Recently during a Reddit AMA, executive producer, writer, and showrunner for Amazon Animation, Simon Racioppa who’s recent works include The Boys: Diabolical, Invincible, Spliced, and even more obscure animated shows such as the 2003 Martin Mystery cartoon. During the course of the session, Simon talks about the plans he’s laid out with Robert Kirkman for Invincible, character developments, the choices of music in the show such as an iconic Radiohead song, and the animation process…
In Season 2 of Invincible exploring Mark’s fear of turning into his father, and how the alternate reality moments helped move that character beat/story along.
For that opening sequence, it was always there from when we first started talking about S2. Though originally it was longer and more involved. We ended up trimming it a bit when we realized that the gap between seasons was going to be longer than we’d hoped, so we could get into the action and get back to Mark a little quicker. The idea was also that they’d give us a little taste of the possible darkness within Mark…
How much did the overwhelmingly positive public reaction to S1 of the show impact S2 development if at all or did it just confirm the steps taken in S1 should just remain the same?
I mean, the success of S1 was unexpected and amazing, but didn’t change anything we had planned for S2 other than giving us a nice boost of confidence in the show.
How does his team tackle adapting a series where many of the stand-out side characters are not allowed to be in the show due to licensing? (As far as we know?) And which characters most likely won’t be animated?
It’s always a conversation – sometimes we actually CAN get some of those other characters, and when that happens, we include them. Other times, we can’t – so we need to replace them or figure out a way to tell the story in a satisfying way without them. But keep watching, you might be surprised who’s in the show. As for the known characters that aren’t allowed, Tech Jacket, Brit, Science Dog, and a few others I think…
On how Simon and Robert Kirkman view the power levels of guys like Omni-Man when writing him. Would you say Nolan is strong enough to say, shatter the Moon in one punch or charged attack? The powerscaling side of the community would love to know! It’s an eager question.
That’s a tough question. We don’t assign numbers or levels of power to our characters. It’s more of an organic kind of thing, usually driven by narrative – even though we DO know where everyone stands in relation to each other. As for shattering the moon, let’s just say that if Omni-Man didn’t want us to have a moon anymore, he could make it happen somehow.
On the decisions that are appropriately made to insert a song in certain moments of the show Radiohead’s “Karma Police” being in the first episode of Season 2.
Simon: With Robert, myself, and Dan Duncan (our supervising director). We look over the moments where we want to place a song, then talk about it with our music supervision team who send us a bunch of great options. Though sometimes I might have a song I’ve had in mind for a while for certain places. The Holy Fuck track in S102 was one like that – I knew I wanted that song there from the very start. Same with Run the Jewels for the Maulers.
On the Mauler Twins debate on which one is the original and which is the clone, And also, if the Mauler Twins still get Chicken Pot Pie Thursdays in prison when they got recaptured, or were they no longer allowed to have any as punishment?
Which one is the original? It’s the Blue one. But I’m afraid their chicken pot pie privileges were revoked when they were re-incarcerated. Crime doesn’t pay.
On how the thought process of Angstrom’s Levi’s mind being scrambled come around? Along with the dialogue from Levy about how Invincible killed millions, despite this Invincible being from another Universe?
For Angstrom’s transformation, it just felt like the right place to put it when we were breaking the episode. I don’t think we ever discussed doing it later in the season. For Angstrom’s mind, it just felt like a way to make his motivations a little more clear and to reflect a lot of the turmoil in Mark’s head. As for Agstrom’s speech, I agree that it makes Levy’s character even more interesting.
On the lack of explanation behind Donald being back in the war room with Cecil before the Guardians fight The Giant? I’d imagine that’s a bit confusing for General Audiences/non-conic readers.
Wait… Did something happen to Donald? I still don’t know what anyone’s talking about with Donald. He’s been working at the GDA (Global Defense Agency) since the first episode.
Lately, audiences have noticed that Rudy/Robot puts himself in peril by going to the scene of the battles in a suit instead of using a drone that at least appears just as effective.
At this point, Rudy still figuring out how his whole new body/setup works. Expect to see him figure things out as he goes forward.
On the limitations of Atom Eve’s powers.
Eve’s powers are really interesting. In one way, they seem almost unlimited, but they still take effort and energy to use. Big transformations and creations tire her out. So she could terraform a SMALL section of the Moon, there’s no way she could do the entire thing without taking forever (and resting a TON in between).
On the idea of Multiple Universes revealed in Season 2 of Invincible and possible crossovers to other Amazon shows.
I mean, I can’t spoil S2 for you… But I also don’t want to get your hopes up either. But nothing’s impossible?
And finally, what was the creative process of adapting the first 12 issues of Invincible in Season One, and how far would season 2 go? And in general, is the 12 issues per season rule respected?
Honestly, there’s no average number of issues rule or anything. It’s an organic process of just sitting down, talking over the story with Robert and the writing team, coming up with places we’d like to expand or go deeper, and slotting it all together into an 8 episode season. As for how many issues deep S2 goes, you’ll find out eventually!
THANK YOU EVERYONE! It’s because of all of YOU that I get to make this show and you have no idea how happy that makes me. But I also want to point out that although you’re only talking to me today, over 200 INCREDIBLE TALENTED PEOPLE WORK THEIR ASSES OFF on every season of Invincible – both on the production itself and at Prime Video as well. I cannot give our team enough credit for everything they do to bring the show to life… I’ve gotta run, but this has been a blast and I’m sure we can do it again sometime later in the season.