Comic book and TV creator Robert Kirkman’s new superhero show “Invincible” has been a long time coming.
Kirkman, best known for “The Walking Dead” franchise, penned the comics that serve as the basis for both shows in 2003 — but while “The Walking Dead” first hit the screen in 2010, “Invincible” premieres Friday (March 26) on Amazon.
“It was a little bit more of an uphill battle,” Kirkman, 42, told The Post.
“There weren’t a lot of zombie shows before ‘The Walking Dead,’ but in the early 2000s there was already a ton of superhero movies in production, and superheroes broke out on TV in a big way. So it was always hard to find that space for ‘Invincible.’ I also was adamant about making sure that it wasn’t rushed or haphazard. ‘Invincible’ is as important to me — if not more — than ‘The Walking Dead.’ It was something that I spent a good 16 years of my life working on, and so I wanted to make sure that we did it right.”
The Amazon series, which Kirkman created based on his comic of the same name, is an adult animated show centered on teenager Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who is the son of powerful superhero Nolan Grayson aka Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). As Mark begins to develop his own powers, he begins learning from his father and discovering secrets about his legacy.
“Doing it in animated form for television was the way that we were able to be the most faithful to what we accomplished in the comics,” said Kirkman.
In addition to Yeun and Simmons, the show’s star-studded voice cast includes Sandra Oh (as Mark’s mom Debbie) and Mark Hamill (as superhero costume designer Art Rosenbaum), among others.
“I’m fortunate that when people are like, ‘Oh, the guy that did ‘The Walking Dead’ is doing something else,’ that seems to get people’s attention, which is great,” said Kirkman. “And also once you have somebody of Steven Yeun’s caliber, that gives other people comfort, like ‘If he’s going to be part of this, it’s safe for me to.’ He puts a tremendous amount of effort in building his characters. He really showed that on ‘The Walking Dead’ with his character Glenn. It’s hard to pick the actor that’s going to headline your show — if you chose poorly, it can sink the entire show. Steven Yeun was just one of the most talented actors that I’d ever worked with. I knew that he was the right guy.”
In addition to the animated series, there’s also a live action “Invincible” movie in the works, with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg attached to write and direct (they’ll also produce alongside Kirkman).
“We’re planning on moving forward with that as soon as we can,” said Kirkman. “It will be a completely different approach to the material [than the show]. It’s really exciting to be going into this animated series with Amazon and know how we’re going to adapt the comic book for that and how different it’s going to be from what we end up doing with the movie.”
Between “Invincible,” the ever-expanding “Walking Dead” universe and his ongoing comics, Kirkman isn’t sure how many projects he has going on simultaneously, he said.
“I’d guess maybe double digits most days, which is a little alarming. But I enjoy what I’m doing. I don’t really keep track. I think if I actually had a number in my head, I would find it a little daunting and wouldn’t get work done. But I like to multitask. I’m bouncing from project to project throughout every day, which keeps me entertained and engaged.”