The Secret Subtext of Pixar’s Incredibles

What if Incredibles 2 goes really, really dark?
For the longest time I thought Edna was based on Linda Hunt.


Whether movie-goers realized it or not, in watching the first Incredibles movie, they were being given a guided tour through the first few decades of the comic book superhero experience – what if the next movie continues that trend?

What if Incredibles 2 goes really, really dark?
Nothing Freudian here.

In the first movie’s intro scenes, we clearly see comic book heroes of the Golden Age, where Mr. Incredible (such a GA-type name!) has fancy (if nonsensical) gadgets, has a friendly relationship with the police, has potential sidekicks, and is on good terms with fellow superheros (no real drama there). The villains are lame and gimmicky, but it’s okay, because it’s all in good fun. Looking at the architecture and media images, I’d estimate a lot of this is from the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Test file
Seem legit.

The bulk of the movie, however, is in the Silver Age. Heroes now come with personal problems (just like us regular people!), villains now have personal grudges against the heroes and complicated (if contrived) back stories. There’s also nods to other forms of fiction from that era, like late 50s and early 60s sci-fi with giant robots and flying saucers, and the ubiquitous evil villain lair right out of the height of James Bond stories.

What if Incredibles 2 goes really, really dark?
The moment Spider-Man was forced to grow up.

With that in mind, it would be amazing if the sequel to Incredibles took place in a Bronze Age-inspired world. Unlike the Golden and Silver Ages, which most comic fans can agree on, the Bronze Age is a little more nebulous, but that’s appropriate. Whether you start with Green Lantern/Green Arrow teaming up to tackle social issues, Amazing Spider-Man dealing with drugs and death in very intense ways, or heck, even the re-start of the X-Men, this was a darker time for comic books. This is an era when the lines between good and evil were blurred, heroes were expected to be reflective of societal ills, and there was no guarantee all of the good guys would make out it with their bodies (or minds) in one piece.

What if Incredibles 2 goes really, really dark?
The Liefeld and McFarlane crossover you didn’t know you needed.

If that sounds dark, imagine if they did a third movie set in the 90s-era, often called the Dark Age (though it has many names, to be sure), when the post-Watchmen, post-Year One comics were meant to be “dark and gritty,” often with copious amounts of pouches, exposed flesh, and exaggerated musculature. Heroes died and came back (often with mullets!), villains became heroes, heroes became villains, and young heroes broke away from their predecessors to be “proactive” heroes hitting the villains before villains could strike. … Twisted stuff.

Kevin Garcia is a professional educator and freelance writer whose work has appeared in Marvel Comics, the Associated Press and on various blogs. As a fan, he doesn’t get paid to write geeky posts, but hey, wouldn’t that be nice?
This story was originally published on the Kinja blog of Kevin Garcia on Aug. 3rd, 2015.

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