From the opening image of Mr. Incredible struggling to open a jar of pickles, there is no mistaking the fun romp Waid and Takara are providing readers in this issue of "The Incredibles: Family Matters." This is the second issue of this series, but it is as readily accessible as the first, thanks in no small part to the conversation between Mr. Incredible and Frozone.
Doing what he does best, Mark Waid delivers a tale of heroic proportions. Latching onto the vibe established by the motion picture, the characters in this book feel like a natural extension of the movie. This could be an episode from the "Incredibles" cartoon that never was, the treatment of the characters -- Mr. Incredible and Mrs. Incredible in particular -- is spot on. While the action in this issue is sparse, the character moments are active -- not just talking heads. Waid gives his artist room to work.
Takara takes that working room and fills it with fantastic stills popped of the celluloid of the movie itself. His grasp of the characters -- those filling this world, as well as the stars themselves -- is strongly defined and steadfastly carried through. Takara is careful to strike a balance between too much detail and none whatsoever, letting the characters carry the scenes when necessary.
His surrounding creative crew, including Andrew Dalhouse on colors and Jose Macasocol, Jr. on letters, offer the visual pop that really makes this book vibrant. From the glow of the refrigerator light to the color halos around Frozone's speech balloons, this book is full of little touches that dot the "I" in Incredibles, making it a slice of the Pixar-created universe. This issue offers the added bonus of introducing Doc Sunbright, who bears a striking resemblance to another character from the cast of the Incredibles that we have met before.
The mystery of Mr. Incredible's power loss is not solved in this issue, but this issue does provide enough action, interaction and characterization to offer up some additional subplots ideal for all ages -- whether it's the transformation of the Incredi-car or Violet's crush on the boy next door, there's something in this book every reader can relate to. The final page puts a dynamic new element on the table for the Incredibles to face in the third issue of this series -- an element that is sure to challenge this family like never before.