Pixar’s Oscar-winning animated film The Incredibles is widely
considered one of the best superhero movies ever made…and Mark Waid is
widely considered one of the best superhero writers in comics.
That in mind, it’s
only natural that Waid be the one to bring the Incredibles to comics in
March’s The Incredibles: Family Matters from BOOM! Studios.
Waid, who also serves as BOOM!’s Editor-in-Chief, talked to us about
what his new series will entail, and what this work means to him
Newsarama: Mark, why did you want to work on The Incredibles?
Mark Waid: The film was amazing. It was just the perfect
combination of super-heroics and heart. All the characters were so well
delineated that their very existence suggests a bunch of new stories,
and it's not hard at all for an experienced super-hero writer such as
myself to see dozens of directions to take that team.
NRAMA: How long after the movie does the film take place, and
where do we find the family? Are they still the Parrs, or do they have
MW: They're still the Parrs. Not much about their lives has
changed (other than having to replace their house). But they have new
friends--new supporting cast members who are the neighbor family, the
"normals" who the Parrs realize they need in their lives in order to
stay "normal" themselves.
NRAMA: Will the book be single-issue stories or continuing storylines, and is this a miniseries or an ongoing?
MW: It's an ongoing series of four-issue arcs. Each issue does
feel like a discreet chapter with its own conflict and resolution, but
as a whole, each four-issue run tells a larger story.
NRAMA: Your last run on The Flash is almost a dry run for this type of book. How is writing for The Incredibles both similar and different to writing the West family?
MW: It's different because everyone's a little more experienced
in the field--and because there was an undercurrent of tragedy to the
Flash twins that's (thankfully) absent with The Incredibles. But the big challenge is the same--coming up with menaces deadly enough to challenge all the family members at once!
NRAMA: Describe how you see each member of the family, and give us an idea of what they'll face in the series.
MW: Bob (Mr. Incredible) is an incredibly well-meaning hero
whose battlefield smarts come more out of experience than out of book
learning. He's not dumb by any definition--but he still tends to solve
problems by out-pounding them rather than out-thinking them. He's going
to have to learn that being the boss sometimes means letting other
people take control, especially if you're trying to teach them how to
Helen (Mrs. Incredible) is supermom--incredibly nurturing and patient.
She's protective of her brood, but she understands that the needs of
the city sometimes trump her instincts to keep her children totally out
of harm's way. She wants to be supportive of their super-hero
training--but at the same time, she's always watchful of them in the
field. She's constantly faced with the multi-tasking required of a
super-hero/career woman/homemaker/mom. And, like Dad, she gets a little
nostalgic for the glory days sometimes.
Dash, the speedster, is all throttle, no brakes. He's gonna have to
figure out how to downshift long enough to make "regular" friends who
don't share his impatience.
Violet, the invisible force-field throwing daughter, is still shy and
withdrawn--but maybe, just maybe, she's found just the right new friend
to draw her out.
NRAMA: Sure, arch-nemesis Syndrome fell victim to the trouble with capes, but any chance his evil will outlive him?
MW: There's always a chance. I saw no body, and those are the rules--no body? Death is suspect.
NRAMA: Who will be some other villains the family might face? We already saw Bomb Voyage and the Underminer in the film...
MW: Why, right off the bat, the Incredibles face Futurion, the
cyber-tyrant from the far future whose devolution bombs hurl an entire
zoo full of animals back down the evolutionary chain! And that's just
NRAMA: Also, who are some of the other Supers that we might meet
-- is Frozone still around? In addition, will we see any flashbacks to
Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl's early career? I sort of want to see
Gazer Beam in action...
MW: Frozone's definitely part of the mix, and our third arc has
a lot to do with the earlier careers of Bob and Helen Parr. How much of
that is ours to play with depends on Pixar, but I'd love to spend time
NRAMA: Edna Mode! You gotta let us know what she's up to in this series.
MW: She doesn't come into play until the second arc--but her
cousin, Doc Sunbright, doctor to the super-heroes, is a major player in
our first story!
NRAMA: What's it been like working with Disney and Pixar in
developing this series? Have they had any suggestions as to its
MW: They've been open and accommodating, very respective of the creative process. That's much appreciated.
NRAMA: While The Incredibles does have a following from
DVD and approximately five billion holiday cable showings, all-ages
superhero comics sometimes have trouble reaching their intended
audience. What is BOOM! doing to make sure this gets in the hands of
MW: All we can tell you right now is that big plans--big plans--are afoot. We're aware that this is a mass-market property and we're lining up big doings.
NRAMA: On a personal level, what makes The Incredibles: Family Matters unique among your body of work, and what's it been like working on this series?
MW: It's unique in that I really feel like I'm stretching all my
creative muscles at once--super-hero action, romance, comedy, drama,
all-ages situations--usually, there's not an even balance of those
things in a super-hero comic. (Kingdom Come wasn't exactly a laugh riot.)
But writing The Incredibles: Family Matters
really makes me feel as if I'm called upon to do so much in equal,
measured proportion that it's a heck of an exercise--and a rewarding
The Incredibles: Family Matters smashes into stores this March.Next at Newsarama: Roger Landridge on The Muppet Show!
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