Issue: The Incredibles #4
Release Date: January 13, 2010
Writer: Mark Waid and Landry Walker
Artist: Marcio Takara
Cover: Marcio Takara and Ramanda Kamagara
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Publisher: BOOM Kids!
The Parrs, more commonly known as The Incredibles, start another chapter in their adventures as a family of “supers” in the fourth installment of The Incredibles, published by BOOM Kids!
The comic starts with crisis in progress initiated by the hypnotizing super-villainess Mezmerella, who has taken Violet Parr under her hypnotic grasp and is forcing her to start a machine that would cause the deaths of all of the citizens of Metroville!
However, as exciting as the situation is, the real meat of the story lies with Dash Parr, the speedster in the family, and the consequences of his actions during this harrowing roof-top scenario. Dash tries to be a hero and takes down Mezmerella, placing his incapacitated sister in mortal danger. Luckily, he saves her, but then incurs a harsh scolding from his father, Bob Parr, who tells him that he acted impulsively and irresponsibly, placing his sister and countless others in mortal danger. In order to punish Dash, his parents ground him and inject him with a chemical that takes away his powers indefinitely, rendering him without the use of his superhuman speed. But, in yet another twist, Dash finds out about a malicious plan among the teachers of his school! What will he do? What can he do? I won’t reveal any more of the comic, but I can say that the ending took a surprising turn.
Which leads me to my next point: Waid really does a decent job of translating the personalities of the characters in the movie onto the page, as well as reflecting the chemistry between the members of the Parr family. It would be easy enough to write about the Parr family facing off with a cookie-cutter villain, battling valiantly, and ending triumphantly, but Waid instead takes readers into the lives of these heroes and the relationships between them, much like the movie managed to do so well. It’s not an easy job, but Waid succeds in making the dialogue between the family members feels natural; the scene where Bob Parr scolds his son feels real, not overly dramatic or cheesy. There’s a pause where it seems that Bob’s said too much, and there’s a tension there that’s almost palpable.
The art done by Takara is also well done: usually most cartoons suffer a loss of, well, dimension when they enter one different from their own, but it feels as though the entire universe that Pixar created translates easily to this type of format. The bold strokes that outline the characters basically add the depth found in the movie, while giving the comic a unique feel all of its own. The Parr family, in a word, looks super!
To wrap it all up, while it felt a just a little heavy because of the scene between Bob and Dash, the comic itself is what it is: a family-friendly stroll down the realm of comic books with characters kids would recognize and enjoy. Not exactly what I’d choose as the comic to start young kids on, but it’s a worthy candidate nevertheless.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
It’s funny reading this because I have two young children of my own, and the Incredibles DVD finds it’s way into our DVD player on a fairly regular basis. I could probably recite the movie line for line by now, and the dynamics between the characters always seemed so natural – so real to me, unlike most cartoons. My wife and I have had several conversations in the past about how the Parr family would translate well in the comic book format, especially since they are based after comic book stereotypes. It’s cool to see someone finally take the hint and do something worthwhile with the franchise. I’m glad to hear that the character dynamics and personalities are handled well in the comic, as their relationships are what made the movie such a solid “kids” movie in the first place. Maybe this sounds corny coming from a 24 year old, male comic fan, but I’m half tempted to pick up an issue of this and see for myself where they took the franchise in the medium that it seems meant for. Nice review.