Isn't the real cause of all those "no capes" disasters the numnut who made the cape and its attachment to the costume out of (apparently) the strongest materials possible? One should be able to safely have one's cape and wear it too, as it were, if it were made of fabric with ordinary fragility, that would rip off long before it endangered the hero. Sure, you replace it a lot, but if it's good enough for Superman ...
The whole sequence is a nod to Watchmen (which it shares several themes with). In that story a superhero is killed by robbers when his cape gets caught in a door, allowing them to shoot him. This is given as explanation for none of the other heroes wearing capes.
The Other Wiki has a sourced statement that Bird never read Watchmen, at least before the film's release.
Superman's cape is made of one of the strongest fabrics available: It's from krypton. He was wrapped in it when he was found.
Not Post-Crisis, it isn't. (Or wasn't, for a long stretch.)
Of course, Superman's Flying Brick abilities mean that even a force powerful enough to rip a super-Kevlar Kryptonian cape off his neck won't necessarily hurt him seriously.
New question, really quickly, then: If Superman's cape is made of Kryptonian materials, shouldn't it affect him in much the same way Kryptonite does? Just a thought.
Brief explanation: the reason the debris from Krypton became Kryptonite was because of the chain reaction from the explosion. Superman's pre-crisis suit was made out of baby blankets that were in his spaceship. Since they weren't present during the explosion, they weren't turned into Kryptonite. Now just don't ask how Ma Kent cut up and reconfigured indestructible blankets.
In some old comics I read, she had him use 'super-vision' on them to cut the fabric. Exactly *what kind* of 'super-vision' he used wasn't mentioned, but it would make sense for him to be able to do something along those lines. Then, whenever he outgrew it, she would have him take it apart again so she could re-sew it. I don't remember it saying so, but I assume she used a shard of metal from the ship as a needle, and it did say she used thread she had unraveled from the blanket, so it wouldn't just fall apart whenever he moved at superspeed or whatnot.
In the Lois & Clark continuity with Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, Supermans uniform is made of terrestrial materials and are only invincible because he has an aura. It is actually a plot point in one episode where a thug damages the cupboard Clark keeps his spare costumes and shreds the lot.
This is Edna Mode we're talking about. Do you really expect her to tolerate such desecration of her art?
Edna isn't the only super costume designer, though she is the best. In one of the DVD extras, there's an audio clip of Golden Age Elastigirl complaining that her costume doesn't stretch right; at the end, Agent Dicker recommends she contact Edna.
Then again, I don't recall anything said one way or the other about any of the other super costume designers' policies on capes. It could be that there are those who do incorporate capes into their designs, but they simply aren't relevant to the story.
Are the kind of people who insist on having capes (despite the known risks) going to be satisfied if it tears or comes off just because of a supervillain or two? How unstylish!
I agree. The anti-capes mandate by Edna Mode seems more artistic temperamentalism than anything else.
I have to point out, while the movie only shows heroes dying from their capes pulling them into danger, there's another problem: blocked vision. Seriously, a high wind could cause the cape to flap up and cover your face. Not very good for crimefighting.
I'm not sure how to really argue the physics of fictional superheroes, but I'd assume they'd be flying faster than the wind, thus a stronger force of wind would be pushing the cape back at all times.
Note to that 'ordinary' fragility is surprisingly not. One starlet from the Golden Age of films for instance died when her car crashed. The reason her car crashed was because her excessively long scarf got caught in the wheels of said car and broke her neck.
That was Isadora Duncan. She was actually a dancer.
And the car didn't crash, either. She was the passenger, and died from the broken neck (and possibly other injuries to her neck and throat as well, silk is stronger than steel).
Just what are capes for? Besides the obvious. Does any uniform of a country's real-life emergency workers, police, or other superhero equivalents, actually incorporate capes?
The Doylist answer is that capes, even without semi-realistic physics in place, are a nightmare to render; probably only second to long hair. However, in-universe, you have multiple answers in place. First, the cape is a liability in crime-fighting: it provides something which can be grabbed, caught, or damaged even before you consider that the big sheet of fabric blowing every which way in a strong wind could temporarily blind the hero. To these, people will clearly respond as the comics did: removable/detachable capes. This directly brings up the second issue: why spend the money on a swab of high-tech expensive specially-designed material which will be the first target from your opponent regardless of who that opponent is? In short, you are spending money that you may not even have on either a liability or garbage. The third issue, similar to the second, is that even if you don't lose it every fight it has the secret to your powers since the cape must be made of the same material as the outfit which must be capable of withstanding the hero's powers. The fourth issue is that it's a stylistic aspect of the one relevant creator we are shown: she doesn't put capes into her costumes for whatever reasons she sees fit and if you don't like that then you can take your money somewhere else. And a further point if the previous four wasn't enough, is that the costume design must incorporate all its elements. Hence if you want a design that includes a cape, the cape will have to be a constant part of the costume (in which it becomes a liability, Point 1) or else be an additional part you yourself added from material you have available (in which its usefulness decreases, Point 2 and Point 3). Hence, no capes.
To further the point, Syndrome gets sucked into the engine of his escape vehicle when his cape gets caught by the turbine. Fitting death for the Glory SeekerAsshole Victim.
How do Violet’s powers work?
How does Violet manage to hide underwater using her invisibility? Shouldn't she appear as a large girl-shaped bubble?
Clearly she can alter her refractive index on the fly, perhaps unconsciously, so as to appear invisible in whatever medium she finds herself in.
Ever try to see glass underwater? Clear is clear, she doesn't need to change her refractive index.
But glass isn't clear; that only works because both glass and water refract light. Violet allows light to pass directly through her, just as air in a bubble does, so unless she can alter the way light hits her, she should be visible in and out of the water.
No, Violet does not allow light to pass through her, she refracts light with forcefields around her. Violet's powers are based on those of Sue Storm-Richards of the Fantastic Four, and that's how hers work.
There's absolutely nothing in the film that states this.
In the film no, but explicitly stating the reference-source for the powers may be a wee bit impractical when Disney didn't get Marvel licenses. it was clearly explained in other sources, though, so it can be taken for granted.
Actually, it can be deduced that it doesn't work that way, since she explicitly can't make anything else invisible by default, but needs to have a costume specially designed to turn invisible with her. (Also the fact that the scene with her underwater strongly relies for suspense on the assumption that she's not shielded while invisible.)
Air bubbles are visible underwater because the indexes of refraction of air and water are so different—a ray entering/exiting a bubble hella deflects. The indexes of glass and water are closer to each other, so the deflection is much less. Violet's power is to make light beams pass through her without being deflected. No deflection, no girl-shaped bubble. Incidentally, does Violet's power make her immune to laser beam weapons?
Since she can use it for forcefields, I wouldn't think the light would pass through her so much as it would bend around her skin and keep going. It would seem she can generate fields that deflect any kind of energy, including kinetic.
Alternately, she might teleport photons from one side of her to the other. Or transfer light through hyperspace. Or create perfect directional holograms projected onto the lenses of other people's eyes. Anything's possible, it's all WMG at this point.
She is a girl-shaped bubble in that scene. You can see her outline in the shot where the bullets wizz through the water. The guard couldn't see her due to his vantage point. And his mask probably didn't help.
What is the deal with Violet's force fields? First, near the climax, the Omnibot somehow gets through one of her force fields enough to knock Violet out. A possible answer to this would be that it is semipermeable, it just takes a great amount of force to get through, but why would the Omnibot only use the required force that time? Second, in this same scene, wouldn't the force field (and Violet and Dash) simply shoot out in some random direction? Try it - take two spheres, marbles for instance, place one on a table, and press down upon it with the other one. It will shoot out in some direction, because you (unless you have absolutely perfect vision and motor skills, or have a lot of time to devote to this) lined it up wrong by some infinitesimal degree. Granted, the Omnibot is a robot so it would logically have near-perfect motor control/vision, but it strains credibility that it would consistently get its trajectory absolutely perfect so many times. Not to mention, how does Dash manage to run in the force field? Is some kind of friction on the forcefield?
The Omnidroid didn't penetrate the shield, it overloaded it with blunt force. Violet had a sort of backlash from the impact because of that overload; she wasn't knocked out, just sorta dazed. As for the rest of it...I think you're just overthinking it and making some inaccurate assumptions. Violet's shields aren't always perfectly spherical. The one she uses at the end is just a dome, for instance.
Close. The Omnidroid didn't penetrate the shield. But it hit her in the head. The force field absorbed most of the impact (which is why her skull isn't broken). Remember this is the same shield that blocked bullets, absorbed previous blows from the Omnidroid, and kept the entire family safe from a burning, falling plane that destroyed mostly everything around them. And yeah, her shield, in that instance, was dome-shaped. She can make them round if she wants (like with Dash).
My personal theory is that her shields work in accordance with the law of conservation of energy. So, the creation and maintenance of the shield drains her of energy, probably a very small amount at first. However, when something hits the shield, what happens to the kinetic energy? I'd assume some of it is rebounded, and some is transferred. However, the shield is not a truly physical object, and unless violet moves it, it doesn't move. So the energy has to be sent somewhere else, like to Violet herself. Thus, when the claw struck the shield, hard and without the ability to be deflected away, a lot of energy got transferred. The second time, it was enough energy to cause her to black out and drop the shield.
I personally never saw what was so hard about that concept. It was like someone holding an actual wooden or metal shield. Someone punches it, the person holding the shield can shrug it off without much effort (hell, you'd probably hurt the person who punched). Take a baseball bat to it, and holding the shield will require a bit of strength. Hit it with an axe, it'll take a lot of strength to hold on to the shield, and the shock will definitely hurt your hands. Step in front of a speeding 18 wheeler and you sure as shit will not being holding onto that shield anymore. Violet's powers work the same way, just with energy. I mean, bullets only hit about as hard as a baseball, they're just destructive cause they're so tiny. That doesn't matter with her energy shield, so she had no problem holding off the assault weapons. You can hold a shield to a baseball. Violet being smashed with a giant robot specifically designed to smash her was just like being smashed by a giant robot; it hurt like a bitch and she lost her grip on the shield. Simple as that. The Plane crash I can only justify by saying she used the ground that time... hence the dome shape, so it was less like her holding the shield and more like propping it on cinderblocks or something. The ground took all the force, and she was just under it.
I say she's a teenager watching a huge robot about to crush her. She drops the shield in shock, but just after the omnidroid could hit with enough impact to smush her so she just gets knocked out. But your theory's good too.
There was the cracking sound when Violet was knocked unconscious, which was probably the ground, but makes me think it just how damaging it was.
If you look closely at the scene when the Omnidroid is trying to crush her shield, every time it hits her shield, it slightly warps in shape. When the robot stopped hitting it with its claws and decided to use its entire body to crush it, the shield warps enough to hit Violet on the head and knock her unconscious.
Why are Violet's powers so different from the rest of her family's? Bob, Helen, Dash, and Jack-Jack all have powers that are "physical" by nature; Bob has Mega strength, Helen has elasticity, Dash has super speed, and Jack-Jack is pretty much an all-round shape shifter. But in contrast to all of them, Violet's power is invisibility and force fields. Bending light around one's body and the creation of barriers made of energy are not "physical" super abiliites, but "energy"-based super abilities. Add that to recent solicitations about a dark secret of Violet's past, and this really makes one think...
Fantastic flippin' Four, that's why. Think about it. Dash has Johnny's personality, Bob's got The Thing's powers minus the looking like a rock monster part (super strength, near indestructible), Helen's got Mr. Fantastic's ability to stretch without being the smartest person in any room at any time, so of course Violet had to have Sue's invisibility and force fields. Hell, even other characters are Marvel ripoffs. Gazerbeam is Cyclops. Frozone is Bobby Drake + being Samuel L. Jackson. Syndrome is Dr. Doom - the disfigurement. Remember how Watchmen used original characters but was planned to use Fawcett characters? Well, Incredibles is a bunch of Marvel expies. Plain and simple. If you want an In-Universe explanation, go look at mutants in the Marvel universe. Their offspring are never the same as them. It's random as hell.
Though I'd say Nightcrawler is pretty much the same as his biological father. Except for skin color, which is mother's. Just sayin'.
The family's powers are based off of personality. Bob is the anchor/rock. As the stay at home mom and planner, Helen is stretched in all sorts of different directions. Dash is full of the energy of youth and can't stay still. Jack-Jack's powers are more than physical (especially as shown in the Jack Jack Attacks DVD short), he is untapped potential, too young to be set in what he is, so his powers are currently -everything-. Violet is shy (thus her name, the shrinking violet) and not self-assured. She just wants to disappear, like many awkward teenagers do. Thus the power of invisibility.
...Okay, so I guess I'll just be the one to say it. What's up with her floating inside the force field during the hamsterball scene? Do her powers include anti-gravity or something? They never explain that.
She's generating a 360-degree forcefield around her at an equal distance in all directions — including towards the ground. There is essentially a bubble around her and she's at the centre, which means that the forcefield is essentially pushing her up from the ground and suspending her at the centre of the forcefield.
Whatever it is, why doesn't Violet just use a forcefield to beat Syndrome's immobiliser?
Heck, how does her Costume work?
Violet's super-suit, specifically the scene where she tests it out with an invisible finger. If it disappears all at once, not only does it mean she has to control her visibility very consciously (an Unfortunate Implication), it also totally contradicts E's statement that the suit would "disappear completely as she does."
Um...what? E said the suit would disappear as completely as she does, as opposed to her regular clothes that stay visible. And that scene demonstrates exactly that. The rest of what you're saying just doesn't make any sense to me.
I suppose I always thought that she surrounded her body with some sort of invisibility forcefield, a la Sue Storm. No doubt Edna Mode made fabric that can tap into and reroute said forcefield, making the "invisibility bubble" a few millimeters bigger. Thus when Violet touches her suit with an invisible hand, the fabric reacts with the forcefield and makes the whole thing invisible. Yeah, yeah, Fanwank, I know...
I think the Troper means she has to make a conscious effort to go either completely invisible or not at all, lest her entire suit turn invisible without her when all she wanted was a hand or something. Never thought of that before, and now I can't stop laughing. Third sentence is still a mystery to me though.
This is one that was on my mind as well. In the scene, Violet turns only her hand invisible, showing that she can selectively make portions of herself invisible (which raises the question of what it looks like when you look down the stump of her wrist when only her hand is invisible). However, touching her suit at all with an invisible part makes the entire suit invisible. Therefore, if she's wearing only her suit (as she would need to) and did the same invisible hand, her entire suit would go invisible. The question here is: When the suit goes invisible, is it just the fabric, or does it make itself and everything it contains go invisible? If it's just the fabric going invisible, it will still work when Violet goes completely invisible, but if she chooses to go partially invisible, well, hopefully no one can see her body and the camera is positioned behind and slightly to the side (and she's an adult by that time). However, if it acts as Violet's powers must (when she turns invisible, foreign material within her such as food turns invisible as well), then turning her hand invisible will turn her entire body invisible at the same time. This naturally would mean she can wear clothing underneath her suit.
Ah, but when she turned her hand (and only her hand) invisible, the suit (which turned entirely invisible) was only touching invisible flesh. I don't think it's too unreasonable to assume that what ever reaction or computation (or both) which allows for the suit to mimic/parallel her invisibility is limited in it's predictive ability; that is to say, the suit is in contact with nothing: stays visible; in contact with only visible flesh: stays visible; in contact with only invisible flesh: goes completely invisible; and finally when dealing with both visible and invisible flesh: loses visibility only where the flesh does. One hopes for Violet's sake (considering her already somewhat overpowered sense of shame) that whatever process controls this effect never goes haywire.
Maybe Violet would be wise to go back to the designer and get a Mark II version of the suit. Sounds like the debugging process isn't finished.
Vat is wrong vith you people? I thought of all zis. Ze suit vill only turn invisible vhen - and vhere - Violet does. Now, go avay. Go play vith somessing. Shoo.
Oh, cool, I thought I was the only one thinking such things
Violet's suit is working exactly as intended. When she goes invisible, it does. If only part of her goes invisible, that part of the suit is the only part that follows suit. If the entire suit went invisible when Violet makes only her hand or foot invisible, then we would have a naked girl missing a hand or foot.
If Violet can only make herself and her super suit invisible, why do her undergarments turn invisible as well??
... IS she wearing undergarments under there?
Maybe she received so undergarments made out of supersuit material.
No. There would be straps.
The supersuit has those black "underwear on the outside" portions. You wouldn't see the straps.
With the right underwear, you wouldn't see straps. The right kind of fabric, the correct sizing, all sorts of things can go into how well an undergarment fits, and how invisible it is otherwise.
I'm going to go bring some simple logic into this: whatever the supersuit covers turns invisible, too.
This is mentioned further up with the fact that the supersuit can go completely invisible when touched by a partially invisible Violet. So does the suit itself turn invisible, or does it work like violet and turn itself and everything within invisible, as Violet must? (after all, we don't see the food in her gastrointestinal tract) If the latter, she can wear underwear and it will go invisible. If the former, either a)No undergarments or b)Edna Mode made underwear able to go invisible.
Forget her undies- what about her headband? Its just a plain plastic headband.
Oh, I made ze headband specially for her (she vas vearing one vhen she came to visit ze first time; lovely girl, and such a vonderful challenge).
Maybe the suit somehow changes everything she's wearing (within reason) invisible. After all, if she has fillings, or ends up needing braces, those would need to be invisible as well and they're technically not part of her. Edna Mode made this for a teenager, so it's possible she accounted for things like makeup and jewelery.
Now you've got me picturing Violet going invisible, but her makeup staying visible, and I can't stop laughing.
Where are all the Supervillains?
Who cleaned up the world's remaining supervillains after the superheroes were forced into retirement?
Well, we know that Bomb Voyage got away from Mr. Incredible with his money, and apparently retired to become a street mime outside of Gusteau's restaurant in Paris.
Presumably, the cops now do it, probably with a lower success rate and a higher fatality rate. Bigger bads probably ended up falling to the army (We did see them approach the Omnidroid) and whatever organization Mr. Incredible's friend is from. I'm guessing that some supers "came out of retirement" in the past as well for bigger things (things on par with the Omnidroid or the Underminer. I'm sure aliens have declared war on earth at least once or twice), which probably landed them in hot water.
Alternate theory: the Villains With Good Publicity. Think about it: the government has just announced they're going to force all superheroes out of business. Isn't it in your best interest to quash any reckless numnut who'd create a public panic enough to make them rethink that policy?
I like that one, make it canon.
Possibly the more amenable and "subtle" superheroes (the ones who don't depend on hurling cars about the place, covering everything in ice and so forth) were hired on by the government to do work on the sly; so long as they kept quiet and did things by the book, the government would protect them from irate "customers".
Possible, but given that the government is apparently responsible for hero lawsuits, they apparently regulate and employ them as well, and in The Incredibles, the government has serious money. Where do you think Mr. Incredibles car came from? If he was a rich Bruce Wayne type, he'd still have that money after he lost the hero gig. There are very few people in the world who'd give up a six or seven figure job for a much slimmer chance of getting more (heroes, after all, almost always win), and the odds that one of them also has super powers? Very, very slim.
That the Incredimobile was the Government's is canon. In the DVD extras Superhero files, Mr. Incredible's file states that he's too attached to his government-given car.
Actually we never see superpowered villains in the film. We see the bank robbers (with Tommy Guns), Bomb Voyage, Syndrome and The Underminer. The villains seem to be gimmicky, rather than superpowered. Maybe the Super gene is also a Heroism gene. Mr. Incredible's pathological need to rescue people seems like a chronic obsession.
This also makes sense; many genetic disorders (such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) come along with some preprogrammed personality traits—in the case of ADHD, some are variable throughout the affected population, but general cheeriness and eccentricity can be counted on for most, unless there's another environmental factor completely canceling it out. ADHD also, for all its problems, comes along with several insanely heightened abilities; this troper can perform simple and complex math in his head faster than a calculator can be operated, for instance. It's not too far-fetched that whatever gives them their super-abilities would affect their brain a bit as well.
This isn't actually caused by ADHD. Indeed, ADHD is an enormously overdiagnosed condition, and most people who "have ADHD" don't. The overdiagnosis rate for it is that high. And that's ignoring those who self-diagnose.
Funny, the condition I see most associated with ADHD is depression. Of course, everyone I know with it was diagnosed as an adult. (It may be over-diagnosed, but that doesn't change the validity of ADHD when it is in fact present.)
I know an ADHD child also suffering from severe depressions. He's ten and thinks he's so worthless because of his condition that he could as well die. So yeah.
The fact that Mr. Incredible can be called on for things as mundane as bank robberies, muggings, and saving cats stuck in trees, not to mention the fact that people were able to bring enough lawsuits to bear against superheroes that they were eventually mandated into hiding, it could be argued that they were in something of a "Fallen Age" of superheroes, where powerful superpowered villains had all been neutralised, and the gimmick of superheroes is beginning to wear thin. The fact that the world most of the film takes place in seems to be painfully mundane would reinforce this idea (and the film's overall theme). It is quite likely there were supervillains at one point (Baron Von Ruthless, the eyepatch guy with the missile).
I don't know about that. Mr. Incredible did run into a number of crimes right before his wedding. Bank robberies are still pretty rare and serious compared to, say, knocking over a convenience store. That's not to mention that these robbers were armed to the teeth and spraying bullets everywhere. Then there's the mugging, suicide, and finally Bomb Voyage-a genuine supervillain, if a low-key one- all found by accident. If that's a mundane day, then the days with Doctor Doom or whomever must be sheer hell.
Any supervillains with actual superpowers (if there were any) got wasted by Syndrome's robots.
This was my thought as well. I thought Syndrome didn't just hate superheroes, he hated people with superpowers. If he kills the heroes, why wouldn't he kill the villains as well? And since "heroes beat villains" in general, that could make the villains overall weaker and easier to kill. Heck, Syndrome could even be honest, asking a villain to come and test his might against his unbeatable robot. He would have to use less subterfuge and effort than with the heroes.
After the heroes disappeared, the villains started feeling silly about going around in tights and switched to normal clothes. They lost their status as supervillains and are now referred to as terrorists.
Maybe after a while, supervillains decided that their elaborate plots and schemes are too exaggerated, noticeable, expensive, too complicated, and plain idiotic to begin with. In the Watchmen universe, the supervillains decided it would be more effective to be involved in more low key criminal activities rather than wear a purple suit. The same could happen in the The Incredibles universe.
Fridge Brilliance: The world really was better off without superheroes. Superheroes make a huge mess when fighting crime against villains who, as someone noted above, never seem to pose much actual threat or be superpowered. So the cops/military naturally resorted to calling in heroes in the glory days, never really trying to deal with villains on their own, and only realized how much easier everything got once the government banned superheroes and they had to deal with the villains themselves.
this would work, except for the fact that in Bob's newspaper listing Gazerbeam is missing, has all of the other articles talking about how the crime rates are the highest in decades.
Another possibility is that without a hero, there can be no villian. This is a common theme in Batman: The superhero created the supervillian by existing. As soon as they don't exist, there's no reason for the supervillian to exist.
Note that the term "super" is thrown around a lot. It's quite possible that any real Supervillains, ones hellbent on world domination, would have been subdued by the Heroes long before their ban, while anyone else using their powers for petty crimes probably found it just easier to become superheroes. A 6 or 7 figure salary for basically beating people up on a daily basis is a lot better than trying to break into the bank and get your ass handed to you by 2 or 3 other supers. Alternatively, any supervillains were granted amnesty alongside their hero counterparts in exchange for just disappearing. Given that armed humans seem perfectly able to take care of rogue supers (Syndrome sent out normal guards armed with guns to hunt down the Incredible family) it was either comply, or forced to "disappear".
Here's an alternate theory: Government Assassins and Black Ops people. Think about it: you've got a bunch of immoral sociopaths running around just looking to make money and cause terror. The heroes aren't the kind of people you can hire to act as assassins, but villains? They're likely going to be down for it. Imagine letting the Joker take on just one enemy base. He'd have at least ten different ways to kill everyone inside at once. Now, imagine having the Rogues Gallery of every hero at your disposal. Even if a few say no, you're the goddamn government. Cover-Ups are easy. Kill the villain, destroy the body. He was never seen or heard from again. Lets say the Incredibles universe's version of America (after all, it wasn't a UN treaty) had 60 heroes. That's hundreds of villains, enough that a few bad apples are disposable.
In the comic books, the government can never seem to catch up with the technology of the mad geniuses. Maybe this isn't the case in the Incredibles. Perhaps the government built its own hi-tech weaponry and captured or killed all the supervillains.
Well, Mr. Incredible's "friend" had rather "convenient" access to new ID, employment, location, etc. for Mr. Incredible when he lost his job, after punching his boss through a wall.
Perhaps the Incredibles has a similar set of circumstances to Despicable Me. In the absence of Supers the villains who no longer have any reason to team up or even tolerate each other begin keeping each other relatively in check.
Mr. Incredible killing Syndrome
Yes, I know Syndrome's a psychotic, mass-murdering prick. But to be honest,the way Bob dealt with him was kind of...jarring. Just after they save Jack Jack, Syndrome flies to his jet and vows to return. Mr. Incredible responds by knocking him into a jet turbine. What really bugs me is that this isn't a situation requiring lethal force. Syndrome wasn't attacking anyone or posing a serious threat, he was just standing there gloating. Mr. Incredible could have had Violet capture Syndrome with a force field, beat the crap out of him, and handed him to the police. Hell, even if he did escape, the family probably told Rick Dicker where his hideout was. The police would have been waiting, Mirage would've testified, and Syndrome would be locked up for good. Instead, Bob decides to say "Fuck It" to his entire moral code, resorts to outright murder, and destroys his family's house in the process. Nice example for the kids, Mr. Parr.
Unlike most comic book heroes, supers don't seem to have a problem with killing their enemies, so long as it's in self-defense or protecting others. The Incredibles, including the kids, are responsible for the deaths of quite a few henchmen and none of them blink an eye over it. The only time Mr. Incredible is shown using restraint is with Mirage, and in that case, that would have been murdering a defenseless woman. Not only is Syndrome not defenseless, but he is also, as you pointed out, a psychotic mass-murdering prick who had spent the past few days making Bob's life hell, had just tried to kidnap Bob's infant son and made it clear he was going to try again. You can debate the morality of Bob's actions, but it's consistent with his and the other supers' behavior. Plus, the common practice superheroes using Thou Shalt Not Kill as a constant rule can be a complicated moral issue, since the villain can just keep breaking out to kill again. Just ask Joker.
The Supers in The Incredibles are less vigilantes and more government-backed crime-fighting force. The use of Lethal Force may not be seen as the completely anathema that is usually found in comics, no more than a police officer.
Syndrome is the kind of guy to be Crazy-Prepared. He may have had another hideout to escape to rather than the one the government had captured.
If we want to be technical about it, Mr. Incredible didn't kill him — he just disabled Syndrome's getaway vehicle. It was Syndrome's ill-advised decision to wear a cape and an unfortunate tumble near a jet turbine that killed him. At most, it's manslaughter.
Was Syndrome Really That Evil?
On one of the DVD extras, there's this one casanova-type superhero named Gamma Jack, who is described as being a megalomaniac who believes that supers are a "superior race". While Bob looks through Syndrome's computer, Gamma Jack was shown to have been killed by one of the omnidroids. And if you think about it, most supers probably were complete and utter bigots. Did you ever once think they might have deserved what they got?
Where is there any evidence to suggest that "most supers probably were complete and utter bigots"? One jackass of a superhero doesn't at all mean all of them were like that.
The evidence that we have seen (Bob and Frozone, all the flashbacks Edna had) showed the Supers being pretty darn selfless and noble, and the fact Frozone, a black dude in the 1950s, had absolutely no trouble openly operating as a superhero.
Now, let's look at Syndrome: Murders selfless heroes in cold blood, so he can pose as one. Motivated only by profit and revenge. Completely willing to murder innocent children without showing the slightest sign of remorse; in fact, he gloats about it later in the scene. Attacks a populated city with an invincible killer robot, expecting it to slaughter the military and civilians.
So, "Was Syndrome really that evil?"
Yes he fucking was.
Syndrome also had no reason to use the plan outlined above. He had at least four other options: He could have become a real superhero, and openly used his supertech to fight crime. He could have invented better body armor for cops, or better hospital equipment, or some new fuel source. He could have just showed up at Mr. Incredible's door, and kicked his ass. Or, he could have done all of the above. While doing heroic acts simply to get even with a retired superhero is hardly moral, it's better than, you know, killing people.
Don't forget, the superheroes never ran things. Before, they were taking orders from the government. Now they're retired, and have no influence at all. What does killing them serve?
Of course he was evil, but that doesn't mean he wasn't tragic: Bob dismisses him (among other things) for not having a super power, neglecting that a seven year-old inventing break-through technology is pretty damn super.
Bob and Buddy clearly have a long history, and we only meet them once Bob has lost his patience with Buddy. For all we know, this is merely the latest in a series of interruptions and "Hey, check out this new invention!" moments. Bob doesn't see that the rocket boots work until he's in the middle of the fight against Bomb Voyage and from that point, he's distracted by trying to save Buddy's life.
While it's true that Buddy was getting in the way, Bob himself admits later that his initial treatment of Buddy was needlessly dismissive. There's at least some implication that Bob rejected Buddy because of pride and in all probability, Buddy's lack of super powers. Keep in mind that later, Bob has no problem having a partnership with fellow super Frozone.
Bob admits that he treated Buddy poorly after Syndrome reveals himself and nearly kills him. Syndrome directly points out that Bob only respects him because Syndrome is now a threat, with which I'm inclined to agree. Bob rejected Buddy's offer of help because he was a pre-teen. Genius or not, he's still an impulsive kid. Which was shown the intro: Buddy's unexpected intervention nearly got him killed and led to the El Train bombing that cost Bob his life's ambition and forced him into hiding for years. Besides, Bob is friends with Edna Mode, a non-powered genius who is to clothes as Syndrome is to weapons. So he's willing to accept normal people as friends.
Buddy is eager for glory (something Bob himself is) but looking closely at the scene, Buddy wasn't really doing anything outside of standard practice for a sidekick. All he specifically wanted to do was go get the police. Buddy has no idea how dangerous the situation really was, but he does emphasize that he just wants to help. Had Bob, rather than sending Buddy home and specifically (and condescendingly) telling the police to rat him out to his mother, instead handled Buddy with something more genuinely respectful, Bob would have at least been relatively blameless. Maybe something like: "Kid, there's a lot more to doing this than you know, but you've obviously got some kind of talent and aren't going to let anyone tell you to go home. The thing is, I'm just not the right guy to help you figure it out. Maybe someone else can."
No. You people need to watch that scene again and think about what's actually going on. First, it's quite clear that Buddy has been bothering Bob for a very long time. Bob says so himself when Buddy sneaks into his car. Bob is therefore understandably already annoyed with Buddy. Second, by inserting himself into the scene Buddy was inadvertently responsible for the train accident that caused thousands of dollars in property damage and injured dozens of passengers. If Buddy had taken Bob's respectfully stated advice from the start and not tried to crowbar himself into Mr. Incredible's life none of that would have happened. Third, Buddy is not Bob's child. Bob doesn't know who his parents are. Bob was exactly right to tell the cops to make sure Buddy's mom knows what he's been doing. I mean, good god, the kid nearly got himself blown up. The kid is running around playing superhero WITHOUT his parents' permission, nearly getting himself killed, and causing major urban disasters through his inexperience and blundering. Isn't that something his mom ought to know?! In short, Bob's anger at Buddy is COMPLETELY understandable and justifiable. Buddy's later actions were completely NOT. Think about it. He goes on a superhero killing spree just because one hero (whom he had already annoyed the crap out of) told him, quote, "I work alone." THAT'S IT! That's all it took to turn Buddy to supervillainy! If Buddy had run home and committed suicide because Bob's words bummed him out, then I could see how Bob would be to blame. But that's not what happened. The kid decided to commit multiple murders just because ONE HERO was a bit rough on him. The only person to blame for Buddy's turn to evil is Buddy. Mr. Incredible may have been a bit brusque with him, but Buddy CHOSE to become a murdering psychopath. No one made him do that.
Bob feels terrible because he failed to prevent Buddy from becoming evil. Had Bob been more skillful in his handling of Buddy, a lot of good superheroes killed by Syndrome might still be alive. Bob admits his failure and probably feels responsible for what happened. But the truth is that nobody is perfect in every way at everything they do (except Mary Poppins). Bob isn't responsible for those deaths, Buddy is. There is no way in which being brusque with a little kid makes you responsible for that kid becoming an obsessed mass murderer.
Here's the thing, Bob never told Buddy "you can't be a super because you don't have powers." Buddy said that. In Buddy's mind, he wasn't being rejected for being a kid or being inexperienced, he was being rejected for being a "normal". Had he shown Mr. Incredible the stuff he could make beforehand and not in the middle of an armed robbery, then Mr. Incredible might have actually told him something like "you've got talent and could be a good hero someday, but you need to grow up a bit first. You're just a kid." Heck, maybe, he might have been willing to take him as a sidekick if he'd grown up a bit, or mentored him to some degree. We see later that in a good mood, Bob has no problem encouraging his kid. The thing that ticked him off is he interupted an armed robbery to tell him "Hey! I made jet boots! Now can I be your sidekick!" If Buddy had flown up, saw what was happening and flown off to tell the cops "Mr. Incredible is fighting a supervillain up there!", Bob probably would've been glad he'd done that, as it'd have saved him time getting to the wedding and helpped him out. Buddy was the one who decided the beef that supers had for him was he didn't have powers, so the only one stopping him from being a Super was himself.
Okay, we've established that Mr. Incredible did not give Buddy his emotional problems. But are you saying that we're not allowed to feel a little bit bad for a young kid who had a big dream that he was told (rightly or not) he couldn't follow?
Not at all. But by the time of the film, that kid is long gone, grown into a guy who is willing and happy to (attempt to) snuff out the lives of two other children with big dreams they were told ("rightfully" - by the law!) they couldn't follow, and their mother, in front of their father because years ago, he was a bit short with the kid. Various geniuses have in the past been told they couldn't follow their dreams far more harshly and with less justification than Bob ever spoke to Buddy, and those people followed their dreams anyway without resorting to mass murder. Syndrome's a somewhat tragic figure because he failed to realise his own potential in a constructive way, but he brought every one of his problems on himself. For God's sake, Bob was weeping when he thought his family was dead, and all Syndrome does is laugh because he's "weak". I have a very hard time holding on to any sympathy for "Buddy" after that.
Is this really a headscratcher? Yeah, Bob could have been a bit more tolerant and patient with Buddy Pine back in the day and perhaps not dismissed him quite so brusquely, but Syndrome's an emotionally stunted and petulant little shithead who kills people and wreaks havoc because he's emotionally incapable of getting over a relatively mild slight that occurred to him when he was a child. The filmmakers clearly didn't intend for us to find him completely unsympathetic, but he is only 'tragic' in that he is incapable of overcoming his own character flaws.
About the whole Business aspect with Syndrome. I was just reading an article and they mentioned that one of Syndrome's plans actually involved selling tech to "normals" and this "superpowers for everyone" was only a bad thing because of the way he phrased it. "And Then when everyone is special hehehe Noone will be." Now of course it's safe to assume if you're willing to kidnap and murder you probably have no qualms of selling your Super Tech to Gangs, Crime Families, etc. But Syndrome's intention seemed to be that Joe Citizen and Officer Bob would also have Super Tech. So anyone could be a hero or villain. Given that most ordinary people are generally speaking good. Imagine a villain with super tech trying to rob a bank then suddenly all the patrons and the staff use their own super tech to beat him silly. It could have lead to a possible utopia. But you know the message of course. "If you are born genetically superior don't let the genetically inferior ever rise to your level even if it's through hard work and intelligence." Also Bob's Human friend is completely accepted .... so long as she's only using her skills for the Supers and not the normal people. I didn't see her making bullet proof outfits for police officers did you?
People are generally good, but remember that power corrupts. You think that the majority of people will only use the super powered toys for good? You don't think people will use them for petty or destructive things, the way people do all the time with all the normal tech? And that is simply a total mischaracterization of Edna Mode's relationship with the supers. Nobody's stopping her from designing for normals; she outright says that she is working with models at the moment. If anything, the only thing stopping her from outfitting cops is her own ego, "I used to design for GODS!"
Suing the Supers: Why convict them?
Other than the fact that the story wouldn't have worked without it and it would ruin the movie. How exactly did Mr Incredible's lawyer manage to lose that case? Suicide is illegal in America, heroes seem to have government mandate to apprehend criminals (and violently). Therefore in saving the jumper Mr Incredible was simply preforming a regular act of heroism, foiling a felony in progress and therefore jumper would have no more claim against him that Bon Voyage would.
They never say that Oliver Sansweet WON his lawsuit. It's possible that the case was the very first time someone actually tried to sue a superhero, and thus gave people the idea that they could sue supers, which, as stated in the newsreel, "opened the floodgates" for many lawsuits, some successful, some not.
It may not be that he lost the case as such, but that it generated horrible publicity for Mr Incredible and, as the movie put it, opened the door for other suits. Besides, a good portion of that scene was a parody of personal injury lawsuits, where it's not unheard of for people to sue for their own idiocy and win.
This makes the most sense to me, especially considering the following lawsuits. How many times have you heard of people having accusations thrown at them, being found not guilty (whether they really were or not) but being haunted by said accusations for the rest of their lives? Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson come to mind.
Yeah, when you consider that people have sued for injuries sustained while breaking into someone's house, this isn't so far fetched.
Pet peeve: I would like some confirmation of this. The following will not be accepted: fictional works such as Liar Liar, email forwards that have been debunked by sites like Snopes and the True Stella Awards, or real life lawsuits that didn't pay out. I have yet to hear of a real life thief who sued the people who he was robbing and won. (Note: I am not saying that frivolous lawsuits don't happen. I'm concerned about this specific example.)
While this troper believes that a well-armed citizen is a good citizen, there were some mitigating facts in Tony Martin's case. Such as that one of the burglars was shot in the back, ostensibly as he was just trying to get away.
Shooting someone in the back is NOT proof that the victim was "just trying to get away". There are any number of ways to explain the situation that don't involve cold-blooded murder. In the darkness, Martin may not have realized that the burglar was "just trying to get away". Or he may have been surprised by the burglars and opened fire by accident. Regardless, the original claim was "people have sued for injuries sustained while breaking into someone's house" and Tony Martin was sued by burglars for injuries sustained while breaking into his house, alleged mitigating factors notwithstanding.
Also of note was that Tony Martin was in illegal possession of said firearm.
Further, the compensation was due to Martin's illegal actions (he was convicted of murder - reduced to manslaughter on appeal). If Martin had remained inside the law, their suit would have gone nowhere.
Even in America, you are not privileged to use deadly force to defend property alone. (At least, not in most states.) The common Bar exam question is the guy who sets a spring-triggered shotgun to defend an abandoned house on his distant property. (This actually happened. It took a guy's leg off.) The rule for Undiscovered Trespassers is that you cannot set hidden, man-made death traps. So it * is* possible for a burglar to sue and win.
While admittedly I am unsure of American law, in Canada it is not considered breaking and entering if you are entering an empty house or similar structure in search of shelter from a sudden blizzard or tornado or other such disaster, meaning a trap like that is not only illegal and incredibly dangerous on its own, it could also kill or seriously injure someone who is not even committing a crime (not to mention the actual resident of the building).
True, but deadly booby traps aren't really what most people think of when they hear the phrase "burglars suing homeowners for injuries sustained during a burglary". It's also worth noting that in the case you're referring to (Katko v. Briney I believe) the court held that if the defendant had been home at the time he would have been justified in using a shotgun to defend his property (the spring-triggered shotgun was set up in an abandoned house on the defendant's property, not in the defendant's actual home).
This would have gotten Mr. Incredible out of federal court and jail, but that wouldn't stop a jury from siding with the plaintiff in a civil suit and awarding him the money.
Admittedly, it does bug this troper that the man's suicide attempt wasn't, itself, a defense that in all honesty could easily result in "Case Dismissed!" - and that this one was emphasized when the very next one was a much more clear-cut injury case in the subway (in spite of it being intended to save their lives). Before anyone states (as Mr. Incredible presumably would) that the choice was that or death, consider that Power RangersThe Movie shows one of several methods that could easily have been available to him or Elastigirl to non-injuriously resolve the situation.
The same troper though has to continue that Mr. Incredible isn't precisely shown as Batman-scale intelligent.
Well no, he isn't Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, but he did manage to outwith the Omnidroid pretty handily. And that was a machine that had slaughtered a fair number of supers before he put it down once and for all.
Also, Mr. Incredible didn't have a giant robot bird with which to connect the tracks.
Nor is Elastigirl available to connect the tracks, as she's waiting for 'Bob' at the wedding chapel. So, realistically, Mr. Incredible only had the one option... to become a living brake for the train.
Suicide is not illegal in America.
Oh yes it is! Ask insurance agents and Dr. Kevorkian.
That's assisting suicide, not committing it. The latter used to be a crime, but isn't on the lawbooks anymore.
"In less enlightened times they'd have hanged you for it." — Bedazzled
Suicide is legal only if you succeed: hard to prosecute someone who's dead. However, if you fail, the police can arrest you to protect your own interests. Very, very few people are ever convicted of suicide-related issues, but police will put you under lock and key and get you counseling.
That's probably because the police would be legally responsible for your death if they didn't arrest you and lock you up. A hospital also cannot refuse to treat someone who is brought in or brings themselves in because they're having suicidal thoughts or just attempted suicide—-they have to admit you and put you on the psych ward. It's not just because you're a danger to yourself or to others, but also because, once they know about it, they cannot turn their back on the person—because if they do and the suicidal person kills themself, the fact that they knew about the condition but wouldn't help makes them liable in a "wrongful death" lawsuit—and might even get a negligible homicide charge.
Suicide is legal (it implies success). Attempted suicide is illegal.
As others have stated, at least in America laws against suicide have been taken off the books. Hospitals might be required to commit people who attempt, though, and even if they aren't, if they have the ability they probably will (in California, for example, you can be held for up to seventy-two hours if they think you're a danger to yourself or others, and the hold can be extended in extreme circumstances). On top of that, there are people who believe that a person has the right to die if they want to.
This troper isn't sure about America, but in his country suicide, or attempting it is legal as such, but if it involves reckless endangerment of other people, for example threatening someone trying to stop you with a gun, or intending to jump off a high building where you could land on somebody, or put your would-be rescuers in danger do come with criminal charges.
The fact that the "victim" was in the act of doing something illegal doesn't absolve one from liability in America, sadly. There have been several cases where somebody injured himself breaking and entering, or was injured by a homeowner defending his property, or the like, and successfully sued the homeowner for it. The fact that Mr. Incredible has a government mandate to catch criminals might have bought him a little leeway, but considering the severity of the jumper's injuries, it wouldn't be too hard to sway a jury to be sympathetic.
While there are certainly successful suits (and criminal charges) brought against people who use unnecessary force in defending their property (for instance a recent incident involving a pharmacy robbery in Oklahoma where the owner reloaded his weapon to execute a prone robber as he lay on the floor after already having been shot once), one would be hard-pressed to find an example of a personal injury tort-claim where the plaintiff was in the midst of a crime and the act of that crime brought them to harm on its own. What is clear from the movie is that the attempted-suicide opened up the door to lawsuits, which are expensive and resource-consuming even when successful, and became too costly and pain-in-the-ass for the government to justify allowing the Supers to continue acting as they had been.
Juries are made of of people not smart enough to get out of jury duty. So anything's possible.
No, some people actually want or are at least willing to do jury duty. It's not black-and-white "let's all avoid jury duty" because then there would be no juries.
In America, the rule is "Peril invites rescue". Saving somebody from certain death but causing a sprained neck in the attempt is not grounds for a lawsuit, since the person is better off than they would otherwise have been (i.e. dead). That being said, maybe Mr. Incredible being sued caused a change in the law that opened the door for later lawsuits. Now the law is that you have an obligation not to help people in danger.
There is no Good Samaritan law in America so because the man did not want to be saved he was not in the wrong to sue Mr. Incredible.
Actually, sometimes it is. Civilians acting to save a person who is injured or in danger are protected under the Good Samaritan law, but a professional, such as a doctor, firefighter, or EMT is expected to know how to do the job properly, and can be sued if they injure a patient in the course of treating him, even if they would be worse off had the person not attempted to help them. It can only be assumed that a professional superhero would be treated the same way.
That would require them to make a mistake, in Mr. Incredible's case, there was no other option to save the man's life than to jump and catch him.
True, but that assumes Mr. Incredible's defense attorney was able to convince the jury of that fact. As another troper said earlier, juries are made up of people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
Let's not forget that the events with the suicide take place a couple of decades ago, before there was a Good Samaritan law. Also, the worst part about civil suits against a superhero in the Impossibleverse would be the way it would wreak havoc with secret identities.
In watching Confused Matthew's review again, another point occurs to me. How can Mr. Incredible be held responsible for the train accident? The bomb landed on the tracks totally at random. Mr. Incredible couldn't reach said bomb in time. The bomb explodes, taking out a section of track. Had Mr. Incredible not stopped the train, the train would've crashed and everyone would've been killed or injured even more than they were. Mr. Incredible cannot be held responsible for the bomb landing on the track, because the alternative is letting Buddy explode in midair.
Well, the people who sued him don't know that latter part; they only know that's how Bob says it went. And he could be blamed for inspiring Buddy, the entire reason the situation went bad. And it might not even matter if he won or lost; that case just told people that they could sue superheroes for causing damage. There seems to have been enough legitimate cases to start costing the government, who sponsored the supers, a seriously alarming amount of money and an equally alarming amount of public opinion, both of which are important to governments.
We don't really know, and the movie doesn't elaborate on, how tort law differs in a world of superheroes. If you take it back far enough, one of the causes of bomb landing on the tracks in the first place is Bob playing vigilante with Bomb Voyage. That might be enough for a jury of the citizens of Municiburg to order Bob to be liable.
Why would the vigilante law exist in a time and place that acknowledges and glorifies superheroes?
To punish the ones who do it badly.
Didn't Mr. Incredible throw that bomb? Sure, he was saving Buddy from Bomb Voyage, but he directly destroyed the rail way bridge in doing so.
That seems a bit tricky. Mr. Incredible threw an armed explosive into the air just before it went off. He knew that there were three-four people in the room at risk, and that the bomb was about to blow. I think he just did the best he could in the few seconds he had.
This is how I remember it happening: Mr. Incredible sees Bomb Voyage sticking the explosive on Buddy's cape. While Buddy was flying, Mr. Incredible was trying to get the bomb off him before it exploded. When he managed to get it, he lost his grip, and while he was falling the bomb fell out of his hand and landed on the tracks. The only "fault" of his was that he chose to save Buddy's life instead of staying to deal with Bomb Voyage.
And the very idea that the suicidal man couldn't just try to kill himself again instead of suing Mr. Incredible. That, and the idea that you can sue someone without actually knowing who they are. How exactly was that summons mailed to Mr. Incredible, seriously? Isn't this one of the exact purposes superheroes have Secret Identities in the first place?
A summons doesn't have to be mailed. It just has to be delivered. Mr. Incredible is a public figure that drives around in broad daylight. No reason the lawyer couldn't have just waited by another cat stuck in a tree and handed Mr. Incredible the envelope once he was done rescuing it. Also, we don't know why he was committing suicide. If it was financial trouble, hey, suing Mr. Incredible could solve that problem well enough.
Not to mention, with all the fanmail that Mr. Incredible has posted on his wall, he must have someplace official to receive mail - probably a P.O. box (or three) personally provided by the government. Shiny.
The Supers worked for the Government. The attorney would simply have to sue (and serve) whatever agency Mr. Incredible reported to and name him as their agent.
And this demonstrates that law is VERY different in the world of The Incredibles when compared to our world. In the US, you CANNOT sue the government or any agent thereof for performing their proper duty (which in this case would be taking the required steps to deal with the threats created by supervillains), under the principle of Sovereign Immunity. (You CAN sue them for doing something either outright illegal or that the specific agency/individual has no authority to do.) Even in instances where fatalities occur because of shody work, you cannot sue. (There were instances of early model F16s crashing because of bad design decisions in the avionics compartments. The survivors couild not sue the manufacturer or the government because of this reason.)
John Doe lawsuits allow you to sue someone who performed an action without knowing who that person is.
An earlier version of the script had a reveal where it was shown that Buddy was behind the lawsuits that eventually drove the supers into retirement. That idea wasn't very credible though, so the plotline was dropped.
How does Dash’s power work?
Dash puts a tack on his teacher's chair. If he moved that fast, there would be shockwaves from breaking the sound barrier, and all the windows would be broken.
Because moving as fast as the blades on your average ceiling fan breaks the sound barrier, of course.
Speedsters compensate for that sort of thing. It's like how the Flash can can move at the speed of light without his mass doing the whole infinity thing (except of course, for when he does), but Superman causes booms and problems when he pushes his speed to the limit (a fraction of lightspeed, but still damn impressive). Clearly he's tapping into the Speed Force. Alternatively? Comic book physics.
Actually, he probably didn't go faster than sound. If we assume that the camera was recording at 24fps then he had 1/24th of a second to get from his chair to the desk and back. The speed of sound (in meters per 24ths of a second, a rather ludicrous unit) is 14.58. So he could cover 14.5 meters (around 50 feet) in that amount of time without breaking the sound barrier. Of course, there still should've been a massive wind and probably a fair amount of noise, but not a sonic boom.
What really bugs me is that he never moves that fast in the rest of the film. He's moving faster than the human or camera eye can see in that scene, going from zero to ridiculous, stopping, precisely setting the tack point-up, and reversing direction in a fraction of a second. In every other scene he's moving no faster than a couple hundred miles an hour in a full sprint on open ground, and he takes at least some non-trivial time to accelerate. One of the things I like about the movie is that none of the supers are ludicrously overpowered, they have limits that are well-defined, visually plausible and internally consistent while still being superhuman. Therefore, I tend to strike this scene from my personal canon.
Perhaps it's a matter of endurance? The scene in class is over in less than a second, but he could wear himself out pedaling for hours in the elasti-boat, or any time he has to keep moving for prolonged periods in fights with robots.
Exactly. It's the same as asking why Usain Bolt, who can run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, doesn't apply his speed to 1000 meter runs, or marathons.
Helen is called to the school because Dash got into trouble... Again. This wasn't the first time this has happened, so we can assume Dash has had plenty of practice.
In most of the island scenes he's not actually alone. Applying that kind of acceleration to a human being without compensating effects would be lethal. Violet, for instance, has no powers or technology that would keep her from turning to goo in Dash's arms. Not only would he have to accelerate slowly, but he would have to keep his speed low enough so that avoiding obstacles wouldn't be too much stress on her. Once they got out onto open water, their priorities changed from escape to disabling the hench-gliders.
It's a superhero movie. Of course it's going to be inconsistent about power levels. This is the genre where half the tension can come from someone forgetting what they can do.
Actually, in the scene where he places the tack, he isn't traveling as fast as everyone around here is saying. Even while watching the movie the first time I saw a faint blur on that screen. On review the blur is actually there. Therefore, Dash is being photographed maybe 4 times (blurred, of course) by the camera.
This is what's corrects. Cameras have a very low shutter speed and even motion likes walking or even TALKING causes motion blur. So even if something is moving fast enough, the camera can't capture it properly. It is for this reason real rain doesn't show up on film, it's just an odd transparent blur.
Rule of Funny. He travels at the Speed Of Plot. Alternate explanation; since his powers clearly involve generating and manipulating kinetic energy (hence the inertialess u-turn), after he pushes the air molecules out of his way, he then absorbs their excess motion back into himself, preventing a massive wind or sonic boom. And maybe he can only move at "tack-placing speeds" for very short bursts; a sprinter does not have the endurance of a marathon runner.
It's also that he's moving faster than anyone thinks is 'plausible'. It might not be that they can't see it, just that they refuse to believe it.
...And maybe the camera the teacher used just wasn't very good. He definitely installed it without permission, he probably bought it cheap from somebody.
Dash would have better traction on the wooden floor than on water, also he knew exactly how far he had to go. When he was running on the ocean he wasn't sure how far he would have to run and so, was probably conserving energy.
Dash inspires another question: does his mind work as quickly as his body? Even when he was running at full throttle, I notice one of Syndrome's mooks did manage to surprise him and punch him out. On the other hand, he had to be able to coordinate all of his motions very precisely to carry out the complex task of putting a tack on his teacher's chair, which suggests he can run his mind very quickly though he doesn't always choose to do so. If he can, he could be a real killer on the debate team as well as a champion runner.
This ability is likely, since both times Dash got hit in the face, he had excuses. The first time, while flying with the mook on the velocipod, Dash is clearly having an "Oh, Crap!" because of the oncoming cliff, giving the minion time to knock him out before crashing into the cliff himself. The second time, Dash is preoccupied with giving the second mook lightning-fast but ineffectual taps to the face.
Speed and time don't work that way so it depends on how close to physics we want to get.
Though I forget a lot of details in the movie... processing logic and thought quickly is different from moving quickly. When catching a ball, do you consciously triangulate the location of it based on the relative angles of your eyes from one moment to another to determine its distance and velocity? Human minds are developed for quickly processing and reacting to the physical world - his is simply developed that much better, as per required secondary powers.
Agreeing with the above, but this troper feels that what made the Tack Incident NOT an example of this is because Dash was very obviously seething with hate, and therefore planned every single bit of the prank before executing it flawlessly. It wasn't reflexes he was demonstrating getting to the front desk, placing the tack and then back again- it was knowledge in advance that he was going to do it. That explains why he doesn't act with so much precision on the island, because it was all on the fly.
"Seething with hate"? Hes just angry because his seemingly flawless prank had been found out somehow. Also, a tack prank doesn't really fit with seething hate, does it?
Has anyone else thought that maybe some of Dash's inconsistencies stem from the fact he's like 10? He's still young and getting the hang of his powers. In a kid that age with any talent there's going to be weird moments where he seems to really pull off something awesome and then not be able to do it correctly again for awhile. I've seen it in martial arts classes. A kid with talent will execute a technique perfectly once and then not do it right again for a week. This is especially true for someone who doesn't get to practice a lot like Dash since his parents won't let him train the gift.
Maybe he perceives time in slow motion.
Jack Jack of All Trades, or what?
Does Jack-Jack have all those powers permanently, or is he going to settle on one or two? If so, when - given that it's clearly not linked to puberty? And is "Jack-Jack Attack" canon?
Jack-Jack is an homage to all the "omnipotent-WTF-blow-up-half-the-galaxy-with-a-sneeze" heroes. He's the Silver Surfer, the Phoenix, the Sentry, Terrax, Doctor Strange, The Thunderbolt...
We don't know about the first, but Jack-Jack Attack IS canon.
Word of God says "Jack-Jack Attack" is canon. And by my count, Jack-Jack's kerwuffle with Syndrone demonstrates three budding super-powers: (1) shape-shifting, (2) Playing with Fire, and (3) density control.
His powers at the end, with enough RulesLawyering, can explain everything in "Jack-Jack Attack". The Eye Beams and Playing with Fire can have the same sources, if the former is just a very focused expression of the latter (emitting heat and light). The floating and walking on the ceiling are neutral and negative buoyancy, whereas the Heavy Jack-Jack at the end was a combination of shapeshifting and positive buoyancy. Going through the walls can be explained by many of the things that allow density change, such as if he has the single overall power of being able to change local matter (that is, his body) to energy and back, while affecting the way it is stored or used.
A fairly obscure Marvel supervillain — Will 'o Wisp — has "density control" powers which allow him to do all of the above. By changing his density to near-zero he is able to float/fly and pass through seemingly solid objects with ease.
Use Vision of Avengers as a more known example. From intangibility to diamond density.
Diamond isn't all that dense. It is only carbon, you know. Denser than aluminum, less so than titanium. It's just really frackin' hard, is all.
In the deleted scenes on the DVD, there's a completely different opening scene, where Syndrome (who was just a throwaway character at this point in the script development) attacks the Parrs in their home when Violet was an infant. Violet already had her invisibility powers at this point, and she doesn't demonstrate any other powers. I know What Could Have Been doesn't hold water as canon, but I suspect that superpowers in the Incrediverse don't change over time, other than getting better at using one's powers.
Also from the DVD extras: The profiles of the other supers list a few with a wide variety of powers (Universal Man, for example). So Jack-Jack wouldn't be the first.
Jack-Jack may well have a Meaningful Name: His powers seem to be a 'jack-of-all-trades'. Whether he retains a potentially incredible amount of power to adulthood or settles on one particular kind, we may never know.
Considering the Meaningful Name consistency of the Parr family (Dash and Violet), this makes a lot of sense.
One might say their names on... on Parr with their superpowers.
I know I read an interview somewhere that states Jack-Jack's many powers are supposed to represent the unlimited potential of a baby, who can grow up to be anybody and do anything. By that symbolism, it seems that he would probably settle on powers that match his personality as it develops, just as Dash is hyperactive and Violet is shy.
Ding-ning-ning we have a winner. I read somewhere (probably the same source) that Jack-Jack's powers parody those a baby has - getting heavy, moving fast, getting out of impossible situations, turning into little monsters. I'm still not sure what "human fireball" parodies, but I'm sure it's something. Maybe Jack-Jack got a fever from the high altitude?
That's true and I have read the same source. They also said that the rest of the family's powers reflected their roles in the family. Robert's was super strength because he was the foundation of the family, needing to support them all. Helen's elasticity was because of how flexible a housewife/mother has to be. Dash has super speed because of how kids that age are always hyped up on sugar and ADD-esque. Violet's invisibility and forcefields were the insecure teenager trying to shut out and hide away from the world. Frozone was "cool".
By that logic, Violet should lose her powers once she became more outgoing, and Dash would lose his once he got humility.
Symbolism, man. Seriously, how I see it, if the Troper above is correct, then gaining your permanent superpower by your personality as you grew up makes perfect sense. People grow out of their younger personalities all the time, but it doesn't fully change them.
Considering that the Parr family is heavily based on the Fantastic Four, and Franklin Richards was born with the ability to re-create reality and has done things such as create alternate universes without much effort, Jack-Jack's powers are rather tame in comparison.
While the fire ability doesn't really add to the parody of a baby, it helps round out the Fantastic Four. We have stretching, strength, and invisibility, with Jack-Jack filling in for the Human Torch.
However, the Fantastic Four without the Human Torch is hardly new. For instance, in the 1970's there was a cartoon that replaced him with a robot (the character had been licensed elsewhere at the time). There was also a version in the comics that replaced the Human Torch with Quicksilver, which is likely the specific configuration being emulated.
Maybe, but if you stop a random person in the street and ask them to name who the four members of the Fantastic Four are, there's a good chance that the Human Torch is going to pop up more frequently than H.E.R.B.I.E or Quicksilver.
Personally, I just think that's the last hurrah in Pixar's (fairly obvious) love letter to Marvel. Jack-Jack has shown that he has the same or similar powers to (among many) Johnny Storm, Colossus, Shadowcat, Cyclops, Nightcrawler,, and he turns intoHellboy. (The last one's not Marvel, but do you see what I mean?)
It was theorized by my dad that Jack-Jack's power is direct, unconscious control over the molecules of his body. Which would enable him to shapeshift, turn into a human fireball, become as heavy as lead, pass through walls, shoot lasers out of his eyes...
My theory is that Jack's power is the ability to 'shapeshift', and he simply shapeshifts into a version of himself that is exactly the same, but with the added ability that he happens to be using, e.g. laser eyes, being on fire, being heavy, etc.
It seems that superpowers are decided by the individuals personality IE; Bob is headstrong, violet is shy, Frozone is calm, etc. and Jack-Jack was a toddler, so his personality was not fully formed, and so his powers were not set in stone.
Maybe this is my interpretation of above theories, but just because Jack-Jack's many abilities represent the unlimited potential of a baby, or that he hasn't settled on a distinct personality to inform his powers yet, doesn't mean he'll lose all but one of his powers later. There's no reason to assume he'll lose some of his powers, unless, as I think some people think, Jack-Jack's development indicates all superpowered people go through the same development while they're toddlers (that is, every superhero in the Incredibles universe is born with no powers, gains a lot of powers, then settles on one or two powers by Dash's age). But that clashes with how the family views Jack-Jack: Violet calls him "normal" compared to the family, the implication being they don't think Jack-Jack will ever have powers; they leave him with Kari, implying they don't suspect he may suddenly gain powers, otherwise you'd assume they'd have left him with a babysitter supplied by the government and able to deal with a superpowered toddler. Thus, my assumption is Jack-Jack is a child who, as an in-universe exception to the rule, didn't have powers from birth, but grew into a multitude of powers he'll keep as he grows up; the metaphor of his unlimited potential as a baby equating to many powers (and how Violet's shyness means invisibility, Bob's brashness is strength, etc.) is just a choice the filmmakers made, and powers aren't directly influenced by personality in-universe.
Kari states that she brought along classical music because she read it stimulates a babies brain. Watch Jack-Jack attack and the look on his face when the music is switched on. He had no powers until that moment. Psychic manipulation of his own molecules as stated above.
Does no one think that Jack Jack sort of pulled off an Etrigan the Demon like transformation? I mean for all intents and purposes, Jack Jack could be essentially that, a human who is the soul connection to a minor demon lord.
Jack-Jack really could be that powerful — the Incredibles are clearly modeled on the Fantastic Four, and the Richards' son Franklin is so massively powerful they had to put locks on his brain until he was old enough to control them.
Its not like being a massive hypocrite would be out of character for Syndrome, given that he possessed virtually every other moral failing known to mankind.
Syndrome calls it "Zero Point Energy" but it seems to have the one use of stopping things in place and moving them around. It's possible that he heard it and thought it was a cool name for his energy gun that stops you in zero point zero one seconds.
The name and function of the device are taken from the Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator (also known as the "gravity gun") from Half-Life 2.
The Incredibles came out November 5, 2004. Half-Life 2 came out November 16, 2004. Modern games typically take longer to develop than modern animated films, but it still strains credibility that Pixar would have used an obscure secondary weapon name from an unreleased game for the sake of a Shout-Out. Chances are that it's a case of convergent evolution; that is, that both sources elected to use the same physical handwave for their flagrant violations of the law of conservation of momentum.
DVD Commentary: Brad Bird (writer and director) said that he had a corny name for the device, but after doing the research, he found that zero-point energy was a real theory and used that for the name instead. Presumably whoever named the gravity gun also researched first.
I think the safest way to asses this is by first impression. When this troper first saw the film, he was already aware of HL2's imminent release, and quite informed regarding the Gravity Gun's name. And he made the same connection. It sort of strains the limits of coincidence in his opinion. It's not just a cool common name, the two things do basically the same exact thing. How likely is that?
Dude, read the post right above yours. The writer says exactly where he got the inspiration.
Yeah, "zero point energy" is a cool, common name that's used in lots of recent sci-fi stories, since it's a real-life concept. As for doing basically the same thing as the HL2 gun, that's just telekinesis, Holmes (otherwise known as "miiiiiiiiiind bullets!").
I first read about zero-point energy in a story published in 1980. The same year that I read a story about an antimatter bomb (which, being designed to be a bomb and not an energy source, was far more plausible than Dan Brown's one, since it didn't have the impossible over-unity requirement). Sometimes ideas are far older than one thinks.
Or it was shoutout to Stargate. They have this thing called "Zero Point Module", that is essentially battery equal of several nuclear bombs.
The term "Zero Point Energy" has been around for a century. It is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical physical system can have. I.e. its ground state. The concept was developed by Albert Einstein and Otto Stern, and is derived from Max Planck's equations. Unless there is some source from Pixar or one of the major writers stating differently, I doubt that the user of "Zero Point Energy" is anything more than a reference to some failed physics experiments from 2 or 3 decades ago that actually worked in the Incredibles' universe, just as anti-gravity and FTL works in the Marvel and DC universes.
If Syndrome really isn't superpowered, then the film carries a nasty Broken Aesop about how Worth Comes from Birth and how we should just acknowledge some people are born to be better. If Syndrome is already superhuman by dint of his intelligence, the Aesop is more about how jealousy can blind a person to his own strengths as well as obsess him with tearing down everyone else.
Doesn't it carry that second Aesop whether Syndrome has super-intelligence or not? Whether his intelligence is "super" or merely "really smart" is beside the point. Either way, it's still wrong to get obsessed with jealousy and use one's abilities to kill innocent people.
Actually, the entire movie has a Family-Unfriendly Aesop - namely, that some people really ARE better than others, and that it is wrong to try and force them to be like everyone else.
The sooner kids understand that there are people who simply can do things better than they, the better. I knew a girl in my school career who was so insanely gifted that she literally never studied. Ever. You could expose her to the material from a book she'd never seen before, then immediately test her on the fine details of it and she'd ace it. (We tested that.) Her teachers—and I know this, because I found out—were actually compelled to mark her more stringently; she'd be considered "wrong" on a question even if she was closer to right than her classmates, who were marked "right". Why? To make it "fair". She couldn't be allowed to compete with the others on the same terms because it would "demoralize" the others. Eventually, she told the school admin where to put its "fairness" and went to college at 15—where she still outpaced her adult classmates, who whined that she shouldn't be allowed in normal classes. Why do I tell this story? Because, honestly, some people really ARE more gifted just by nature, and it's not wrong to teach kids to accept that.
I don't think it's that at all. I think it's that everyone deserves to make use of their talents, even if they are a little unusual. (With the usual caveats about not hurting people and so on; that's why Syndrome is a bad guy.) I mean, how many people with amazing potential are stuck in jobs or lives that don't allow them to show it?
Because, you know, everyone is born with the exact same physical and mental abilities and therefore anyone who develops into someone stronger or smarter than other people should be forced to act as if they were just as weak and stupid as everyone else. Mensa? Shut it down! Professional sports? All of those athletes need to stop working out and eat junk food while working at a dead-end desk job. Don't even get me started on the Olympics...
One consistent theme of The Incredibles that is often missed is the Take That directed at the "Everybody's Special"/"Nobody should excel" mentalities. Dash even specifically says "If Everybody's Special, Then Nobody's Special!". The Writer's were trying to get people to realize that holding someone back to keep them from excelling is WRONG because it denies that person the chance to live up to their potential. Allow me to elucidate with an example:
It's High School Graduation time. The dropouts and failures aren't there, because they failed. The graduates are there. Now, most of the graduates are regular students who are just graduating. BUT, let's say that 5% have busted their asses and Graduated With Honors and are thus given cords and stoles to wear on their graduation gown. That 5% of the student populace has earned the right to wear those special symbols of honor, right? WRONG! We can't let those students make the regular graduates feel inferior! The principal is going to have to remove those hard earned symbols of honor and give them back when the ceremony is done. There's just no way we can have anybody standing ABOVE the rest of the class.
The problem with the principal removing the awards is that it's not fair to people who busted their asses to earn them. They EARNED an award and deserve to wear the symbol that shows what they accomplished. It's even less fair to the regular graduates, as they no longer have anyone to look up to because nobody has excelled above the average. The point that the writers were trying to make is that people should be given the chance to succeed or fail without being held back. The supers had to live normally (with great frustration) because they weren't allowed to be HEROES. Students are denied the symbols of achievement to salve the "self esteem" of the students who did not achieve so well. And people are IE: People are special, let them prove it without interference."
I never understand people who read the "everyone special=no one special" line as an Aesop of the film. even taking Bird's actual objecivism into account, the film doesn't support the argument really, at least not this repeated line. look at who says it. a petulant young boy angry he isn't being allowed to be a glory hound blowing his family's deep cover, and a psychopathic man-child using it as partial justification for his killing spree.these are not roll models for society, and I fully believe that the film means for us to take them both as WRONG when they utter this line, that the point of the film is that everyone IS special, and you should let people be special, but that special should not equate superiority, nor allow for jerk behavior(IE Incredible in prologue.)
What about students who got into the top 5% without busting their asses? Is it okay to take their cords away just because they were born clever? (Not hariman)
I'm going to treat that as rhetorical and then answer it anyway. No, it's not. They ARE that smart in the first place. They deserve the accolades that go with it. (hariman)
Incidentally, though I won't mention where or when, there was a principal who DID remove the cords that represented special academic achievements because he couldn't let anyone stand out from the crowd.
And YES, I did just write the last 5 entries. I just split them up to make them easier to read. No I did mot just try to justify Dash "competing" in track. He couldn't lose unless he chose (or was forced) to lose. That's not a competition, that's having an unfair advantage. (See other points elsewhere on this page.) And on a side note to Dash competing for second in track: If the Incredibles ever became a series, the "Number 1" child of the track team would likely figure out that Dash is a speedster, find it cool and become Dash's best friend because of it. Or already be Dash's best friend and find Dash's super speed awesome anyway.
What's so wrong about letting Dash win? Everyone would know that coming in second was pretty cool, even if the second-place runner didn't break the sound barrier. I read the reluctance to let Dash compete as being that he'd inevitably give away their secret identities.
The problem with the above example is that it is broken by the movie. If I can expand on what you said, then in the movie 'only' people who are born with an advantage are allowed to Graduate with Honors. The one person who did bust his ass trying to join them gets booted out, and goes evil. When he implies that he would is going to let everyone have the same advantages, this is treated as bad. In this case the Aesop isn't "some people have talent and it's wrong to hold them back", it's "some people are born better than everyone else, and no one should try to reach their level".
"When he implies that he would is going to let everyone have the same advantages, this is treated as bad." You're missing the point. It isn't that he wants to sell his super-tech to everyone in the world, it's WHY he wants to sell his super-tech to everyone in the world. Syndrome wants to sell of his super-tech so that, quote, "when everyone is super, no one will be". Not to mention that flooding society with powerful superweapons sounds like a recipe for unpleasantness. Would you want every schmuck on the street to have free access to rocket boots and finger-beams?
Actually, yes, I would. Having only a few people who are disproportionately powerful when compared to the rest of humanity would probably cause more problems than everyone having that power and therefor being all equally powerful. And the whole "when everyone is super, no one will be" is bad because... why, exactly? As it is, the only people who ARE super get that way through an accident of birth. There is nothing that makes them exclusively worthy of superpowers, and no real reason why other people should not have them. What exactly is wrong with a level playing field? It's really only "bad" for people who already have superpowers to begin with.
Think for a second what it would mean for everybody to have super powers. Remember, "everybody" includes murderers, rapists, thieves, etc. So now, instead of people robbing a bank with a couple tommy guns, they're doing it with rocket boots and highly-destructive lasers. Kidnappers and rapists can now use Syndrome's Zero-Point freeze ray thing to grab people without them being able to even struggle or call for help. Disputes that would have otherwise ended with maybe a fistfight now end in extreme property damage and, probably, deaths, as both people resort to their cheap-and-inexpensive Syndrome(TM) toys. Yeah, that's a much better world than one in The Incredibles. At least it's shown there that those that have powers tend to use them for good.
But because supers only get their powers from a fortunate accident of birth, and not because of their character, you can't say that everyone who gets powers would be a good guy. All kinds of people - including would-be rapists and murderers - can still get powers, just in smaller numbers, proportionally. It's not like people who are shown to have high moral fibre are given powers as a reward. You're born with them and, no matter what you do, you'll still have them.
To support this, the vast majority of existing supervillains have superpowers of their own which they gained through the same means superheroes do. Given that criminals are still a significant minority of the population (at least in America) if everyone were to have superpowers then people using them for good would greatly outstrip those using them for evil.
The reason we're against Syndrome's plan to sell super tech is because it comes after the part where Syndrome murders his competition and launches a murderous robot on the city. If Syndrome could somehow, you know, not kill people, then he could probably do the world a lot of good.
You may think it's a Broken Aesop; many have argued (as you can see above) that it's entirely on purpose. Dash is forced by society to be average even though he's special; Bob complains that the school is congratulating the kids with a "graduation" ceremony for the "mediocre" achievement of passing the fourth grade; the villain of the movie wants to make everyone special. The AV Club has also noted that Brad Bird's other Pixar movie, Ratatouille, is about how Linguini will never be as good a chef as Remy no matter how hard he works, even though the metaphoric moral is "anyone can cook"; thus, his message as a general artist becomes not that everyone has talent, but that, per Ratatouille, you must be open-minded enough to look for natural, better talents in unexpected places (ie. a rat who can cook), and per The Incredibles, allow said talents to blossom even if it hurts other people's feelings.
There is a strong positive example in the film of someone without powers, and, in fact, with gifts very similar to Syndrome's: Edna. She's small, unattractive in any conventional sense, and physically weak. Her appearance and accent also suggest, at least to me, that she's likely the child of scientists who worked for the Axis powers, so she could well be someone from a troubled, even downright villainous, background. Despite her challenges, though, she uses her gifts and determination to contribute to the biggest battles in a meaningful way, and she's neither helpless — in her element / lair, it's suggested that she's got security capable of dealing with even major threats — nor intimidated by the supers with whom she deals. She's just not a front-line fighter, because that's not where her talents lie. Bob has no idea how to handle someone like Buddy, and little appreciation for the good his talents might, if appropriately directed, be able to do (frankly, Bob has his hands full controlling himself, without having to train others); I can't help but think that if Buddy had met Edna, or sought her as a mentor rather than Mr. Incredible, he might have turned out much, much different.
"Powers come from birth" is not the same as "worth comes from birth". Mr. Incredible did act like a jerk, and got called on it, several times. In particular, his dismissal of Buddy led to the film's trouble, as did his selfish desire for action. Likewise, Dash is encouraged not to misuse his powers, and at the end is congratulated for not coming in first— it's his actions, his self-control, that give him "worth". And for Violet, overcoming her shyness is seen as a greater personal accomplishment than developing a new power.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. The Aesop of the movie (or one of the Aesops, anyway) is that if you can do something really well, you have a duty to do it really well to help people. Failure to do so results in Bad Stuff(tm). Incrediboy doesn't care about helping people, he just wants the prestige and power that comes with being a hero. Mr. Incredible rejects him, not just because he's dangerous, but because he doesn't get the point that helping people should be it's own reward (which, ironically, Bob himself doesn't get at that point). Heroes should be selfless, not selfish, and failure to do so results in a God complex similar to what Syndrome eventually embodies.
On top of that, there are huge ethical problems with what Syndrome is doing that have nothing to do with his plan to spread supertech to the masses. Firstly, he killed real heroes- people who had actually risked their lives for the public good- to test his deadly giant robot. Secondly, he then launched that giant robot to what appears to be New York City to go on a destructive rampage. Thirdly, he then planned to effectively commit a massive fraud by stopping the giant robot he created, as a way of showing off how awesome he was to an adoring public... all because he resented being upstaged by Mr. Incredible fifteen years ago. So Syndrome is definitely the bad guy based on his actions, regardless of whether he has superpowers or not. What he's doing is well beyond the Moral Event Horizon, at least in the context of a Disney movie.
Thus Bob's statement "You killed off real heroes so you could pretend to be one", he didn't mean that he was pretending due to using gadgets, he was pretending by making up his own threat and killing off real heroes who fight real evils.
In short, who knew The Incredibles would be a massive meditation on the nature of talent and "fairness" as well as heroics?
Tyler Durden: You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
To take a less sneering approach (and it's worth pointing out that we are not actually supposed to entirely agree with or support Mr. Durden's views in that movie), the movie is arguably be saying something in between. Yes, it is unfair that the exceptional should be forced to conform to some idea of mundanity as specialness, but at the same time, the movie isn't quite this simplistic about the situation. For example, it's unfair that Dash initially can't use his natural talents to compete in track... but at the same time, if he were to compete, it would be unfair to the other students if he did, not just because they're "meaningless, monotonous things that will have no effect on the world" in denial about how they're not actually special little snowflakes, but because Dash has a secret, unearned and hugely unfair advantage over them and, as his mother accurately notes, is too much of an attention seeker to resist the temptation not to use it against them at that point. It would be like hiring and disguising Usain Bolt to secretly take your place in a high school track meet. Bob is quite right to champion his son's natural abilities, but it's also quite clear that he's just doing so to live vicariously through him, not necessarily for the right reasons (as evidenced when he eagerly encourages his son using his abilities to play pranks as well as compete at sports).
Why can't Dash play sports?
Why can't Dash play sports? There are plenty of sports (Hockey, Basketball, Soccer, etc.) that emphasize skill and precision over raw speed. Why did they stick him in Track, the one sport where he really couldn't learn anything?
I might be misremembering, but didn't he want to try out for Track specifically? Either way, I don't think it'd make much of a difference. Dash is a show-off and he'd find some way to use his speedster powers in just about anything. He was using them to prank the teacher, for Pete's sake.
Dash competing in track is a serious Family-Unfriendly Aesop... it'd be like Superman being a boxer instead of a reporter. In boxing there are weight classes, because everyone acknowledges it's no competition to have a 230lb fighter vs. a 110lb fighter. There aren't super-powered competition classes officially, because in the real world super powers don't exist. If they did, any rational standard of fairness would indicate it's patently unfair for a super to compete against normal people.
Superman did briefly become a boxer in the Golden Age, impersonating a former champ whose career had collapsed because his agent drugged him to make him lose a title bout. Superman got him all the way back to a new title bout before the boxer insisted on fighting that match himself rather than via an impossibly strong proxy. Incidentally, Clark Kent got a promotion out of the numerous scoops he posted on the sports page about that boxer's comeback. In another Golden Age comic, he used his powers to cheat at college football.
The easiest solution would be to ask the Armor-Piercing Question: "Where's the honor in beating people who can't possibly win against you?" If Dash won a race against other super speedsters, that would be something to be proud of.
Tell that to the vast numbers of superheroes in fiction who've been smacked around or outright owned by non-powered villains. Or tell it to Batman, who's completely owned enemies who swore they had some technological or super-powered upper-hand.
Yeah, but Batman is Batman, not the star player on the middle school basketball team. The greatest basketball player in the world could find a way to offset Dash's superior speed and outplay him, but it's not fair to the random kids he's actually competing with to force them to try.
I don't recall any situations in which Batman beats the Flash in a fair foot race or Superman in a fair weightlifting competition. Batman could win a footrace against Dash in any number of underhanded ways (tricking him into forfeiting, for instance), but there is no way he could win within the true spirit of sportsmanship when Dash is using superspeed and Batman is not.
Furthermore, what benefit is it to win at something that takes no effort? Dash isn't competing. He so far outclasses the other children that there isn't the slightest chance he can be beaten. How can he take pride in his accomplishments when he can't accomplish anything? Why can't he compete in gymnastics instead, or chess, something that takes actual effort instead of relying on a superpower he did nothing to earn?
I don't believe there are many physical sports where he wouldn't outclass any non super. Maybe boxing. But think of Soccer. He could score a goal faster than you can say "and there's Dash with the ball". In fact, faster than you can say "and there". And gymnastics... I'm not sure how many backflips he can pull off with that kind of acceleration, but I'm guessing A LOT.
Boxing would definitely not be fair against a speedster - you could never block his punches!
I'm thinking of sports in which he couldn't gain a huge advantage with his speed. Weightlifting. Billiards. Sports involving external means of motion, such as skiing or skateboarding or horseback riding.
Many people are naturally better at certain sports, and they did nothing to earn their genes.
Although at least that can be overcome. If John is naturally gifted at video games and Ron is average, Ron can still train himself to be better than John. In this case, it's impossible for any other student to win.
Being part of a team? I don't even like one of the sports I play, but I love my teammates and coach so much, I do it anyways. Sometimes its just nice to be included in something.
Also: speaking from personal experience, winning because you're naturally more talented than your competitors is just as fun. It's not about pushing yourself; it's about succeeding.
Thing even, most of the glory of succeeding — and I say this from experience as well — still comes from the challenge. You might be more naturally talented than your competitors, but assuming a more-or-less even competition that still doesn't equal an automatic victory, because your less-naturally talented competitors may nevertheless be able to counter your natural advantages in a way you don't expect, or they might get lucky, or they might have different natural advantages of their own. Even if you're naturally talented, you can still lose, so the thrill of success comes from the fact that you didn't. Dash competing against those kids, conversely, would be the equivalent of Usain Bolt winning a race against a group of toddlers; any 'success' would be completely empty, because there would be no way that any of those kids would be able to offer a token challenge. Sure, Dash could and would ride the thrill of success and gloat the first few times, but he'd quickly get bored because his 'success' isn't a success at all; it's hollow and meaningless.
And coming in 2nd is worse than winning, it just makes it that much more of a Broken Aesop, because now he's throwing a competition he could win, which is pretty poor sportsmanship. Ask anyone who has ever won at something if they still appreciate the victory after finding out someone let them win.
Arguably. On the other hand, Dash is a special case. He wants to be acknowledged for being fast. Which is only fair; if you were a kid with superpowers it would suck if you had to pretend to be slower than everyone on the track team. Left to his own desires, he'd sign up and leave everyone else in the dust every time, which would be humiliating and cruel to all the other kids. What his parents are proud of him for is the self control that he showed by not using his powers to win by a huge margin.
Think of it this way: Dash has to actively choose to use his super-speed (because if it was his natural speed, he'd pretty much never be able to interact with the regular world, if you think about it for a moment). Therefore, competing at track without activating his super-speed is a lesson in control - and a test of his mundane limits and skill. A badly-expressed ('cos I'm not that good at this sort of thing :) analogy might be street racers: your car has copious amounts of nitro that you could use at any time, but none of the other cars do, but no one in charge of the race thought there was any reason to mention that nitro shouldn't be used. Sure, you could win the race by using it but, assuming you weren't just disqualified, you'd probably end up being hated by your peers and perhaps banned...
I thought that analogy was excellent.
I did not think so. Nitrous is an add-on to an existing engine. If you turned it off or removed it, you'd have essentially the same thing as all the other racers. Dash's speed is inherent to his physical structure. A better analogy (if we want to keep the car angle) would be for you to enter a race of 6cylinder engines with a car that had 12 cylinders, but raced by only half-pushing the accelerator. That's not meaningful competition.
Do we really know that Dash's superspeed works like that? Some superheroes struggle with Power Incontinence, but others have a different internal trigger than their normal abilities: the Flash can move without using the Speed Force, and the Human Torch isn't always on fire. If Dash's superspeed works the same way, then it's entirely possible that he can keep it turned off during a race and just test his human limits instead.
But that's clearly not what's happening there. The moment Dash wants to, he's blasting past the other runners and only his parents' yelling keeps him from winning by a mile. Also, while the other kids are all-out sprinting, he's clearly in a relaxed jog. Whether or not he could turn it off, he clearly didn't.
True, but it's also inconsistent with how he moves and talks at normal speed all the time without effort (since he could leave his seat, put a tack in a chair, and get back at super speed, there must be an off switch he's using the rest of the time so he's not doing everything else just as fast). I'd chalk it up to him being a kid who doesn't know better. Then again, Bob gets in trouble all the time for not having an off switch, so maybe Dash doesn't either...
Relaxed Jog? So Dash is the movie version of Usain Bolt?
I always thought of it like Dash running instead of running was like speedwalking. You have to go as fast as you can, but the faster you go, the more difficult it is not to break into a run for at least a couple of steps, or, in Dash's case, slip into using his powers.
Responding to various tropers above in no particular order with little coherency between sentences, bear with me. Why are we treating speed like a light switch? Surely it's more like a car; just because it can go at 120k doesn't mean you can't sit at 60. Where's the line between running and sprinting? This troper figures that Dash just has the capability to run faster than anybody else. Also, has anybody EVER in the history of the universe actually had problems with controlling their speed? Just because a sprinter can run at whatever the hell speed they run at doesn't mean that they would have issues with dawdling lazily along a street. Don't assume that just because Dash CAN run superfast means that he HAS to, and needs to make an effort not to. Does any of that make sense?
Yes, and I thought that I'd covered it with the comment that Dash's power compared to walking could be more like running/jogging compared to speedwalking. There is no line between running and sprinting aside from how hard you push. This troper certainly has three or four speeds at which he usually hits his groove, and it's easier to go at the rhythm than slightly slower.
Of course, Dash is a small child who enjoys using his super-speed tremendously. It may be harder for him to avoid using that power than it would be for an adult.
Responding to the idea that people never have issues controlling their speed, well, sure they do. For instance, I move about as fast as average for a human, and I could also move in "slow motion" on purpose for fun. However, if I was required to move in "slow motion" for several hours out of the house, in order to convince someone that I really was a slow-motion person, it would be horrible; I would get impatient, my muscles would get tired from working in a manner inconsistent with their nature, and I would certainly falter in the believability of my ruse. The issue is that this MAY be analogous to Dash's condition; that is, unless it IS more of an on/off affair.
Well in general, if we're going with physics, speed doesn't work that way. Regardless of whether his power was on/off or functionally running very fast (ie accelerating beyond normal limits), if he's standing still or moving at normal speed, he's... moving at normal speeds and relativistic effects wouldn't have any significant affect on him. Even if his brain was working faster, it'd simply process things faster/better and not slow down his perception of time. As far as walking in slow-mo, it's awkward, tiring, and impatient not because it's slow but because it's not at all realistic in how someone normally walks. Walking is intentionally throwing yourself off balance (in a way) - slow mo walking feels weird because you're intentionally not catching yourself and you're holding poses you wouldn't be for long periods of time.
The thing is, it is true for people to have difficulty controlling their speed and I say this from experience: My average walking speed is above and beyond everyone that I know, I just inherently walk faster than they do (actually more than just the people I know, when I was in high school, there was this school wide walking/running marathon event, where the school would walk around town (don't ask me why) and I not only beat everyone else in the school who decided to walk the whole way, but a few people who were mixing it up with walking and running). I can slow myself down in order to walk alongside others, but it often feels unnatural to me and more than once, when I'm walking with people, they either ask me to slow down or I have to stop and wait for them. My point is that I can see why Dash might have difficulty with controlling his speed, not to mention and how it could get irritating to move slower than he would like.
Has it occurred to anyone that the reason Dash wants to play sports is because it's fun for him? After all, isn't that the real point of sports? To have fun? Even if Dash knows he completely outclasses every other kid on the team, maybe for him competition isn't really the point. Maybe he just likes being on the team. Example: In middle and high school I was part of the comic book club and we used to have regular debates about comic books. I always won these debates because, apparently by sheer happenstance, my knowledge of comic books was greater than anyone else in the club. BUT, even though my "expertise", so to speak, was far greater than anyone else's, I still loved having rip-roaring debates with the other club members. They knew and I knew that I had them completely outclassed in terms of comic book knowledge, but that wasn't the point. It was the experience we enjoyed, not the competition.
I don't think there is any doubt that it would be fun for Dash to show off and win lots of races. The problem, aside from the secret identity risk, is that it is unfair to the other participants because they think they are in a competition, but in fact Dash has fixed the race. They think they are comparing their running speed with that of Dash, but in fact he is simply setting his running speed to always be a bit faster than the competition, such they it makes no difference how hard they race, the competition is a farce. And the kind of disparity we are talking about here is a lot biggger than in a debate where one debater is better but both sides have a chance to put in good points.
When Dash first brings it up in the car, Helen tells him that he can't go out for sports because he's "an incredibly competitive boy, and a bit of a show-off." By the end, Dash has changed, and Sports are just a healthy way for him to let off his boundless energy, so coming in second was about him knowing that it wouldn't really be cool for him to win, even though he could do so easily, but to get out there and have some fun while letting the kid who would've otherwise come in first have the glory he earned, which would've been meaningless to Dash himself.
My first thought was that Dash would be unhappy playing sports that didn't use the one skill he was really good at. But considering that he's happy even slowing down and taking second during the track race in the final scene, I guess he'd be happy to play any sports. So I'm guessing that Bob and Helen were so paranoid about him keeping his powers secret, they barred him from any sports, just in case his super speed showed at some point.
We must remember that we only see him happy in such a case after he realizes that just because he has powersdoesn't mean he can do whatever he wants with them. Helen is shown to be right in her concerns because the same Dash who would put a tack on his teacher's chair in the middle of class would want to run circles around the other kids, which is nicely demonstrated not only by that prank itself but also by his running literal circles around Violet after he instigated a conflict through his teasing, and his spying on his parents' argument, and his stowing away on a plane headed directly towards who-knows-where filled with who-knows-what. If Helen can be called paranoid that early in the film, then it was entirely justified both as a mother and as a super.
The problem here is the assumption that Dash showing self-restraint was An Aesop. It wasn't; it was Character Development. Dash starts the film as a child who acts out in school, disrespects authority, doesn't listen to his parents, and all that jazz. By the end of the film, he's learned some self-control and is willing to concede the spotlight to another kid. The mistake is in assuming that every change portrayed in a film is meant to be the Aesop. Dash's character arc was centered around learning restraint. This wasn't the writers telling every child viewing the film, "don't perform to the best of your abilities," this was just Dash overcoming his character flaws.
As has been said before, Dash's competitiveness has been brought up early in the movie, so it's relatively easy to see he wouldn't hold himself back all that well. Part of the Aesop for the movie was, yes, not to restrict those with talent and make it so everyone is the same ("everyone is special" being specifically pointed out in the film, since it's relatively stagnation). It has been argued against because Dash, even though he was allowed to compete, was cheered by his family to make it a "close second." But by that same token, there are other things at work in both scenarios. Were he allowed to just use his powers as he wished, regardless of whether he went full-tilt or simply just amazingly fast for a young boy, powers might be brought up in the discussions about him. This would lead to possible investigations into him and later possibly his family, and bingo, secret identity failure. This would cause the Government to get on their case and have them move again (or worse, if the cut line from Syndrome about Supers not being allowed to breed is a canon law of the Superhero Relocation Act), but there might also be those in-hiding bad-guys, super or otherwise, who could use that knowledge, if they ever somehow came across it, to do the family grievous harm as either revenge or to make the Parrs do their bidding to save the life of their family members. Keeping one's secret identity suddenly becomes harder when rambunctious, hot-headed kids have powers too. As said by a Troper above this statement, Dash's character development was about humility and control, and the latter's encouraged for the sake of not only his life, but that of his family. <c>
Continuing from what has been said above, I'd like to point out that there is a perfect example of a "Super" universe without secret identities that has ramifications for being well-known for your powers or abilities: Harry Potter. Probably not the best or most well-known example, but certainly a perfect one. Think about it: in the sixth and seventh books, teens and adults who stand up to the Death Eaters and Voldemort have put their families at risk, which is the reason for Secret Keepers, among other things (like simply going on the run). In fact, for those who DON'T take precautions, they end up having family and friends hurt, murdered, or used against them as either spies or hostages. Those who take precautions or have those they know take precautions are less likely to have this happen. These precautions exist because there have been quite a few periods of similar acts occurring. In that same vein, Superheroes have secret identities because this sort of thing has obviously been brought up as well. Heck, it's not just superheroes who have to worry about it, there have been normal human heroes in history who have fallen victim to the hostage situation (watch any number of movies concerning action and I'm certain you'll see a good number of them). So it goes back to keeping that secret identity. Dash needs to learn control. The humility part about it was just because it's a kids movie and we all want our kids to learn to be be humble instead of competitive jerks, right? Right? Oh who am I kidding, you aren't even reading this long double-post at this point...
Dash and the track team
Ok, (minor and kinda nitpicky, but hey, it bugs me) what really bugs this troper is why so many people think he came in second. Dash came in First! Hell, its seems pretty clear to me he came in first, he broke the freaking tape! His parents weren't yelling for him to lose or come in second, they wanted him to win, but to make it a close win. (Listen to Bobs yells during the race. That's exactly what he says: "Make is close!")
Actually, Bob and Helen are both yelling, "Close second! Close second!" Both heard by this troper, and confirmed in the closed captioning. And just afterward, he's carrying a silver trophy with a "2" on it. So...yeah.
Look at the trophy he's carrying out. This troper remembers it saying "2nd" on the trophy.
This troper once riffed during the discussion about letting Dash compete that the parents should, "make him play golf."
Now that would just be cruel.
I saw this whole argument differently: if Violet's storyline is the wallflower coming out of her shell, Dash's storyline is the show-off learning to take a back seat. After what happened on the island, he knows just how far he can push his limits: He doesn't NEED to compete with the other kids any more. What he wants to do now is PARTICIPATE in sports: it's more about being out there and having fun with his friends, kinda like a pro sports player playing a quick pickup game with some schoolkids on the playground.
Look at the scene where Dash and Helen discuss this in the car. Helen's problem is that Dash is "an incredibly competitive boy", because of this, he would mis-use his powers to show that he is 'the best'. Dash tries unconvincingly to tell her that he would "only be the best by a tiny bit". At the end of the movie when we see him at the track, he's learned that winning isn't everything, and so he doesn't run at super speed.
Letting Dash go out for sports actually is a good thing - as we see in the race, he is learning how to control his powers.
Why did Mirage warn Mr. Incredible?
Why does Mirage give Mr Incredible that last bit of advice—the warning about the Omnidroid's learning abilities—just before he gets airdropped onto Syndrome's island? She knew that Syndrome wanted the Omnidroid to kill him, so that extra help seems a bit counter-intuitive.
My best guess is that Mirage didn't know if Syndrome would still need her services after Mr Incredible's death. She was looking out for her own job security by helping Mr I survive the first fight.
Or maybe one of the things Syndrome wants it to learn is how to deal with superheroes who know about its learning abilities.
It could well have been what she was told to tell him by Syndrome, either for the reason above or just plain ego â€” Buddy wants to prove his genius is more incredible than Mr. Incredible, so (to a degree) he actually wants a fair fight.
It seems to me that she told him that to continue the illusion of being "on the up-and-up." If she'd been cagey about it, Mr. Incredible might've suspected something was up.
Especially since Mr. Incredible might beat the robot without knowing about its learning abilities. We know from the sequence of tests Mr. I finds recorded on the island that sometimes the super the droid was tested against wins. If that happens, Syndrome needs to be able to test the new, improved droid against the same guy... which would be difficult to do if the guy is saying "Hey, you didn't warn me about how smart that damn robot was! You could have got me killed! I quit!"
Syndrome doesn't necessarily want the Omnidroid to merely be strong enough to kill Mr. Incredible. If he wants it to be as powerful as he can possibly make it, it makes sense to give Incredible some slight advantages to really test it.
Exactly, he wants to prove that he can beat all the supers. He needs to test the robot against the best there is, with all the necessary information. Killing Mr. Incredible was only one of his goals, the other was to use the robot as a fall guy so that he could become a hero. So he would have also needed to be positive that no other super could come along and kill it.
Maybe Mirage didn't actually want Mr. Incredible to die at this point? We know that she takes a liking to him later...
This makes the most sense. She really does seem interested in him from the beginning, and if she's telling the truth over dinner that she's 'attracted to power', it's no surprise really. If she's supposed to be early-30's-ish? then she would have been a teenager 15 years earlier, when Mr. Incredible was at his peak; perhaps she had a crush on him way back when and the opportunity to get to know him a bit is too good to pass up. Consider: she warns him about the learning-ability of the robot, tells him 'don't die!' (and think how many supers she must have seen killed by this point!), looks momentarily upset when Syndrome says, 'we must have him back again!' but then pleased when Syndrome says to invite him to dinner. At the dinner, she is extremely flirtatious, and there really isn't any other explanation for the look on her face when Mr. I picks her up off the floor and hugs her.
Syndrome didn't just want Incredible dead; he also wanted the omnidroid to be the best it could possibly be, which means giving it a real challenge. After all, recall the sequence with the computer when it shows the evolution of the droid. It goes up against supers and kills them, until a super kills it. Then the super is brought back to face an updated droid and is killed. Syndrome felt that, with the 10th edition, he finally had his unstoppable killing machine.
I don't attach any special importance to Mirage giving Mr. Incredible that last warning in the first place. What she's essentially doing is acting, bringing to life a situation fraught with secrecy, excitement, and just enough danger to keep things interesting. She's delivered this same shpiel to dozens of supers before, all of whom were looking for a thrill, to relive the Glory Days. The last, ominous message of the Omnidroid's most dangerous ability, is just there to up the tension.
Why did Syndrome Leave the family alive?
After Syndrome captured the Incredibles, why didn't he kill them? He'd proved he was willing to before, and Mr. Incredible had already escaped from the harness once. (He didn't know that Mirage helped, but he would know that Mr. Incredible escaped once before.) True, Syndrome might have been in a hurry to get to the city for the Omnidroid fight, but there's no reason he couldn't tell his minions to kill them, or have some sort of countermeasure if they tried to escaped.
Syndrome, at one point, acknowledges that he is capable of falling into the cliched villain role...
Possibly he wanted to do it, but was in a hurry, and he didn't want any of his minions to have the glory just then when he could have it later. Possibly he wanted to know how he got out; perhaps this isn't Mirage's first brush with goodness, and she's betrayed him before, and Syndrome wants to know how these things keep happening.
Despite his mild genre savvy, Syndrome is still inherently a supervillain. Arrogance, monologuing, and wanting the other guy to live for a while and suffer before you take him out yourself are par for the course.
True. If nothing else, he probably wanted them to live long enough to experience the heartburn of seeing him hailed as a "hero" when his plan came to fruition.
Maybe, being crazy and all, Syndrome, obsessed with the thought of being a hero, thought that defeating the Omnodroid that Mr. Incredible couldn't might somehow redeem him in the eyes of his childhood idol.
Okay, just think for a second. Mr. Incredible is indestructible. Violet can generate a bulletproof forcefield. Do you know how long it would take to actually kill them?
Mr. Incredible isn't so tough. The first Omnidroid was shown to be capable of breaking his skin with its claws, and the second Omnidroid overpowered Mr. Incredible in seconds and was about to decapitate him before Syndrome stopped it.
If he's completely invulnerable he wouldn't have been so fearful of the lava early in the movie. And in Violet's case, she has to sleep sometime. With his resources he could put all of them down in any number of ways.
Listen to his bit when he captures the whole family. He's not just an evil supervillain capturing his archnemesis hero and his super family, he's a giddy geek kid who just scored the mother lode of rare collectors' cards.
How do the masks stay on?
How do they get the masks to stick to their faces?
Spirit Gum. It's a glue safe for skin while lasting for hours. That's how Nightwing keeps it on.
Edna Mode kicks ass. She probably came up with some awesome material similar to spirit gun that keeps it on, peels off easily, and never dries up. She's just that great.
How about getting the masks to change with the expression of the face in question?
Really thin, silky cloth. Maybe memory cloth like The Dark Knight Saga Batman's wing-cape. If it's thin enough and light enough, there could be just a sticky bit on the edges and the middles stay down thanks to static.
She could explain, but unless you have at least a Masters in fashion design, another in particle physics, a third in applied textile adhesion, a PHD in theoretical inframatter tension engineering, and are borderline insane, you wouldn't understand.
How do they protect your identity?
"Here, take these masks which don't really conceal anything save for a few inches of skin around your eyes but not your actual eyes themselves or really any distinguishing features. Nobody will know it's you." Seriously, what?
Why does no one ever recognise Clark Kent without his glasses? There's your answer. Or, less facetiously, a lot of recognition is based in/around the eyes. And I think one purpose of the costumes being so bright and noticeable is that you'll look at and remember them, rather than the heroes' faces. It sure seems to work for Robin.
Clark Kent is "mild mannered," though, not exactly the great upstanding hero. Most other superheroes take it a bit further, as well— Batman has a full facemask (and who's going to recognize someone by the jaw?), Spider-man is disguised from head-to-toe, etc. The masks really don't deter anything about the eyes except the skin around them. It seems entirely pointless except for fashion.
Even masks aren't enough. Some people with poor eyesight rely more on body shapes and movement patterns. I also remember reading about a case where the suspects walk was distinctive enough to connect him to the crime despite his face not being recognisable on cctv.
This is the age of Photoshop. Five minutes with the clone brush would remove the masks.
The Incredibles is not exactly set in the modern day, remember - Bob doesn't have a computer at home, or a mobile phone (otherwise he would have taken Mirage's calls on it, I think, unless he's a complete idiot). There's a retro feel to it. So, no camera phones, digital film, Internet, Youtube, Photoshop, or any of the other things we have in this era that would make it hard for superheroes to conceal their identities.
Ironically, there was a Batman storyline in the 1970s where one of Bruce Wayne's girlfriends (Silver St. Cloud) does indeed manage to realize that Batman and Bruce Wayne are the same person. And yes, she figured it out because she spent her dates with Bruce Wayne studying his jaw. No, really.
In fact, the movie is set in the 1960s.
Actually most of the movie takes place circa 1985.
Where are you getting 1985 from? The first part of the movie is set during the 50's (listen to the dates Edna gives during the capes monologue), and the bulk of the plot is 15 years later. So mid-60's to mid-70's.
A mid-60s to mid-70s where office workers have cubicles and personal computers, of course.
And superheroes? And giant killer robots? It's not the same timeline. The only dates we get in the movie are in the 1950's, and Bob is apparently old enough to personally know the people mentioned. I ask again, where did 1985 come from?
The date being 1970 is explicitly canon. If you look closely at Syndrome's computer file on Elastigirl, it says that her last superhero activity was in 1955. That puts the present day ("15 Years Later") right at 1970.
Oh, wow, nice save, you really didn't address my qualms at all. If technology in the 60s and 70s is at 90s level, how does this never show except in the few scenes at Bob's work? Simple; it was a continuity/script error that nobody caught.
Re the computer hardware on Bob's desk, it's more likely that it's a mainframe terminal; think to WarGames. Wargames is in real-world early 1980s - it was more common to have IBM 3278-type or DEC VT 220 terminals talking to mainframes/minis.
In point of fact, in the special features, it's stated that the Incredibles takes place in 'the future circa 50 years ago'. Basically, what the people in the 1950s thought the 1970s would be like. That pretty much explains all of your problems right there.
So in other words, it takes place in Epcot?
The question is though, when exactly did the anti-super act go into place? Edna Mode mentions supers being killed by their capes as late as 1958. Yet the newspaper montage makes it seem as though the lawsuits went through straight after the L train/suicide incidents. That took several years? Why did Helen go out of business in 1955 if the act wasn't in place for a couple more years? Actually, that can be explained by her getting married, thus giving up superhero-ing. It would just be interesting to know when the act came into place.
I'd guess the marriage thing is correct, but for a different reason. Bob was massively sued for his actions on their wedding day. It would make sense that Helen would voluntarily step down (or be ordered to) because she was so close to the situation. The other superheroes may have continued on while the cases proceeded, or else they were outlaw heroes like Bob who couldn't handle giving it up.
Another, even simpler explanation comes to mind for why Helen retired in 1955; she was pregnant with Violet. After all, Violet is fifteen years old during the main story, so it fits the timeline perfectly. Presumably, by the time Violet was born and Helen recovered, the situation was getting problematic enough for supers that she was hesitant to re-enter the field, not to mention that having a baby changed Helen's priorities.
Yes, lawsuits do take several years to go through, especially if they're contested. The act might have been more of a "last nail in the coffin" thing than a "beginning of the end" as well; many Supers may have gone underground and retired when they saw the writing on the wall, getting out of the game voluntarily rather than being forced out.
Possibly, the masks are created by another super, or at least a Badass Normal with Applied Phlebotinum manufacturing (like Edna uses to make the costumes). They project a telepathic field preventing onlookers from guessing the wearer's identity, regardless of appearance, context, or any other clues. This is why, at the end of the movie, it was not a security risk for Dash to put on his mask while still riding his dad's shoulders in civilian clothes. Once he had the mask on, anyone watching would see Dash Incredible sitting on the shoulders of some random normal.
Domino masks have always only been a cipher for "you can't recognize me now". If the character were wearing an actual mask, then tyro readers wouldn't be able to recognize him as the heroic alter ego.
In a Superman origin story, Clark Kent made the decision to have the persona of Superman be unmasked in order to have the public of Metropolis trust him more. Maybe having a less concealable mask have a similar effect.
Are the domino masks really an issue? Bruce Wayne is famous, but Batman is pretty well covered by his cowl- you've got the jaw to work with, and that's it. Superman is terrible- he wears no mask, and hangs out with Lois Lane all day, both as Superman and Clark. The Incredibles are a different matter. Mr. Incredible is famous, but is Bob Parr famous? We never see him or Helen living the Bruce Wayne celebrity lifestyle, and most of their friends at the time appear to be from work- superheroes and government. Considering how nice the Incredicar was, Bob was probably living as an upper-tier executive- well off, but no Wayne. So, you're looking for a middle-age blond guy in the city- but he's also pretty big, which makes it easier. Elastigirl is worse- you're looking for an average-sized redhead. And that's working under the assumption that all of the heroes have secret identities. So yeah, I think the domino masks work pretty well for people with low-key secret identities. As for the technology question, The Incredibles took a page from Batman and mixed a bunch of time periods together. Syndrome has modern day tech- the PDA, for instance- but his mercenaries are all carrying M3 "grease guns." But I think the actual year is the seventies or so, just more advanced. Technology isn't the only advanced thing either- you've got Frozone, a fairly famous BLACK superhero, openly operating in the Pseudo-Fifties. By the time Pseudo-Seventies-Eighties come about, he's living in a high-end apartment.
Government ties, methinks. Also, the emergence of the superheroes would have prompted villains to invent new technology to keep up with the now far more difficult competition. Since the heroes (or at least some of them) were supported by the government, whatever department was involved with the heroes (I think it's got a name, I just can't remember it at the moment) would have stepped up its game, inventing technology to help maintain an edge over the villains, covering what their powers didn't. This would have resulted in a sort of technological arms race that spawned some (for its time) highly advanced technology (like transforming cars). When the Supers were forced into retirement, the government-invented tech was made public, and so you've got PCs and such in the seventies. That's my take on the whole debate here. Though I do suggest the MST3K Mantra as a cure-all here.
The face is the part of the body we associate the most with identifying an individual. I think that the domino mask, by masking parts of the face (the area around the eyes and the eye-brows, it provides affordable enough protection of their identity. After all, a lot of people have blonde hair, black hair, etc.
“I Know, I know… Freeze.”
So when Frozone freezes that one police officer, how is it all the others bust in there and don't notice the frozen guy until they turn around? He didn't seem that far from the door, and they would have had to walk past him to turn around and see him. Also, does not freezing people, y'know, kill them? Is Frozone okay with that, or does he have magic ice?
He didn't freeze the officer solid, he covered him in ice. If the other cops broke it off quickly, he might have a mild burn at worst.
Yeah, the cop is still alive. You can see his eyes move.
When Frozone gets a drink from the cooler, the cop steps away from the door and to the side as he cocks his sidearm. While this isn't a perfect explanation, the movement does take him out of the direct line of the door, though not far back enough to avoid being seen by the other officers.
Those officers were clearing a door after they heard a gunshot. They'd be focused on looking for bad guys, not necessarily stopping to check out the weird ice thing in the middle of the room.
The shot of the cops bursting in focuses mainly on one cop who looks to see if everyone is alright and turns around to see a frozen bullet in his face. It then shows the frozen cop surrounded by his friends. There were cops that noticed him, they were just initially off-screen, to the right.
An affair in a Disney film?
I always filed this under Parental Bonus, but nobody seems to discuss this secondary issue. Helen thinks Bob is having an affair! She finds hair that is not her's on Bob's supersuit. She overhears her husband talking with some woman on the phone about seeing her soon. Is Bob suddenly working out to be more attractive to this other woman? Helen nervously tells Bob that she loves him, as a self-denying way to convince him to leave this other woman. He's obviously confused, so this is obviously not a daily occurrence. She walks in on Bob who is face-to-face with a woman at extremely close range, locked in a kiss as far as Helen knows. Mirage is flustered and acting guilty, so Helen punches her. Am I the only one seeing this?
No. It's just that the discussion of the affair is pushed to the back in favour of discussing ubermenchen and whether or not Syndrome is a good guy for wanting to spread superpowers to everyone even if the price is endangerment by a self-aggrandizing egomaniac, the deaths of numerous innocent people whose good intentions he preyed upon. and no doubt high costs to spread the love, and how the supers are a bunch of stuck up assholes because they look down on people who put themselves into needless danger without training or the ability to withstand deadly attack, all while the supers themselves are having a hectic day.
"Helen thinks Bob is having an affair" was about as subtle as a punch from Mr. Incredible. In addition to the factors you listed, don't forget that Helen was sobbing like crazy once she discovers that Bob isn't at a conference, but is on a remote island. * nudge* * nudge* Heck, she even foreshadows her suspicions/fears earlier in the movie, when she caught Bob returning from "bowling" with Frozone.——>"Is this... rubble?"
...Is this even an IJBM?
The fact that the movie's been out for years (presumably with a TV Tropes page during that time) and nobody had brought up this point Bugs me.
What point? She thinks he's having an affair. Yeah. So? That's a central part of the story. EVERYONE saw it. Why does it bug you that no one "brought up" this point? It's like being bugged that no one has put up an IJBM that Woody was stolen in Toy Story 2. We just didn't feel the need to say something about a point that's so blatantly obvious, we prefer to make points about Fridge Logic.
Deleted Scene: Helen asks about a blonde hair on his business suit and his super-suit being gone on the business trip, he explains the evidence (hair belongs to the cleaning lady, his super-suit was gone because he was having it cleaned, told the cleaning lady it was for a costume party, etc.), they yell at each other, and she asks him point-blank if he's having an affair. They decided to remove it because it slowed down the pace of the film, and to make it marginally more kid-friendly.
Psychoanalyzing Mr. Incredible
Mr. Incredible has Mirage in his grasp after he thinks his family is dead. He threatens to kill her, but doesn't because he "values life." Fast forward a bit: Mirage is FREEING HIM, and he about strangles her to death. Did I miss something?
If you thought your whole family was murdered, you'd want to strangle someone too.
He thought his whole family had been murdered the FIRST time.
Yes, but by then he'd had several hours to brood on it. In the heat of the moment he was angry, but not angry enough to overcome a lifetime of light, happy superhero-genre life. After hanging from a wall all night thinking about how Syndrome had just killed his whole family, he was more depressed and bitter, poised to take a dive into Darker and Edgier territory by actually killing someone.
Confirmed by DVD commentary; the creators explicitly say Incredible had spent the night "stewing in his own juices" and was more likely to do something rash.
He may also have realized that if Syndrome wouldn't let him go on the threat of killing Mirage, he probably wouldn't do it just because he actually did kill Mirage. He'd just say "Wow. You killed my expendable henchwoman! I must have really gotten to you... good luck getting the blood off your suit while you're stuck there. Bye-bye, now!" and leave.
It's probably worth pointing out that he could have popped her head off like a bottlecap without breaking a sweat but didn't. He was furious, but he still stopped himself from actually crossing that line.
Big difference between killing someone in a fit of rage and killing someone because someone else dared you to. Remember what Syndrome said when Mr Incredible claimed it would be easy to kill Mirage right there: "Show me." As soon as he realized what he was doing, he couldn't do it anymore.
Jack-Jack Attacks – the sprinklers?
Why, in Jack-Jack Attack, doesn't Jack-Jack set off the sprinkler system? The self-destructing message set it off, but a flaming baby doesn't? What?
The may have left it off after the message incident, especially depending on what excuse Bob came up with.
Maybe a superpowered self-immolating baby doesn't give off smoke?
The smoke happens because the fuel is being consumed. No fuel, no smoke. He's just giving off heat and light, not burning away his body.
At the end of Jack-Jack Attack, the entire house is a mess, with the carpet singed, toys and junk everywhere and furniture destroyed. Then when you see Syndrome about to kidnap Jack-Jack at the end, the entire house is clean. Did he clean the house, replace the carpet and replace the furniture for them? What a guy!
Jack-Jack "swept the room with a glance." Remember how, in Watchmen, either Laurie or Dr. Manhattan dropped a glass jar full of something (coffee, I think) and the Doc rebuilt the jar just by thought? Jack-Jack may have a power similar to this, though he's completely unaware of it (it shows up on instinct).
Mirage misses Elastigirl – how?
Mirage is a top investigator, and found out Mr. Incredible civil identity. She reports to Syndrome, so you suppose he knows everything relevant on him. Now, how did he missed that he is married with (ex) Elastic Girl? I accept that mini-masks can cheat mundane people, but Mirage should have recognized her. So, Mirage carried an idiot ball for a while, or she opted to not insert that bit in her report? Or Syndrome reads only the titles, maybe. "Mr. Incredible works in that town and is married with ENOUGH! GO WITH THE PLAN!"
Mirage only found Mr. Incredible by following Frozone, and seemed only interested in him. There's no indication she ever found out about Elastigirl having married him, or even that she was familiar with Elastigirl at all (remember, when Bob checks the Kronos files, Elastigirl's location is listed as "unknown"); it's possible when Syndrome sends her out, she's only given info on the Super she's tailing; she recognized Mr. Incredible because Syndrome is obsessed with him, and probably couldn't hide it. Her investigation may not have gotten further than, "Follow Frozone until he drops Bob off, then slip the package into the mail."
That's a proper analysis. Frozone, not Bob, was the initial target. A mook on her radio asked her to confirm if she wanted to switch targets from Frozone to Bob after their fire rescue. Mr. Incredible's sneak-hack into KRONOS confirmed that they knew where Frozone was but not Elasti Girl. Good thing, too. We know from the movie's climax that Frozone would have had almost no chance against even a lesser Omnidroid. Mr. Incredible barely survived the first droid tossed at him.
She didn't actually recognize Mr. Incredible until they saved the people from the fire. While they (Frozone and Incredible) are in the car, she just refers to him as 'the fat one', but after the scene, she says 'we found him' hinting that Syndrome has been looking for Mr. Incredible his whole life. At any case, once they've found their main target, why even worry about his personal life?
Why live in the city?
Really bugs me, why did the family have to live in that city? One of the early problems they were having was Dash not having a constructive way to let off steam. Now, I don't know about anywhere else, but at least in my area you could get a couple hundred acres for as much as the Parr's house probably cost, and still be within a twenty minute drive to work of all kinds. Or, better yet, build a job off your property (try to tell me Bob couldn't make dough part-time off selling firewood). That would have at least given Dash the space he needed to run off his energy, and with a little ingenuity they could have made it constructive. I know, it goes against the aesop, but I never understood why they didn't seem to consider that route.
Pffffahahahahaha! If you think you can get a couple hundred, or even ONE hundred, acres of land with the money it takes to get a nice house in a suburban place-hoo boy, you've clearly never had experience with retail! The old farms and ranches and such out here, or even just plain bare land that isn't connected to water or electricity or anything yet, goes for several million, and that's in the middle of a drought where wells are drying up and fires start at the drop of a hat. You can't get a couple hundred acres for what a small house and yard cost.
The Supers' jobs, homes, etc. are all set up by the government as a kind of witness protection program. So it's likely the Parrs were simply assigned an area to live. And clearly part of the agreement is to not be seen using powers, so on their property or not, running at super-speed in broad daylight might not be allowable.
It wasn't about Dash trying to run off energy like a Greyhound, it was about him wanting to use his power to impress his buddies and Helen warning him about this. He still would have had to go to school sometime and he would have been faced with the same temptation. FWIW, during the "Happy Bob" montage, they are out in the country playing some long distance catch-the-football.
Elastigirl becomes a boat?
Since when does elastic reshape itself into, say, a boat? I can kind of understand a parachute, but a BOAT?
If we assume Helen is completely elastic, then she would act like clay. One surface that could be molded in any which way. So for instance her arm pit is only an armpit because she's holding that shape. What this means is that as long as she's trying to duplicate an object with single contiguous surface, she's good.
Helen's not just Reed Richards - she's Plastic Man, who used to routinely shape himself into any number of inanimate objects.
Nice Job Not Breaking It, Hero.
Mirage tells Mr. Incredible to NOT destroy the Omnidroid part 1, and what does he do? He has it beat itself to death, tearing gaping holes in its hull, and eventually ripping out its energy source, which very possibly might've been connected with fiddly little wires that might be expensive to replace...
"Don't destroy it" was a secondary objective, for Mr. Incredible to do if he could. The primary objective was "Stop the damn thing," which took priority. If he could do so without completely destroying it, fine, if not, well at least it's stopped rampaging around the island.
It's not destroyed at all. Just replace the casing and the power cell and it's good as new. That's practically nothing for someone of Syndrome's resources.
She said try not to completely destroy it. She probably meant not to utterly obliterate the thing.
Then there's the fact that Mirage wouldn't be trying to make Mr. Incredible go all-out on the thing, which in turn makes it easier for the Omnidroid to take him down.
How do Edna’s mannequins work?
Edna's super suit models in general... she mentions at one point that Jack Jack's suit is bullet proof, and proves it by shooting the suit, but the dummy beneath takes no obvious damage... so, how do we know the suit is bulletproof? Also, Edna has a model that can be twisted to any shape, just like Elastigirl... If Edna can make bulletproof suits, why didn't she just incorporate that into ALL the suits she made? As evidenced by the supers we meet in the movie proper, none of THEM are bulletproof...
All the suits are bullet proof for the same reason that an airplane isn't made out of the same material of the black box: When engineering something, there are trade-offs that have to be made in turns of cost, weight, size, and flexibility for a skin-tight suit. IT might very well be impossible to cram all that cool stuff into a suit without making it unwieldy.
What, you think Edna wouldn't have bulletproof mannequins? Also, she does say that she didn't know Jack-Jack's powers, so she designed his suit with the basic features. The rest might have some special qualities, but they likely all have these same basic features. And note that just because the suit is bulletproof doesn't mean the fabric won't deform when fired upon. Getting shot with a kevlar vest on will still hurt — and those suits are form-fitting fabric, not armor. Even if the suit doesn't rip, you're looking at some measure of penetration and internal damage. At best, it will prevent an instant kill-shot and keep your on your feet long enough to escape alive.
I'm pretty sure the bullets are being deflected. Also, if what Edna says is true, then the suit is what is deflecting the bullets. In that case, the mannequin would have no damage on it.
The mannequins are extremely dense but inconceivably advanced and hard to create technology that changes shape upon command, allowing flexibility and resistance to outside force, such as bullets. The suit took no damage from the bullets, and the bullets bounced off because the mannequins did not bend under the impact. And this troper once described the bulletproof aspect as being shot by paintballs. Not lethal. Extremely painful. Even if you won't die by bullet wounds, you will not be moving if an automatic weapon is unloaded into your side or back.
How did Gazerbeam discover Kronos?
Also, two things: How did Gazerbeam find out about 'Kronos' being a password? And what made Bob know to look where Gazerbeam's skull was facing? As he decayed, shouldn't the eyeline have fallen, if nothing else?
1) How Gazerbeam found out about the password could be an entire adventure unto itself. He was a Super, after all. 2) Gazerbeam shoots lasers out of his eyes. If I found him dead, I would sure as hell want to know what he was looking at when he died. 3) Don't believe Hollywood; people don't always slump over when they die.
Also, Bob seems really disturbed when he reads in the newspaper that Gazerbeam's alter-ego has disappeared: Given that he knows GB's secret identity, it's possible they worked together closely in the past. "Cutting a message into the wall" might have been a trick they used before.
Before anything else, don't get me wrong, I loved the movie, but this whole sequence of event has been bugging me for years, and I'm quite surprised it only show up on IJBM now. Okay then, the whole Gazerbeam thingie reeks of a mix of Deus ex Machina, Fridge Logic and plain ol' wall banger. Indeed:
How did GZB found the password in the first place? Yeah, an adventure in itself, but you'd think Syndrome would just change his password then.
Not if he didn't find out Gazerbeam found his password out. It happens.
How did he ended up in that cave, also, it's been a while, but wasn't he supposed to have been killed by an early omnidroid?
Really...? It's 'cause if he didn't wind up in that cave he'd have to save the day some other way, or not save the day at all. Pretty much all there is to it.
Or the Fridge Horror that the entire island is covered in dead supers, look at the list of kills the Omnidroid got, and theoretically they were all on the same island when it happened, so it make ssense that a super, running for his life from this killing machine that has now adapted to his powers would look for a safe place to hide, an underwater cave looks like a good spot, which is why both Bob and GB wound up there
Perhaps he got knocked off the cliff by the Omnidroid and had already been mortally wounded at the time and lived long enough to make the message before dying.
Aye. Remember what happened when Syndrome lost track of Bob: he dropped a bomb and sent a probe to scan for life. When it didn't find any, he didn't investigate further.
According to the Pixar wikia page on the Omnidriods, Gazerbeam killed Omnidriod v. x4 and was brought back to be killed by v. x5. If he was as smart as Bob and he could see through walls like the newspaper said, he might have spied on Syndrome his second time on the island before he was attacked. Also, as he was working as a lobbyist for fifteen years, after his first time on the island he might have decided to look into this Mirage and the operation by seeing where the money was going in the government. Since he couldn't find any Government money going into this, he got suspiscious and when he went back looked around more carefully for anything and happened to stumble upon Syndrome powering up his computer.
That, or Gazerbeam got Syndrome monologing (especially since his second fight with the omnidroid might have been a lot like Mr. Incredible's). If this is the case, it's possible that Syndrome mentioned the fact that he sees himself as Kronos from mythology, with Mr. Incredible being "his" Uranus. (Mr. Incredible later becomes Zeus). Think about it: Mr. Incredible was the BMOC in the Golden Age of superheroes,Uranus was in charge during the Golden Age of Greece. Syndrome thinks that Mr. Incredible is too powerful, because he won't share power with the younger generation. His importance in the events on Bob's wedding night lead to Mr. Incredible's metaphorical castration; he is unable to use that which makes him better than the rest (i.e. his superpowers). Similarly, Kronos overthrew and castrated Kronos. The reason that Syndrome sees himself as Kronos rather than Zeus is because Kronos was the father of the Greek Pantheon as we know it, whereas Zeus was something more like "the first among equals", as he ruled with his brothers and sisters. Kronos ate his children because he feared his overthrow by their efforts (and rightly so). Syndrome seeks to "swallow" the old generation of superheroes (the imagery under that waterfall... come on) while simultaneously becoming the father of the new generation of superheroes with the creation of gadgets. I guess he just forgot what happened to Kronos in the end... Although maybe he thought he would eventually live in luxury and let the new generation flourish, since some accounts leave Kronos as the guardian of Elysium. Anyway, it's possible that he alluded to the part of his self-image based on Kronos to Gazerbeam, and Gazerbeam was able to deduce the importance of the name. OR, Syndrome spilled the beans on "operation Kronos", and Gazerbeam burned Kronos into the wall not because he thought it was the password, but because he knew somebody would want to know Syndrome's plan.
Since there is at least one aircraft manufacturer in Real Life named after Icarus, it's plausible that Syndrome would have no problem thinking of himself as a new Kronos.
Who is “Honey”?
Who is Frozone's wife? Is she the "super mega ultra lightning babe" he was talking about in the opening scene?
It's not said. I thought the ultra lightning babe thing was just flourish, I don't think he was referencing anyone specific.
Awww, there goes my WMG.
Considering "Honey" doesn't join in for the final battle, not to mention her rather cavalier attitude towards Frozone's Superheroism, it seems likely that she is not herself a Super. Frozone married an ordinary human.
This can possibly be supported by the nature of the opening scene. In the interview, Mr. Incredible talks about wanting the world to be saved so he can take a break; he gets the break and ends up restless. Elastigirl talks about not wanting to settle down; she ends up adjusting to the regular life more than most of the other Supers. Frozone talks about only being interested in the Super-side of the women he dates... maybe like the other two interviews this is a ironic set-up. Each character says something that can be considered hypocritical when compared to their future actions/selves. (Granted, time changes people in weird ways and the statements may have not been hypocritical at the time they said them.) Maybe young Frozone only had interest in Super women, but then after all was said and done fell in love with a Normal.
I don't think Frozone was saying he was only interested in Super women. He seemed more to be saying he wasn't interested in their real identity and the commitment that would come with knowing it. It's still ironic (he wanted no-commitment, no-strings-attached, he ended up getting hitched), but in a different way.
She is the greatest good Frozone's ever gonna get. Nuff said.
How come a jet is too slow to follow Syndrome?
When the Incredible family escapes from the energy field cage thing, they run to the hangar bay to find a way to get to the city to stop the Omnidroid. They can't find a jet, but that doesn't matter because one of them says a jet is too slow. They take a rocket and arrive shortly after Syndrome has been knocked out. The problem is, that Syndrome had left just a few minutes before them ON A JET! This could be easily dismissed as he Took a Shortcut but it was emphasized that a jet was too slow after they escaped their captivity within minutes of Syndrome leaving the island.
Different jets have different speeds, maybe Syndrome's yet has afterburners.
it's stated a jet isn't fast enough because by then syndrome on HIS jet would have finished his plan.they wanted to BEAT the jet,hence the "faster than a jet"thing.
Original poster back here. Syndrome's jet still got there long before the rocket. They are travelling through several time zones (six at least - that's 1/4 of the way around the world). We know this because of the homing device. Helen was at Edna's house when she called Insuracare some time during business hours since a receptionist answered at Insuracare when she called. Moments later she activated the homing device which Syndrome stated went off around 11pm local time on the island. Syndrome's jet flew thousands of miles as fast as a rocket. My beef is that they made the specific point that a jet was too slow and the rocket made up no time.
I think more time passes than is immediately apparent. The Omnidroid is already on the mainland wreaking havoc before the Incredibles even break out of their shackles. Syndrome probably had a much longer headstart than a few minutes.
No way. Watch the scene. Syndrome walks around ranting and taunting everybody and leaves the room. Bob immediately goes into his sad little speech and Violet just casually pops out of the restraint field and rolls over to the controls. Escape wasn't a problem in the slightest - she was just waiting for Syndrome to leave the room. Are we supposed to believe that Bob waited around for a few hours before apologizing to everyone or that Violet just let the family hang there while Syndrome was on his way to wreak havoc (and while his Omnidroid destroyed a city) because she didn't feel like escaping yet? No way - they were running out of that room within minutes of Syndrome leaving it.
Just because a character says that a jet is too slow doesn't mean they're right. I mean, it's Mr. Incredible who says that, and his wife's reaction is of the "What the hell are you talking about?" sort in tone. There's nothing ever said or done that indicates that he's right, and the timing of the scenes, as you say, suggests he's wrong. It's just dialogue, the sort of thing you say when you feel a sense of urgency. That the missile is noticed immediately afterwards, fueled, ready, and with a turncoat willing to launch it, is narrative convenience. There aren't any jets immediately visible anyway, so it's the only option immediately available.
We can also assume they were talking about normal jets. Syndrome is a super genius who invented fully functional rocket boots at age 12 and was able to get insanely rich off selling inventions he'd created, but specifically said he kept the best for himself. If that's the case, it isn't all that unlikely that a normal jet wouldn't have been fast enough but a jet built by such a tech wiz like Syndrome would be, the Incredibles didn't know about that at the time and just assumed a jet would be too slow.
Who says the plane and the rocket followed the same paths? From Edna's display of the GPS device, it shows the Parrs live in California. When Frozone and Mr. Incredible are listening to the scanner, a dispatch is given for "Three Municiberg," so Municiberg is in California, too. Nomanisan Island is in the Pacific, let's say as far as the Marshall Islands or somewhere thereabouts. Syndrome's jet could have flown straight to Municiberg, CA, while the rocket could have been launched in the opposite direction, across Asia and Europe. That could account for Syndrome arriving on scene relatively quickly. Besides, he would want to arrive a bit after the Omnidroid's rampage began to allow it time to cause some damage, throw some screaming people, all before Syndrome saves the day.
I- wow. Okay, I see you paralleled Syndrome's dramatic explanation of his plan there, but he didn't say screaming people would be thrown. He said 'throngs of screaming people'. Throw some screaming people... dear lord that's horrifying.
The rocket the Parrs use to get back to the mainland uses the "same launch coordinates" as the first rocket. Since the first rocket is supposed to bring a mysterious giant killer robot to Municiberg, and it's likely Syndrome sent it on a very roundabout path to obfuscate its origin (perhaps even make it appear extraterrestrial), the Parrs would have had to follow that same convoluted route to get home, possibly taking a couple of hours or more.
Remember, Mirage is on their side at that point. She probably just set a more direct flight path for the rocket to take.
Syndrome better have super-sunblock
Syndrome has a very light complexion. So why does he live on a tropical island? It's bound to get hot, and people with light complexions get sunburned easily. He'd either have to almost never go outside of his hideout, wear excessive amounts of sunblock, or only go outside for short periods of time. Otherwise, a certain supervillain is going to end up looking like a lobster.
He probably just doesn't go outside. No real reason for him to do so. He can spend all his time inventing stuff and playing with his toys.
I think you're rather overestimating just how sensative his skin probably is. Yes, he's got fair skin, but he's not a vampire for Pete's sake. Even people with a light complexion can enjoy tropical climates—I've got very Irish skin (An hour or so unprotected in the sun is enough to burn), but I love the beach, and can get by for a day without "excessive" sunblock.
Ah, well maybe I'm just speaking from experience with my fair-skinned younger sister. She burns very quickly and very easily even when she wears sunblock. I guess it just varies on the person, but nonetheless if I had fair skin a tropical island wouldn't be my first choice of a place to live.
I'll add that, as someone with pale skin who burns very easily, I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. But as said, Syndrome's probably working in his lab all the time anyway, so they could have been in the arctic for all he cared - he just wanted the most isolated private island he could find that'd meet their needs. And a tropical island does at least offer plenty of shade and cloud cover if he feels like spending a day on the beach.
The guy walks through a hallway of lava to get to his office. If he can solve that problem, the tropical sun is no biggie.
Before he invented all of his super-technological gadgets like the omnidrone, he invented the world's best sun-tan lotion. It also makes his skin fireproof and deflect lasers.
Tropical doesn't necessarily mean sunny, although from what we saw in the movie, it is a very sunny place. Judging from the rainforest covering most of the island, I'd say it rains a lot and the events of the movie just happened to catch good weather.
Possibly Syndrome works inside all day, then goes out to the beach for a walk or swim or whatever at sunset.
Mirage: Karma Houdini?
Why doesn't Mirage end up in jail? Okay she helped the Incredibles escape but she was a willing accomplice to dozens of murders (the supers she lured to Syndrome's island.) Did none of the dead supers have surviving relatives who might have wanted to see her do time?
Setting aside that characters who make a Heel-Face Turn usually get away with whatever they were guilty of before, she did help the Parrs save the city. Besides, we don't have any information about what happens to her, for all we know she's a hunted fugitive. One hopes she wouldn't get a codename as cool as Mirage without being somewhat successful at covert operations.
Besides, she's silver-tongued and suave enough to get them to set her up as a Boxed Crook or something, especially given, as The Dragon, she probably has top-level access to everything he makes. Furthermore, Syndrome trusts her to lure the supers to his trap in the first place, which implies some not-insignificant level of social skills and covert-ops training. In fact it's established that she can blend in with the crowd (notice how nobody notices the Dark-Skinned Blonde who wasn't there yesterday manning the coffee machine when Bob goes to Huph's office) and she's a good enough actress to fool Gazerbeam, who was if not a lawyer/someone in government (as per the article detailing his disappearance), then at least a civilian lobbyist.
In the comics, Mirage is shown working as a field agent for the National Supers Agency, which suggests that she was considered skillful enough to be considered highly useful, and offered a pardon. Karma Houdini indeed, considering that she'd end working with the friends and acqquitances of many Supers she helped to murder.
Helen thinks she's alone on the plane. Why does she go to the bathroom to change?
Force of habit. I was living alone for a month before I even realized that I didn't have to go to my bedroom to take off my clothes.
Also, she's on a plane, with a lot of windows. Yes, she's approaching an isolated island, but there might be other aircraft flying in the area that could come up alongside, maybe trying to figure out if the plane's actually got a pilot. (Yeah, a little bit of a stretch on that reasoning, but that's the best I can phrase it without being really confusing.)
Um. She also lives in a universe where some people can fly.
Meta-reason: Originally, Helen's friend Snug, the guy who got her the plane, was supposed to be the pilot. Privacy reasons.
Helen hasn't worn her Elastigirl costume in 15 years, and she's never tried on Edna's latest creation before. She probably wanted to look at herself in the bathroom mirror, and to make sure her mask was on straight.
Incrediboy grew up to be Syndrome, the artificially superpowered arms dealer, a person indirectly involved in the death if countless people, and friend of more than a few powerful, evil revolutionaries and crime lords. When word gets to his shady clientele that their favorite arms dealer has been killed, it would undoubtedly cause a backlash against the super family. It would only be a matter of time until they get bomb threats, hit men, and lord knows what else coming after them. Even if they're super, an unexpected car bomb would probably subject any one of them to the Chunky Salsa Rule.
He mentioned that his list of clients included countries. And from the way he said it, it didn't sound like he meant small ones led by "evil revolutionaries".
...Was there a question here?
1. Supers are back in the public's good graces, thanks to this family's actions. 2. They make their living by wrapping guys like you in lampposts. 3. They may not have been aware of you before, but they sure will be now if you don't kill all of them in one go. 4. Killing some but not all of them will more likely trigger Unstoppable Rage than failing to kill any. Would you take that sort of risk when it wouldn't even get your arms dealer back?
5. Clients aren't friends. The kind of people who do business with illegal arms dealers aren't going to shed any tears. They'll just look for a new supplier, and maybe try to loot any storehouses/facilities they can find that used to belong to Syndrome. Given that he got caught, they're probably GLAD Syndrome is dead, since it precludes his doing some deal where he gives information on them to governments or intelligence agencies in exchange for something.
"Ah, oh, hi there Mr Incredible! Oh, uh? Why was my name and address in Syndrome's computer? Uh, well, you see... I mean, uh, we had a dinner party once, right? Yeah, a dinner party! Why was it listed under "People I sold superweapons to"? Umm.... well... oh, I got it! That giant robot back there you've been suspiciously looking at? Yeah, it mows the lawn. Yeah. And, see, technically I guess it is a warbot, but really, I only use it to mow the lawn. Can you gurk please let go arck of my gkkk neck now?"
Don't forget, Syndrome wants to play superhero, and has no problem rigging his own fights. If his clients ever learn of this, they'd probably just be thankful that Syndrome died before he could fiddle with their merchandise.
And besides, his clients may well have super-geniuses of their own who could reverse-engineer his inventions. Not like Justin Hammer taking on Tony Stark's work, of course, but legitimate brainy types.
"What the hell are you two doing on the plane? I told you to stay home!" but, "I have two extra face masks, just for you..."
Bulk shipping, dahlink. Better to send three costumes once than one costume thrice.
She took extra masks just in case, y'know, she loses one, so she isn't unincognito.
She didn't want Dash & Violet putting them on and running around town playing superhero while she was away, so she took them with her.
The film has a happy ending, but really, they're homeless, their car needs repairing and Bob is unemployed. I sense some financial problems in the Parrs' near future.
And that's where the taxpayer's dollars get involved.
No, no, no, that would arouse too much suspicion. They siphoned any money that used to be Syndrome's into rebuilding the house.
The accident was clearly covered under their homeowners' insurance policy.
Don't tell me about their coverage! I don't want to know about their coverage! I want to know how they're keeping Insuricare in the black!
Watch it, buddy, want another trip through those walls?
Bob Parr was recently paid triple his annual salary for destroying the Omnidroid. They'll be fine.
The end clearly implies that supers are going to be gradually more accepted as a result of the events of the movie, and that at the very least the goverment department that Agent Dekker works for, in gratitude for the Parrs saving the city, is going to help them out, probably with a new secret identity or something similar..
Syndrome is improving the Omnidroid iteratively by testing it against every super he can find; whenever a super wins, he fixes the vulnerability and the enhanced Omnidroid wins the next round. After Mr. Incredible beats Omnidroid 9, he admits having to make "major modifications" to prepare what ends up being the final version. Then, when Omnidroid 10 is deployed, it's beaten... the same way as the last one. Patching the AI not to attack itself is pretty obvious, but how about "make the claws softer than its armor", or "install redundant control systems so one hit doesn't take the whole thing out"?
I could easily see Syndrome wanting to defeat the Omnidroid the same way Mr. Incredible did.
His modification was to make it much larger and stronger, so Mr. Incredible couldn't just climb inside and start wrecking things. The only reason they were able to defeat it at all the second time is that Syndrome disabled its claw and lost its remote.
I came to this page to look for/add this myself, but reading this made me think: perhaps Syndrome modified it by programming it to never attack itself willingly like the previous version did. He didn't account for somebody else getting hold of the controls and using them to make its severed claw attack it.
What are you talking about? He did give it all those improvements and more, and it killed Mr. Incredible. (To put that non-facetiously, a plot-necessary Villain Ball. Although the "He wanted to destroy it that way himself" answer is actually much better.)
Mr. Incredible defeated the Omnidroid v.9 by opening it, hiding inside it, and directing its attention so that it would attack itself. Mr. Incredible defeated Omnidroid v.10 by setting up a diversion (Frozone's ice walls and freezing the ground) and performing a Fastball Special with its own tentacle-arm while the arm is both closed and supported by the continuous momentum provided from its own jets activated mid-throw (which required someone handling the robot's control). Mr. Incredible unquestionably lost against Omnidroid v.10. Yet three friends closer than blood-and-bone family working together were able to snag a win. As Bob said, he wasn't strong enough; as Helen said, it doesn't matter so long as they are together.
Where did violet get her headband? On the island?
She could've brought a spare.
If I remember correctly, Helen/Mrs.I had that bag with her in the plane, not knowing where she was headed, exactly, just on a normal trip to retrieve her probably cheating, dirty liar of a husband and beat his rear in. She probably had supplies for herself in there (toothbrush, or instance) in that bag, including a hairband, which, as many females know, is great for casual neatness. It was for her. And then she still had it in the cave and left it there with the kids, and then Violet was smart enough to grab the hairband out.
When Mr. Incredible was exercising, he was pulling on chains hard enough to lift trucks, and I don't think he was attached to the ground. Why didn't that result in pull-ups?
Maybe if he was pulling straight down, but he was pulling at an angle (45 degrees at least) and he was holding onto the other chain with his other hand, preventing him from being pulled sideways. Not bulletproof I guess, but slightly more plausible.
That would only counter the sideways force. The upwards force would still be at 70% strength.
It's for the same reason he can lift a tree without driving his feet into the ground, or hit things with a super-punch without knocking himself backward. His Super Strength comes with the ability to ignore that whole "equal and opposite reaction" when he wants to.
After Mr. Incredible beats Omnidroid 9, Syndrome tries to kill him conventionally. Shouldn't he have Omnidroid 10 do it? How was he planning on testing it?
the Omnidroid 10 was going to decapitate Bob before Syndrome intervened to monologue, he probably considered it finished at that point. As for killing Bob, he probably was going to have the Omnidroid finish him off but he accidentally pitched him over a mountain.
Mr. Incredible wanted the world to be saved so he could take a break. He got the break, but the world is not saved. He has the power to intervene in so many things, but cannot do so, so that was what was killing him.
Buddy Pine's plan is to fool the public into embracing him as a new superhero. So just before taking on the Omnidroid, he proudly introduces himself with the noble-sounding moniker of… Syndrome? Most Definitely Not a Villain, indeed.
It does sound like a Nineties Antihero sort of name, which probably fits the way he sees himself.
It never struck me as an excessively villainous name.
Also, it bugs me that Bomb Voyage calls Mr. Incredible "Monsieur Incroyable", but the actual French version of the movie is called "Les Indestructibles". Come on, he has one line, can't you get the guy back in the recording booth so it'll have some continuity with the international release?
Why does there have to be any continuity with the international release? His name in the English version is "Mr. Incredible," not "Mr. Indestructible." Ergo, his name in other languages in that version would be a translation of his name. Doesn't matter what the international copies of the movie say; each is its own continuity.
Also, Monsieur Incroyable just sounds funnier to English people than "Monsier Indestructible" or whatever.
What if he's not really French?
This one has been bugging me for ages. I'm sure, absolutely certain, that when I saw this movie in the cinema Syndrome said "...and got bizz-ay! You know supers aren't allowed to breed." But, in every version I've seen since, that line has been "It's a whole family of supers!" Am I crazy, or did that really happen?
I've never seen or heard of any version that has the version of the line you seem to be remembering. And the line doesn't make any sense anyway.
Oh. I guess I'm crazy then, just like that time I was sure I'd seen the movie of Point Blanc. This kinda happens to me a lot.
Actually, that line is from original!Syndrome and was in a deleted scene from a rejected opening sequence of the Incredibles on the DVD. Maybe you're remembering it from that and getting it confused in your mind?
Yeah, that line is definitely from the original (scrapped) script.
Very minor but it bugs me, how exactly did Gazerbeam (or whatever the name of the superhero that Mr. Incredible found the remains of was) die? The skeleton's sitting there, still facing the direction in which he carved a word into the wall. So how exactly did the robot kill him without moving him from the position? And why the heck was he sitting there carving words into the wall (with laser eyes apparently) in the first place?
My guess is he was wounded by the Omnidroid, escaped immediate death, then died later of his wounds.
Why was Gazorbeam wearing his costume at the wedding?
Came straight from a crime scene, like Bob?
Might be some tricky Secret Identity wrangling—maybe "Bob" knows "Gazerbeam," but "Bob" doesn't know Gazerbeam's secret identity at that point, or some other combination of I Know You Know I Know that makes it easier/safer for him to be there in his Super persona than his civies. I don't think we're given any indication of what Bob's civilian persona is at that point, but it probably wasn't Bob Parr, else someone would've figured it out a lot sooner than Mirage did.
The dossier on him states that he can't gaze at someone or something too long without triggering his eye beams. Maybe the visor is a control method for that and he wore his visor as a safety measure during the wedding?
I cannot think of any excuse Mr. Incredible could have given that would have explained the self-destruct message, especially considering they had to have spent hours cleaning up. Or maybe Helen is just really forgiving, I don't know.
The family never learns about the message, he discovers it in the trash when he dumps out his briefcase. I guess he might have lied and said he was fiddling with some souvenir from his hero days which blew up on him.
Why does Syndrome conclude that the Omnidroid V.10 is perfected and able to beat Mr Incredible/any super you'd care to mention when, whether it could or not, the only reason it did beat him is because it took him by completely surprise and literally did not give him a chance ot fight it. Yes, it's a good way to win, were that his entire goal, rather than just part of it (plus "It just so happens another, improved model is running loose again, ''ain't that a coinkidink!" *Troll face* probably wouldn't have washed), but hardly a fair test of the robot's abilities!
It wasn't just about testing the robot. It was also — possibly mostly — about kicking Mr Incredible's butt and killing him. Syndrome probably also viewed Mr Incredible as the best of the Supers, so anything that could jump in and beat him up would be good enough to handle any lesser heroes. With Bob Parr out of the way, Syndrome probably figured no one else would be able to stop the robot. He was probably right, too; Frozone is the only Super aside from the Incredibles who shows up, and he barely even slows the Omnidroid v10 down.
Shouldn't Dash and the rest of the family have determined what place he was going to come in during the track meet before they got there so they weren't screaming at him with other people around to pick a position, something you don't normally get to do in a competition? It's not like they wanted a surprise since they're picking for him.
Rule of Funny. They also probably didn't care what place he came in; the problem (initially) wasn't so much that he was winning but that he got a bit overexcited and was winning by an unrealistic and potentially suspicious margin, and when they tried to point this out to him over the shouting of the crowd he misunderstood what they wanted and slowed down too much. "Come in second" was just an off-the-cuff idea to make his suddenly going from front runner to back of the crowd and back again look halfway plausible.
Does the movie ever mention Frozone's real name?
Yes, Dash says "Hey, Lucius!" when greeting him when he visits.
Where WAS his super suit?
Just where WAS his super-suit?
Where he won't be running off with it to do some derring-do, of course.
Honey put it away.
WHY do you need to KNOW?
HE NEEDS IT!
Hate to be the one without a funny reply, but his wife probably sold it or something to a comic book store. How she got a perfect replica of Frozone's old suit won't matter to them since it will probably be worth thousands.
No, she just put it away. She said exactly that in the movie.
Besides, he found it five minutes later. So in the end, it was all for the greater good.
Greater good? Honey is his WIFE! She's the greatest good he's ever gonna get!
...You guys couldn't resist, huh? XP
See The Incredibles. She's either a Muggle who doesn't want him to super anymore, in which case it's a Deconstruction of how these things usually go (ie, the normal wants the super to keep supering), or she's a super, but, unlike Helen, doesn't want to super anymore (and doesn't want Frozone to, either).
Or, she's a Muggle who just wanted to enjoy a dinner with her husband (that they've been planning for months). It's not that she doesn't want him to stop superheroing, she probably wanted him to leave crimefighting to the authorities just for the day.
Or she just didn't know there was a huge robot outside, and when you're in the shower your ability to sense things outside of it is generally diminished a bit. I dont think their dinner plans would have continued to be on her priority list if the city was under attack.
Or maybe she doesn't know he is really Frozone, and thinks he's just a fanboy.
The Magic Falling Debris
Ok, so Elastigirl's plane is hit by the missile, she and the kids are ejected from the wreckage. On the way down, Elastigirl wakes up, grabs the kids to form a parachute and slowly crashes into the surf. The trio exchange a few lines, and only then does a massive piece of the fuselage come crashing down right on top of them. How does that work? It seems like the wreckage should have hit the water long before the Parrs, and even if it didn't, how could it have hit the same spot?
Maybe it got blasted upwards in the explosion and had farther to fall.
Upon rewatch, the missiles hit right over the wings. The piece that hits the water was almost intact all the way around (and looks like the fore section) and could not have been kicked straight up by that hit. Just a goof, I guess.
No Moisture in the Burning Building
Frozone said that he couldn't make ice in the burning building because there was no water in the air. The two main byproducts of fire are carbon dioxide and water. The heat would guarantee that the water would stay in the air rather than condensing. If there's not enough water in a burning building, when can he do it? A sauna?
What? How in the hell does fire produce water? Have you ever even been near a fire? One of the major uses of fire is to dry things.
CHON. All organics, including the wood in the building, is mainly made of four elements - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. When you burn it, the hydrogen gets 'burnt' to water, which is vaporized to steam immediately. (The idea behind fire drying things is that it evaporates the water into the air, which then gets dissipated into the atmosphere at large.)
There should be an emphasis on the 'steam' part. Frozone's power is creating ice. It is insanely hard to turn steam into ice, especially when next to a strong heat source.
Evaporation, dude. Fire causes evaporation, aka, water in the air.
Actually, Frozone mentions that he is dehydrated, which seems to be the cause of his power incontinence. Once he has a single paper cup of water, he is hydrated enough to flash-freeze a cop. Further, keep in mind that there are flames all around him in the building. Any ice he makes from the evaporated water would almost immediately melt into water that then almost immediately evaporates. Without his own reserves, the most he could probably control would be a few puffs of loose ice-particles that quickly vanish back into the air from whence they came. And while he probably would have had more of an effect realistically, clearing a path to the front door would have been either impossible or required him to stand in one place and focus intensely for an extended period of time while the building falls down around him. And this all assumes that steam fresh from a fire (a mixture of both water vapor and carbon monoxide) would be as easy as pure water vapor for his powers to work on.
The easiest explanation is that the heat from the flames quickly "lifted" the water away from Frozone so he could not use it. Thermodynamics shows that heated gasses rise, or rather are "pushed up" by the cooler air surrounding them. This dehydrates the surroundings rather quickly.
Basically, he's hot, dehydrated, trapped in a burning building, unable to use his powers because of the intense heat and the only water around is at a temperature incredibly difficult to freeze quickly, and the guy who got him into this mess is getting on his case about things out of his control. He's not interested in a science lesson or the technical truth of the situation; he's pissed off and is just shouting back.
Violet's hair color...
Mr. Incredible is a blonde. Elastigirl is a redhead. Jack-jack inherited ma's red hair, Dash inherited pop's golden locks... and Violet is a Shiny Midnight Black color. Huh? Genetics say that a blonde and redhead cannot sire a brunette. Did Helen cheat first, or is Violet's hair color a dye job?
They didn't have any superspeed genes to pass around, either. If I had to guess, Violet's purple matches her powers; it's the same reason people exposed to gamma radiation all have green skin/hair/whatever in the Hulkverse... one scientist even gets bright green hair from the event, and that's about the only change. So Violet's powers 'dying' her hair and only her hair, so early that it's basically her natural color in every way but semantics, is pretty possible.
Yes, because when I want to beat something, I spend years building it up to be unbeatable.
Why did Syndrome want to build up the Omnidroid by having it fight supers? His entire plan revolved around beating the damn thing. Why not just send out the first version and kick its ass in the city?
Because he needed to make sure that only he could beat it. Otherwise, the Omnidroid could be taken out by the military or some super.
Because then there'd still be dozens of supers who would all collectively fight the Omnidroid and beat the crud out of it. He had to make sure not only that only could he beat it, but that only he would.
Syndrome also implied that all of the other Supers he picked off were basically killing time until he could find Mr. Incredible, the best, the favorite, the one the Omnidroid had to beat. And aside from that... I think he liked the thrill of it, setting up the game of the island, killing them off, like trophies in a collection.
Finally unpacked the last box?
Ok, so here is my problem: When the story cuts back to Mr. Incredible, it's been 15 years. Bob asks why the last 15 years didn't count as moving in and she responds with "Because, I finally unpacked the last box. Now, its official!" Here's the thing, Dicker specifically says "We can't keep doing this Bob!", implying that the Parrs have had to move more than once. How does this work?
I think they had just moved there like 3 years ago. Bob says so in the phone call.
Bob: That's great, honey. And the last three years don't count because... Helen: Because I finally unpacked the last box. Now it's official! Ha ha ha! Why do we have so much junk?
I see what you mean. I must have misheard the quote. In that case, The Parrs have had to move many times which, considering Bob's behavior isn't hard to believe.
First Invisible Costume
So the whole point of Edna Mode's character was so there was a realistic character responsible for creating super suits based around an individual powers. In the scene where she is explaining the families, she says about Violet's "Your daughter's suit was tricky, but I finally created a sturdy material that will disappear completely as she does". This implies that she has never created a suit for an invisible hero before. So did every single invisible hero beforehand have to remove their clothes before using their powers?
I'm guessing there are various ways to become invisible. (e.g. some simply change the color of their skin to blend in the background while others can simply make light pass through them). Alternatively, there are other super suit designers. Violet was the first super with the invisibility power that Edna had to tackle.
Supers are finally back and respected... wait WHY?
Ok, so the Supers were forced to go into hiding after people started suing them for damages. This lead to the widespread belief was that Super heroes caused more trouble than they were worth. So 15 peaceful years passed by without any supers...... until a giant robot dropped in and started tearing up the town. Said giant robot was made by a supervillain. Said supervillain only became evil BECAUSE HE WAS REJECTED BY A SUPERHERO. Doesn't the whole ordeal just prove that forcing superheroes into hiding was a GOOD idea? Without heroes, Syndrome would have never done any of this. Heroes = Villains = Evil robots = Heroes destroying half the city to destroy the robot. Seriously, if anything I'd expect the government to strengthen anti-super laws after this.
First, they don't know why Symdrome became a supervillain. Second, even if they did, it would prove that the anti-super laws had allowed him to pick off supers one by one. If Mr. Incredible had still rejected Buddy but the laws never happened, then Syndrome would have had to use his Gadgetteer Genius skills either to become a hero on his own or become a jealous supervillain anyway.
Syndrome is not a typical case study. Just because it was a superhero rejecting him that pushed him around the bend (under complicated circumstances, which at the age of ten, he should have been able to understand) doesn't mean that there's a risk of a Syndrome Two cropping up.
It's finally ready! But let's upgrade it again.
Why did Syndrome bother upgrading the Omnidroid V.9 to the V.10 (note the number of legs and the laser cannon) when the V.9 had already proven it can defeat Mr. Incredible?
Because the V.9 is too small to wreck a city. The v.10 doesn't just have more legs. It's also several times as high. However, their AI is mostly the same, minus the lack of direct control of its "mind".
Because the V9 didn't defeat Mr. Incredible. He won that fight.
Mr. Incredible defeated the V.8. The V.9 was the black one that ambushed him during his second stay on the island.
Those are some pretty weak supers...
Why were so many supers defeated so easily by Syndrome's earliest Omindroids? I can understand versions 7-10, and possibly 5 and 6, but I can't see how versions 1-4 should be able to conquer all those superheroes. Version 1 defeated Universal Man, Psycwave and Everseer. Version 2 defeated Macroburst, Phylange and Blazestone. Version 3 defeated Downburst and maybe others, while Version 4 defeated Hyper Shock, Apogee, Blitzerman, Tradewind and Vectress. I mean, these guys are superheroes, so battling killer robots should be a normal thing for them, and the designs of the Omnidroids 1-4 make them look very simple to topple for anyone with a superpower (especially since the third version looks exactly like the first version).
Because how it looks is not the only indicator of how powerful it is. You are seriously trying to judge all the capabilities of a death machine built by a supergenius based entirely on its silhouette?
Fridge Brilliance: The reason why so many supers died wasn't necessarily because of the power of the Omnidroids but because these supers haven't been able to practice their art for fifteen long years. Them being forced to live like ordinary humans has left them "rusty". They may have even forgotten how to use their powers properly and were thus easily defeated. Because Mr. Incredible kept up his superhero work, his battle against Omnidroid version 8 wasn't overly difficult.