But let’s not forget that Disney Pixar’s first venture into the superhero genre resulted in one of Pixar’s highest body counts. Twenty supers died to make this movie. But even though they were barely onscreen – at least not alive – many of them had surprisingly complex stories. And we’re going to tell you all about them.
That’s just the tip of the murder iceberg. Image: Disney
In The Incredibles, everything we know about supers (and life before the Superhero Relocation Program) is secondhand information, stories shared by Bob Parr and Lucius as they wait near a police scanner, or words of caution from a fashion designer who hates capes.
But Disney gave the world of Incredibles‘ supers a surprising amount of development. Not only were there comic books, but The Incredibles DVD featured a number of biographies about the never-seen characters. Some of the bios included audio interviews, but after reading about them, you may wonder how some were considered superheroes in the first place.
Before supers went into hiding, there were three main superhero groups registered through the National Supers Agency, or NSA, along with some other temporary alliances and team-ups. The most controversial group was the Thrilling Three, led by the famous Gazerbeam. They disbanded after a ton of infighting, mostly caused by Gazerbeam being an egotistical douchebag.
However, not every superhero was part of a team – as Mr Incredible lovingly put it during the first film, he worked alone. Among the other “freelancers” included an alcoholic, a woman who used her powers to steal boyfriends, and a potential supervillain who said supers were the “superior race”. Yikes.
Killed by Syndrome’s Omnidroid Robot
Clockwise from left: Apogee, Universal Man, Everseer, Stormicide, Blazestone, Gamma Jack, Macroburst and Psycwave. Image: Disney
These are the heroes who Syndrome lured to his island in order to have them test out his Omnidroid robot, much like he did with Mr Incredible. It’s really sad to think that he brought them all there under false pretenses solely so he could kill them. All they wanted was to be supers again, dammit!
A former (and very disgruntled) member of the Thrilling Three, Apogee had solar powers. She could control gravity when the sun was out, with her powers growing around high noon, and she could fly thanks to solar-powered levitation. But her powers only worked in the daytime.
“It makes me look like an idiot if something happens at night,” she said during an NSA recording. “Unless evil breaks out at a tanning salon, I’m done for.”
Blazestone was pyrokinetic. She could shoot fire from her hands and control heat, giving her the ability to fly. But her hot-headedness wasn’t limited to her powers. She spoke incredibly fast sometimes (based on which dimension she was in), and had a nasty temper. And she really didn’t like having to work with a team – though the NSA put her in Beta Force anyway.
“They always have to keep an eye on me. I don’t know why. I only light a couple things on fire that I shouldn’t light on fire,” Blazestone said. “I mean, when I think about things that anger me just a little bit, then, you know, boom! The building lights on fire. And next thing you know the hills light on fire.”
Blazestone had a temporary partnership with Frozone, and it’s implied that they were in a relationship at some point. Even though she didn’t seem to like him much, this tidbit adds an extra tragedy to The Incredibles; as worded by the Disney Wiki, Mr Incredible would have had to tell Frozone that his former partner (and possibly lover) had died.
He wasn’t given an NSA file, sadly, so the only thing we have to go on is the brief flash we see during the death montage. According to the Disney Wiki, his character description may read “super powered locomotion”, meaning he could speed up really quickly.
This guy was kind of a sad sack. Downburst had the ability to manipulate matter – but only to heal “a cut or a boo-boo,” as he liked to put it. He started out at a doctor’s office but then got bored, so he moved to superhero work… where the NSA had him practise making bicycles.
Downburst had a crush on Blazestone, and seemingly resented Frozone because of their possible relationship. According to his interview, supers had their own fan conventions.
Everseer was the telepathic leader of Phatasmics with a separate power he called “magnoscopic vision”, meaning both microscopic and telescopic. As a result, he could basically see everything down to its cells and was a major germophobe. In his private life, he was a therapist and author of books such as Shut Up! Quieting Your Inner Voice.
He also claimed to be able to see the future, something other supers didn’t take seriously. But the joke was on them. According to a Boom Studios’ comic book series, Everseer foresaw his death and left instructions to have a packet delivered to Bob Parr 10 years after he died.
And that wasn’t the end of his story. Apparently, his brain had been lobotomised and preserved so that supervillain Xerek (the original villain from The Incredibles movie) could use his clairvoyance as a weapon. The comic was cancelled shortly after, so we never found out what happened to his brain.
If this guy hadn’t been killed before the events of the first movie, he probably would have become the NSA’s first hero-turned-supervillain. Previously known as “Handsome Jack”, Gamma Jack produced controlled radiation bursts and did not give a shit how much collateral damage he caused as a result.
He tended to pick and choose which mission he took on based on which ones had beautiful women that needed to be saved. Then there was his whole obsession with female villains. It’s kinda creepy.
“The real kicker is I get these dames, man, these dame villains and they have got the curves and the hair and the big eyes. And boy, those ones are really hard to kill,” Gamma Jack said. “You’ve really got to take a jog around the block real quick to get your concentration back.”
There’s also a note in his NSA file about how he believes supers are “a superior race”, which goes right up there with “pureblood” as a totally evil thing to say or think. Gross.
This is the only super whose body we actually see in the film. He was found by Mr Incredible after fleeing Syndrome, and had scrawled the password “KRONOS” into the cave wall with his laser vision.
In the “real world”, Simon Paladino was a pro bono lawyer who also attended Bob and Helen’s wedding. He also spent years trying to get the supers ban repealed before his death.
Gazerbeam he was also a total arsehole, and his colleagues in the Thrilling Three hated him. Case in point: Their official team vehicle was a motorcycle with two side cars. Guess who rode the motorcycle.
The newspaper article announcing Gazerbeam’s disappearance. Image: Disney
All we know about this super was that he was an angry alcoholic who created earthquakes with his fists.
They had the power to generate “high-velocity wind”, which gave them the ability to fly. They had served as Everseer’s sidekick before becoming a full-fledged member of Phantasmics (mostly serving as group transportation). The NSA was uncertain of the super’s gender identity, saying the constant wind on their hair made them look “oddly androgynous”.
This guy could create sonic waves with his voice – well, except when he had laryngitis, which seemed to happen a lot. He was a member of the Thrilling Three but quit because Gazerbeam was a jerk, though he later swears the two of them were totally cool.
According to the NSA, he “demands respect he doesn’t earn” and was never embraced by the public. At least he had a side gig as an opera singer… when he didn’t have laryngitis.
She was a former therapist with Everseer, but quit because she got pissed that people couldn’t solve their own problems. This was likely related to her superpower, which was the ability to psychically possess other people and make them do anything she wanted. In an NSA recording, she admitted that she mostly used it to steal boyfriends.
“I had a crush on the quarterback of the [high school] football team, who was also my best friend’s boyfriend. I psych-waved him into asking me to the homecoming dance and breaking up with Shelly,” she said. “I never really used it to harm people – except for all those girls I made the guys break up with because I wanted to date them.”
A brilliant graduate student in chemistry who had the ability to absorb and emit different gases and vapours, such as oxygen or carbon monoxide. “Because I’m all about gas emissions – yes, I have been the butt of many jokes,” she said.
Nothing is known about him other than he could control the elements.
This guy was kind of hilarious. He had a unique view of himself and his gifts of being able to change molecular density and make black holes. While many of the other superheroes strove to separate their normal and superhero lives, Universal Man had no alter ego. He saw himself as only a super.
In an NSA recording, he described going on dates with women, getting to the point where they’d be in a private situation with her wanting to take off his mask. He’d refuse: “There’s no one underneath! They would be horrified if I asked them to take off their face!”
She could make sub-sonic bursts. No other information is available.
Killed by ‘Suit Malfunction’, AKA Capes
Clockwise from left: Splashdown, Stratogale, Thunderhead, Dynaguy and Meta Man. Continuing with: Downburst, Phylange and Hypershock (killed by robot). Image: Disney
My coworker James Whitbrook may call Edna Mode’s “no capes” claims blasphemy, but in The Incredibles a lot of superhero deaths are blamed on them.
Those deaths may carry a different weight than the ones set up by a little boy in order to make his fake killer robot a better killer, but they’re still pretty gnarly. Especially because we actually see these deaths happen – at least in Edna’s flashbacks.
Dynaguy was one of the first supers to get sued for public endangerment after Mr Incredible. He had a disintegration ray and could fly thanks to some ion-powered gauntlets, so naturally, he caused a lot of collateral damage.
He attended Bob and Helen’s wedding, only to later die after his cape snagged on the ground during one of his takeoffs. Gazerbeam took over as leader of the Thrilling Three after his death.
I do want to give a shout-out to his NSA interview – it only reveals how he came up with his name, but it’s really funny.
One day, I’m having lunch in the local diner and I’m really desperate. I haven’t thought of a name yet. So I’m just looking around. Fork Man, didn’t work. How about Spoon Dude? Banana Cream Pie Throwing Man… I saw the placemat, it’s Ralph’s Diner. Maybe Diner Guy? No. If my name’s Diner Guy, I’m only protecting the diner. When people come in, I defend the diner. I didn’t want to restrict myself to that. I keep thinking diner, diner, Dynaguy. That kind of fit together.
Not a lot is known about this guy, since his NSA audio file was “confiscated during surprise attack by Baron Von Ruthless” (AKA the “monologue guy” Bob and Lucius make fun of during the movie).
But he was basically their version of Superman. He had the powers of, like, five gods. Flight, super strength, X-ray vision, sonic scream, teleportation, magnetic manipulation, partial invisible, and the ability to talk with marine animals. He was being considered to oversee all the NSA’s superhero teams, before getting his cape caught in an elevator.
Like Meta Man, Splashdown could communicate with marine creatures, along with being able to swim really fast and breathe underwater. By day, he was an oceanographer who was obsessed with finding the Lost City of Atlantis. He too was at Bob and Helen’s wedding, and died when his cape was caught in a storm vortex.
A teenager the NSA didn’t seem to like very much. She could fly, was super strong, and could communicate with birds. She was also at Bob and Helen’s wedding. Her death was by far the nastiest, as we see her get caught in a jet turbine.
Thunderhead also went to Bob and Helen’s wedding and was great with kids. He was the single father of five adopted children and, according to the NSA file, he raised them with his “roommate” Scott (come on, guys). Thunderhead had storm powers and could control the weather, but wasn’t the smartest tool in the shed. He died when his cape caught on a rocket.
There were a couple of other supers mentioned in the film who didn’t die at the hands of Syndrome or their own capes, but for the most part, The Incredibles is a graveyard of heroic corpses.
It’s unclear whether the next film will continue or even increase the predecessor’s high body count, but I can’t imagine it will be as bad as Finding Nemo. That’s right: 350 fishies died during that one.