When Robert Kirkman was developing and writing The Walking Dead, the beloved AMC series based on his comic book of the same name with artist Charlie Adlard, the writer has said that he intentionally tried to turn right when the comics narrative wanted him to turn left, at any available opportunity. The result was a series that stayed tonally true to the comics but which could often veer away from the source material in significant ways. That kept even longtime comics readers on their toes -- as well as giving Kirkman something new and different to do, at a time when he was writing both the TV show and the monthly comic.
That mentality has not carried through as strongly to his latest TV offering, Invincible. While the animated series from Amazon has certainly made some changes here and there -- the biggest of which was revealing Omni-Man as a villain in the series premiere -- Kirkman notes that it feels more like a 1:1 translation of the comic than The Walking Dead ever did -- and he says that both the digressions and the similarities are by design.
"I think it's a little bit of both," Kirkman told ComicBook. "[Invincible] sometimes adapts the comic book very closely, and sometimes it varies wildly. I think that the majority of the first seven is original to the series. There are vast chunks of every episode that are not in the comics at all. I think that there are even episodes #1 and #8, which I wrote, and so I feel like they probably skewed a little bit closer to the comics than some of the other episodes, there are large chunks of those episodes that are completely original to the show. But I think that because the way that it's so consistent, and because some people haven't read the comics in some time, they're like, 'Oh yeah. This is exactly like the comics.' So I think that some people think it's a little bit closer to the comic than it actually is. Then at the same time, after years and years of working on The Walking Dead and being the guy in the room that's like, 'No, let's change it. Let's kill this character. Let's do this,' I was always pushing hard to change things as much as possible because I was bored with the source material because I was there for so long and additionally, The Walking Dead was something I was still actively doing [as a comic]. And so I was like, 'Oh my God, can we please do something different?'"
"I'm taking a little bit of a different approach to Invincible where I'm trying to tell myself, 'if it's not broken, don't fix it,,'" Kirkman continued. "My main goal is to expand scenes and heighten them in cool ways. And so I think you see a lot of that in Episode 8 with the battle stuff. There's not many characters yet [at this point] in the comic book series....There's a lot of different things along the way, that I add in that I feel kind of pluses up that fight, but doesn't change in any kind of way that makes it substantially different than how it goes in the comics. And so I feel like that's paying tribute to the source material, but also kind of expanding and improving on it in some cool ways."
From The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, and based on the Image/Skybound comic of the same name by Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley, Invincible is an hour-long, 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.
Invincible stars 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), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Melise (The Flash), Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons), Grey Griffin (Avengers Assemble), Khary Payton (The Walking Dead) and more.
The season finale of Invincible will drop tomorrow morning on Amazon Prime Video.