Invincible showrunner Robert Kirkman sheds light on the reason for going with a biracial character and a Korean voice actor to depict the role of the titular protagonist.
One of the most subtle differences between the graphic novels and Amazon Prime‘s motion comic Invincible is the portrayal of Mark Grayson as a mixed-race superhero, with his mom Debbie now a Korean-American lady.
The possibility to include a more diverse cast in the series, such as having Amber Bennett, an African-American teen, as Mark’s romantic interest in the show prompted series creator Robert Kirkman to make the move.
Watch: Invincible – Official Trailer | Prime Video
Kirkman noted that several audiences, even in the modern age, do not see them fairly reflected in the media, and these modifications were deemed necessary to help alleviate this.
Kirkman told CBR,
I think representation matters — not to get on a soapbox or anything — especially in the world of superheroes. You don’t start getting non-white superheroes regularly until the ’70s and, even then, through the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, they’re still somewhat rare.
There’s not a lot of these characters, to this day, that are different races. Anytime something can be changed to bring more representation into it, I think it’s very important because there’s a tremendous amount of people out there who don’t see themselves in what they consume. But it’s also very important because there’s an audience hungry for this stuff; it actually benefits projects. So aside from being the right thing to do, it actually helps projects these days, which is a really great thing.
Bringing in Yeun and Oh, according to Kirkman, helped to differentiate the animated version from the original comics, which had rendered Mark and Debbie’s race somewhat undefined.
In the Invincible comic, there is at no point in the comic book series where we say Invincible is white; his race is, more or less, ambiguous.
The showrunner insisted nothing about his ethnicity is important to that character; in fact, his race may be anything.
He reckons because they were in that setting, they thought it’d be a reasonable move to make, as well as a very neat thing to do something creative with his race in Amazon Prime‘s animated show, and that’s why they went down that lane.
Invincible season 1 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.