Invincible EPs, J.K. Simmons on that “Spider-Man” cameo in the finale

Agent Spider is here, and he's voiced by Josh Keaton
Invincible season 2
Invincible season 2 /

Back when the extended cast list for Invincible Season 2 dropped via trailer, fans freaked out. That’s because included on the list was Josh Keaton, a voice actor known for playing Spider-Man on The CW’s Spectacular Spider-Man. And back when Invincible creator Robert Kirkman was writing for Marvel Comics, he brought Invincible over from Image Comics for a crossover with Spider-Man. So: does Spider-Man show up on the Invincible Season 2 finale???

Well… No. Instead, you do get a beat-for-beat recreation of the classic Marvel issue with a surrogate named Agent Spider, who does whatever a spider can but with the sort of costume you don’t have to pay Disney a ton of money to use. As EP Simon Racioppa explained to Bam Smack Pow, having Spider-Man was never really in the cards.

“The chances of that happening with the way rights are sort of divided up and owned around between Sony and Marvel and Disney now and everything would make that extremely difficult,” Simon Racioppa said on including Spider-Man, versus Agent Spider. “Not going to say impossible, but pretty difficult. So we decided to go our own way with this.”

Robert Kirkman, meanwhile, was a little more bullish on the prospect.

“This is definitely a case where in the modern era you run the risk of anticipation, killing a cool thing, fans thinking impossible things are possible, making the thing that we were able to do less cool,” Kirkman said. “In the comics there was a weird situation where we were able to have Invincible appear in an issue of Marvel Team-Up and interact with Spider-Man, but it would be impossible to do that today. Marvel is very protective of those characters and doesn't usually allow for that kind of thing.

“In the modern era, Disney and Sony are fighting over Spider-Man all day long behind the scenes, trying to weave the legalities of who can do what with that character. So for Amazon to jump into that pool and try and negotiate, like, ‘Hey, can we have Spider-Man randomly appear on a Prime Video show?’ No, it was never anything I even attempted to try and get to happen because I knew it was something that wouldn't work. So creating new characters that are completely unlike Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, that have no similarities whatsoever and are wholly original but just happened to be voiced by people that are associated with those characters seemed like a more fun way to go.”

On that note, the production did get Josh Keaton to do the voice of Agent Spider, giving it a little bit of that ol’ Peter Parker tone. For Kirkman, Keaton was the “ideal” voice to go for.

“We wanted to get somebody that was associated with the character,” Kirkman continued. “And Josh is somebody that really is the first one that comes to mind when you think about animated Spider-Man. I know Dan Duncan, our supervising director, is very partial to Spectacular Spider-Man, so that was definitely his pick for the ideal guy to go to, and thankfully Josh was game to do it.”

However, there is one big, outstanding question here. In the episode, Invincible (Steven Yeun) is thrust into this alternate universe briefly while fighting a villain named Angstrom Levy (Sterling K. Brown). So chances are we may never see that universe, or Agent Spider, ever again. But if we don’t there’s a huge missed opportunity here: J.K. Simmons, who plays the voice of Invincible’s father Omni-Man, is also the iconic portrayer of Spider-Man’s newspaper nemesis J. Jonah Jameson.

So will we hear Omni-Man shouting “Get me pictures of Agent Spider?”” in Season 3?

“No spoilers,” J.K. Simmons told us, laughing. “I won’t say.”

Invincible Season 2 is streaming on Prime Video.

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