Irredeemable #1 (Boom! – Waid / Krause)
A comic book industry event: a new original ongoing superhero series from Mark Waid! IRREDEEMABLE dares to ask the question: what if the world’s greatest hero decided to become the world’s greatest villain? A “twilight of the superheroes”-style story that examines super-villains from the writer of KINGDOM COME and EMPIRE!
Let’s say you have gathered several groups of comic fans together…
First, you have the Waid-ites – those that know Mark Waid is the end all, be all in comic writing, have memorized Kingdom Come and have been waiting for his new project since December…
Then you have the first group of indie nay-sayers who are so fed up with comic-hype that they believe nothing commercial is worth reading anymore…
You also have the group of main-stream nay-sayers who have been fleeced by big events in the big two Universes over the last few years that they are shell-shocked and hesitant about anything that is being promoted (Secret Invasion cross-overs, Final Crisis, R.I.P. anyone?)…
Finally you have the moderate masses who neither have the over-the-top exuberance nor the expectation of dread about this project, but have a healthy amount of skepticism.
Irredeemable #1 will make every eye widen, shut every mouth and make everyone will read it twice!
This “anti-Superman” story doesn’t take you on a roller coaster ride, it takes you on THE roller coaster ride. When I first heard about this “hero becomes a villain” story, I though that Waid was using the old “The only way to save the world is to be in charge of it” device. You know where the villain thinks he’s a hero (sort of a re-vamped Dr. Doom type character). Well, that’s what I expected anyway, and I know there were some other theories and expectations riding around in the blogosphere… but as usual, Mark Waid takes our assumptions, folds them up and makes origami cranes with them.
The issue opens up with The Plutonian (the Superman character in question) hunting down and killing an ex-fellow partner and his family. Heat beams… wife and baby… devastation… no hesitation… there is no doubt the Plutonian is the most powerful being on the planet and after referring to the teenage daughter as a bag of atoms and bioelectricity, there is no doubt he knows exactly what he is doing. This scene alone makes you hold your breath and geek-heart to beat faster.
I would say that the big question is what would would turn this savior into a destroyer? A hero into a hater? But we get a glimpse into what might have happened. In a flash-back sequence, the Plutonian saves a whole stadium of people and instead of listening to the tens of thousands cheering him on and thanking him, he only hears the one “fan” who think the Plutonian did it for his own glory. It would seem the Plutonian chooses to start to see the world half-empty rather than half-full and when you are a super god-like alien, that attitude might have dire consequences.
While this book may not be for the queasy, I for one, am hooked!
High marks for Mark Waid, who lives up to his hype and kudos to Peter Krause who art is able to keep the pace!
Issue Grade: strong willed A