11

In The Incredibles, superheroes were 'outlawed' and instructed to settle down. Mr. Incredible didn't want to settle down and actually had to move constantly because of his temper (he beat up his boss when a mugger got away). It's clear that the government knew Mr. Incredible's identity.

Does the Government know the identities of the other superheroes? Or just the ones that still cause trouble?

11

In the 'Special Features' of the Incredibles DVD you see the NSA (National Supers Agency) files, with a voice over by agent Rick Dicker:

He states that despite the fact that he, personally, feels that the records should be destroyed (now that the Supers have 'officially' retired) the government wishes to keep hold of all their old records from when government employed them. This includes their true identities.

4

The whole premise of the movie was since superheroes were involved in amazing levels of property and potentially personal damage and were being sued, the heroes eventually hung up their costumed identities and went into hiding. There were a bunch of questions that arose once you thought about the Superhero Protection Program.

  • Did this mean they registered with the government?
    Probably, it was the only way the government would know who they were protecting and who was agreeing to refrain from activity. Secret identities were used so many of them may not have ever revealed their identity to anyone.

  • Did the government enforce their hiding from lawsuits or settle those lawsuits out of obligation for the good work heroes did?
    Since the government was willing to pay to hide heroes, it may have had a need for them or used them in its own operations as necessary. This certainly did not mean other countries metahumans or supervillains agreed to hide just because heroes did.

  • Did or could the government erase the minds of people who might have seen a hero hidden away from the public?
    It appeared there may have been a means by which ordinary people's memories were able to be affected so people may not remember what they saw. This could have been a technology or as simply as a settlement check...

  • Did other supers refuse to go into hiding?
    Probably, since Syndrome was still finding heroes to kill, it is possible some number of them decided to keep adventuring taking the risk of lawsuit as part of the job. It did not appear there were any consequences for continuing to fight crime other than being sued.

  • 1
    I'm not sure about the government having technology to erase memories. There's no indication that the general populace forgot about the heroes. In fact, when Syndrome first appears to the public (as a hero), the people start trying to guess which Super he is. So the people still remember the heroes, even if they've dogged them out of town and put them our of their minds. – System Down Jun 12 '12 at 20:40
  • I think the government put a ban on vigilante justice. Otherwise Mr. Incredible would have just kept on operating outside the bounds of the law. – Jack B Nimble Jun 12 '12 at 22:23
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    Problem is the ban had to be a social one. It did not appear there was anyone who could actually stop any super from doing what they wanted. Syndrome went through a number of his killer robots just to be able to create his final slaying machine. Heroes agreeing to not be involved in vigilantism seemed a purely social constraint. – Thaddeus Howze Jun 12 '12 at 22:29
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    in the bonus (where you learn more about jack-jack powers), you can see that the government possess the technology to erase memory : the young girl say something like "i wish i could forget all about this", and the reply is "you will", as a small "dart" is attach to her head. – PATRY Guillaume Jun 13 '12 at 21:05
  • @PATRY - It's mentioned in the main film as well "RICK: We gotta pay to keep the company quiet. We gotta pay damages, erase memories, relocate your family." ... – Valorum May 24 '16 at 19:13

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