Opinion: Was Invincible Season Two Worth the Wait?

Invincible, also known as Mark Grayson, and Allen The Alien, stand in front of the Invincible logo. Mark and Allen play pivotal roles in the plot of season two (Illustration by Phoebe Holm).

Content Warning: ‘Invincible’ spoilers ahead.

With season two of “Invincible” just wrapping up, fans and critics were just as much in love with it as before. The first season of the TV series was – and still is – very successful, holding a 98% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, a sentiment I’ll echo. Season two was more of the same great character work, action and crazy twists that made me fall in love with the show in the first place, making this season worth the wait.

The second season is currently sitting at an impressive 100% critics score. I’m in absolute agreement with that opinion; this is one of the strongest seasons of a superhero show out there. 

In March 2021, Amazon Prime released an animated series based on the popular Invincible comic book series from Image Comics. The original series started in 2003, with Robert Kirkman writing and Ryan Ottley drawing the artwork alongside a team of fellow creators.

The comics were vastly popular, but unfortunately, I didn’t start reading them until after the first season of the show was released. I first heard about the show from some of my friends in high school, got hooked instantly and now can’t get enough of the “Invincible” universe. 

The story of “Invincible” follows Mark Grayson, the son of world-renowned superhero Omni-Man, also known as Nolan Grayson. The first episode of the series ends with Nolan killing the Guardians of the Globe, the big superhero team of the Invincible universe. 

The world does not know who killed the Guardians, until Nolan finally admits his actions to Mark and, more importantly, his intentions: World domination. Nolan’s people, the Viltrumites, wish to take over the known universe. 

Upon being asked to join Nolan, Mark defies his father and fights him in one of the most brutal and heartbreaking episodes of TV I’ve ever seen. Nolan leaves Mark a bloody pulp, flying off into the cosmos and away from his son.

Season two picks up not long after the events of the first, with Mark struggling to be a hero after learning his heritage. This internal struggle is one of my favorite parts of the show;  Mark rejects his heritage and is repulsed by the idea that he could turn out evil like his father. 

This struggle is shown a lot throughout season two, with some of Mark’s actions running parallel to Nolan’s in season one, scary as that is. However, with some help from his other superhero friends, like Atom Eve and Rex-Splode, Mark returns to the superhero life throughout the season. 

The New Stuff:

This season differs from the first in a big way: Not every episode focuses solely on Mark. Episode three, for instance, is all about Seth Rogen’s character, Allen the Alien. 

The audience grows fond of Allen while simultaneously learning about Allen’s background and his species, the Unopans; they have been genetically modifying Allen so he can eventually fight the Viltrumites, who took over their home planet sometime long ago. 

This ended up being one of my favorite episodes, with Rogen giving a truly solid performance as Allen. One moment I enjoyed from this episode was when Allen was flying around – minding his own business – and three Viltrumites pulled up and all but killed him. 

This scene was heartbreaking; I’d just spent a whole episode with Allen. 

He returns later on in the season, bigger and beefier than before. 

At the moment, I don’t know much more about Allen’s involvement in the story. What I do know is in the wake of his rehabilitation, he is strong enough to hold his own against the Viltrumites. I have to assume he will join up with Mark to take down the empire eventually.

Allen getting whomped by the Viltrumites was a crazy twist, but there were a few others that I adored. 

One twist I thoroughly enjoyed regarded Nolan’s internal conflict. Throughout the first season, we see Nolan become more and more of a villainous character. In season two, however, Nolan reaches out to Mark for help protecting the planet Thraxa. Nolan had started a new family there with the queen of the planet, who gave birth to their young son.

Not long after Mark arrives on Thraxa, the Viltrumites track him and his father down and all but destroy the planet. Nolan is captured by the Viltrumites and sent to prison for leaving his assignment on Earth. Mark is then told to go back to Earth and prepare it for the Viltrumite takeover. 

For the rest of the season, we see very little of Nolan. In the very last scene though, he says “I think I miss my wife,” referring to Mark’s mother, Debbie. This is one of the most famous panels from the comic, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.

What They Improved:

Overall, I think season two is a vast improvement over the first, which is saying something because season one was amazing. The animation, voice acting, plot and characters are improved here. 

While the animation may not look too crazy at first glance, I feel it does a really good job translating the comics to my screen. For example, the explosion that ensued in the first episode when Invincible destroys the Mauler Twins and Angstrom Levy’s machine was jaw-dropping.

The plot of this season, while a little less linear than that of the first season, was still very intriguing. Like I said earlier, it mainly focuses on the Grayson family’s inner turmoil as they try to move on from Nolan’s actions in season one. We see this through Debbie Grayson’s perspective – one of the characters who gets quite a bit more attention this season.

Right off the bat, we see her walking around the city, eventually arriving at a bridge. It’s clear she is considering jumping into the water below. This scene, like so many others, was so human and real that it almost made me tear up. Debbie’s husband betrayed her and her son and was so distraught she thought about ending it all. She doesn’t jump, and later in the season reluctantly takes on the task of caring for Nolan’s son – Mark’s half-brother – whom she names Oliver.

It’s because of moments like these that I love the show. The characters are the main part of “Invincible” that I fell in love with in the first place. From cool superpowers and costumes to deep, human connections, the characters and writing go hand in hand to make this show a great watch. 

One instance of great character work is the opening scene of season two. Mark, Nolan and Debbie are all seen walking or flying around to the tune of Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” This scene has little to no dialogue, but it’s just a great catch-up scene to see what the Grayson family was up to post-season one. 

The voice acting in this show is also insanely good. Aside from Seth Rogen’s incredible performance as Allen, Steven Yuen, Sandra Oh and J.K. Simmons voice Mark, Debbie and Nolan respectively to perfection this season. The villain of the finale, the aforementioned Angstrom Levy, is voiced marvelously by Sterling K. Brown.

The finale, in particular, has some of the strongest voice acting of the series so far. Angstrom, who can navigate the multiverse, attacks Mark’s home while he isn’t there and takes Debbie and young Oliver hostage. Mark arrives home, forgetting who Angstrom is, which causes him to freak out and send Mark on a trip through multiple realities. Once Mark figures out how to beat Angstrom, he returns home and is sent through one last portal before he kills him Omni-Man style

This scene is voiced to perfection and does a good job of paralleling Mark and Nolan – suggesting they are more similar than many would like to believe. 

Final Thoughts

The wait was almost worth it, in my opinion. 

The only reason I say almost is because the season was split up into two halves, with one releasing in fall 2023 and the rest this spring. This was frustrating for me and many other viewers because we already had to wait over two and a half years between seasons one and two, only to have to wait months just for the season to finish. 

This wait was long and unnecessary; many fans like myself were very invested in where the show was going after that fourth episode. Nolan returned to the story and revealed some massive information for Mark, just for the show to take a hiatus. 

Hopefully, Amazon will avoid this mistake and release all of season three consecutively without a hiatus. The “Invincible” social media pages claim that the voice work for season three is done, so there hopefully won’t be as big of a wait for it as the second.

“Invincible” has been one of my favorite currently running shows, and I can’t wait to keep reading the comics to see where the show goes next. With Amazon supposedly greenlighting two more seasons after the already-in-production season three and AAA video game on the way, there is no reason not to get into one of the most rapidly-growing franchises in the country.

 So for “Invincible” fans new and old, I think we’ll be eating well for the foreseeable future.

About Aidan Shapiro 10 Articles
Aidan Shapiro is a sophomore from Clawson, MI and an English major at Albion College. He is mainly focused on, but not limited to writing about sports. He writes as a way to express what he is passionate about. He also plays on the lacrosse team here at Albion He can be reached at AJS26@albion.edu.

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