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Review

INVINCIBLE 1×02 “Here Goes Nothing” Review

Neil reviews the second episode of Amazon Prime Video’s INVINCIBLE saying it add “new layers of complexity to the story and characters.”

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Invincible (Amazon Prime Video)

Invincible streams new episodes weekly on Amazon Prime Video. Episodes 1-3 debut on March 26, 2021 with the remaining 5 episodes debuting each Friday through April 30.

Synopsis

With his father out of action, Mark struggles to defend the city against an interdimensional invasion, joining forces with a team of teenage superheroes.

Review

Where the pilot episode of Invincible spent so much of its 45 min runtime subverting expectations, this second episode wastes no time in getting down to business. The gloves are immediately off and Robert Kirkman’s latest series is ready to turn heads and turn stomachs.

The opening scene evokes a similar vibe to the previous episode. Opening with tourists visiting Buckingham Palace this time around. Only instead of an Avengers-style team up saving the day it’s a rain of blood which breaks peaceful moment wide open.

From there “Here Goes Nothing” sets itself a mission statement to maintain an intimidating pace whilst balancing intense action against character development. In many respects Invincible feels at home on Amazon Prime next to The Boys. Both present the familiar genre in a new light and taking huge steps towards reinvigorating tired formulas.

Invincible‘s pilot episode did a perfect job of laying out the rules for this world. For viewers not familiar with the comics the visual language in the final sequence perfectly encapsulates Kirkman’s darkly comedic take on the superhero origins. With that in mind we go in to this episode expect more gruesome imagery. It’s only our hero, Steven Yeun’s Mark Grayson, who isn’t up to speed on events and that creates an interesting audience perception. Ordinarily Mark would be the audience’s viewpoint in to the world just as Peter Parker is in Spider-Man. But now we know more than he does. We have insight in to his family and his world which is entirely unique.

The way Kirkman and the creative team continue to subvert expectations is in how they treat Mark’s journey to become a hero. He has the youthful enthusiasm of Peter Parker which translates brilliantly to the screen. But rather than missteps attributed to his exuberance, the series instead beats him down as much as possible. Civilians die. Secrets are exposed. Battles are lost. The wall of adversity is truly insurmountable and yet Mark continues to try.

The series continues to follow the comics and this episode introduces Invincible’s Teen Titans equivalent, Teen Team. The team is led by Robot, an advanced A.I. inside of a robotic body. He is joined by Atom Eve, who can manipulate matter on a subatomic level, and alongside them is Rex Splode and Dupli-Kate, who can create multiple versions of herself.

The team presents an opportunity for Mark to indulge his superhero fantasies even more. Characters like Eve also share in his personal life experiences in high school, widening out the world which we glimpsed in the previous episode. The serialised nature of the comic is reflected perfectly here. Invincible feels like an epic animated movie broken in to episodic chunks. Whilst there are aspects of the story which tie up each episode it remains heavily serialised and works all the more for it.

Verdict

“Here Goes Nothing” is the perfect follow-up episode. It slowly expands the world of Invincible whilst adding new layers of complexity to the story and the characters.

Invincible is produced by Skybound and executive produced by Kirkman, Simon Racioppa, David Alpert (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead), Catherine Winder (The Angry Birds Movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) with Supervising Directors Justin Allen & Chris Copeland (Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man), and Linda Lamontagne serving as casting director.Invincible, Kirkman’s second-longest comic-book series, concluded in February 2018 after a 15-year run.


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