Aside from the dart-throwing storytelling, the character writing and drama shared between whatever sector, hero or villain, is where the series lives up to its name. To its strength, Season Two seriously considers the previous events emotionally affecting the lives of its ensemble and expands on them thoughtfully. Omni-Man’s destruction in Chicago broke the world and traumatized his family. It would’ve been cartoonish, for lack of a better word, if the writers didn’t portray the shattering ramifications of it. “Invincible” strays from using its critical national event as a story device. Instead, it’s a jumping-off point to explore the surviving Grayson’s interpersonal relationship, the difficulties in moving on, and how the superhero world is trying to recover.
Mark has a remarkable character progression through all this. Every superhero has a great case of daddy issues, but after witnessing firsthand superhero corporal punishment, there’s no question in Mark’s motivation to double down on heroic missions. The angsty paranoia in not wanting to become his father is heavily felt, and the writing provides a meaningful determination for Mark wanting to do right for himself and heal.
That also applies to Debbie, who carries a heavy burden in her attempt to move on after the series of bombshells she experienced. She feels guilt about the widows and widowers Omni-Man made out of the old Guardians of the Globe and a mix of anger and sorrow from being described as “a pet” by a husband she never really knew. Whenever a B or C plot spotlights Debbie, the show’s dramatic writing and superhero worldbuilding effectively fit into the show’s dark, somber tone. One episode finds her attending a support group meeting for grieving spouses of deceased heroes. Sandra Oh, who can do no wrong, provides a passionate, down-to-earth voice performance.
Speaking of “punch,” the gory action sequences are spectacular thanks to the significant upgrades in the series’ animation quality. It takes a while before it kicks in, but when it finally does, the action sequences are as glorious as bloody animated violence can be. When focus finally comes into the fray in a Viltrumite way, the series takes serious shape and leaves you wanting far more.
Animation is such a long process and for a show with a massive scope like “Invincible,” Season Two’s freestyling flow doesn’t justify breaking it up in half. Regardless, considering the crazy route its previous season took with its high ambitions and kill count, one can only imagine how big “Invincible” will be in Part Two. This mighty follow-up packs a wallop, proving that “Invincible” is one of the best superhero series on TV.
All four episodes of Season Two, Part One, were screened for review. New episodes of “Invincible” premieres on Prime Video on November 3rd.