With a devastating twist in its premiere, Invincible burst onto the superhero scene with a boom. On Friday, the show went out on an equally high note, delivering a gruesome battle that had been building all season long. After taking a deep breath following the blood-soaked madness, members of The Ringer divulged their thoughts on the show’s first season.
1. What is your tweet-length review of the Invincible finale?
Andrew Gruttadaro: There Will Be Blood (2007)
Charles Holmes: We got one of the greatest fight scenes of the year and the only thing it cost us was a season’s worth of Omni-Man vs. Goku debates.
Steve Ahlman: Invincible is a fantastic alternative entry into adult-themed yet heartfelt superhero fare.
Rob Mahoney: Honestly, I’m still recovering.
2. What was the best moment of the season?
Ahlman: Easily Mark standing up to his father, Omni-Man—an absolutely heartbreaking battle of wills that ruptures a family and speaks to experiences far beyond a world of super-powered beings.
Holmes: Omni-Man buying Mark’s face a monthly Metrocard with unlimited swipes.
Adeniran: There are a lot of great moments in Invincible’s inaugural season, but if I had to pick one, it would be the twist in the premiere. It changed the entire trajectory of the series and honestly, watching Omni-Man slice off the Immortal’s head with a singular chop was simply incredible.
Gruttadaro: The original twist still stands out as Season 1’s most visceral moment—a true “oh shit, I guess I’ll keep watching” situation if there ever was one.
Mahoney: For everything I love about this first arc, I’m not sure it ever topped Omni-Man slaughtering the Guardians and breaking the whole story wide open.
3. What was your least favorite part?
Gruttadaro: Is it blasphemous to say I’ve been very tired of seeing Mark get beaten to within an inch of his life in every episode? Does this make me, like, a noob, or just someone with normal sensory receptors?
Mahoney: The first 40 minutes of the first episode. The fact that the series opens with a bland Spider-Man pastiche ends up kind of working in its favor once Omni-Man starts popping heads and turning fish people into tartare, but the setup itself is still so aggressively generic that it drags our guard down. I respect it, but can’t say I loved watching it.
Ahlman: The show often takes its time with establishing the bigger stakes but not the smaller ones. It’s tough to care about Mark’s girlfriend trouble after he just fought an alien invasion and we as the audience have seen that trope all too often. The show always manages to turn it on its ear, but it takes time.
Holmes: The animation budget.
Adeniran: The animation could look real poor at times. Like, really bad. But when that’s the only thing I can complain about, you’re doing a great job.
4. Where does the Invincible finale rank among recent superhero story closing acts?
Gruttadaro: Well, it was definitely better than the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Holmes: Considering we didn’t get any long speeches about grief or finding common ground I’d have to say Invincible ranks at the top.
Adeniran: It’s one of the best superhero TV show season finales of all time! It ends the arc of the first season with a bloody bang and sets up new threads without ruining the flow of the show.
Ahlman: It truly ranks among the best as far as animated and live action superhero content is concerned. The Invincible comic came at a time when the genre was primed for subversion and the adaptation comes at the height of the MCU’s powers, giving us a breath of fresh air just when we needed it.
Mahoney: It’s easily at the top, but it didn’t have much competition. The Falcon finale was among that series’ weakest episodes; getting more time with Isaiah Bradley couldn’t bail out a puffed-up installment that didn’t have the plot, the character development, or even the set pieces to pull off what it tried to. And I’m still laughing about the way WandaVision tried to gaslight us into thinking it was a series about Wanda’s great sacrifice. To give Invincible its due, I’d go broader than capes and tights: This was one of the most satisfying season finales we’re likely to see this year in any genre. It gave us a confrontation we all knew was coming and still managed to show us things we’ve never seen before … and some we will never un-see.
5. When will Omni-Man return to Earth? What will happen when he does?
Adeniran: Omni-Man doesn’t look like a guy who takes losses well—he’ll be back with the Viltrum armada soon. Let’s make sure to keep Mark Grayson in our prayers.
Mahoney: Season 2, Episode 5. You don’t leave J.K. Simmons on the bench.
Ahlman: As a guy who’s read the comics, I’ll do that classic thing and just say that the way this resolves is VERY GOOD.
Holmes: I, too, recuse myself from this question as a reader of the comics, but I will say that Omni-Man is about to [redacted] and when Mark finds out it’s going to be [redacted] and plenty traumatic.
Gruttadaro: I’d love if Season 2 had the restraint to keep him away from Earth, hanging over the planet and the show like an overly drawn-out, ticking time bomb. Because when he comes back, I don’t exactly think he’ll be looking to have a catch with Mark, and it’d be nice to spend some time building out the Invincible world and deepening the characters.
6. Of the numerous teases of looming developments and threats that we saw while Mark and Allen the Alien chatted on the moon, which one are you most excited to see play out in Season 2?
Gruttadaro: Honestly, just show me more Allen the Alien.
Ahlman: I have always loved Cecil as a relentless Nick Fury–esque character who plans and anticipates everything. I’ll always be excited to see what he has up his sleeve.
Adeniran: I don’t know who that dragon character is, but I very much would like to find out.
Holmes: Invincible’s battle against Conquest ranks among the best fight scenes in comic book history. If Kirkman and Co. do the battle justice on-screen, even Omni-Man vs. Invincible won’t be able to touch it.
Mahoney: I’m a sucker for the idea that D.A. Sinclair—maybe the most deranged character on the show—might actually be Earth’s best hope for defending itself from total destruction. I also feel like we could probably get his new army of toothy supersoldier abominations some freaking mouthguards.
7. Who are you shipping after Season 1?
Adeniran: Mark and some hand-to-hand combat classes.
Mahoney: Debbie and a sense of closure. (Not sure there’s a more vicious scene in that blood-soaked finale than when Nolan said that he loved Debbie “like a pet.”)
Holmes: Mark and some good grief counseling.
Gruttadaro: Mark belongs with Eve and no, I will not be hearing any arguments otherwise.
8. The voice-acting cast for Season 1 was outstanding. If you could dream-cast a future addition to this already star-studded roster, who would you add?
Adeniran: Robert Downey Jr. as Viltrum’s head honcho. Think of the head trip listening to the voice of the MCU’s favorite son coming out of the mouth of this universe’s most villainous leader. I’m here for it!
Mahoney: Give me Timothy Olyphant as a cross-agency counterpart/adversary/frenemy to Walton Goggins’s Cecil. Stetson optional.
Ahlman: I would love to see the likes of Kevin Conroy play a side character. The voice of the best Batman and the best Joker deserves to be in the same show together.
Gruttadaro: OK so … until right this second I thought Bill Hader was the voice of Robot. He is not. Zachary Quinto is. Great job, Zach Quinto but, uh, yeah—let’s get Bill Hader on this show!
Holmes: J.K. Simmons needs a foil in Season 2—the range of his acting, the richness of his voice, and the commitment to making Omni-Man the most evil husband and father in the galaxy was unmatched. The only person who can stop him now ... is an old nemesis by the name of Tobey Maguire.