Irredeemable 12 (March 2010)

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The issue’s a wee bit speedier of a read than I would have liked–it took a heck of lot less than five minutes to read–and it seems like a joining issue anyway. There’s the conclusion to a cliffhanger from the previous issue–Barreto handles the superheroes, Krause handles the Plutonian, which is efficient, sure, but not necessarily the way to make a fluid comic book–but Waid cops out on the Plutonian’s family story.

Spoiler alert–the Plutonian kills his former foster brother and sister and leaves his mentally handicapped foster brother to starve to death. In other words, he’s a really, really terrible piece of shit.

In some ways, it might be the worst thing Waid’s shown him do so far, torturing someone so exaggeratedly helpless. I’ll bet Waid wanted to have him brutally kill a kid and Boom! wouldn’t let him.

Still, it’s way too quick.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artists, Diego Barreto and Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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Irredeemable 11 (February 2010)

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Interesting revelation this issue–not the stuff with the Plutonian’s girlfriend and the space alien, which is amusing both comedically and in terms of a character being boiled down to nothing more than a girl who likes bad boys (which works in an episode of “Seinfeld,” but is a little banal in more literary ventures)–rather about the Plutonian’s youth.

Actually, wait, it does relate–besides the squeeze finds out he’s a psychopath and the revelation–Tony “broke” his baby brother–are about the same thing. The Plutonian didn’t just snap, he’s always been a nutcase. It breaks the Superman parallels, quite intentionally, and Waid’s moving Irredeemable onto its own ground more and more each issue.

Unfortunately, regular artist Peter Krause isn’t on the whole issue. Diego Barreto, who isn’t bad, does the first half. He’s serviceable, but the issue feels off visually.

Once again, Waid’s on with this one.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artists, Diego Barreto and Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 10 (January 2010)

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I was going to say, that art doesn’t look like Krause’s and it’s not. It’s a noticeable difference, which is too bad.

I guess if they’re going to do a fill-in artist, this issue’s an appropriate one, content-wise. There’s three stories going on (well, and a flashback); first is the Plutonian’s squeeze and her husband arguing then fighting the U.S. government sanctioned demon (no, I don’t have any Cheney jokes here, come up with them on your own), the Plutonian and his (resurrected?) sidekick (who’s secretly the Plutonian’s arch-villain) going shopping and the Plutonian giving some back story, and then the psycho super-hero who beat the Plutonian up a couple of issues ago.

In other words, it’s a bridging issue. It’s a solid bridging issue, but it’s not particularly important. All the information could be recapped in a two page seventies Marvel summary.

Still smooth sailing.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artists, Diego Barreto and Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 9 (December 2009)

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Darn it, Mark Waid, why do you keep it on such a roller coaster? This issue’s another great one, as Waid reveals quite a bit–there’s the new superhero team going a little nuts, there’s the smart guy off with the villain girl, there’s the U.S. Army making deals with the devil–there’s also what appears to be Al Gore as President. Not so sure what Waid’s doing with that one (in fact, given the highly fundie nature of The Unknown, I’m a little surprised).

It’s a fast-paced issue too (I imagine Irredeemable is going to read splendidly once it’s finished–it also seems like Waid’s blueprinting, I don’t know, a movie perhaps).

What’s so interesting is how the remaining heroes, except the nutso new hero leader, are generally hoping to reform the Plutonian. Instead of spinning off that crappy Incorruptible, Waid should have done a Plutonian apologist series.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 8 (November 2009)

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Of course, Waid can’t sustain it. I mean, this issue reveals what set the Plutonian off and my only question, I think the only question anyone need ask, is… why does Superman need a sidekick?

Sure, the same can be said of Batman, but almost every Batman writer in the last ten or fifteen years has tried to make some excuse for it, like Robin’s Batman’s lieutenant (again, it’s idiotic), but Superman? Superman doesn’t need a sidekick and if the Plutonian is Superman, well, Waid’s clearly got a lot of work to do, right?

He doesn’t do any of it.

The explanation of why he went psycho is lame. This issue’s best part is Waid turning the Plutonian’s married floozy into a scheming husband-killer. It’ll be amusing to read that arc as it unfolds.

I think Waid’s kneecapped Irredeemable.

The revelation had to be perfect and, instead, it’s weak.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 7 (October 2009)

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Which earlier issue did I say was my favorite? I was wrong. This issue is my favorite.

Waid finally writes the Plutonian as a character–one who talks a lot, almost too much (I’m definitely getting worried the whole thing is going to be a mind trick the Plutonian’s arch-nemesis is playing on him and it’ll all be happy and easy at the end).

But until then….

Now, the humanity Waid is adding to the Plutonian regards his response to constantly being on call. It’s that Superman problem, only in a cynical universe of saved victims (I guess that combination would make it more like Superman in Spider-Man’s world).

The issue also has an awesome cliffhanger; the last couple issues have been a lot less episodic than the first four and suit cliffhangers better.

I can’t forget Waid’s mean-spirited humor: the in-denial, cuckolded Hawkman stand-in.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 6 (September 2009)

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Here’s the strangest issue of all, only because Waid does something he hasn’t done so far. He suggests the Plutonian can be surprised. Even if the heroes do sneak past him and he doesn’t catch on, it isn’t the same thing. Here he really and truly is taken aback.

Krause’s characterizing on the Plutonian, which I think I noticed before but really here, is interesting–he isn’t supposed to be a good looking guy. In fact, he’s really bland. Some of the other guys are supposed to be handsome, but apparently the Plutonian got by on his superpowers alone.

Again, there’s more here, including a look into the Plutonian’s past. I get the feeling once this one is complete, it’s going to make a lot more sense, Waid’s choice in revelations and narrative developments. I wonder if he always planned on doing Irredeemable indie or if Boom! changed his mind.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 5 (August 2009)

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This issue went for a buck so I assume it’s suppose to be a jumping on point, but it’s kind of not. At all. There are a ton of characters introduced here–maybe we’ve seen some of them before, but this issue is the first time when, well, anyone is even mildly important in this comic book except the Plutonian.

There are a couple particularly striking moments in the comic. First is the opening, when the Plutonian goes on TV and threatens people for saying negative things about him (in their private lives). Moments like this one really show what a good job Waid is doing with the series. It shouldn’t work, it should be silly. Instead, it’s terrifying.

The second moment is the reveal of the Plutonian’s sanctuary. Not sure if it’s Waid or Krause’s idea, but it looks like an old serial hero’s hideout. It’s a lovely touch.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 4 (July 2009)

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Even though the pacing is rapid-fire again (is Irredeemable an ongoing, if so, was it always supposed to be an ongoing)–I mean, I’d be mad at four dollars, just because the “cliffhanger” is engaging doesn’t make it worth four bucks for twenty-some pages but whatever, it’s still kind of my favorite issue.

Here we get to see the Plutonian be a bad guy. He’s petty (he destroys Singapore to horrify the United Nations, a bunch of people he could have just zapped) and human. It’ll be interesting to see where Waid goes with that element.

And Krause really gets to shine here. The destruction of Singapore, though a fast read, is a comic book moment unlike many others (and without trying). It’s just so well done, it’s impossible to not be effected. Waid’s playing with some familiar (if generically branded) toys, but I never saw Singapore coming.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artist, Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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