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Invincible

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I wanted to make a joke title, but couldn’t think of one that wouldn’t spoil things...

Anyway, Rob Kirkmans Invincible recently got an animated adaptation on Amazon Prime, and of all of APs Deconstructive Superhero Original Series’ I would rank it... second best. And that’s only because I really liked The Tick.

In fact, I liked it so much I immediately picked up a collection of the first third of the series.

The premise is simple and timeless as far as superhero stories go; a typical Teen is delighted when he gains superpowers, like his dad the Superman-esque hero named Omniman, and decided to go into the family business of saving the world. And it quickly becomes clear to the audience (but not the characters, that Omniman is a complete sociopath and monster.

Unlike APs other gritty superhero deconstructions, however, it’s just that one guy; the rest of the heroes may have issues but none are that bad. It’s vastly more optimistic than the likes of The Boys or even Venture Brothers.

The cast is surprisingly star-studded too; JK Simmons, Steven Yeung, Gillian Jacobs, Jason Manzoukas, Walten Goggins, Clancy Brown and Seth Rogan all have prominent roles. I think Seth may have been a one off, but his character was really fun so I hope not.

It’s also not infrequently extremely violent. The extreme violence usually has aor thematic justification, but they could probably have managed that with about 80% less free-flying viscera
 
Unlike APs other gritty superhero deconstructions, however, it’s just that one guy; the rest of the heroes may have issues but none are that bad. It’s vastly more optimistic than the likes of The Boys or even Venture Brothers.
I walked into this show completely completely blind. I was not as enthralled with it as you, but I wanted to know what I was getting further into since the comic goes on for a long-ass time, and the show is only going to cover so much of it. So I read some spoilers on where the plot goes to see what kinda property I was getting myself into and lol there are definitely several more bad guy super heroes. Especially Robot.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Aw man, I wish I didn’t click that spoiler.

Also, Rex is basically Gambit, so I’m not giving him the benefit of the doubt on anything
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
Regarding that spoiler, it takes forever to get there, and I kind of assume it won't make an impact on the animated series in the same ways Spider-Man cartoons never make it up to the point that Peter Parker has to directly wheel and deal with Satan to reboot the universe.
 
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Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Just chiming in to say I initially misread “APs Deconstructive Superhero Original Series” as “Advance Placement Deconstructive Superhero Original Series” and thought that was a funny name for indie superhero subversion comics.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Regarding that spoiler, it takes forever to get there, and I kind of assume it won't make an impact on the animated series in the same ways Spider-Man cartoons never make it up to the point that Peter Parker has to directly wheel and deal with Satan to reboot the universe.
You would be mistaken
 

madhair60

Video games
Damn I loved this comic. It wasn't great the whole way through but it just worked so well for me. Certain scenes excepted.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Its been a long time since I read the comic and I'm sort of afraid that it just wouldn't age well for me for whatever reason but just remembering the series does make me want to go back. It wasn't perfect but Kirkman is a pretty good cliffhanger machine.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I’m about ten issues into the comic now, and the show is pretty darn faithful, but still has a number of key differences;

The book does a much better job of hiding the fact that Omniman is a sociopath, there’s barely any hints of him not being on the up and up until hes shown having murdered the Guardians, in the show that’s in episode 1, and he’s pretty sketchy even before that.

Robot is revealed to be secretly evil in the credits scene of episode 3, which is apparently something that happens MUCH later in the book

Green Ghost is a dude in the comic, and a woman in the show

William is straight and kind of obnoxious in the comic, and affably gay in the show

A whole bunch of Image cameos in the book that I suspect wouldn’t work in the show

There hasn’t even been a mention of the SHIELD-esque organization that the Guardians work with as of yet, and theyre pretty crucial to the show

Rex and Eves costumes are slightly redesigned for the better
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Ep 5 spoilers;

Oh frig, it happened again! And with characters who I’ve had more time to grow fond of! And also Rex.

And I’m starting to think Robots intentions aren’t evil, but he’s still really sinister about things.

And Nolan manages to be an even worse Bad Dad than previously shown; he watched all this happen


Another thematic difference between Show and Book Mark is that the former is a lot worse at handling his work/home balance. Also, his favourite comic is the Dr Strange inspired Seance Dog, instead of the Atomic Robo inspired Science Dog
 
And Nolan manages to be an even worse Bad Dad than previously shown; he watched all this happen
It's a weird situation. Because it's implied he was the tipster who called for back up to begin with. Backup that, without which, the main character definitely would have permadied. He seems like he genuinely cares about making sure his son is ready for the challenges ahead, but is from the heavy handed bootstraps school where you throw kids off the cliff to see if they'll survive. He doesn't want his son to just get used to him always showing up and saving the day if he really wants him to be capable in his own right.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
He's also a bit too eager to use his sons nigh-invulnerability to justify beating him under the guise of training.

And also he's a mass-murderer
 
I'm really torn on this - the show LOOKS great and the cast is amazing, but I never read Invincible, because after the prison arc of The Walking Dead, Kirkman became a Writer I Do Not Trust. I love the idea of a breezy, teenage Spiderman story - even one with some stakes - but I fully believe Kirkman to be the kind of writer who will hammer on tragedy and trauma for cheap gravitas.

Years ago I read a Wizard magazine interview with John Ostrander, a writer who I admired, and the magazine asked him what his advice to people who wanted to write comics was. He said "read something other than comics." Robert Kirkman has always seemed to me like a writer who has only read comics.
 
...after the prison arc of The Walking Dead, Kirkman became a Writer I Do Not Trust. I love the idea of a breezy, teenage Spiderman story - even one with some stakes - but I fully believe Kirkman to be the kind of writer who will hammer on tragedy and trauma for cheap gravitas.
Do yourself a favor and don't google "Atom Eve leg"
 

Jeanie

(Fem or Gender Neutral)
- but I fully believe Kirkman to be the kind of writer who will hammer on tragedy and trauma for cheap gravitas.
Yeah, at the risk of vaguely spoiling, I don't remember anyone getting a win without suffering some major trauma along the way.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
To compliment Kirkman, I would say that, without question, he writes for the very concept of thirty pages (or whatever is the average length of Invincible/Walking Dead), and is kind of a master of plotting something that legitimately would take place over ten real-world minutes at a time, but somehow upsets the status quo at every turn. Like, there's a reason his comics have been popular while not involving "The Big 2": he just plain knows how to write comic books that are good at being comic books. A lot of comic book writers are "writing for the trade" or the inevitable movie adaption: Kirkman is writing comic books.

That said, to insult Kirkman, I swear his writing is based on ending every issue by spinning two giant wheels. One wheel only contains character names, the other wheel features mad lib afflictions (and maybe alternating the word "betrayal" over and over again). Whatever the wheel determines is how the plot must go. Sometimes it works, but sometimes there are some clunkers. "Atom Eve" "limb torn off" was graphic and scary. "Atom Eve" "got fat" was confusing as a stinger. But, hey, the wheel wants what the wheel wants.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I read The Walking Dead in the trades, which don't include the covers or really any indication of where the breaks between issues were. Reading it that way, I don't think he particularly wrote that book without trades in mind.
 
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