What would you do if the world’s greatest hero became it’s greatest villain? That’s the question asked by Mark Waid and Peter Krause’s Irredeemable, a comic premiering in 2009 that wrapped up in 2012 after 37 issues. The Plutonian, Earth’s mightiest hero, one day just snaps. He lobotomizes his kid sidekick, destroys his own home city of Sky City, and kills multiple superheroes. The only ones left to stop him are the remaining superheroes, the Paradigm.
Coming out 4 years before a similar comic, Injustice, Irredeemable brings us the story about a Superman who couldn’t take the pressure of being the world’s greatest hero. The very first scene of the comic sets the tone as Plutonian vaporizes a fellow hero and his family with no remorse. All the other members of the Paradigm fear him and can only watch as he wipes out an entire country. The Plutonian is like a force and his unpredictability and power make for an interesting villain. As the scene in the supervillain hideout shows, he’s not just super strong, he’s super smart. The flashbacks to his hero days really bring you in and make you wonder exactly why he flipped out. This volume doesn’t give you those answers but it does tell you that Plutonian didn’t have a perfect record before he finally snapped.
This story follows the heroes as they try and figure out what happened to the Plutonian and try to survive against his onslaught. A lot of new characters are introduced here and Mark Waid uses familiar character tropes to make them easier to relate to and understand, like Hickman did in Invincible. There’s not a lot of time to build in character personalities as it is only 4 issues and there’s a lot more going on.
One thing that makes this comic stand out is Peter Krause’s art. This comic is very dark and Krause brings that darkness with heavy shadows and dull colors. It makes a good contrast to the flashback scenes where everything is bright and colorful.
Irredeemable is an interesting comic that sets up a lot of great stuff in the future where we get a dark, depressing look at a world that lost its Superman.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Peter Krause
Rating: Full Price