclusion. 

Since the finale of Season 2 released April 4, the first two seasons are available to watch. The decision to split the second season in half, with a nearly four-month mid-season break felt unnecessarily long and dented its cultural impact. The gap between Season 1 and Season 2’s release was also two years, a sizable wait for viewers.

According to statements by Yeun, the wait for Season 3 thankfully might not be long. 

“For us, we know that this big break was not fun,” Yeun said in an interview with Collider. “We’ve been working hard to get a lot of backlog done.”

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About the Contributor
Cole Bertelsen
Cole Bertelsen, copy chief
Copy chief for 2023-24. Previously asst. copy chief for 2022-23.
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