Amazon Studios unveiled the official trailer for the forthcoming Invincible adaptation last night on the Skybound NYCC/MCM/Metaverse virtual panel.
It's stirred speculation on how this upcoming TV series will affect the deep backlist of collected editions Robert Kirkman's build up over the years. Will this series be the nudge Invincible needs to meet The Walking Dead level of saturation?
We've heard that the first season of the show will encompass Invincible issues #1-13 – or the first three trades, the first HC, or the first third of the Vol. 1 Compendium, pick your poison. Should the show connect with audiences and take off, the remaining Invincible Compendiums and following trade paperback and hardcover volumes will provide a roadmap for where the series will go.
We've also heard that the series will be just as violent and uncompromising as the comics and we suspect Kirkman may similarly play with the story's twists in ways that keep both longtime Invincible fans guessing and new viewers engaged in the same manner as he did for years with The Walking Dead adaptation. We'll all have to tune-in to find out.
What we've already seen is what Netflix can do for Image's backlist, as evidenced in the instant sales spike for Old Guard, Vol 1 which accounted for tripling overnight what it'd sold in lifetime-total-sales. It will be interesting to see how similarly Amazon's reach affects Image.
It's no secret that Amazon's had competitors like Netflix in its crosshairs for years now— and Invincible is positioned to be another big win for them after the success of The Boys. I'm hearing that Image has already been lining up all the ways to get new readers in the door to binge read the 25 Invincible trade paperbacks, 12 hardcovers, and three compendiums available in stock before the show drops.
While Kirkman may have become known over the years for The Walking Dead, Invincible has garnered a vast and devoted fanbase of readers over the years—and they are ready to see it get the mainstream lift that The Walking Dead readers saw back in 2010 with the debut of the AMC television series.
While Netflix has positioned itself as a tastemaker in bingeable media, the overlords at Amazon may be ready to overthrow them with some Kirkman starpower. There's been much made of the dearth of new entertainment due to COVID-19 restrictions and, paired with many, many Americans still trapped at home and hungry for something new to watch—a phenomenon likely to stretch well into 2021—Amazon may have stumbled into the perfect storm for this to hit big with customers this February.
Casting longtime Walking Dead fan-favorite Steven Yeun to voice the lead to draw in the legion of walker-fans to the show was an obvious flex on the part of the Amazon team as well. Two-time Golden Globe-winning actress Sandra Oh of the popular TV series Killing Eve is on board to lend further celebrity status to the show's lineup.
To date, Invincible has sold around three million copies across single issues, trade paperbacks, hardcover editions, and compendiums. The Skybound store is loaded with Invincible merchandise ready for order.
Direct Market retailers and independent bookstores, aside from Dennis Barger, may hate Amazon with the heat of a thousand suns, but the reality is that of all the TV-streaming platforms, Amazon's uniquely bulletproof thanks to its vast business model beyond just entertainment. A model that's left them with plenty of gas in the tank for their other ventures… like upcoming Amazon Studio Originals.