In the conclusion to the Dash-centric story arc, the true nature of the threat to him and his family is revealed in the form of Mesmerella and it’s up to Dash to break her spell before his sister dies in a fall from the top of a skyscraper. It’s a strong, simple, straight forward story of heroism that’s very effective and continues to tie into the struggle of the Incredibles as they balance their ‘normal’ lives and their superhero lives.
For the past three issues, Dash has been powerless, his super-speed taken away by his parents as punishment for misusing it, and he’s watched as aliens enslaved the minds of his family. He’s tried his best to fight back, but has been unsuccessful. Last issue, the cracks around Mesmerella’s illusion began to appear and, here, Dash must fight against an ever-changing foe as she fights back, trying to convince Dash that the problem lies in his own head, not some external source.
Dash’s struggle here is some of the best superhero writing I’ve seen in a while. His determination and single-mindedness is compelling and stirring as he realizes that he must break free to save his sister. In the scene where he attempts to reconnect with his super-speed powers, Waid and Walker write one of those truly great superhero moments that kind of makes you want to put the theme from “Superman: The Movie” on in the background to give it the weight and feeling it deserves. Dash has been portrayed as hyperactive and too quick to act, but he proves himself more than that here, showing that it’s best not to underestimate his determination and strong ideals.
Ramanda Kamarga’s art is clean and bold, rendering the 3D Incredibles in two dimensions without any sense of loss. The opening pages where reality changes to combat Dash are carried by his storytelling abilities and his ability to communicate the visuals with minimal lines, clearly and directly. It’s a simple cartoony style that one expects on animated adaptations aimed at kids, but the art is also very expressive and, most importantly, his children look like kids, not just little adults.
Kamarga’s depiction of Dash struggling to break free of Mesmerella’s hypnosis is visually interesting as he tries to get his speed back. He makes good use of the setting and the hypnotic effect. At the end of the issue, he also shows emotions well as Bob and Helen have an emotionally powerful scene in the aftermath where the words and the art both carry the load equally.
“The Incredibles” definitely makes good use of the cast of characters from the movie and offers a fun, entertaining superhero book free of excessive violence and full of heroism for the sake of heroism. It manages to combine old fashioned superhero fun with modern sensibilities and, sometimes, offers fantastic moments that stand with the best of Marvel and DC.