During the virtual NYCC Metaverse Skybound Panel, a teaser trailer for the animated series Invincible was released. From Amazon and Robert Kirkman’s Skybound entertainment. Many will recognize Kirkman as the creator of The Walking Dead, which like Invincible, started out as a comic. The show is produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. They are also the producers behind the red-hot series The Boys on Amazon. That show is known for its relentless violence and over the top take on superheroes. So having them on board to produce Invincible makes a lot of sense. The trailer wasn’t groundbreaking. Nor did it give many clues to how faithfully the series will be to the story told in the 144 issue comic series which ended in 2018. But the comic series did not shy away from blood, violence or controversial topics during it’s run.
The main character of the series is 17 yr old Mark Grayson. He is the son of the world-renowned and incredibly powerful hero Omni-Man. Mark is on the verge of adulthood, his own powers are manifesting themselves. Now he has to navigate his place in the world. It sounds like a simple enough premise. But things quickly become complicated for Mark as he discovers things that he believed his whole life, may not be what they seem.
The series was a critical success for Kirkman, co-creator Cory Walker, and long-time series artist Ryan Ottley, with many comic fans and critics comparing it to the Amazing Spider-Man as it looked at the life of a young hero trying to navigate through increasingly the complex relationships & responsibilities of adulthood with the added pressure of superpowers and obligation thrown in. It remains to be seen if the series will take this same direction. But the artwork was shown in the teaser certainly evokes the feel of the comic in both style and color.
Regardless of how much the storyline in the series borrows from the comic book source material, Amazon & Kirkman look to have a big hit on their hands. The Covid-19 pandemic has severally hampered the ability for studios and production companies to produce new content. This has elevated the importance of animated content for platforms like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu & others. It allows them to create new material while avoiding the risks and subsequently added costs associated with having actors on set. I would expect animation to play a larger role in our entertainment for the next few years. Invincible is poised to take advantage of that.
Originally scheduled to be released this year, Amazon is expecting the series to be ready for 2021. It certainly has a jump on other animated series for other platforms which started development much later than Invincible and are still many months if not years away.
Invincible has another advantage. It’s the incredible cast of actors who will be bringing these characters to life with their voices. Kirkman tapped into the talent pool from his Walking Dead series to bring many of those actors on board for Invincible portraying the members of the Guardians of the Globe superteam. Will this mean a built-in audience will tune in right from the start? Will fans of the Walking Dead who miss that show hope that Invincible can replace that show?
Having so many familiar voices will certainly help to start with Walking Dead alum Steven Yuen as Mark Grayson, J.K. Simmons as his father, Omni-Man, and the newly announced Michael Dorn of Star Trek fame as the fan-favorite character Battle Beast. Many other critically acclaimed actors such as Sandra Oh, Zazie Beetz, Walton Goggins, Chris Diamantopolous, Gillian Jacobs, Jason Mantzoukas, and Mark Hamill round out the cast. You can find the press release from Amazon below.
The teaser trailer gave fans their first look at what to expect from Kirkman’s television adaptation of his iconic comic book. Including fan-favorite characters, high-flying action, and all the gore audiences have come to expect from the Invincible comics.
From The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, and based on the Skybound/Image comic of the same name by Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley, Invincible is an adult animated superhero show that revolves around seventeen-year-old Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who’s just like every other guy his age — except that his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). But as Mark develops powers of his own. He discovers that his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems.
The Series will also star Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), Seth Rogen (This is the End), Gillian Jacobs (Community), Andrew Rannells (Black Monday, Girls), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Walton Goggins (Justified), Jason Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Mae Whitman (Good Girls), Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley), Melise (The Flash), Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons), Grey Griffin (Avengers Assemble), Max Burkholder (Imaginary Order) and more.
Invincible is produced by Skybound and executive produced by Kirkman, Simon Racioppa, David Alpert (The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead), Catherine Winder (The Angry Birds Movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) with Supervising Directors Justin Allen & Chris Copeland (Avengers Assemble, Ultimate Spider-Man), and Linda Lamontagne serving as casting director. Invincible, Kirkman’s second-longest comic-book series, concluded in February 2018 after a 15-year run.
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