The Walking Dead is obviously Robert Kirkman’s most famous comic-book, but among his other creations is Invincible, which premiered the same year as TWD and completed its run only a year before. The animated adaptation of Invincible, meanwhile, kicked off this weekend on Amazon Prime, and it couldn’t not drop at least one The Walking Dead Easter egg, what with the fact that TWD gave at least a couple of nods toward Invincible over the years.
Take, for instance, the Science Dog T-shirt that Carl occasionally wore early on in the series.
Science Dog is the favorite comic book of the lead character, Mark Grayson, within Kirkman’s Invincible comic-book, so this Easter Egg is two layers deep. There’s yet another layer because in the animated series, Kirkman changed the name to Seance Dog so that he could retain the rights, should he decide to turn Science Dog into its own series.
The other Invincible Easter Egg on The Walking Dead was a little more obvious. In Sam Anderson’s bedroom, there were several action figures from Kirkman’s Invincible comic, including Invincible himself, Mark Grayson, as well as Allen the Alien, Atom Eve, and Omni-Man.
It would only make sense, then, that Invincible would repay The Walking Dead with a nod of its own, beyond the number of TWD cast members participating on Invincible, that is. Besides Steven Yeun providing the voice of the lead, Khary Payton (Black Samson), Ross Marquand (Aquarus), Chad L. Coleman (Martian Man), Michael Cudlitz (Red Rush), Lennie James (Darkwing), Sonequa Martin-Green (Green Ghost), and Lauren Cohan (War Woman), also provide voices in the series.
However, the Invincible premiere also made a subtle but obvious nod toward The Walking Dead in its premiere episode. In the episode, Mark Grayson is trying to come up with a superhero name for himself before he finally settles on Invincible. However, while dealing with a bad guy, Grayson — played the Yeun, who used to play Glenn on TWD — asks him what he thinks his superhero name should be? After pummeling the bad guy, Grayson offers a suggestion to himself. “Huh, what about Ass Kicker? No … that sounds willfully childish. What are you thinking?”
Lil Ass Kicker, of course, is the nickname that Daryl once gave to “childish” Judith Grimes on The Walking Dead, which brings the mutual exchange of Easter eggs full circle, although I doubt it will be the last of The Walking Dead Easter eggs we see in the Amazon series.
In the meantime, Invincible airs Fridays on Amazon, and The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC.