Earlier this month, Invincible creator Robert Kirkman ruled out appearances by Image Comics characters he does not already own -- but one of Kirkman's favorite Image characters, the superfreak cop known as Dragon, might not be completely off the table. That's according to Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen, who created the character and owns the rights. Speaking with fans on Facebook, Larsen said that he would consider allowing Kirkman to use Dragon in the right circumstances. The comments came in response to an article speculating as to how "Invincible War," a major story arc that brought characters like Dragon, Spawn, and Witchblade in to help save the Earth, might play out differently on TV.
Of course, especially with the rapid expansion of the Invincible universe on TV, Kirkman could easily do the story with only the characters he owns, and nobody but hardcore comics fans would even know what they were missing. The closest comparision here would be more like Marvel stories that featured characters they didn't fully own prior to the Fox acquisition, or the recent expiration of their Netflix license.
"It's never come up," Larsen told a fan who asked about Savage Dragon, a character whose only animated outing was a short-lived series on USA Network. "They didn't ask to use the character."
Asked whether Larsen would allow its use if asked, he answered, "if it wasn't onerous, sure."
That's a pretty general guideline, but also a sign that, at least in theory, you could see the characters onscreen together at some point. That said, Kirkman appears to be in a hurry to establish his own characters in the show, rolling them out faster on TV than he did in the comics.
"I think that getting into the world of Invincible, and getting to know these characters better is definitely a goal moving forward," Kirkman told ComicBook. "I think that with hour-long episodes, there's a great opportunity there to really get to know all of these characters better. I want to do deeper stories with Rex Splode, with Robot, Atom Eve, Dupli-Kate. I think there's a lot to be done with Cecil and the villains."
"I think that you can see that we've humanized all of our villain characters in Invincible if you read the comic book series, and you can see that we can really dig in and build around them," Kirkman added. "One of the fun things about Invincible is that every little thing that you see matters. You're going to see Doc Seismic again the same way you saw Bi-Plane again. You'll probably see Bi-Plane another time before the series is over. Those callbacks build this world out into something that feels very real and that's something that's important to us. So yeah, we'll definitely be taking the time if we were to move forward, to really dig in and tell some really cool stories with five other characters that we had, not just Mark Grayson."
The season finale of Invincible airs tomorrow (Friday, April 30) on Amazon Prime Video. If you want to see the Savage Dragon cartoon, you can find it streaming on Peacock.