Invincible has been flying under the radar — it’s tough to compete with the Marvel machine — but now that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is over, it’s worth turning your attention to Amazon’s unexpectedly awesome animated superhero series. The final episode of Invincible Season 1 aired on Friday, April 30, and Inverse spoke with showrunner and comic co-creator Robert Kirkman to unpack the cliffhanger finale and what comes next.
According to Kirkman, the answer is... a lot. The Invincible comics ran for a tidy 144 issues before wrapping up neatly, but the series could take teenage superhero Mark Grayson and his father Nolan (aka, Omni-Man) far beyond the original source material.
“We have a rough arc of what we want the premiere and the finale to adapt from the comic book series,” Kirkman tells Inverse. “But I'm keeping things malleable. I could see it going five seasons. I could see it going seven seasons. I could see it going 10 seasons. Maybe we run out of comic book and we just keep going and we do 100 seasons! There is a plan, we can adjust that plan as we go.”
The good news there is that Invincible is already renewed for two more seasons. Whether Kirkman will be able to keep going after that remains unclear, but in the meantime, there is one thing we can definitely expect in the near future: a lot more Battle Beast.
The cat-like alien warrior made a brief but memorable appearance in Episode 5 when he nearly killed Invincible and several other superheroes. The character has a somewhat limited arc in the comics (where his real name is Thokk), but Kirkman is excited to give fans something they’ve been demanding for years.
“The major change to the Battle Beast storyline would be more Battle Beast in the show than in the comics,” he says. “Not too much because a little Battle Beast goes a long way, but it's a character that I love as much the fanbase loves him. So I would expect more Battle Beast.”
Read the rest of Inverse’s interview with Robert Kirkman below, where we dive deep into Invincible’s Season 1 finale, what comes next, and whether he’d ever make an animated Walking Dead show. Warning: Spoilers ahead!
At the end of Season 1, Omni-Man reveals his true plan to conquer Earth. I love the line where he refers to his wife as a “pet” to explain how his alien race, the Viltrumites, sees humanity. How does that change the character heading into Season 2?
I love the idea of aliens from another planet that look human. It's a fantastic sci-fi trope. But what you usually get is someone that might have skewed values, but for the most part, they kind of have human values. What we wanted to do with Vultremites is that they really have a completely different kind of life. They don't necessarily value life or human interaction.
What you're seeing with the baseball scene at the end of the episode is that Debbie has trained her weird alien husband to be more human, and he's gotten better at this act. The question is how much of an act it actually is. That's something we'll be exploring.
One thing I like pointing out is, in Episode 1 when Mark reveals that he has his powers, Nolan is very disappointed. The disappointment is because he’s realizing, Oh, okay, I have to go back to being a Viltrumite now. I don't get to play husband, I don't get to play father, I have to do my duty, because now, Mark has his powers. And this is the time to take over his planet.
Season 1 ends with a montage of old and new threats, including the Flaxans, the hivemind alien on Mars, and Battle Beast. But what would you say is the biggest threat? (Besides Omni-Man, of course.)
Maybe the Flaxans are the most all-encompassing threat, but any number of these can be dangerous. The idea at the end of that episode is to show that Mark's life is gonna get more interesting and more complicated as things go on. There are 1000 threats looming on the horizon, and it's a question of whether or not he's going to be able to deal with it.
The finale also brings back Allen the Alien, who reveals a much bigger intergalactic conflict. How do you stay grounded in Season 2 when you’re talking about the “Coalition of Planets”?
Anyone who has read the comics knows where we're going. When you hear Allen the Alien say “Coalition of Planets” for the first time, hopefully, that's exciting for the audience. But I think that the humanity of Invincible comes from the characters and how they react to certain things. You can have a very grounded story that's cosmic in nature. You can have Mark standing on the deck of spaceships and have it be very grounded if he's acting in a grounded way.
So while we are hinting that we could be going into space a little bit more than we did in the first season, there's still going to be Earth-based stories. There's going to be all kinds of different weird realms and areas and crazy things that we'll be doing in this series and it's still going to be a very human story that is as relatable as it can be.
“I'm hoping to do some more animated stuff beyond Invincible.”
Given the success of Invincible, have you considered making a Walking Dead animated series?
I wouldn't rule it out. It would definitely be fun. I see the potential in doing that kind of thing, and I am really enjoying working in animation. I'm hoping to do some more animated stuff beyond Invincible, just because it seems to be a really fun working process and quite enjoyable. So who knows what the future holds.
Who would win in a fight? Omni-man or Superman?
I think definitely Omni-Man. I think that Superman has powers that Omni-Man doesn't have. He's got his heat vision, got his cold breath. But I co-created Omni-Man so I'm biased.
Invincible is streaming now on Amazon Prime.