Watch Of The Week: Invincible Season 2
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the condition of superhero fatigue, and for good reason. After years of making absurd piles of cash, the capes and tights genre has become overfamiliar to many, with DC and Marvel’s recent output being fitfully entertaining at best and cynical, unimaginative and creatively bankrupt at worst. The thing is, this is nothing new. Even in their paper and ink forms, superheroes get old after a while. It’s why books that subvert the genre come along, like Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Garth Ennis’ The Boys and Robert Kirkman’s Invincible.
It’s no coincidence, then, that the adaptations of the latter two of these works are some of the most-watched and well-liked superhero properties
around, and Invincible is releasing the first half of its second season. So, does the star-studded, blood-spattered epic retain the, at times, shocking momentum of the first season?
Yeah. Yeah, it does. Invincible continues the story of Mark Grayson, aka Invincible (Steven Yeun), who after the shocking ending of the first season, is dealing with the horrible truth about his father Nolan, aka Omni-Man (JK Simmons), and trying to piece together something resembling
a life. It’s not all bad, though. Things are going well with his girlfriend Amber (Zazie Beetz), and college promises to be an exciting new chapter.
However, Omni-Man is still out there somewhere, and other threats boil below the surface. Season 2 has a lot of work to do. For a start, it needs to remind us what the hell is going on. After all, the first season of the show aired back in May 2021, an eternity ago. Secondly, it needs to address the fallout from those calamitous events, plus introduce the new threats that will follow.
Oh, and it needs to get all that done in four episodes because this season is (for some inexplicable reason) broken up into two parts, with the second part airing sometime in 2024. Honestly, with all those provisos, it does a very solid job. What initially feels a little too widely scattered comes together beautifully in the fourth episode and leaves you hungering for more, but not in a lame, cliffhangery kind of way.
The voice acting, as always, is excellent, with Yeun, Simmons, Sandra Oh, Gillian Jacobs and Walton Goggins doing particularly solid work. The animation is a little less consistent, with some sequences featuring jaw-dropping spectacle, whereas others feel a little on the cheaper side. However, if you’ve been hungering for more subversive superhero antics that feature a shitload of gore, swearing, adult themes and dark comedy, then Invincible season 2 will fit the bill nicely. At least until Amazon pulls its finger out and releases the second half of the season.