Irredeemable #17 (Boom! – Waid / Krause)
The discovery of a new strength among the shattered Paradigm reinvigorates the superhero coalition’s fight against the Plutonian. But will it be enough when the Plutonian strikes out against them with a deadly force never before seen? All the while, an unspeakable plan that brings up remnants from the past threatens to fracture the Paradigm once again.
This mythos that Mark Waid is setting up is seeming more and more like a grand opus rather than a monthly comic. And like any modern-day epically scaled story, you have some great pieces that shine and you some pieces that look like they belong to a different puzzle… and with Irredeemable you get quite a few of both.
The only thing about this series that is not harshly variable is the art work of Peter Krause. Krause’s visual framework is solid and well-done even with the most awkward of situations and dialogue.
So, let me get right down to it. This “mad god” story has the sort of pretentious framework that it makes you want to look and Mark Waid is such a good story-teller that you want to not only look, but you want to stay and be a part of it. Some of the action in the last few issues has revolved around the remaining members of the Paradigm (think JLA) struggling with their feelings over trying to kill the Plutonian (think Superman) after he has gone psycho and declared a war on the Earth, given that he saved it a hundred fold over before that. It’s “Doesn’t he deserve another chance? There must be an explanation! We owe him that much!” versus “Use any weakness we can! Destroy the Monster! He’s killed so many! Isn’t it time for some of us to have the spotlight?” and these interactions between heroes in the “post-Plutonian” landscape are very well-written and dramatically exceptional. This issue saw a great example, an interaction between Survivior and Qubit in a small farming community in Iowa where the two heroes have it out with an audience of wasteland ravaged peasant types… it’s brilliant! These are scenes that deal with raw emotion and motivation and leave no one doubt about Mark Waid’s skill level. If only this is where it stayed.
We then move to The Plutonian and his side-kick, who is really possessed by the Plutonian’s nemesis – Modeus (absolutely think Lex Luthor here). I could see how this could be cool and build up tension, but wait it gets weird fast. This issue revealed that Modeus not only hates the Plutonian for being such a great hero and for being his equal, but he also loves him and is angry that he can’t have the Plutonian as a lover – so he made exact anatomical androids of the Plutonian so he could have sex with them. There’s a Lex Luthor plot you don’t see on the Super Friends.
Really? Mr. Waid, was that twist really necessary? All this does for me is muddy the clear potnetial that this storyline could have. It’s along the same line as earlier int he series when the Plutonian makes tow of his ex-team members have sex while dressed like him and his crush. Just strange and unnecessary.
As the teens in my classes might say, I really have a frenemy-type relationship with this book.
Issue Grade: a Murky B