There’s a real weight behind this title thanks to the power of the name behind it. I grew up on many Mark Waid written comics. He was one of the creators that cemented my love for sequential art, and primarily superheroes. I can picture Waid typing away at the keyboard with an evil cackle, twirling his moustache and then perhaps tying a damsel to the closest railway tracks while he creates this series. Irredeemable is the product of Bizarro Waid.
With a handy catch up page here, newcomers can understand what’s gone before. However, the summary can’t contain the emotional wallop that Waid and artist Peter Krause have created in the previous issues. If you are new to this title, grab the TPB in August, which is even more tempting as it’s only $9.99.
Basically however, The Plutonian is earth’s greatest superhero, or rather, he was. Now he’s joined the dark side and is fed up with humanity, which is entirely understandable really. We all get that way at times, while suffering fools in our daily lives. However, we don’t have superpowers and the best of us will often show our contempt with a stern word or a rolling of the eyes. Imagine if we had superpowers and then hrew a tantrum. Then things would get real ugly, real quick.
The Plutonian’s former team-mates of super group, The Paradigm are desperately trying to find clues from their ex-friend’s past, in order to discover his weakness. It’s a race against time and they are only making small steps towards an uncertain victory. In this issue, The Plutonian continues his world-wide rampage and in a great scene at the United Nations, shows the world that it is unwise to unite against him, or to lie to him. Singapore suffers tragically at his hands while other countries can only hope to appease his wrath by offering him sovereignty over their people.
Waid’s timing and Krause’s emotional renditions work well together, to reveal the human face of devastation, and the sheer desperation of The Paradigm who show what true heroism really is. However, I feel an urge to know more about The Plutonian’s turning. So far only hints have been given, and there are no real further clues in this fourth issue. We can’t be expected to feel any kind of sympathy for The Plutonian, but a greater level of understanding is due. Rooting for The Paradigm is mandatory, but The Plutonian, while scary due to a lack of humanity also lacks any motivation for evil so far. He’s the bad guy because of what he does, but we still have no concrete idea as to why. The Paradigm apparently know very little about The Plutonian, and perhaps will come to question their trust over the years of a man, or super man, they knew little about.
In this issue is also an 8 page preview of Poe, which launches in July. Written by J. Barton Mitchell, with gloomy art by Dean Kotz it shows famous scribe Edgar Allan Poe as a widower in a mental health facility, facing nightmares about a dead girl, while his brother tries his best to help him. It’s a pretty good intro to the series and looks gothic enough in its approach.