I will point-blank admit it, I adored “The Incredibles.” It’s one of my all-time favorite Pixar movies, and when my parents finally got around to seeing it and then raved for hours about how fun it was, I somehow felt like it was a personal victory. When Boom! Studios announced they had the license for tie-in comics based on Pixar’s movies, I was both excited and worried. Because while more “The Incredibles” was a good thing, I had to remind myself that it just wouldn’t be the same.
Honestly, part of the fun of the original movie was the beautiful animation, the pitch-perfect voices (who didn’t laugh when they heard Edna Mode, or nod knowingly at Violet’s woe-is-me voice?), and its general love song to superhero comics. So I knew that no matter how hard Mark Waid and Marcio Takara tried, it just wouldn’t be quite the same. And really, once you get all that out of the way? It’s fun.
Waid’s script moves at a nice peppy pace, which is unsurprising; he’s written his share of superheroes and even superhero families, so he knows what he’s doing. Like the movie itself, a lot of the focus is on Mr. Incredible himself, which I think is a slight shame as to me he’s the least interesting of the entire family even though he was the star of the show. But most of the characters get to shine (more Violet next time, please), and it’s when the Incredibles start hanging out with the next door neighbors that the comic really begins to come together. I like that Waid hasn’t forgotten that part of the fun of the movie was the balance of the parts of their lives-superhero, family member, and pretending to be every day normal-and he does a good job of not leaving any of those portions out of the comic.
Takara’s art is crisp and clean, a great choice for turning the images of the film into a comic. It’s funny, though; as much as I was enjoying watching the Incredibles fight the strange creatures at the zoo, I think that just like Waid’s script, Takara’s art really starts hitting its stride once they’re in the back yard and Mr. Incredible is hanging out with next-door neighbor Jim. Takara also does a good job of bringing the Incredibles’ 1950s style house and furnishings to life in a way that feels both retro and modern, and I found myself wanting to live there all over again.
“The Incredibles: Family Matters” #1 is a nice start to the mini-series. When it’s all said and done, it put a smile to my face; partially out of nostalgia for the movie, partially for what Waid and Takara did themselves. I’d say it’s definitely a successful debut, and those who liked the movie will definitely want to pick up more issues.