As a pastiche of the superhero genre, The Incredibles is significantly better than The Boys.
I'll bite. I'm not a huge fan of animated movies, but I loved The Incredibles the one time I watched it through. The humour was smart, savvy and perfectly judged. I cared about the characters and I thought the script was incredibly disciplined. I think you're right in describing it as a pastiche of the superhero genre (with which I have only a vague familiarity compared to some of the guys on this forum). It was an affectionate pastiche aimed at a family movie audience.
Originally Posted by ambaxtoxin
The Boys is a long-running comic – a completely different proposition. But I agree that it too is a pastiche of the superhero genre, though it tends to darker satire rather than family entertainment.
The Incredibles worked on two levels, engaging kids with a good story and sympathetic characters, and keeping adults happy with a stream of well-judged ambiguous jokes and references. It was written and produced with real care to walk this line. I enjoyed the exploration of a superhero family supressing their abilities and trying to fit into middle America.
By contrast, the Boys is totally lacking in restraint. Ennis has gone about as far as he could in satirising the tropes and traditions of superhero comics and their creators. When you consider what he's done to poor old Stan Lee (caught in flagrante – stumps out – with Wonder Woman) and others through the not very subtle analogues that run through the book, you get the feeling that no holds have been barred. So this is not a gentle pastiche, it's a hurricane-force scattergun satire that finds a few marks, but fires its share of blanks.
Ultimately, it's unfair to compare the two in any serious qualitative manner. One is a disciplined family movie, the other a scabrous comic satire written with bile and occasional gravitas. One has to be restrained by its own commercial remit; the other goes too far in all directions. Personally, I sympathise more with the world view of The Boys. I look forward to the Pixar adaptation and the Malchemical action figure.
Apples and hamsters stuck in your arsehole. Both are delicious and kind of sexy, but they don't mix well together.
Incredibles wins no question
The Incredibles was, ironically enough, a much more "real" depiction of what life would actually be like for superheroes in the "real world" than is The Boys. Mr. Incredible doesn't succumb to lust, greed, power, or sadism. He succumbs to boredom and middle age. Those are foes that none of us can defeat, and which all of us will eventually have to face. Mr. Incredible responded to these pressures the same way any of us would- by getting fat, ignoring his wife, and hating his job. He didn't start randomly killing people, even though it was fairly obvious that he kind of wanted to. Instead, he did what everyone else does- he sucked it together and soldiered on.
The problem with The Boys is that nobody has ever had a single identifiable human motivation. Well, nobody but MalChemical. From buttsexing the Starlike to ripping Hughie's teeth out, MalChemical was the human heart and soul of the entire comic. When Mal died, a little part of us died with him. Here's one for my homies, and one for you, MalChemical. *pours out beer*
Two different aims. ENNIS DOESN"T LIKE SUPERHEROES. The Boys is a longform poison pen letter to a bastard child of Depression-era pulps that just wouldn't die. The things you don't like about The Boys series were put in there, on purpose, to make you dislike it.
If Ennis did one thing wrong, it's that he put a real plot thread in the series, suckering some readers into taking it seriously.
Ennis does write graphic serial fiction with noble, flawed character, serious motives, with intrigue and carefully constructed plots. They are his war stories, and his adventurer stories. He just refuses to acknowledge the "seriousness" of bright underwear-wearing heroes that are powered up by a super-juice. Tell the truth. As much as you may love superhero comics, in the future will you be able to look at a character like Captain America again without thinking, "He seems to have a stick up his a**.", or a character like Superman without thinking, "He seems like an a**hole."? I won't.
That's simply because it was very heavily inspired by Watchmen, I'd say. Mr. Incredible and his wife appear to be based on Dan and Laurie.
Originally Posted by Kamakazi