Thursday, November 19, 2009

Irredeemable #8 – A Review

Irredeemable #8

Publisher BOOM Studios

Writer Mark Waid

Art Peter Krause

Colors Andrew Dalhouse

Thomm pointed out how apologetic I was in reviewing Punisher #11, well I’m about to do it again. So before I delve into this review I want to say I think Irredeemable is one of the best new series of 2009 and may even be a top ten series for 2009. I also have tons of respect for Mark Waid and my fantasy job would be writing comics and having an editor like Waid to push me to learn how to be the best I could be. Also Peter Krause is a heck on an artist, but this review is not about the art. It’s about one element of the story. Finally half of the book was its normal terrific self as the current day story line was extremely well done. More then enough mea culpa, onto what was wrong with this issue.

For seven issues we have been learning about the Plutonian and all the secrets behind what have driven him over the edge. We learned about his super hearing allowing him to hear the jeers as well as the cheers, the whispers about him thought to be behind his back. This was a nice little thing to throw out there because everybody is ripped behind their back by acquaintances and co-workers. Often it is in fun, but it maybe mean spirited and if we heard all these things it might eat away at us.

We learned that his girl friend rejected him. He had hidden his secret identity away from her and when he finally revealed who he was, she freaked out and walked away. We have been trained to expect the girl to swoon and love that it is the hero, but in real life the reaction was more natural. She had been falling in love with a façade and not a real person, the trust had been broken. She was not going to jump into bed and be happy after finding out the man she loved, was not who she thought he was. Michael Corleone’s wife was not too happy either once she found out he never stopped being part of the family.

We learned how his sense of duty and his super senses never allowed him to get a moment’s rest. I know when I’m constantly pushed that I start to lose perspective on things and something small can make me angrier then it should.

Then we learned of the guilt he felt regarding the fact that he was responsible for a horrible virus. He gave away alien technology and it was misused and it caused the death of children. He felt this keenly as being his fault.

All of this was a great build up so we could see the pieces as they were lining up and I read with rapt anticipation of what would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. This issue we find out that his best pal Samsara found out that Tony was responsible for the virus getting out. Samsara has now lost trust in the Plutonian and this causes him to destroy Sky City and kill millions. What?????

I didn’t buy off on it. I wanted the pace of the story to move, but the ultimate act and thing that pushes him over the edge rang hollow. We had not built up the relationship between Tony and Samsara enough for this act to have that much of an impact. I know that he was at his breaking point and this could be the tipping point, but it just did not ring true for me. He never just killed somebody before and to go from the consummate hero trying to save everyone to wiping out a city, well I need more. Samsara has been portrayed as Tony’s friend, but we had not learned enough to know that Tony losing this relationship would be of such a magnitude. More worked needed to be done to show the Plutonian was slipping over the edge and more work needed to be done to show the depth of this relationship. Then maybe that tipping point would be enough.

Now I also trust that there is even more to this then Waid has revealed, but I would have wanted that more to come out first before seeing him blow up a city. Of course having to run the back story and main story at the same time causes both stories to have a slower pace as each story only gets a half an issue every time out.

We still have plenty to reveal about the Plutonian and plenty more to come with all the action in the modern day, but the big reveal this issue was disappointing. Also I hold this book to a very high standard, so it is harder for this book to achieve what I expect because of the high expectations.

Bottom line this is still a great series, but I felt like the big reveal of Tony’s past did not hit the mark.
Overall Grade B - It was a split grade A for the present C for the past.


  1. I don't think we needed more on the Plutonian/Samsara relationship. We'd been told early on that Samsara was his sidekick and Waid had built it to the point that the Plutonian was totally isolated from humanity, but for his connection to Samsara. In fact, you pointed out all the things Waid showed that had isolated the Plutonian, from his less than Clark Kent-like childhood to the rejection of the Lois Lane stand-in, and the drawback of being able to hear what others are saying about you when they think you can't hear them. All of that set the Plutonian apart from human contact. In fact, by this point he doesn't even have a secret identity to fall back on for at least some human contact. Samsara is it. We don't need to see a bunch of things that show us why the relationship with Samsara is so important because the isolating events have made it so, even if the relationship between the Plutonian and Samsara were just superficial previously.

    Now, what's more interesting to me is the Scylla and Charybdis reveal. I'm not sure I quite buy the rationale that Charybdis is now more powerful without Scylla because he was giving some of his power to the otherwise powerless Scylla. The power he's showing now is at or greater than the Plutonian, so why wouldn't he and Scylla have been more powerful than the Plutonian when Scylla was alive? The power seems to be almost uncontrollable now.

    More questionable than that, though, is Charybdis saying to the Plutonian that the Plutonian never learned how to fight, but Charybdis did because of his lower power levels with his brother. Despite that statement, Charybdis never goes on to show that he can fight any better than the Plutonian. He just overwhelms the Plutonian with raw power.

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