The Real Hero Of Invincible Season 2 Is Not Who You Think

The Real Hero Of Invincible Season 2 Is Not Who You Think

 

Contains spoilers for "Invincible" Season 2, Episode 7, "I'm Not Going Anywhere"

We're at the penultimate episode of "Invincible" Season 2 after its unfortunate midway split. There's no telling where things will end this year, but it's clear that Mark Grayson's (Steven Yeun) duties as a hero are being met with new challenges. Incredibly, though, as enthralling as his adventures have been in Season 2, another hero has managed to steal the show in a way that almost cost him his life. Somehow, highly charged day-saver Rex Splode (Jason Mantzoukas) has found himself on a path of redemption and, in doing so, marked himself as becoming the best and brightest hero the show has to offer.

This turn in trajectory isn't just thanks to the character's story making its way from comic book to television screen, either. Rex Splode's new lease on life has felt all the more believable thanks to Mantzoukas, who is putting in a career-best performance with the role. Joining him and Rex on this ride has, in turn, set the stage for other heroes and villains who will encounter a similar level of enlightenment before this epic superhero story is over. If Robert Kirkman attributed the success of "Invincible" to its emotion and depth, then Rex just lit the fuse to become one of its unexpected beating hearts.

 

The Invincible adaptation blows Rex Splode up in a major way

The Real Hero Of Invincible Season 2 Is Not Who You Think

 

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Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg needed a loud-mouthed, self-involved pain in the costume-covered rear when wrangling the perfect Rex. They found it with Jason Mantzoukas getting on board. Like so many other roles Mantzoukas is famous for, Rex is likable because of how disliked he is by those around him. Arriving as a smart-mouthed, egotistical hotshot, he brought the laughs until his recent life-changing encounter with the Lizard League in Season 2, Episode 5, "This Must Come as a Shock." Now, with a bruised ego and a dice with death, he's been pushed into the unthinkable territory of becoming what all heroes should be — just a nice guy.

His heart-to-heart with Eve (Gillian Jacobs) displays a level of decency we've not seen from Rex, which feels like a concerning bit of foreshadowing of righting his wrongs all too late. Instead, Rex has been force-fed a slice of humble pie by the Lizard League, making you want to root for him even more. It's a truly rewarding arc thanks to Mantzoukas' performance, bringing a level of humility and self-review that he's never really done with his characters. 

As a result, Rex provides a story even more compelling than Mark dealing with relationship dilemmas or threats from another dimension. As Rex explains in Season 2, Episode 7, "I'm Not Going Anywhere," he needs this, and by getting a grasp on redemption, he's setting up others to do the same.

 

Rex Splode is set on being redeemed, and he's not the only one

The Real Hero Of Invincible Season 2 Is Not Who You Think

 

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In the grand scheme of things, Rex might've made some bad calls in the past, but they're nothing compared to those that other characters have already made or will soon be making if the show keeps in line with Robert Kirkman, Ryan Otley, and Cory Walker's comic. Sure, Rex was a sleazebag at the show's start, but this pales in comparison to the red marks next to the name of Nolan Grayson, aka Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). The most powerful characters in "Invincible" often come with the most baggage, and that includes Omni-Man with his massive body count, which has entered quadruple digits, and his use of his son as an emergency train stop. 

Be that as it may, it's great that Rex's recent activities have established how this universe is full of second chances and how rewarding they can be, and he's set the bar as a shining example. Considering how many seasons "Invincible" could have, according to creator Robert Kirkman, there might be more time for Rex's slate to get even cleaner in the future, albeit with a few specks of blood given the great otherworldly threat looming on the horizon. And the orange and yellow smart-mouth deserves to be a part of it. Through the show's brilliant writing and Jason Mantzoukas' sterling performance, Rex can assure us that whether they're loud-mouthed guardians or besmirched Viltrumite insurgents, the heroes of "Invincible" are worth saving after all.

 

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