The sad life story of the Plutonian continues to be told as he visits the people and places of his past while superhero group Paradigm deal with a new threat in the form of the demon Orian, a hunter from another dimension, summoned by the US government is a last ditch attempt to gain control of this mess. Also, Bette Noir reveals her secret and uncovers the key to defeating the Plutonian once and for all while Modeus' location is finally revealed.
I was so impressed with the first volume of this series that I immediately bought the next four books, so convinced was I of its greatness and, having read the first three books now, I can confirm they are so very great. Mark Waid continues his fascinating character study of the Plutonian, giving the reader more insight and the character more depth as he relates the tragedies that dogged Tony (aka the Plutonian) throughout his life. Unwanted by terrified parents, Tony is passed from family to family, leaving in his wake unintentionally damaged people through his super strength. In one particularly heartbreaking scene Tony deals with an abusive foster father, revealing his super strength to his foster mother, while holding her hostage so she wouldn't send him back to the orphanage, despite her fearful reaction to such awesome power. The close up of her frozen smile and the dialogue "I'd make her love me again" were so chilling.
The famous essay on Superman and the possibility of him making love with a human woman is addressed by Waid who finds a temporary way around the conundrum for his Superman-facsimile, while adding to Plutonian's overall portrait: Bette Noir looks "deep in his eyes" and the reader sees wordless panels that close in on Tony's face, revealing a terrible emptiness. At the same time it gives the Paradigm a foothold in defeating the seemingly undefeatable superhero.
This book is so well written, it's crazy. Mark Waid is firing on all cylinders with this series and every plot strand is handled expertly with all story points converging perfectly. It's a fantastic third book in the series, maybe the best third book in any comic book series I've read, and the pacing of the story doesn't seem to be slowing at all, if anything it's speeding up. "Irredeemable" is sheer brilliance showcasing a writer at the top of his game and fully inspired. When comics are this good, they are a joy to read.
In this book we get more information regarding Tony's troubled childhood. Its quite sad and tragic at times without actually being that moving, I think because we are only shown a few big instances rather than all the little moments that made up his childhood. Still its interesting to see that a contrary depiction of how a super-powered child might be treated by adoptive parents which is far removed from the idyllic version presented by the Superman mythos. I think this one is might be bit more realistic, though both are extremes (saying that maybe a super-powered kid in the house would polarize a family too extremes.
Where Superman was brought up in a warm, stable and loving environmen, Tony was brought up amongst fear and paranoia, and I think the big difference is less what he was subjected to and more what he missed out on.(being supported, nurtured and taught humility, morality etc). Slowly it is becoming more believable why Tony has reacted as he as to various incidents in his past, and his reactions are becoming not reasonable but understandable. How many times have you wanted to strike out at the world for some injustice? Tony has the power and more importantly the neurotic and unstable personality to carry out those dark desires we have all nurtured at some time.
We also get an appearance by new bad guy from another dimension called in by the army to fight the Plutonian. I like the character, I like the his dialogue, confident and slick without being unrealistic or too arrogant.
We learn more about what has transpired between Bette Noir and Tony, plus another secret is revealed about the two which is less obvious than one that has been hinted at so far....
The ending, as usual, left me desperate for the next volume.
However, once agin the size of the book is annoying. I only bring this up again because this book is more expensive than the previous two despite being actually shorted by 1o pages than vol. 1
Mark Waid has created a nice wee universe for himself with this line of Irredeemable and Incorruptible comics. Surprising stuff from a writer who I enjoyed on Flash years ago, but has been a journeyman since (no offense). Mark Waid really has surprised and delighted me with these characters and stories.
Volume three of the series of graphic novels that collects issues of the comic series Irredeemable. A story of the Plutonian. A character very like Superman. Only he's seemingly gone crazy and is spreading chaos and destruction around the world. Whilst his former teammates in superhero group the Paradigm seek to stop him, personal secrets of all involved start to come to light.
This collects issue nine to twelve of the comic. Each part is separated by a chapter title page. There's also a gallery of the various covers each issue had at the back of the book.
And whilst it might work quite well as a jumping on point you're probably better off starting with volume one, not least because certain characters got their introduction there and you might be confused about a few things if you didn't read that.
This series is not marked for grown up readers only, but it is quite grim at times and does deal with the occasional adult theme, so it may not be suitable for the young.
This volume starts by showing how the Paradigm came together. And then goes right back to where volume two finished, with the Plutonian seemingly on the back foot.
One huge surprise and answer to a question from earlier volumes then awaits.
And then the Paradigm have to battle the fact that regular humans might not find any superheroes worthy of their trust anymore. And they might try and do something about it.
This plot thread develops very nicely and brilliantly tantalises the reader in regards to a few secrets that a character has. This volume then ends on a very big cliffhanger, with a tantalising hint about something as well.
Coupled with more looks at the Plutonian's past and how they might have contributed to making him act the way he does now, it's another excellent volume in a really great story.
This volume ends with a preview of another comic from the same writer.
Trouble is whilst it's a great comic the volumes in this series are slightly more expensive than some in others. And those give you more issues for less money as well. So that unfortunately drops the product as a whole a star off the rating. But I will still be getting volume four as soon as I can.