Invincible: Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out (Episode 4) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of Invincible, Neil Armstrong, Eat Your Heart Out, Mark (voiced by Steven Yeun) juggles dating Amber (voice by Zazie Beetz) and his first heroic mission to Mars while suspicion around Onmi-Man/Nolan (voiced by J.K. Simmons) grows stronger.
While he’s certainly still a novice, Mark is quickly learning that the superhero lifestyle has more challenges than just supervillains. His relationship with Amber is growing stronger with the two heading out on their wholesome first date. There’s something about Mark and Amber’s relationship that gives Mark’s superhero journey a deeply human feel. Amber really keeps Mark grounded and their conversation about wanting to help people creates this great connection between both of Mark’s worlds. Not to mention, Yeun and Beetz have great dialogue chemistry and solidly awkward comedic moments that make their teen romance incredibly adorable. Mark still struggles to tell her about his superhero life but watching him attempt to half-lie on the spot to Amber about going to help people is a lot of fun and he’s not totally dishonest about it.
With his father not wanting to leave Earth since the original Guardians being slaughtered leaves virtually no one to protect the world, Cecil (voiced by Walton Goggins) is forced to rely on Mark to help Earth’s mission to successfully land humans on Mars for the first time. Truth be told, it’s not as grand or amazing as it might seem. Mark is forced to stay in the shadows for most of it in order to keep his assistance unknown. There’re funny moments with Mark trying to eat a sandwich in space and him losing the astronauts at one point because he fell asleep. Even the interactions he has with the Martians are kind of funny and there’s even a hint that a new Martian Man could be arriving with one of the astronauts being a Martian in disguise. However, it’s a plotline that’s nothing too special and really doesn’t have too big of an impact on Mark’s heroic journey.
Frankly, it feels like a subplot to give Mark something to do while everyone, mostly Debbie (voiced by Sandra Oh, questions if Nolan is hiding something. Ever since she had a chilling conversation with Damien Darkblood (voiced by Clancy Brown), Debbie has been wondering if there’s something that Nolan is keeping from her. It’s actually great that we get more of Debbie here since she’s really able to hold her own against Nolan’s intimidating power and confront him about how distant he’s been since the Guardians were wiped out and Mark got his powers. Oh’s performance definitely gives Debbie some strength and it’s even better that we get a more domestic look at Debbie and Nolan’s relationship. Their big date while Mark is away on Mars gives us more insight into their relationship and issues they’ve had in the past. While she’s hesitant to believe that Nolan could’ve done what now Cecil believes he did, his suspicious behavior certainly isn’t off her radar.
Nolan is honestly suspicious this whole episode and we get a greater sense that he’s going to do whatever he has to in order stay in power. His visit to Damien Darkblood’s office has a lot of hostility and a lot of persistence from Damien, who knows that Nolan killed the Guardians, to stay on the case. Even after he talks about wanting to stay on Earth to protect people, he lets a fire-breathing dragon destroy a city because he’s on a date. It’s clear that he’s shown himself more and more to be self-centered as time has gone on and it’s only a matter of time before his actions are known to everyone and he truly snaps. He’s also not the only one continuing on with his own plan as Robot (voiced by Zachary Quinto) continues doing whatever the hell he’s doing. His plan still seems unclear, but there’s a lot going on. There’s test tube babies and old villains coming back into play, but it’s seems like it’s building towards something big.
As for Damien Darkblood, he ends up finding himself on the wrong side of justice. Like I said before, Damien knows that Nolan is the true killer, but he’s not the only one that knows. In a great reveal, Cecil also says that he knows, or at least has an inkling, and decides to imprison Damien while he figures out how to handle Nolan. It’s a big turn that sadly puts Damien on ice, for now, and shows that this whole thing with Nolan could be bigger than we imagined. Maybe it even connects to what Robot is up to. Damien does leave a present behind for Debbie though in the form of his notebook, so maybe she’ll see that there’s something much darker to Nolan than her and Mark know.
Invincible delves a little deeper into Mark and Amber’s relationship as well as the growing suspicion around Nolan while Mark goes on his first intergalactic mission. There’s definitely a lot still to unpack with everything, especially with whatever the hell Robot is up to, but it’s only a matter of time before Nolan’s actions are known to everyone.