By Bolu Ayeye
Invincible is one of my favourite shows of 2021, and I loved it so much I started to binge read the source material, the comics. A lot of the comics shows their age at the start, some of the gay jokes and dialogue but it was 2003 so it’s expected, it was still super enjoyable.
However what surprises me at the end of the run was just how dark a turn it took and not for the better, in short Invincible in some ways goes potentially fascist lite? The word is overused a lot today and gets thrown around loosely, but Invincible seems to play with those ideas and somewhat present them if channelled correctly as reasonable and starts leaning heavily into the ends justify the means, although thankfully I think the cartoon might be softening the stance seeing as Cecil seems considerably warmer and reasonable in the cartoon.
The most glaring example was Robot violently overthrows the world governments and actually leads us all to a better world, but that’s still not right cause yes we have a better world but one man’s unilateral vision for us all, no checks and balances and him imprisoning any dissidents against his rule, inherently comics will always struggle with fascist ideas because they often present super gifted men who go and break the law to make society what they believe it should be by fighting crime, a mighty man breaking the law to save us all, and if you are unaware of the history that’s somewhat similar to how fascist regimes start, granted heroes do not become our government and run our lives but again it’s a quick rundown of how the ideas are linked.
Heck Mark overthrows the alliance of planets cause according to him things needed to change, and while on paper I have no issue with some of the premises of that action, the council of planets being corrupt and favouring richer planets wasn’t hinted at all, so the one strong man Mark overthrowing them last minute didn’t resonate with me
The comic seems to somewhat vindicate it, Mark does stop Robot but he just hands over Robot’s intellect to immortal to guide the world but fallen into a trap again, select few unilaterally deciding how best to rule an entire planet.
Yes it’s a comic and at times shouldn’t be an arbiter of truth and morality but like all Art, the ideas presented can still be examined and criticised.
What seems to be a consistent theme was democracy and everyone having a say was wrong and a strong man was what was needed to make the world a better place, robot, Cecil and even in a sadder tragic way mark(who before then had started going down a darker path having killed and mauled some of his enemies who were beaten or even somewhat victims), and that lends a more interesting question in an where the Viltrumites wrong? cause minus the brutality and conquering that was their philosophy the best of the best-taking control of the fate of civilization without care or consult of those considered lesser, and their power consolidated with sheer superior might. My only hope is that the animated series tackles, changes and improves on these narrative choices, cause I still enjoy both but take issue with that narrative choice.