After years of attempting to bring Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker's Invincible to the small screen, Amazon Studios will finally bring Invincible, Omini-Man, and even Allen the Alien to Amazon Prime on March 26.
Co-creator and comic book writer, Robert Kirman, as well as stars Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Deadpool 2) and Gillian Jacobs (Community, I Used To Go Here) who play Amanda Bennett and Atom Eve respectively, sat down to talk about the upcoming show, what it's like finally seeing these characters on the screen, and what they hope fans will get out of Invincible.
"I think there's a difference in limitations that I think is the biggest difference," Kirkman said on the differences when making Invincible and The Walking Dead. "I think that there are certainly many times on Walking Dead where they'd be like, 'Yeah yeah, yeah, this is a cool scene. But 200 zombies instead of 2000 zombies.' And there's not any sense of that in Invincible."
Kirkman said that there should've been more limitations on Invincible, but felt like they "wrote the hell out of these scripts" and had to figure out how to make the animation studios make it work.
"They really stepped up and did an amazing job," he continued. "But I think that just the scope and scale that we're able to accomplish in Invincible, we never would've been able to do in live-action. So that alone, I think it's really great to have that ambition. But also it looks super cool and it's a little bit truer to the comics and we're able to have some of the shorthand and creativity that exists in the comics. Like exist in a more true adaptation in animated form. So it's kind of cool all around."
"You're going to get to see him grow and change and evolve over time in a way that you'll never see Spider-Man or Batman or anybody like that."
When asked about the challenges behind striking the balance between newcomers and longtime fans of the comic, Kirkman said that's something that comes kind of naturally.
"You want to make sure that there's not anything that's too inside baseball, that only a comic book reader is going to understand," he replied. "So there's a little bit of, I guess, adapting this for a wider audience that happens. But at the same time, Invincible is a very contained world. And I think if anyone starts with the first issue of the comic, if you've never read comics, you'll still be able to follow along and enjoy the story."
Kirkman added that he thinks it's a pretty easy thing to adapt to a wider audience and there hasn't been a lot of changes that have had to take place to make things a "little bit more digestible to a wide audience." He continued with how the adaptation is perfect for fans and newcomers to the series alike because of how the story is made.
"This is a superhero story that has a beginning, middle, and an end. It's the story of Mark Grayson's journey and to his life as a superhero," he said. "You're going to get to see him grow and change and evolve over time in a way that you'll never see Spider-Man or Batman or anybody like that. You're going to see Invincible decide this is how I do things and this is who I am as a superhero. Oh, wait, that doesn't work. I'm going to now change it, my tactics to this. And, oh, wait, that doesn't work. Now, I'm going to do this. As he makes mistakes, as he succeeds and fails constantly."
"I think it's a little bit more of a realistic take on superheroes because of that," Kirkman added. "And I'm just, I'm really excited for you to be able to start this journey and experience this story in a way you haven't experienced before."
Invincible had once been made into a motion comic, but in a full-length animated series, it's an entirely different beast. Kirkman talked about the reason why it took so long to finally bring his creation to this medium.
"You have to find the right partner. You have to find the right studio that's interested in making this," he stated. "And that took a little bit of time. But I think that while it did take much longer to adapt this than it did The Walking Dead, I think that it's happening at the exact right time." He went on to say that he thinks that superhero movies and TV shows have grown to the point where "there's just a vernacular that the audience is really well versed in".
He mentioned that if this had happened 10, 15 years ago, he believed that there wouldn't have been enough movies and television shows to "hit that critical mass to where the audience is primed for something like Invincible."
"That gives you everything that you get from cool superhero stories, but adds something a little different to the mix and tries to break some new ground along the way here and there. So I think that we're in the exact right place and I'm glad we made it."
This is Part 1, in which we chatted with Robert Kirkman. Part 2, with Beetz & Jacobs, is coming soon. Invincible premieres March 26, on Amazon Prime Video.