Publisher Boom Studios
Writer Mark Waid
Art Peter Krause
Colors Andrew Dalhouse
Mark Waid is building one hell of a comic book series. The first issue was a balls to the wall freight train that never stopped from page one until the issue ended. That issue set up the premise, which is simply the most powerful super hero in the world has gone bad. It was a spot on perfect first issue, so how do you follow that up?
It took a month, but you do it with another issue that starts off slowly and then once you have been hooked Waid reels you in with a turbo charged fishing rod and you never let go until you are flopping on the deck of the boat. An odd analogy I know, but this book wants me to just spout out superlatives like fantastic, great, page turner, stunning visuals, wonderful characterization, not a page or panel wasted, so I’m forced to try and find some other way to tell you 2009 best new series is at BOOM studios and it is called Irredeemable.
This issue we start to peel away the onion that is the Plutonian. Like the Superman character he is an analog of, the Plutonian had a girl friend and her name was Alana Patel. One of the Paradigm (Kaidan) has found her in the ruins of Sky City (read Metropolis). Mark plays with us the whole time as the Alana / Plutonian love story is a reflection of the Superman / Lois Lane story, complete with mild mannered Dan (Plutonian) Hartigan being her co-worker. Alana is in love with the Plutonian and then after a long courtship with the Plutonian Dan one day whisks her into a storage room at work and asks her to marry him. She tells him she loves the Plutonian and Dan reveals he is the Plutonian. The comic book convention is that Alana says yes and then their lives together truly begin. Instead Alana reacts in a manner unlike any comic cliché, but in a “real” world situation seems perfectly normal, she freaks out and tells him to get away from her. In retrospect that reaction makes a lot of sense. If you have been with someone for years and the person thinks they know you and are comfortable with you and then you reveal your hidden side to them the trust that has been built up is destroyed. Trust is a fragile thing and that big of a secret could certainly dissolve any trust that was built up. Of course this is just one more thing that is sending the Plutonian down a path of becoming a villain. Mark is building on giving us a rationale that turns a man from a force for good to a force that we view as evil.
Mark talks about always trying to give the reader a left turn when a right turn is expected and he delivers in this issue. Waid also talks about making any character that appears to have a role to play and each person in the story played their role. While I have given some of the core of the book’s storyline away I have not even touched on this issue’s story regarding the Plutonian’s arch enemy, what happen to the rest of his co-workers, what Kaidan was like before and after the Plutonian went bad. A ton of story was delivered and as I said nothing was wasted.
Peter Krause (artist) and Andrew Dalhouse (colorist) continue to be at the top of their game. Krause does the early days and the very heroic Plutonian as well as he does the dark days. His ability to convey emotions both strong and subtle are constantly on display in this book and he works wonders with body language as well as facial expressions. The page layouts and design are also well done and whether that is Waid or Krause or a combination, the book flows perfectly. Dalhouse enhances every thing Krause is doing and makes the book tone reflect the time of the book perfectly. Finally Krause realistic and yet super heroic style fits this book to a “T”.
OVERALL GRADE A – The first must read book of 2009. Irredeemable is the book you should not miss and could well stand out as Waid and Krause’s best work ever. If they keep up this pace it could hold up as one of the top series of all time.