Images © Boom Entertainment, Inc.
Continuing the theme of his IRREDEEMABLE, writer Mark Waid flips the idea in this related series, following a supervillain inspired by the swath of destruction left by The Plutonian (the hero turned villain in the other series) to join the fight of the few remaining forces bent on destroying that superpowerful being. In other words, here we have a villain turned hero. The very nature of a villain makes his sincerity suspect, so he has a much tougher time of it than he might have expected, making for good storytelling. Even his young girlfriend can’t believe he’s serious about this conversion, and keeps acting as if it’s some kind of ploy. Waid has hit on another winning formula here, one that makes for enjoyable reading. Unlike IRREDEEMABLE, where the main character’s path is clear, and only the reasons for it remain to be explored, here Max Damage is wrapped in ironic ambiguity at every turn. Why should we trust anything he says or does, given his history? And Mark makes it all work, with snappy dialogue and tense plotting.
The art by Jean Diaz, of Brazil, is not bad, though it has some stiffness in the figure work and occasional oddities in the faces and poses that I think just shows he’s fairly new at this and needs time to develop his skills further. Right now his figures seem all surface, without enough underlying structure and weight to make them quite work correctly. Draw enough figures, work on the structural anatomy, and that sort of thing usually improves. Hope that’s true here, this is a good start.
Recommended. Is the second salvo in a larger explosion of the Boom/Waid Superhero Universe? Will all the books in it begin with I? Only time will tell…!