Invincible (TV series)
|Created by||Robert Kirkman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||42–49 minutes|
|Original network||Amazon Prime Video|
|Original release||March 25, 2021 –|
Invincible is an American adult animated superhero streaming television series, based on the Image Comics series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley which premiered on Amazon Prime Video on March 25, 2021, to critical acclaim for its animation, action sequences, and performances. The series stars Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh, and J. K. Simmons. The series initially revolves around 17-year-old Mark Grayson and his transformation into a superhero under the guidance of his father Omni-Man, the most powerful being on the planet. In April 2021, Amazon renewed the series for a second and third season.
Mark Grayson is a normal teenager, except for the fact that his father, Nolan, is the most powerful superhero on the planet. Shortly after his seventeenth birthday, Mark begins to develop powers of his own and enters into his father's tutelage.
- Mark Grayson / Invincible (voiced by Steven Yeun): The eponymous main character. Gaining his powers at 17 years old, Mark discovers the harsh realities of being a superhero whilst struggling to define himself. He is shown to have a berserker side when fighting the Flaxans and Machine Head's villains, revealed to be a Viltrumite trait.
- Debbie Grayson (voiced by Sandra Oh): Mark's mother and Nolan's wife. Debbie is an experienced realtor, once long adjusted to being a superhero's spouse, before entering into a drunken spiral of depression during the end of the first season.
- Nolan Grayson / Omni-Man (voiced by J. K. Simmons): Mark's Viltrumite father and Debbie's husband. Born on Viltrum to a superpowered alien race, his parents died in his youth before he joined the Viltrumite Empire's intergalactic expansion over several thousand years. After arriving on Earth 20 years before the series, Nolan is considered the most powerful superhero on the planet, with a civilian identity of a rich travel writer. He is loosely inspired by Superman.
- Samantha Eve Wilkins/Atom Eve (voiced by Gillian Jacobs): A matter/energy manipulating superheroine. Formerly of the Teen Team and new Guardians rosters, she quits after her ex-boyfriend Rex cheats on her with Dupli-Kate after he had mistakenly thought her to have cheated on him with Mark. Struggling to find self-meaning, she chooses to help people directly with humanitarian actions.
- William Clockwell (voiced by Andrew Rannells): Mark's best friend and civilian confidant.
- Global Defense Agency: A clandestine organization that organizes global superhero responses and utilizes advanced technology in expediting their recovery or resuscitation after death.
- Cecil Stedman (voiced by Walton Goggins): Director of the GDA who possesses a long-range personal teleporter and inducts Invincible at the start of his hero career. He is implied to have a history with Damien Darkblood.
- Donald Ferguson (voiced by Chris Diamantopoulos): A high-ranking GDA agent who serves directly under Cecil Stedman and is in charge of overseeing the secret projects meant to incapacitate or kill Omni-Man, only to die in a massive explosion in a futile attempt to kill Omni-Man.
- Guardians of the Globe (new roster): Heroes who were formerly of the Teen Team merged with other experienced heroes with diverse skill sets.
- Rudolph "Rudy" Connors/Robot (voiced by Ross Marquand and Zachary Quinto respectively): A deformed individual who operates a series of robotic drones and has a sizable personal fortune. Using "Robot", Connors formerly led the Teen Team before creating a new Guardians roster. He also uses Rex Splode's DNA and the Mauler Twins' expertise in cloning to make a new body for himself. Connors is loosely inspired by Iron Man.
- Rex Sloan/Rex Splode (voiced by Jason Mantzoukas): An incorrigible superhero who can charge potential energy into anything he touches to create explosives and a former member of the Teen Team who is selected to join the new Guardians roster. Sloan shows some maturity after Omni-Man's public betrayal, growing closer to the team.
- Kate Cha/Dupli-Kate (voiced by Malese Jow): A self-replicating superheroine, formerly of the Teen Team, before she is selected to join the new Guardians roster. All Kates are numbered, which decreases in losses so that whichever remains with "1" is the prime Kate.
- Shrinking Rae (voiced by Grey Griffin): A size-manipulating superheroine selected to join the new Guardians roster. Her name is a reference to the Shrink Ray device. She is loosely inspired by Ant-Man.
- Amanda/Monster Girl (voiced by Grey Griffin and Kevin Michael Richardson respectively): A cursed heroine whose powers allow her to transform into a powerful masculine-like ogre. She begins the series chronologically at 24 years old but is physically at age 12 due to her powers making her younger with each use. Monster Girl is loosely inspired by Hulk.
- Markus Grimshaw/Black Samson (voiced by Khary Payton): An original Guardian from the team's early days who left after losing his powers. Donning an armored super-suit to continue as a hero, he joins the new roster as the veteran voice. After being hospitalized by Thokk, Black Samson's powers return to accelerate his recovery, and he shelves his armor.
- Amber Bennett (voiced by Zazie Beetz): Mark's classmate and girlfriend. Amber was redesigned from her comic book source with a resemblance to her voice actress for the series. She is depicted with an insight to her, deducing Mark's identity before he tells her.
- The Mauler Twins (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson): Blue-skinned, hyper-powerful, super-genius superhumans and long-time adversaries of the original Guardians. Both proclaim to be the original while stating the other is a clone.
- Art Rosenbaum (voiced by Mark Hamill): A superhero suit tailor and long-time friend to many superheroes.
- Damien Darkblood (voiced by Clancy Brown): A demon detective who escaped Hell to seek justice for others and save his soul, whose presence triggers a sudden cold in the ambient temperature. Cecil banishes him back to Hell to keep him from exposing Nolan too soon. Damien is loosely inspired by Hellboy.
- Allen the Alien (voiced by Seth Rogen): An assessor of member world candidates for the Coalition of Planets whose homeworld was conquered by the Viltrumites. He initially has a scuffle with Invincible near the moon's orbit, but realizes that he mistakenly went to Earth when he was supposed to travel to the planet Urath.
- Kill Cannon (voiced by Fred Tatasciore): The first supervillain that Mark fights as Invincible.
- Steve (voiced by Jon Hamm): A Secret Service agent guarding the White House front gate.
- Matt (voiced by Max Burkholder): Steve's step-son.
- Guardians of the Globe (original roster): A decades-old superhero team that is loosely inspired by the Justice League. Following the massacre of the original membership, a new roster is created.
- The Immortal (voiced by Ross Marquand): The millennia-old leader of the Guardians who was once a barbarian before he was exposed to a cosmic anomaly. He went on to fight in the Crusades and become Abraham Lincoln. The Maulers revive him to fight Robot and the New Guardians, but the Immortal goes to fight Omni-Man, is subsequently defeated, and recovers under the GDA.
- Holly / War Woman (voiced by Lauren Cohan): A powerful ancient warrior and co-benefactor of the Guardians. She is loosely inspired by Wonder Woman.
- Alana / Green Ghost (voiced by Sonequa Martin-Green): A superheroine in a green full-body encasing with ghost-like powers. She is loosely inspired by Green Lantern.
- Martian Man (voiced by Chad Coleman): An exiled, shapeshifting Martian hero. He is loosely inspired by Martian Manhunter.
- Josef / Red Rush (voiced by Michael Cudlitz) A Russian speedster and the team's first responder. He is loosely inspired by The Flash.
- Darkwing (voiced by Lennie James): A gadget wielding caped crusader and co-benefactor of the Guardians. He is loosely inspired by Batman.
- Aquarus (voiced by Ross Marquand): A hydrokinetic fish-man, and king of an underwater nation. He is loosely inspired by Aquaman.
- Connie (voiced by Mae Whitman): War Woman's co-worker and business partner in the heroine's civilian identity.
- Principal Winslow (voiced by Reginald VelJohnson): Mark's high school principal.
- Doc Seismic (voiced by Chris Diamantopoulos): An earthquake-generating mad scientist.
- Bi-Plane (voiced by Ross Marquand): A flight suit-empowered supervillain.
- Kursk (voiced by Ross Marquand): An electrokinetic supervillain.
- Titan (voiced by Mahershala Ali): a criminal enforcer who can manifest regenerative stone skin armor at will. He later becomes a crime lord after his boss, Machine Head, is arrested and works to protect people that are overlooked by superheroes.
- Flaxans: Interdimensional aliens who seek to conquer Earth.
- Flaxan Leader (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson): The scarred leader who aims to conquer Earth before he is slain by Omni-Man.
- Olga (voiced by Grey Griffin): Red Rush's widow.
- Martian Emperor (voiced by Djimon Hounsou): The Martians' ruler who quarantines Mars to isolate the parasitic Sequids from the rest of the universe.
- Vanessa (voiced by Nicole Byer): Titan's wife.
- Fiona (voiced by Nicole Byer): Titan's daughter.
- Machine Head (voiced by Jeffrey Donovan): A cyborg crime lord with an auto-tuned voice, extensive illicit funding, and Titan's former boss. Currently in GDA custody.
- Tether Tyrant (voiced by Reginald VelJohnson): A supervillain hired by Machine Head.
- Thokk / Battle Beast (voiced by Michael Dorn): A space-faring leonine alien warrior who seeks to find worthy opponents to fight.
- D.A. Sinclair (voiced by Ezra Miller): A mad scientist with an obsession for "improving" humanity. After his tech overwhelms Invincible, Cecil Stedman hires Sinclair to mass-produce zombie cyborgs, or "Reanimen", to fight Omni-Man and counter the Viltrumites' impending invasion.
- Dropkick (voiced by Mae Whitman)
- Fightmaster (voiced by Mae Whitman)
- Rick Sheridan (voiced by Jonathan Groff): William's love interest who is converted into a Reaniman.
- Adam Wilkins (voiced by Fred Tatasciore): Eve's father who vocally disapproves of her being a superhero.
- Eve's mother (voiced by Grey Griffin): A soft-spoken woman who acts as a buffer between her husband and daughter.
- Doug Cheston (voiced by Justin Roiland): A student at Upstate University.
- Kyle (voiced by Khary Payton): A nerdy frat-boy
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||"It's About Time"||Robert Valley||Robert Kirkman||March 25, 2021|
|When hulking villainous scientists, the Mauler Twins, attack the White House, they are repelled by the Guardians of the Globe and Nolan Grayson / Omni-Man. Nolan's son Mark, who is waiting for his powers to emerge, goes to school and defends classmate Amber Bennett from bully Todd. After Todd punches Mark to the ground, Amber saves the latter and develops an interest in him. Later, Mark's superpowers emerge, and he finishes work to tell his parents at dinner. While Nolan is initially uncertain, he still begins to train Mark on how to use them. However, wishing to emphasize the severity of being a superhero, Mark is caught off-guard by his father punching too hard. Feeling hurt emotionally and physically, Mark blows off steam by stopping a robbery in a homemade suit. After a heart-to-heart with his father, Nolan takes Mark to meet superhero suit tailor, Art Rosenbaum, who creates a proper superhero suit for Mark after he chooses to call himself "Invincible". Later, Nolan secretly entraps the Guardians and kills them all before falling unconscious from damage sustained from their resistance.|
|2||"Here Goes Nothing"||Paul Furminger||Simon Racioppa||March 25, 2021|
|The clandestine Global Defense Agency nurses a comatose Nolan in their secret hospital, but failed to revive the Guardians, so Director Cecil Stedman informs Mark and his mother, Debbie. As extradimensional aliens called the Flaxans attack, Mark helps the Teen Team hold off their forces. When the Flaxans rapidly age and retreat, Teen Team leader Robot deduces this was due to a time dilation difference between the Flaxans' homeworld and Earth. As Mark recognizes Atom Eve as classmate Samantha Eve Wilkins, they share their identities and become friends. The Flaxans return with anti-aging technology, but Mark and the Teen Team destroy them, forcing another retreat. The Flaxans return once again and nearly succeed until a recuperated Nolan forces them back to their homeworld, where he devastates their planet in retaliation before returning as news breaks of the Guardians' deaths. Meanwhile, Mark skirmishes with Allen the Alien, who wants to test Earth's defenses for the Coalition of Planets. Calling a time-out to talk and learning of Allen's mission, Mark corrects his mistaking "Earth" for another planet, "Urath". Allen leaves, bidding a friendly farewell. Concurrently, demon detective Damien Darkblood investigates the Guardians' deaths for Cecil, theorizing the killer was among the heroes.|
|3||"Who You Calling Ugly?"||Jeff Allen||Chris Black||March 25, 2021|
|After a televised funeral, the Graysons attend the Guardians' private burial with their loved ones, where Darkblood questions Nolan privately and hints at his suspicions. Cecil commissions Robot to form a new Guardians roster of his choosing, given his handling of the Flaxan invasions, so Robot merges the Teen Team with other heroes Monster Girl, Black Samson, and Shrinking Rae. However, Eve immediately quits, still resentful of her teammate and boyfriend Rex Splode after catching him cheating with teammate Dupli-Kate. When Mark gets Amber's number, he sets up a "study date", which gets interrupted when he helps Eve stop Doc Seismic from attacking Mt. Rushmore. Despite waiting, Amber still stays for their date out of intrigue. When Rex tries apologizing to Eve, she refuses to accept and seeks out Mark, only to discover him with Amber and leaves unnoticed. With Robot's unseen help, the Maulers escape from their GDA prison, though one sacrifices the other. When Darkblood questions Debbie, he finds Nolan shared little with her. This encounter leaves her suspicious of Nolan, who senses Darkblood's lingering presence.|
|4||"Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out"||Jeff Allen||Ryan Ridley||April 1, 2021|
|Angry that the GDA has not caught the Guardians' killer yet, Red Rush's widow, Olga, commissions Debbie to sell her house so she can return to Moscow. Cecil asks Nolan to protect the first mission to Mars, but the latter refuses, citing his responsibilities protecting Earth, so Mark volunteers. Despite a successful landing, Mark's inattentiveness allows Martians to abduct the astronauts. The Martian Emperor orders their execution to prevent the parasitic Sequids from reaching Earth and destroying the universe. Mark hastily evacuates the astronauts to their shuttle, failing to realize a Martian had replaced one of them. Meanwhile, as Nolan and Debbie vacation in Rome to rekindle their relationship, he manipulatively regains her trust with half-truths. Cecil realizes Nolan is the killer, but cannot act until he determines the latter's motive and a way to stop him. Knowing he will not drop the case, Cecil banishes Darkblood to Hell, unaware that the detective hid his notepad in Debbie's closet. As the surviving Mauler begins cloning himself, Robot monitors his progress and methods before stealing a DNA sample from Rex to present to his real self, the deformed Rudy Connors.|
|5||"That Actually Hurt"||Jeff Allen||Christine Lavaf||April 8, 2021|
|After Debbie finds Darkblood's notepad, her lingering suspicions return, and she locates Nolan's bloodied super-suit while he is away. After Black Samson lectures his teammates on failing to protect civilians due to their infighting, Robot secretly approaches the restored Mauler Twins with a job offer. Meanwhile, Mark promises to help Amber at a soup kitchen she volunteers at as recompense since he neglected her while working as Invincible. However, he must also help superpowered thug Titan defeat his boss, Machine Head, who predicted their attack and hired multiple villains for security. The Guardians arrive to help, but Mark, Monster Girl, and Black Samson are beaten by Thokk, the Battle Beast, which prompts the rest of the Guardians to act as a team. Seeing the other villains swiftly defeated, Thokk abandons the battle due to its ignominy. The GDA arrest Machine Head and medevac Mark and the others, allowing Titan to take over Machine Head's operation. Eve also volunteers alongside Amber, needing direction after quitting being a superhero, but leaves when Cecil calls her about Mark's hospitalization. Elsewhere, GDA scientists test samples of Mark's blood, discovering the cells are invulnerable to every lethal test they run.|
|6||"You Look Kinda Dead"||Paul Furminger||Curtis Gwinn||April 15, 2021|
|Humbled by his week-long recovery, Mark reconciles with Amber before both accompany his best friend, William, on a weekend visit to Upstate University to see his crush, Rick Sheridan. However, a cyborg experiment of mad scientist, D.A. Sinclair's, escapes confinement and fights Mark before killing himself. As William deduces Mark's identity, Amber breaks up with Mark due to his "absence" during the cyborg's rampage, and he sacrifices reconciliation to rescue William and Rick from Sinclair. Seeing Rick converted into a cyborg, William's pleas for help enable Rick to overcome his alteration and help Mark win. Following Sinclair's arrest, Cecil takes an interest in his technology, which overwhelmed Mark's physiology. Meanwhile, Rosenbaum examines Nolan's bloodied suit for Debbie, confirming Nolan killed the Guardians. Both fearfully agree to stay silent, but the revelation sends Debbie into a drunken depression. Having studied her biology beforehand, Robot gathers magical ingredients to heal Monster Girl. While the Maulers continue to grow a body for Robot, they also exhume the Immortal's corpse in order to resurrect him as their enthralled weapon against Robot. Concurrently, Eve is inspired by Amber to skip college and use her powers in direct humanitarian endeavors.|
|7||"We Need to Talk"||Jeff Allen||Simon Racioppa||April 22, 2021|
|After Debbie relocates to the GDA, Cecil explains the truth before both witness Nolan kill Cecil's associate, Donald Ferguson, and several GDA agents. Adding a neural link upgrade, the "Rudy" clone reluctantly euthanizes his progenitor. Paying and betraying the Maulers, the new Rudy leaves for a Guardians summons. He explains himself to the team, who are taken aback by Rudy's revelations before learning the truth about Omni-Man and their predecessors' fates. Cecil buys time by talking to Nolan before retreating to deploy Sinclair's "Reanimen" and a modified Kaiju to kill him. Unfazed by Mark revealing his superhero identity, having deduced the truth weeks earlier, Amber dumps him as he never trusted her before. Mark seeks Eve's wisdom, but she criticizes his selfish behavior. When the two intercept Nolan's fight with the Kaiju, Cecil orders Eve to abandon Mark and rendezvous with the Guardians. Just as the Maulers revive Immortal, he flies off to battle Omni-Man and avenge his team's massacre while Mark narrowly subdues the Kaiju. News choppers capture Omni-Man killing Immortal in a live global broadcast before Nolan finally asks to talk with a bewildered Mark.|
|8||"Where I Really Come From"||Jeff Allen||Robert Kirkman||April 29, 2021|
|After revealing himself as an infiltrator for the Viltrumite Empire sent to conquer Earth, Nolan fails to convince Mark to join him and overpowers his son, devastating Chicago and slaughtering thousands. While reminiscing on Mark's childhood however, Nolan realizes his own humanity and love for him, and tearfully flies off from Earth. The Guardians and Eve mobilize to aid Chicago relief efforts as the world learns of Omni-Man's betrayal while Cecil helps Debbie and Mark by falsifying Nolan's civilian death. A devastated Debbie shares a drink with Rosenbaum, also hurt by Nolan's betrayal, as Mark and Amber rekindle their relationship after his two-week recovery. As she and William learn Eve is also a superhero, Cecil sends Mark to intercept an approaching Allen and updates him on recent events. Allen warns Mark that a Viltrumite fleet will come for Earth, given Nolan's uncharacteristic abandoning of his post, but he thinks that Mark can help the Coalition stop the Viltrumites' expansion. As Mark plans to finish high school, the Maulers are arrested while Immortal recuperates under GDA protection. Villainous forces conspire to return as Cecil commissions D.A. Sinclair to mass-produce Reanimen contingency troops.|
On June 19, 2018, it was announced that Amazon had given a series order to the project for a first season consisting of eight episodes. Simon Racioppa serves as showrunner for the series, based on the comic book of the same name by Robert Kirkman, and also serves as executive producer alongside Kirkman, David Alpert, and Catherine Winder. Production companies involved with the series include Skybound. Coincidentally, executive producers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (who also provides a voice on the show) are working on a live-action film adaptation of the comic, which is separate from the animated series, as co-directors, writers, and producers. On April 29, 2021, after the release of the final episode of the first season, Amazon renewed the series for a second and third season.
In January 2019, Steven Yeun, J. K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Mark Hamill, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Andrew Rannells, Zazie Beetz, Walton Goggins, Jason Mantzoukas, Mae Whitman, Chris Diamantopoulos, Malese Jow, Kevin Michael Richardson, Grey Griffin and Max Burkholder joined the cast of the series. On July 18, 2020, Robert Kirkman confirmed the casting in a live video on Twitter.
On January 22, 2021, during a live-stream celebrating the 18th anniversary of Invincible #1, Kirkman revealed that the series would debut on March 25, 2021 (midnight EST), with the first 3 episodes. The remaining episodes would release weekly thereafter.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 98% approval rating for the first season based on 59 critic reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "With bold animation, bloody action, and an all-star cast led by the charming Steven Yeun, Invincible smartly adapts its source material without sacrificing its nuanced perspective on the price of superpowers." Metacritic reported a score of 73 out of 100 based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews" for the first season.
Ben Travers of IndieWire gave the show a B grade, stating that "Kirkman's adaptation is provocative, surprising, and sometimes challenging, as it constantly tries to disrupt the accepted ideas of its genre, whether that's the superhero genre, the teen drama genre, or the misguided notion that animation is a genre unto itself." Kathryn VanArendonk of Vulture states "the series has a palpable 'more of an eight-hour movie' thing going on, and the potential of that model is that it will all coalesce in the end into this glorious, big, transfixing story" but also adds that "the pitfall is that it makes these opening episodes a little weaker; there are so many characters happening here, so many story threads to put in place, that it's hard to know what to invest in as a viewer."
Siddhant Adlakha of IGN gave season 1 of the series an 8 out of 10, stating the season "is great, thanks to its unique action and strong character-centric gravitas" and that the show "combines familiar superhero tropes with unexpected gore and moving character dynamics, resulting in the year’s most surprising superhero series."
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