REVIEW: ‘Invincible,’ Episode 8 – “Where I Really Come From”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Invincible Episode 8

Invincible Episode 8 fundamentally uproots its protagonist’s life, including everything he thought he knew about his father. “Where I Really Come From” picks up immediately where “We Need To Talk” left off and has Nolan (J.K. Simmons) reveal the true origin of the Viltrumites to Mark (Steven Yeun). Shaken to his core, Mark engages his father in a bloody battle across the world-with the aftermath forever changing his life.

“Where I Really Come From” adapts the events of Invincible #11-13, with the series’ co-creator/executive producer Robert Kirkman returning to pen the finale. This is huge, as those were the issues that propelled Invincible from “a really neat superhero comic” to “arguably one of the best superhero comics ever created.” The battle between Mark and Nolan feels just as immense as it did in the comics, thanks to the animation team working overtime and the performances of Yeun and Simmons, respectively. Yeun runs through a gauntlet of emotions in “Where I Really Come From”; from Mark’s utter shock at his father’s actions to despair when he realizes just how outmatched he is.  Simmons is utterly terrifying now that Nolan’s true nature is on display. He shows little regard for the human race, referring to his own wife Debbie (Sandra Oh) as little more than a “pet” and killing with abandon. This series has never shied away from blood and gore, but “Where I Really Come From” takes it to a new level, especially with one scene involving Mark, Nolan, and a subway train. I’ll only say this: It will test the strength of the audience’s stomachs.

As if Mark being forced to fight his father wasn’t enough, the episode also shows the various reactions from Mark’s friends and family before and after the fight. There are heartbreaking reactions, such as Debbie’s and Amber’s (Zazie Beetz); and characters doing what they can to help, with the new Guardians of the Globe heading into action despite Cecil’s (Walton Goggins) orders for them to stay put. Perhaps the most devastating reaction comes from Mark’s friend William (Andrew Rannells). William already saw his boyfriend Rick transformed into one of the Reanimen in “You Look Kinda Dead“; seeing his best friend getting knocked around halfway around the world is another scoop on the sundae of suffering.

When I say “knocked around the world,” I mean it; Mark and Nolan’s fights jumps from Chicago to New York, the ocean floor, and even a mountaintop-and as you’d expect from two super-strong nearly invulnerable beings, this leaves MASSIVE destruction in its wake. Buildings are snapped in half, the ocean floor cracks wide open, and one of Nolan’s punches literally starts an avalanche. I feel like animation is one of the most perfect venues for a superhero battle because animators often come with inventive uses of a hero’s powers, and that’s definitely the case here, as a realistic approach is taken to two superheroes duking it out.

Finally, “Where I Really Come From” ends with a sequence of events that teases future stories, which pick up from storylines launched throughout Season 1. Titan (Mahershala Ali) as a gang lord, the fate of Doc Seismic (Chris Diamantopoulos), and even Mark’s mission to Mars are all touched upon. Many of these characters tested Mark when he was starting out as Invincible, and now that he’s a little more battle-scared and wiser, I hope to see how he handles them now.

Invincible Episode 8 is just as shocking and game-changing as the comics that inspired it and sets the stage for future adventures with its titular hero.  Amazon Prime has renewed the show for two more seasons, and I can safely say that Season 1 has only scratched the surface of what makes the comic so compelling, and I look forward to how it handles more of the comic’s elements as well as Mark’s growth as a character.

Invincible Season 1 is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Invincible Episode 8
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Invincible Episode 8 is just as shocking and game-changing as the comics that inspired it and sets the stage for future adventures with its titular hero.  Amazon Prime has renewed the show for two more seasons, and I can safely say that Season 1 has only scratched the surface of what makes the comic so compelling, and I look forward to how it handles more of the comic’s elements as well as Mark’s growth as a character.