In between the first Incredibles in 2004 and the brand new sequel Incredibles 2, an entire superhero boom has occurred in contemporary movies. It’s hard to believe it, but even Batman Begins wasn’t a thing fourteen years ago. Since then, there have been three different Spider-Men, two Batmen, and countless other supers of various sizes, shapes and box office returns. So does Incredibles 2 reference all the Marvel and DC movies that have happened in the intervening years? Yes and no. In truth, most of the deep-cut superhero easter eggs in this movie are on the retro side. Here’s a guide to the best easter eggs and references in Incredibles 2, most of which you can use to remind your kids that you are a lot older than them.
Red Phones and Other Adam West Batman References
When Winston (Bob Odenkirk) is describing the death of his parents, he says there were direct lines in the house that would call a superhero on a moment’s notice. This is a big nod to the great red phone Adam West’s Batman had in the ’60s series. Also, when Elastigirl leaves for her first mission, her drive away from the secret hideaway is reminiscent of Batman and Robin’s drive to Gotham City at the start of nearly every episode of that show.
That Big Train Scene References the Tobey Maguire Version of Spider-Man 2
When Elastigirl has to stop a runaway hover-train, a huge majority of the scene is very reminiscent of the 2004 film, Spider-Man 2. In that one, Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker barely manages to save a train in nearly the exact same way. In fact, the moment when the train seems to stop and then edges out over the tracks is nearly shot-for-shot, the same.
Helicopter Rescue is Very Christopher Reeve Superman
In the first 1978 Superman film, Christopher Reeve’s Man of Steel had to rescue Lois Lane from a falling helicopter. The helicopter rescue scene in Incredibles 2 is similar.
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The Screenslaver’s Plan References the Joker From the 1989 Michael Keaton Batman
In Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie, the Joker is able to tap into the news feeds in a way that is similar to what the Screenslaver does in Incredibles 2. However, the idea of mass hypnosis is so common in sci-fi and superhero stories, it’s hard to know where that reference comes from specifically.
The Incredibles New House Is Basically Tony Stark’s House from Iron Man 3
When DevTech gives the family a new house, it looks and feels exactly like Tony Stark’s in the majority of the Iron Man movies. In fact, there’s even a joke about an eccentric billionaire who used to live there, meaning, one could literally decide this is Tony’s house.
Aspects of the Elastigirl Motorcycle Chase Echo The Dark Knight Rises
Although Batman’s bike didn’t split into two parts, there are several beats in Incredibles 2 that seem to reference the motorcycle chase in The Dark Knight Rises. Tragically, Elastigirl doesn’t do any Christian Bale Bat-growling.
A Darker Suit
Redesigning superhero costumes is sort of what superhero sequels are all about. And though the titular Incredible family doesn’t get their suits changed, Elastigirl does get an updated version of her retro-suit. She comments that she thinks it’s “darker.” This is a nod to literally every single superhero movie in which a colorful costume suddenly rocked muted colors or was made totally dark altogether.
Dialogue About Einstein References the Original ‘Ghostbusters’
During a debate about money and how being great at what you do might not get you noticed, the line “Einstein worked as a patent clerk!” is thrown out. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a lot like a conversation between Bill Murray and Dan Ackyrod in the original Ghostbusters.
In one scene, the kids all briefly watch an episode of Johnny Quest on TV at home. This ’60s TV show as about a scientist/adventurer and his son, Johnny. Most people agree that today, we’d consider it racist in the same way anything featuring any white guy on safari is racist. However, Johnny and Hadji had pretty sweet jetpacks and ray guns.
The Outer Limits
Jack Jack manages to watch parts of the intro to The Outer Limits, which, for the very young would be what could call the ’60s version of Black Mirror. Yes, there was The Twilight Zone, too, but while The Twilight Zone was straight up creepy, The Outer Limits tended to be more straight-up science fiction. In Incredibles 2, Jack Jack watches the famous introduction in which an ominous narrator claims to be in control of everything happening on the TV screen. Obviously, in the plot of the movie, this is also a reference to the fact that the villainous Screenslaver can control everything on any screen of any kind.
Incredibles 2 is out now in movie theaters everywhere.