An important aspect of any comic adaptation endeavor, and one often left unexplored by the PG-13 and TV-14 variants, is the physics of super-powered individuals. It’s nice to know that there are superheroes out there who can save the world by throwing a punch. But sometimes TV series and movies like to spare us the absolute bloody carnage that can occur on the other end of those punches.
Amazon Prime’s Garth Ennis adaptation The Boys, however, is all too happy to show us the real consequences of superpowers. The show is positively filled with exploding heads, torn-out spinal columns, and misty blood showers. Now, the newest trailer for Amazon’s next big superhero comic adaptation, Invincible, reveals that the streamer is intent on cornering the super violence market. Give it a watch below.
To be fair, much of that trailer is perfectly wholesome superhero fun. We see young high school student Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), getting his superhero sealegs, and learning how to fly just like his super-powered dad Nolan (J.K. Simmons). We also get to see plenty of colorfully costumed heroes and equally vibrant villains in action. That’s not even to mention the brief moments of Mark’s time in high school. His friend William Clockwell (Andrew Rannells) wants to catch a flight with Mark, and who can blame him for asking?
But amid all that fun, there is also plenty of blood. Despite being an innocent teenage kid, Mark Grayson is absolutely WRECKED in some portions of that trailer – dazed, covered in blood, and barely breathing. There’s so much blood in one instance that it’s unclear whether it’s even on Mark’s lifeless form or splattered across the non-existent camera lens.
Then, during another violent moment, some unwitting citizens find themselves on the wrong end of a villain’s laser blast. They, and there’s no delicate way to put this, straight up explode into red confetti of blood and tissue. It’s at this point in the trailer that even the blue cards providing some taglines for the show are splattered with blood.
We’ve seen plenty of teasers and photos for Invincible thus far, but this is the first one to really capture the appeal of Robert Kirkman’s beloved 147-issue comic series. Invincible is somehow equal parts wholesome and violent. Mark Grayson is an endearing hero, and the people he surrounds himself with are almost all equally appealing. The world around him is a colorful, and at times satirical exploration of the superhero myth. At the same time, however, the physics of Mark’s world never lie. When people die in Invincible, they really die. The pages of the comic are every bit saturated with blood as Kirkman’s other famous series The Walking Dead.
Invincible is in many ways a love letter to superheroes and comics. And that love extends to the exhaustively and bloodily depicting the level of wreckage their enormous muscles can cause. The entertainment market is currently not hurting for superhero stories…and likely won’t be for a long time. By bringing Invincible aboard after two gloriously gory seasons of The Boys (with more to come), Amazon is going a long way in establishing itself as the streamer where the physics of superpowers really matter.