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'Invincible' 1.06 Review: You Look Kind of Dead

'Invincible' gets back to the mix of gory and story that makes it shine.

Invincible flies over the curve of the Earth
(Image: © Amazon Prime Video)

Our Verdict

A solid if overstuffed episode that isolates Mark from his Earthbound buds.

For

  • 💛 A little queer love
  • 💛 Cute college kid romance
  • 💛 Gory horror movie style business

Against

  • 💛 A little mutilate your gays
  • 💛 Mark please tell Amber you're a superhero I'm dying here
  • 💛 They're stuffing a lot of story into these last few episodes

This post contains spoilers for Invincible.
Check out our last review here

While we all deal with the fallout of the events of the last episode, Mark (Steven Yeun) is coming to terms with the fact that he almost got half of his team killed. Whereas the previous entry into the series was a little jarringly edited, this gets back to the smooth balance of story and gory that makes Invincible work so well. But before we get back to Mark we see a truly horrific sequence where a drunk jock gets kidnapped and experimented on by a mysterious figure who mutilates him in a strange shadowy basement. It's a startling opening and one that leans into the gnarliness that Invincible does so well. 

As Mark tries to reclaim normality, William (Andrew Rannells) mentions he's going to visit a local college to see his crush Rick (Jonathan Groff), and Mark invites himself and Amber (Zazie Beetz) along. It's a gambit which he hopes will inspire his on again off again girlfriend to overlook his regular absences. Honestly, why he doesn't just tell her is... incomprehensible to me at this point in the show, but that's the classic superhero trope so we'll go with it. She's understandably sick of his nonsense, but she's also a teenage girl who has a hot and unavailable boyfriend so of course she's hooked and agrees to go with Mark and his friend. 

Atom Eve (Gillian Jacobs) gets to have a little Batman moment this week. Or at least the moment we all wish Batman would have. After her stint at the community kitchen with Amber she's come to a staggering realization. While chatting to Mark in his bedroom as he packs for his college trip she suddenly shares that helping people in her own community has taught her that she can actually do good on a ground level without waiting for an alien invasion or working for a nefarious government run organization. It's a nice little bit of character development for the hero and leans into one of the most common superhero fan questions: why not use your good for your own community rather than becoming an imperialist tool? 

While Mark heads off to visit college with his buds, Debbie (Sandra Oh) is still on a mission to find out the truth about her killer husband. It's something that we'll see explored as the episode goes on but one thing is for sure: Omni-Man / Nolan (J.K. Simmons) is unhappy about his wife's surprising detective skills. The show's other dysfunctional couple, Amber and Mark, set off to college and come across a very suspicious student. His maniacal monologuing doesn't manage to distract the teenage lovers from their dreamy weekend. While William spends time with his crush Rick, Amber and Mark traverse the campus and begin to plan their potential post-high school life together at the seemingly idyllic college.  

Their relaxing chat is interrupted as an enhanced cyborg jock attacks the student body. It's clear that this is the one-time jock we saw earlier. Amber's compassionate caring side kicks in and she begins to help injured people, but Mark is stuck between revealing his powers and helping or just hiding in the shadows. In the end he decides to compromise disappearing and returning in his super suit. It helps save the day but doesn't help his relationship with Amber who is honestly disgusted by his apparent cowardice. Again, this would have been a great time for Mark to tell Amber... but he's a teenage boy brainwashed by a terrible dad and an evil government org, so of course he just lets her be mad at him.  

In case you're worried about Mark's teammates--which he apparently isn't--Monster Girl (Grey Griffin) is still in the hospital and Robot (Zachary Quinto) is looking after her. It's a sweeter side to the mechanical hero than we've seen before, but don't trust him too much as Robot has also been making some kind of maniacal super creature--possibly with the blood he's been stealing from the kids--but we don't learn too much more about that here. Elsewhere, Debbie meets up with Nolan's super-tailor who has been going over her husband's super suit and makes a shocking discovery. If you've been watching the series you can probably guess what it is, but for the sake of surprise we'll leave a little vagueness here. 

Even though it's only a brief glimpse we do get to see Atom Eve being a small time superhero in the wilderness. She even uses her powers to make a very cute treehouse that honestly I could live in happily. This is a great thread and I'd really love to see Atom Eve get more screen time exploring her own powers on her own terms. And seeing as Amber was the one who inspired her, maybe she could join her? The pair clearly share a friendship and connection over the real tangible ways that they can help people, in a way that pretty much every other hero on this show struggles with. So maybe we'll get a little of that in the last two episodes, but even if not this is a great place to leave Eve as she finds herself. 

The final moments of this week are concerned heavily with Nolan. Not only his relationship with his wife which is swiftly unravelling, but also with his tailor who may or may not know too much. Since the very first episode we've known the truth about the world's most powerful hero but it looks like the final two episodes will see the rest of the cast of Invincible learn it too. The fallout from that will likely be just as brutal as the violence that permeates the show and offers up some of its best moments. So keep Mark in your thoughts and tune in next week. 

Invincible hits Amazon every Friday.