It is always interesting to review a book that is trying to do something different and hear echoes of other books in its pages. Irredeemable certainly has these echoes in a few different ways, but it manages to have a voice all of its own.
The idea of a superhero going rogue is certainly not new. DC comics has tried it several times in the past, most notably with the fall of Hal Jordan and more recently with World War III. In each of those cases, the world has moved on relatively quickly, with a couple of issues focussing consequences of the events to those who are left behind (or in the case of WWIII, with no consequences being explored in any depth). In Irredeemable, we have a single city destroyed, with thousands of people dead, and a very real gravity is presented regarding that aspect of the story. However, Waid appears to be going beyond the immediate, obvious consequences. He is exploring the broader world, (much as DC should have done in WWIII) in the aftermath. He is exploring the question of when one of the most powerful beings on the planet goes rogue, what do you do? What can his compatriots do? What can his nemeses do? That idea is interesting in itself. Beyond that, Waid is creating a broad cast of characters that are both directly and indirectly affected by the actions of the Plutonian.
The fact that this book has analogies to Superman is clear, but I think I am reminded more of the issues of Supreme that were written by Alan Moore. Moore did what Waid is doing now--paying homage to one of the greatest heroes in American comic culture, while creating something that has its own voice. The Plutonian has many of the mannerisms and trappings of Superman and Clark Kent. However, as the story goes on you realize that the similarities are only on the surface. Where Supreme and Superman are mild-mannered by nature, the Plutonian clearly has a deeper rage within him. He has real fear of death, both of himself and people around him, and that point is raised in a couple of places in the story. I suspect that this will be an ongoing theme--what happens when fear wins and turns into rage?
I am very impressed with the art. The book is clean and crisp, with a style that reminds me of the Moore Supreme books (Iím not sure if that is intentional or not). Anatomy is spot on, the effects of age are obvious on characters as flashbacks move into modern day, and the lines are crisp and clean.
I very much enjoyed this book and I will be trying to get my comic shop to carry it if they do not already. Kudos to the team at BOOM! for putting out a good read.
What did you think of this book?
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