Invincible season 2, part 2 review: A bloody good time (2024)

At long last, Invincible is back for season two’s second half. After an annoying four-month hiatus, Prime Video’s superhero series flies into gear again on March 14, and unlike part one, there’s no slow building this time around. The four new installments are jam-packed with the gory action Invincible specializes in, feature some big twists (not news for readers of Robert Kirkman’s source material, of course), and rely on Steven Yeun’s poignant performance to anchor it all. Despite an unfocused pace, Invincible is still a smashing affair.

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More than anything, the show crushes the “superhero fatigue” that’s (understandably) plaguing pop culture right now. Every studio has a hard-on for making the next Avengers: Endgame-type event. This has led to an influx of projects from Marvel, DC, and various streaming sites, many of them about the goddamn multiverse or acting as a connection to a movie franchise. When did watching something for entertainment turn into homework? Thankfully, Invincible uses these touch points butdistinguishes itself, challenging this genre’s lassitude with its story and style.

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Related Content

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Gillian Jacobs on "Transatlantic," "Community," and "Invincible"

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Gillian Jacobs on Transatlantic, Community, and Invincible

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The animation team brings the comic-book pages to life with great, colorful detail. The fight scenes are ferocious and meticulously designed. (Brace yourself for intense blood spatter in episode eight.) These thrilling sequences are elevated because they’re usually driven by intense emotion. And there’s no greater example of this than the season finale, which finds 18-year-old Mark Grayson battling during a mental breakdown. Yeun’s voice acting transcends the screen as his character’s growing pains become more gruesome. This second part dwells on his troubles right away.

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The new batch picks up with a badly injured Mark on the planet Thraxa after the Viltrumite attack. His evil father, Nolan, a.k.a. Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons), has been kidnapped, leaving Mark in charge of his toddler half-brother. They both eventually make it back to Earth only for him to confront the chaos of his months-long absence: failing college grades, a rotating roster of villains, and an angry Cecil Stedman (Walton Goggins). Plus, his loved ones, including his mother Debbie (Sandra Oh), girlfriend Amber (Zazie Beetz), and friends William (Andrew Rannells) and Sam, a.k.a. Atom Eve (Gillian Jacobs), are lonely in his absence.

As always with Invincible, those characters’ storylines are visually stunning. So when Mark whisks Amber on a magical date around town, has heartfelt conversations with Debbie about the baby they’re taking care of, or the show drops a big twist (no spoilers here), it feels, well, real. Invincible takes advantage of its format and goes wild with it, with Kirkman and the writers keenly aware of how to make these comics come off as fresh on the small screen.

For proof, look no further than episode six, wherein a narcissistic Rex Splode (Jason Mantzoukas) gets the spotlight with a long, moving altercation. Who would’ve thought the self-absorbed Rex would have an affecting fight scene? While Invincible spends slightly more time with him, the rest of the supporting characters are still upsettingly on the sidelines. Cecil, Atom Eve, Art (Mark Hamill), Shapesmith (Ben Schwartz), and the remaining Guardians of the Globe appear only sporadically. Nolan and Allen the Alien (Seth Rogen) are mostly just... gone.

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Instead, part two is focused on Mark’s tough coming-of-age, both in and out of his cape. His biggest fear—turning into a Nolan-esque antagonist—motivates him to do good, which means rushing away when a kaiju attacks or heading into space to fight Martians, no questions asked. Spending time away from Amber affects their relationship, and if a key interaction is set to an Ethel Cain song, you know heartbreak awaits. Season two’s occasionally rocky pacing is forgiven thanks to the show’s unwavering spotlight on Mark becoming a mighty hero, as seen in his big showdown with a vengeful Angstrom Levy (Sterling K. Brown).

Yeun and Brown capture every aching emotion during their wild face-off. It doesn’t mirror the brutality of Mark and Nolan’s “let’s punch each other while flying across the world” fight from season one, but it comes pretty damn close. And despite limited screen time, Jacobs and Beetz give potent performances, as do a bunch of new faces. Ultimately, Invincible is a good reminder that superhero stuff—even adaptations—can still be fun, unique, engrossing, and surprising.

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Invincible season two, part two premieres March 14 on Prime Video

Invincible season 2, part 2 review: A bloody good time (2024)

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