on 13 December 2012
What happens when you capture a criminally insane murderer? Put him in an insane asylum of course! But when that insane murderer is the Plutonian, one of the most powerful beings in the universe, how do you treat and keep him locked up? Meanwhile on Earth, Survivor and the Paradigm begin the task of rebuilding in the wake of Plutonian's destruction - but have the people of Earth traded one egomaniacal superhero for another...
Mark Waid writes another spellbinding book in his magnificent series looking at the unexamined side of superheroes - their egos, their personalities, and their feelings, and what being a superhero can do to their minds. I like how Survivor is becoming the new Plutonian, if only to once more highlight the abuses someone with such extraordinary levels of power can inflict. Everything Survivor says and does seems indicative of the rise of real-life fascists in the early 20th century - how in the midst of hopelessness and despair, a figure promising change if everyone put their trust in him can rise up and become head of a movement in the name of progress. And then never give up that power, subverting it for his own selfish reasons. It's a very promising storyline that returns the focus back on to the superhero id, as well as injecting urgency into the narrative by placing the flailing Paradigm back on the ropes to find a better solution to the superhero problem.
Tony's story is also fascinating as his mind is completely shot. We get glimpses in his head to see what true madness looks like, while his "dreams" seem to show that a few shreds of humanity remain somewhere deep within... is he irredeemable? Also, Waid introduces a new character who might or might not be real. Tony's so far gone at this point, his point of view is shaky and unreliable which makes the story going forward all the more interesting as we readers are questioning what he sees as real or not.
Book 6 heightens and broadens the story of the fallen superhero and the shattered world he left behind. While the last book and this one have been less Plutonian driven and consequently feels not quite as razor sharp and driven as the first 4 books, Waid's new direction for the Plutonian and the rest of the cast is still an inspired treatment of the story. Whether the momentum of the first 4 books can be regained or not is yet to be seen but with 4 books remaining, I have every hope that Waid and co. round out this brilliant story strongly. I thought Book 6 was thoughtful and inventive in continuing and setting up storylines that are developing nicely. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to Book 7!
Sixth volume in the graphic novel series that collects issues of Irredeemable. A comic that considers the question 'when does a hero become a villain?' Superhero the Plutonian, a Superman style character, has gone on a worldwide rampage of terror and destruction. His former colleagues in superhero team the Paradigm have been desperately trying to stop him.
There are strong themes in here and whilst it's not strictly a comic for grown ups only it's not entirely suitable for younger readers.
Since this volume is the sixth in the series and it collects issues twenty to twenty three of the monthly comic, and since there's nothing much in the way of exposition for any new readers, it's not a good jumping on point. Start with volume one.
Mild spoilers are required to review this so don't read on unless you've read volumes one to six.
The end of volume six seemingly saw the Plutonian dealt with, and being taken away by a race of alien. There are two main plot strands in this volume. What happens to him in captivity. His captivity is just as much mental as physical. And what happens back on Earth. As the surviving members of the Paradigm have different approaches about what should be done now the nightmare is seemingly over.
Both develop very nicely. Have lots of twists and turns and some very good surprises. The Earth sections as ever do force the reader to think about the moral dilemmas that the characters face. And it leaves you desperate to find what will happen next.
Another very solid offering in an excellent series. Although as ever it doesn't quite get five stars simply because of the price. There are series which will offer you six issues in one volume for less than the four you get here. And that's a shame. But if you can afford this series, it's well worth getting into.
The story running through issues #20-23 of Boom Studios’ comic book ‘Irredeemable’ is collected as Irredeemable v6. This is a very well-written and illustrated story. For some reason, the artwork, especially the facial expressions, reminds me of Curt Swan, the Superman artist for my generation; and the layouts remind me of the early Justice League of America. It might be coincidence, or it might be they are trying to capture the feel of Silver Age of DC Comics, a ‘parallel world’ of which is what this series is set in. Whichever it is, it works for me.
The story in this volume has two strands, the first on Earth sees the Survivior begin to organise the reconstruction of the devastation caused by the Plutonian, and he begins to show unfortunate tendencies toward world domination… The second strand follows the Plutonian on his alien abduction. His mind sinks into an internal world where he is still the great hero, and shows us much in the way of character analysis; while the aliens use his body as a worker-drone in dangerous environments. However, the internal breakdown has effects on the external world, and the aliens soon realise that they have a bigger problem than they thought…
This is an excellent new storyline, as people start to realise that getting what you wish for might not necessarily be a good thing.