Invincible Season 2 Review


Invincible’s Sophomore Slump

Starring: Steven Yuen, Sandra Oh, Sterling K. Brown, J.K. Simmons

Omni-Man: “Hello, son. It’s been a while.
Invincible: “Dad?

“It’s Been a While” (Season 2, Episode 4)

Invincible‘s first season was a delight. The Amazon series soared on the back of a comedically awkward hero and a superhero murder-mystery. In season two, our hero deals the outcome of last season’s catastrophic family emergency.

Can Invincible Season 2 keep up the pace or is it vincible? Let’s find out.

The Good

Invincible Season 2 is Down to Earth

Invincible: “Stop! Threatening! My family! You have no idea what I’ve been through, how much I’ve been holding BACK! I’ll never let… anyone ever… EVER!… HURT MY FAMILY!”

“I Thought You Were Stronger” (Season 2, Episode 8)

Invincible’s status quo shattered at the end of its first season. Season two is at its strongest when its characters pick up that story’s pieces.

Months after Omni-Man’s rampage, his betrayal is still rocking his family. Mark Grayson spends every free moment rescuing people to atone for his father’s sins. His mother, Debra, (Sandra Oh) is in worse straits, furious and depressed that her husband of 20 years only saw her as a pet.

The Guardians of the Globe are having their own issues. Former leader Immortal has returned and rules the team with an iron fist. Robot is struggling to adapt to his new humanity and quarrels with Monster Girl over finding a cure for her cursed powers. 

While all this happens, government agent Cecil Stedman is making shady deals for weapons capable of killing Viltrumites like Omni-Man. His assistant Donald is having flashbacks about his death at Omni-Man’s hand and investigating how he’s alive again. These threads weave together in a smorgasbord of drama without becoming too bleak for viewers.

Guardians of the Globe

Rex Splode: [sarcastic] “Amazing! O-ho! It’s just an afternoon of new friends! And what do you do, aside from having the most obvious name ever, Bulletproof?
Bulletproof: I do everything you wish you could. And that’s rich coming from a guy called Rex Splode. You think of that grade school shit yourself or did someone help you with that?
Rex:I-I… came up with it…
Bulletproof:Yeah, I figured. C’mon, man, I know your type. Be better.

“A Lesson For Your Next Life” (Season 2, Episode 1)

New heroes are needed with the world in chaos. Invincible Season 2 has plenty flying around.

Immortal led The Guardians until they were murdered by Omni-Man. He is powerful, but harsh and hates the lead character, Mark. Immortal recruits a level-headed powerhouse called Bulletproof for more firepower. They also pick up eccentric shapeshifter Shapesmith, who is certainly a human that was born on Earth and not a disguised Martian.

Allen the Alien (Seth Rogen) returns with more screen time. Viewers learn that he is the last of his kind and has been fighting The Viltrum Empire for the Coalition of Planets. He is advised by the Coalition’s manipulative leader, Thaedus (Peter Cullen).

Atom Eve gets a much bigger role, even starring in a prequel movie that premiered before Invincible Season 2. She continues using her powers to help others without fighting crime, but a disaster forces her to question what she finds most important.

Space-Time Crime in Invincible Season 2

General Kregg:I know this may not appeal to you, given your sympathies, so I’ll put it like this: you can kill a few humans to convince them to capitulate, or we will kill millions if we arrive to find you or your planet still defiant against us.

“It’s Been a While” (Season 2, Episode 4)

Omni-Man is gone, but he wasn’t the only villain lurking among the stars.  Invincible Season 2 features villains from other worlds in more ways than one.

Viewers get to see The Viltrum Empire in action. They send solo Viltrumites to conquer planets, but deploy groups against threats. Three are dispatched to fight a repentant Omni-Man and nearly destroy the planet they attack.

Two Viltrumites stand above the others. General Kregg is a high-handed leader who was Omni-Man’s superior officer. He’s voiced by Clancy Brown, meaning that we have Lex Luthor playing General Zod with the serial numbers filed off. The other is Annisa, Mark’s stoic handler who tries convincing him that Viltrumite rule will be beneficial. 

Angstrom Levy (Sterling K. Brown) is season two’s main villain. He is a multiverse traveler who was wounded during an experiment that Invincible ruined. Conflicting memories cause Levy to swear he’ll kill Invincible.

The Bad

Invincible Season 2 in the Multiverse of Mixed Bags

Alternate Omni-Man:Hi. Since you’re all part of the Resistance, we need to kill you.”
Alternate Omni-Man:Ah, a volunteer.”

“A Lesson For Your Next Life” (Season 2, Episode 1)

Multiverse stories only became popular a few years ago in your universe. Shame you never got to see what Bill Shakespeare did with the concept. Invincible Season 2 plays with parallel universes for better or worse. Mostly worse.

The first episode starts in a universe where Invincible turned evil and joined his father. They murder the Guardians and are poised to kill Levy until he develops powers and escapes. Levy tries to harness the skills and knowledge of his multiversal counterparts, but the experiment goes wrong and he is stuck with the memories of every version of him in the experiment.

The multiverse largely fades away after the first episode. Levy travels to other universes to learn how Mark’s variants were defeated. He also discovers that Invincible eventually turning evil is a universal constant. This redoubles Levy’s hatred for Mark who still grieves lost friends and family in countless universes.

The multiverse returns to prominence during the season finale when Levy weaponizes it. It’s still underused, mostly existing for quick crossovers with Spider-Man, Batman, and author Rob Kirkman’s other popular franchise, The Walking Dead. Perhaps this is a set-up for a later multiverse plot, but it currently culminates in Invincible hitting Levy with a Fortnite sniper rifle.

Vincible Pacing

Rex Splode:Die fast, assholes! My pizza’s getting cold!

“This Must Come as a Shock” (Season 2, Episode 5)

Invincible‘s first season had a tight plot. Episodes split time between the Omni-Man murder investigation, Invincible fighting crime, and the Guardians of the Globe adapting to their new role. Invincible Season 2 slacks off.

The Graysons take the lion’s share of screentime sorting through family drama. Atom Eve’s self-doubt, the dysfunctional Guardians, and other plot threads weave through each episode, but leave the show aimless. That’s ignoring one-off plot lines, supporting characters, and other elements fighting for the limelight.

Amazon did Invincible no favors by releasing season 2 as a pair of four-episode mini seasons. The first three episodes meander, setting up conflicts and angst. The afterburners kick in during the middle third, but lose focus in episode seven. The season finale begins great, but adds filler to close the gap.

Angstrom Levy is the tempo’s biggest victim. He’s set up as the main villain in the first episode, then relegated to mid-credit cameos until the finale. Mark doesn’t even remember him at first because they’ve only met once.

The Verdict

Invincible Season 2 has throttled back. New heroes, villains, and character development set up future possibilities, but a misused multiverse arc and pacing problems hold it back. Despite those flaws, season 2 is worth your time. Like Age of Ultron, it’s a transitional season and worth the watch.

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