"The Shield" and "Invincible," what's the connection?

Last Tuesday you sat down in front of your television to enjoy the season finale of "The Shield," the top rated FX network cop drama starring Michael Chiklis. The show, known for it's tough stories, gritty realism, violence and harsh language, shocks the audience weekly, but this week it shocked comic fans in a different way. In the opening moments of the episode Officer's Julian Lowe and Danny Sofer arrive on the scene of a disturbance outside a comic book store in a rather nasty part of Los Angeles. It seems the retailer, played by Outkast band member Andre3000, got tired of the hookers, pimps and drug dealers selling their goods outside his store and took matters into his own hands by harassing them as much as possible by spraying the hookers with his hose or video taping drug transactions taking place across the street from his store.

As the concerned retailer stands outside talking to the cops about what's happened, you probably noticed a rather large look at Image Comics' Invincible standing in the shop window. In fact, it's pretty hard to miss. How did the Image hero end up in an episode of "The Shield?" CBR News contacted "Invincible" creator Robert Kirkman to find out the answer.

Kirkman told CBR News that back around the second episode of the season, the production crew for "The Shield" called up the Image Comics offices, located just outside Los Angeles, looking for some super hero stuff to decorate the comic shop with. Image gave them a selection to choose from and Invincible was amongst their choices. The Image folk called Kirkman to get his approval, and being a big "The Shield" fan himself, he was more than happy to oblige. Kirkman said the image seen in the show is actually a large sized Invincible stand-up, one Kirkman is trying to get his hands on for the upcoming convention season. Kirkman also said somewhere in the store is a poster featuring the comic "Capes."

Kirkman knew that the Invincible appearance was planned for a long time, but as the season wore on he grew convinced that his character may not actually make its appearance. He figured it was to be a victim of the dreaded cutting room floor.

"...the episode it's actually on, my wife decides she wants to start watching the 'Real World.' We're talking about that, it might put a strain on our relationship," joked Kirkman. FX shows "The Shield" every Tuesday at 10:00 PM eastern with a rebroadcast following directly after at 11:00 PM. Since "Real World" was on at 10:00, Kirkman excused himself to play on the computer a bit while his wife watched the "Real World," content to watch the finale during the 11:00 rebroadcast. Around 10:15, Kirkman's reading through some message boards when he sees people posting about the appearance of his character. A long 45 minute wait ensued, but ultimately worth it.

This isn't the first time a Kirkman creation has been featured in a Hollywood production. "Battle Pope," a self-published creation of Kirkman, was seen in the feature film "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."

For more on "The Shield" comic, Click Here. For more on "Invincible," click here.

Special thanks to Steve Gerding and 4ColorReview for use of the screen shot.

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