Sometimes sequels do work


This week Boom! Studios launched two all ages titles, announced a new imprint, and a newsstand distribution deal.  Incredibles: Family Matters #1 sold out on the first day, and for good reason – it has four things going for it; Disney, Pixar, a great family of characters, and Mark Waid.

incrediblescover.jpgIn this day and age when many publishers are targeting the primary demographic of 35-40 year olds, and shunning fresh blood, it’s nice to see a company like Boom! Studios go after a popular property like Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles and use it as a vehicle to push comics to the younger set.  And the company is doing it at a perfect time as the movie has been out a couple of years, meaning those youngsters that have found memories of the film, are now at the prime age to want to spend their allowance on a comic book that is readily accessible at the local grocery store checkout line.  Of course there’s the added bonus for the older crowd who want to read more adventures of the first family of Metroville as those readers are scooping the issue up as well.

The ending of the Incredibles movie revealed the Parr family were indeed kicking the superheroing up a notch by become an official team, but viewers were left wondering what would happen next.  The answer comes in the first issue, as readers discover all is not well with the heroes as they encounter FUTUR10N – a robot from the future, naturally.  While Bob tries to lead the team, he discovers everyone wants to do their own thing.  While the team is successful, Mr. Incredible is not too keen on the change in the family dynamic.  Not only because he feels it is undermining his role as the leader, but also because he discovers he is losing his powers.  Talk about being emasculated!

As the title of the series implies, the family unit, and their ability to deal with the crisis is going to make this a special read.  It’s no secret that I think Mark Waid is a great writer, and he proves it by whipping up a story that has appeal for the older set, but is written in a way that young readers will grasp the meaning behind the story and the subplots.  Here Waid doesn’t populate the page with long meandering dialogue; he gets to the point that fits with the dialogue of the film, and pays homage to the simple and fitting words from the Silver Age.

Complimenting Waid’s words is the art by Marcio Takara.  It’s not 3D, which would suck in a comic book, yet captures the spirit and feel of the movie.  Takara’s choice in page layout also works for the all ages crowd, as he keeps the panel size large, and doesn’t crowd the frame with extreme close-ups, fancy splash pages that serve no real purpose other than to look flashy, yet flows very well.  Probably the most shocking piece of art in the issue is the Mike Mignola variant cover.  Not that Mike’s work is bad, in fact it is quite the opposite as it is weird to see Mr. Incredible standing there looking like he’s about to rumble with Hellboy.

Finding a superhero comic book for a young reader can be difficult, especially if one is trying to shield their child from extreme violence or situations that could lead to a lot of questions the parent really doesn’t want to deal with.  That isn’t the problem with the Incredibles; the story is clean and fun, doesn’t require an in-depth knowledge the characters and their background, and doesn’t feature someone dying and coming back to life by issues end.  I’ve seen some really bad attempts at delivering up an all ages comic, but fortunately, The Incredibles does it right.  Well liked characters, good art, and a story that doesn’t pander to the young’uns earns The Incredibles: Family Matters #1 4.5 ouf of 5 Stars.  How could the issue achieve a perfect 5 Stars?  Feature a cameo appearance by John Ratzenberger.


The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. ykw
    March 26, 2009 at 10:53 pm — Reply

    That Mignola artwork =was= quite surprising.

    Five years ago. When it was used as “teaser” art for the then-upcoming movie.

    If Boom!’s Disney effort is being led by folks whose idea of a variant cover is dusted-off concept art predating the actual property… well, I might just have to temper what had been unqualified praise for the initiative.

  2. March 27, 2009 at 10:08 am — Reply

    Is that Mignola image really that old? Even so, it’s a great image, and why should they pass on using it as a variant cover? It’s not like it was the only option available.

  3. BMBG
    March 27, 2009 at 10:34 am — Reply

    So how about the millions of people who DON’T know about the Mignola piece being concept art, having never heard about it even though they might love the movie(that would be me), and appreciate it being shown at all?

    I know if I was a comic book company and I had a wonderful piece of Mike Mignola artwork available, I sure as hell wouldn’t sit on it.

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