The Incredibles is one of Pixar’s most famous movies and indeed has formed a successful franchise including a sequel from the mind of Brad Bird. The original film pays homage to many different superhero stories from the industry, and Incredibles 2 only builds upon those timeless tales.
These comics (and in one case, another movie) have come to define an era of the genre and undoubtedly have had some kind of influence on these two family films. Whether it’s in the powers utilized, the costume design, overarching narrative themes, or perhaps a larger message taken from the source material, these famous stories can all be found within the DNA of The Incredibles and Incredibles 2.
10 Honorable Mention: Silver Age Of Comics
The Silver Age of comics in both DC, Marvel, and beyond is one of the most influential eras in the whole industry. It saw the debut of countless iconic characters, carried an artistic style that has continued to be honored today, and contained some truly memorable stories.
The Incredibles in many ways feels like a story that could be found from this Silver Age. Many of the comic book characters and narratives that are contained here took place during this time. It was a period that highlighted some creative heavyweights that have carried the genre forward and clearly made a mark on this Pixar hit.
The narrative themes of the X-Men can be largely seen within The Incredibles. The concept that those with powers should be limited in some way, hidden away, and perhaps even be treated with extreme prejudice, is one that plays out in the Pixar production.
Mutants represent an “other,” a group that is seen as inhuman in some way. The heroes on Earth in The Incredibles were treated in a very similar manner, forced underground, and held back in terms of what they could achieve. Great power is often feared by those who cannot share its benefits.
8 Fantastic Four
Debuting in the Silver Age of comics, Marvel’s first family is definitely one of the most influential graphic novels on The Incredibles. There are many parallels between the two stories. For instance, the powers alone are very similar, from an invisible girl to someone who can stretch and morph their body.
Even the villain seen in The Incredibles known as the Underminer is very reminiscent of the Mole Man, whom the Fantastic Four fought in their introductory adventure. As the MCU continues to look at how they can bring the FF into their universe, The Incredibles demonstrates one of their best “adaptations.”
There’s another parallel within the comic book world that can be made between Syndrome and Lex Luthor. Superman’s arch-nemesis has even tackled some of the same intellectual problems as Mr. Incredible’s biggest fan.
In Superman’s comics and indeed films, Lex Luthor has levied his belief that no one should have so much power. He has utilized technology to try to match the abilities of the Man of Steel and looked at sharing it with the rest of humanity. These are all points of view shared with Syndrome and compares well to his own arc within the animated hit.
Alan Moore’s Watchmen is a story that completely redefined the superhero genre and comic books in general. It’s a narrative that broke down everything audiences had come to know about this world of powers and fantastical people and brought in a realistic edge.
While there are no direct links between Watchmen and The Incredibles, thematically and tonally speaking, the latter has clearly taken some inspiration from the former. While there are sequels to the DC comic, spiritually, The Incredibles does a great job of continuing the same themes, portraying one intelligent man looking to control the rest of the world to prevent gods from ruling.
5 The Flash
The Flash, both the Barry Allen and Jay Garrick iterations, are two of the most important comic book heroes in the entire industry. With their narratives taking place over multiple eras, they are a perfect example of how a hero can evolve with the times.
Of course, their costumes are also the most similar to the family team and no there’s no doubt that animators may have looked to the speedsters in order to model Dash’s own powers. The Flash as a character is really a great blueprint to work from for any original vigilante creation.
4 The Rocketeer
The Dave Stevens comic book character that spawned a much loved Disney film, The Rocketeer combines classic imagery of the superhero genre with steampunk elements and a retro feeling that undoubtedly came to influence The Incredibles.
During the production of the Pixar film, there was not a wide range of successful superhero films created outside of the DC and Marvel brands. Considering its links to Disney, as well as its period-piece aesthetic and imagery, The Incredibles certainly could have taken a lot of cues from this production.
3 Civil War
Marvel’s Civil War and the Superhuman Registration Act, was actually created within the comics after The Incredibles. However, the themes are shared within both the graphic novel and the animated family film; so much so that the studio may have looked at it for Incredibles 2.
The sequel film looks at trying to override the laws against these heroes and indeed investigates what it takes to turn public opinion in favor of these vigilantes again. These are all topics that the Civil War and post-war era take a look at in great detail.
2 Justice League
Speaking of Incredibles 2, the idea behind the film is to create a brand new team, led by the iconic heroes of old and featuring some of the newer vigilantes who are just coming to grips with their own abilities. The Avengers must have been a big influence, but the Justice League might have been even more crucial.
The Justice League is portrayed as godlike in many ways, which would have influenced the image of the retro heroes compared to the Wannabes in Incredibles 2. The dynamic between the two sets of heroes is intriguing, with these symbolic, hierarchical elements playing off of how the League works.
Shazam, or Captain Marvel, has a long history within the comic book industry. The character has dealt with a name change and has had to adapt as the medium has continued to evolve. Shazam has survived with multiple comic eras, though.
Again, the suit is very similar in both color and design to The Incredibles. The familial elements seen in the Marvel family would have also have been a great source of inspiration for Pixar, who were trying to create their own powered family unit that fought crime together in this fantastical way.
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