Stream Of the Week: Invincible (Amazon Prime)
The Avengers, this is not. In fact, Invincible, the new Amazon Prime animated superhero series co-created by Robert Kirman (The Walking Dead) probably has more in common with fellow Prime original The Boys. This violent show doesn’t bother with origin stories as it plops you immediately into a world where superheroes (and supervillains) are as commonplace as pizza and McDonalds. Immediately we’re thrown into a battle where the Mauler Twins attack the White House (guarded by a character voiced by Jon Hamm for some reason). Luckily, the “Avenger-types” of this universe the Guardians of the Globe are here to save the day.
Omni-Man, the leader of the group, is voiced fantastically by character actor J.K. Simmons. Depending on your age, Simmons is either best known for playing the cantankerous drum teacher (which he won an Oscar for) in the critically acclaimed Whiplash or for playing the equally cantankerous J. Jonah Jameson frantically requesting photos of Spider-Man in the early 2000’s film trilogy with Tobey Maguire. But to reach the largest audience possible, let us just call him the voice of the yellow Peanut M&M. Although Omni-Man is the Superman type in the show, the focus of the series is more on his son Mark Grayson and his ragtag group of teenaged hero friends after the first episode…..well you’ll see. As we join the story, Grayson (voiced by Steven Yeun, Glenn on The Walking Dead) is in a “superhero puberty” of sorts as he awaits his powers that should come genetically from his father.
This show is packed with hilarity, as Canadians Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are among the Executive Producers, with Rogen himself showing up for a few small voice parts. The story is intriguing, the animation superb and the violence will constantly have you saying, “Did that seriously just happen?”
Perhaps just as enjoyable is naming the super cast of talented voice actors. From Sandra Oh who voices Grayson’s mother, Arrested Development alumni like Simmons and Mae Whitman (her?), to several Walking Dead alumni like Yeun and Lauren Cohan, it’s always fun to see who’s going to pop up next. Some of the best surprises appear in small, seemingly insignificant roles like the aforementioned Hamm and Parenthood’s Max Burkholder. A surefire favourite is longtime voice acting legend Mark Hamill (yeah, yeah he’s a Jedi too) who shows up as Art Rosenbaum, who may give Edna from The Incredibles a run for her money as a favourite suit tailor for our heroes.
Come for the action sequences, stay for the morality lessons about the price of superpowers. Either way, you’ll want to binge this show in preparation for a confirmed second and third season!
Invincible is available to stream on Amazon Prime.