Review: The Incredibles #1
My daughter and I recently sat down together to read BOOM! Kids’ new [[[Incredibles]]] comic. The concept behind these books, as we reported here back in July, was to present new stories set in the world of the film. My daughter was immediately excited to see characters she recognized on the cover (the first four collectible covers were done by Michael Avon Oeming with colors by Nick Filardi, and the fifth, limited edition cover was done by Mike Mignola). I figured that she would love the story no matter what happened since she already loves the film. It’s interesting what children notice that adults may not pick up on.
Since my daughter is a beginning reader, I read her everything, including the credits. The credits page has a little introduction to each of the characters. My daughter and I both picked up on the fact that the ten-year-old boy, Dash, is listed in the credits above his older sister Violet. I considered this and figured that ten-year-old boys must be the target demographic for this comic. My little girl was highly displeased that a little brother would receive a higher billing than his big sister, and we had to delay reading the story for a few minutes while she vented about how little brothers are always stealing the limelight.
Then we began to read the story. We begin with an evil robot villain from the 24th century named Futurion. I found it clever and artistic that all of Futurion’s speech bubbles looked like little computer readouts, with ones and zeroes replacing “i” and “o”. My daughter, however, found this to be highly confusing. Granted, she has only recently learned to read, but she was quite frustrated by the fact that letters had been replaced with numbers and felt that someone had made a mistake. I told her that it was kind of like a joke since zeroes and ones look similar to the letters. She said “This isn’t a very funny joke”.
Once I convinced my daughter that we didn’t need to send the writers to see her teacher about the difference between a zero and an “o”, we continued with the story. A large portion of this story, which was written by BOOM! EIC Mark Waid, takes place at the home of the Parr family (the secret identities of the Incredibles). Most specifically, there is a serious discussion between the parents while the children are in another room, and then some neighbors come over for a visit.
My daughter interrupted for a little conversation. “Mom? Where are the kids? I want to know what the kids are doing.” Again, she had a pretty valid point. While I, as a parent, was rather interested in seeing super-powered parents dealing with daily life at home, my child simply didn’t care. The kids must be for more interesting than conversing parents! I explained that this was probably setting up a plot point, and that the children would feature later on. She accepted this explanation and we moved forward.
Much of the activity of the children takes place in pictures, while the parents (specifically the fathers) are talking. There is a very cute scene where the two little boys are dressed as Woody and Buzz Lightyear from [[[Toy Story]]] (for which Boom! Is slated to release a new comic in April). There is also a scene which the fathers mention of Violet sitting with the teenage boy. My daughter was very interested in this development and hoped that it would be explored. I couldn’t help but feel that the new neighbors were going to turn out to be villains at some point down the line.
However, all of the backyard barbequeue conversation was cut short when Mr. Incredible discovered that Futurion was up to no good even while in police custody, and he slipped out of the house to tend to the problem without alerting his family. My daughter was quite annoyed by this development, and wanted to know why we had to keep watching what the dad was doing when the kids were obviously far more interesting. What if the big sister kissed the boy and we missed it? I assured her that we would find out in the next issue.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this with my daughter, and it certainly gave us an excellent opportunity to discuss some issues that are important to her and it gave her an opportunity to practice her reading skills. It was kid-friendly in content (nothing too scary) but it wasn’t focusing on the child characters as much as my child would have liked. We will certainly be checking out the next issue together, but I will be sure to have something in reserve just in case it doesn’t meet her standards.