Boom! Studios; $3.99
Mark Waid is capable of doing the ho-hum story just like any other writer. Irredeemable isn’t it. It’s a gripping page turner that in just two issues shows signs of delving deep into the notion of what happens when a superhero goes bad and what could get him to that point.
As a writer, Waid is no stranger to dealing with the underpinnings of super-powered psychology, and more importantly doing so in the service of a solid story. In “The Return of Barry Allen” story arc in Flash, he did some other really good writers had failed to do. He found the truth in the character’s situation and 75 issues into his run Wally stopped being a whiner and started being the Flash, not just wearing the costume.
In Captain America #444, a single issue that only featured the title character in two flashback panels, Waid showed that how the other characters react to Captain America actually defines the character’s stature in the reader’s eye (the same is true, of course, for Superman).
Kingdom Come offered Waid the stage to showcase the double-edged sword of superpowers, the costs associated with the rise of the anti-hero, and the conflict between historic and contemporary approaches to the superhero concept.
Through Empire, he showed a world in which the supervillains had won and yet in which the conqueror found that the world was still not enough.
In Irredeemable, Waid shows us a Superman-esque character gone mad. He’s whipped out cities and is going after his former associates. This second issue unveils what might well be the “final straw” incident that pushes the character over the brink, but he has yet to show us what the character to that point yet. Based on the first two installments, though, we think it’s going to be a lot of fun getting there.