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Invincible: The Comic Behind Amazon Prime's New Animated Superhero Series

As the animated adaptation of Robert Kirkman's superhero comic series Invincible arrives on Amazon Prime on March 26 Self-confessed fanboy Jeremy Harrison explains why the original graphic novel series is worth getting into

Invincible, a.k.a. Mark Grayson eager to start his new days as a promising young Super Hero.
Hope he enjoys the experience

People normally ask, "How does one get into comics?" and the answer is "Just start!" But that isn't totally right either. Most of the time, people who ask that question want to start reading  Batman, Superman, X-Men, and or Spider-man: characters that have a very long history and are still on-going. It's much harder to sell to tell someone to go pick-up an unknown character. The character can be just as good, maybe even better, but now there's this thing with ... will this book be worth the money? It's an unproven commodity. I.E a familiar I.P will sell better than an unknown I.P.

The truth is people get into comics these days by becoming familiar with the property through movies, animation, video-games, toys, etc.

When  Spawn came out, Todd McFarlane the creator of the character pushed a toy-line, an animated series on HBO, and a movie.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- More people know of the cartoons rather than the comic book that's still being published The Tick -- Has had three to four shows.

So I hope you can see where I'm going with this. By Amazon producing an Invincible show (based on the original comic series by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and artist Cory Walker) they open the door to millions of potential new comic readers.  And the best thing I can tell potential new readers is that Invincible is not an on-going comic series. It has a beginning, a middle... and an END.

Often times when people even start reading comics they tend to start at first issue. I believe that's a big mistake for ongoing series. I understand we all have the habit of wanting to start at number one and see all the changes but most comics just aren't written in that style anymore where we can start at the first issue. 

Going back to Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-man's first appearance) is a nice idea, but that story has been rebooted and modernized THREE times already! Maybe even more?! Even I've lost count. Trying to read it all from the beginning is losing battle. Invincible is refreshing because it's a comic with an actual end. 

With Invincible you can start at the beginning and you will have an end-point with a consistent writer and artist. 

By giving the book an actual end-point, it allows for your superhero characters to have actual growth and not just the illusion of growth. (Which is what both Marvel and DC do) The hero is allowed to grow up. He's allowed to have a wife, a kid ... family which is done more or less in real-time. There are no reboots or speeches on why our titular hero can't kill or never kills. 

In fact: 

He starts out as a classic "Heroes-Don't-Kill" superhero,  but after seeing the worst humanity has to offer he changes his mind on that. And yes, the bad guys can do some really bad things in this book. Some of it is for shock-value but most of it is for storytelling purposes. I would not recommend this book to kids because Kirkman loves his blood and gore.

There's more I can show you but I think you get the point. Invincible isn't a safe read. It takes chances, risks that the big two Marvel and DC would never do but it all starts as a slow-burn. The first chapter is actually pretty "Meh" but that's due to the world-building that Kirkman is setting up. The Invincible Comic book is no mistake another Cinematic Super Hero Universe in the making. 

We start with a wild-eyed young teenager but from there we get to meet TechJacket, Brit, Guarding the Globe

But you don't need to pick up any of these books to understand what's happening in Invincible. Invincible is the main story and there aren't really any cross-overs but if you want to know more about Brit, he has a book you can go pick it up and understand what's happening in the world without Mark Grayson (Invincible) around.

One of the weaknesses I think of the big two is they make almost all the cross-overs an event: 

Batman guest stars in an issue of Superman. On part one of twenty! Batman and Superman battle the Joker and Lex Luthor in the ultimate battle. You've seen it a million times, but this time will be the talk of the century! (until the next time we do it) 

Contrast that with Invincible where if they do a cross-over with say Best-Tiger who happens to show up in Invincible. He just shows up and it's not an event that takes 100 issues with multiple crossovers with several different books.

Best-Tiger ... is that a reference to being the best at what he does? Sounds familiar! 😅

The other thing I like about Invincible and this is for comic fans like me "all the easter egg references". Respect for what's came before! Sure, Kirkman may go off the deep end but you can see in his writing that he has tremendous respect for DC and Marvel comics. He doesn't just make parodies of those characters like what The Boys (which also had an Amazon series) do with their "Seven". He has his version of the Teen Titans, Justice League but you can see that his characters are inspired by what came before and he wants to do those teams justice - see what I did there?- and carry them forward for a new generation. 

And now thanks to Amazon Prime, everyone can be introduced to this amazing world and hopefully, they'll be willing to explore this world in detail in graphic novel form because they'll be interested in seeing what happens next and how they will adopt later seasons to TV. 

Episodes 1-3 of Invincible will be available streaming on Amazon Prime form March 26, with new episodes weekly every Friday until April 30, 2021.