(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episodes 1-3 of Amazon Prime Video’s “Invincible.”)
The first episode of “Invincible,” “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman’s animated Amazon series, ends with a wild twist: Mark Grayson’s (Steven Yeun) dad, Nolan Grayson/Omni-Man (voiced by J.K. Simmons), the most powerful superhero on Earth, murders every member of the Guardians of the Globe in a bloody battle for no apparent reason.
While this premiere cliffhanger is sure to stun those who aren’t familiar with Kirkman’s “Invincible” comic series, it is also likely to come as a shock to those who are familiar with the show’s source material, seeing as this attack does not come at the beginning of the story.
“By moving that event up– in the comic book series, it happens much later and there isn’t this sense of, ‘Oh my gosh, when are people going to find out? And what are they going to do when they find out?’ Because everything just kind of rolls from there,” Kirkman told TheWrap. “By having it move up, we do get an extra sense of like, ‘Oh my gosh, Debbie [Omni-Man’s wife, voiced by Sandra Oh] has no clue what’s going on with her husband. And how is she going to find out, if she finds out or when she finds out?’ It should build a lot of tension in the series and should be something that keeps you guessing episode to episode.”
And throughout the show’s first three episodes, which launched in a batch on Amazon Prime Video Friday, no one but Omni-Man knows what he has done, as the world mourns the passing of the Guardians of the Globe and a new team is slowly assembled to take their place. However, detective Damien Darkblood (Clancy Brown) is on the case and by the end of Episode 3 has come to Debbie to ask a few questions that show he is suspicious of Omni-Man — even if he hasn’t figured it out yet.
“I think that’s kind of the ticking clock of the series is, who is going to find out and when and what they are going to do with that information? Damien Darkblood is definitely hot on the trail,” Kirkman said. “Whether that comes to a head in Episode 4 or Episode 5 or Episode 6 I’ll leave to the mystery of the series. But you know, you should very much be worried.”
Now, if you can’t tell whether or not Omni-Man is totally aware that he committed that heinous act — or if he even is the one truly at fault for what he did — the “Invincible” creator says that is exactly what you should be confused about right now.
“Yeah, that’s by design. There should be a little bit of mystery to that. Why did he do it? Was he being controlled? Is this something that he was aware that he was doing at the time? What purpose could killing these heroes actually serve? these are all questions that you should be asking yourself. And there’s little glimpses of a different kind of Nolan that we see from time to time that might make you possibly worry, like, ‘Oh man, maybe he did do this deliberately. I don’t understand.’ That’s all there by design.”
Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley first told the story of Mark Grayson a.k.a. Invincible in their Skybound/Image comic of the same name. While Amazon has so far ordered just one season of the show, Kirkman has hopes for more. But he isn’t sure exactly how long he’d want it to run.
“The storyline in the comics was told over the course of 16 years and 144 issues,” he said. “I don’t have an exact number of how many seasons we would like to get but, you know, a lot would be my desire. I think that a nice seven-season show would give us enough room to tell that full story. But I also think that it might be better if we did it in five or six, I don’t really know. That’s something that we’ll be able to figure out along the way, as we get into it. But the idea is to tell very many stories.”
New episodes of “Invincible” launch Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.