Images © Boom Entertainment Inc.
Once superheroes were idealized versions of humanity, using their powers for good. WATCHMEN put a new twist on that by taking its heroes off their pedestals and examining them as more realistic humans with faults and flaws. Comics have never quite been the same, but most superhero comics tend to try to combine the idealism with the humanity. IRREDEEMABLE follows the trail of WATCHMEN more closely, attempting to look beneath the superhero façade, peeling away the myth and majesty, unveiling people with feet of clay who happen to have great powers. The Plutonian, the lead character, went bad, creating an atmosphere of paranoia and real fear. Where once he used his powers for good, now he’s willing and able to use them for great evil. This turns his entire world upside-down: all heroes are now suspect. The government, reeling from the damage already caused by The Plutonian, unleashes his greatest enemy, another powerful evil and demonic creature, and moves toward the “better safe than sorry” position of capturing and imprisoning those few heroes willing to stand up against the Plutonian. Meanwhile, writer Mark Waid takes us into the troubled history of the character, his painful childhood, his secret infidelity, and the equally paranoid and devious behavior of his former friends. It’s a dark place, and Mark does not shy away from hard truths about all these characters. One can only wonder where things will go next.
The art by Peter Krause is excellent, capturing just the right mix of super-heroics and realism. It reminds me of Brent Anderson at times, nothing wrong with that. The lettering is fine, the coloring is generally good, with perhaps too much knocking out of blacks on the characters in some places, as if they are fading away for no good reason. That’s the only very minor flaw I see in this fine work. I can only say that if you read it, be prepared for some grim stuff. Recommended.