Irredeemable #2 Review

irredeemable_002aSure, the first two issues of this excellent series from BOOM! Studios have sold out, but second printings will be available very soon. I heaped my praise on the first issue (as did many others) and will do so again now.

Irredeemable is a new series from writer Mark Waid. If you have any interest in comics, you owe it to yourself to Google that name and pick up whatever you can find with his name on it at your LCS or bookstore. Waid is legendary. The classic Kingdom Come is as good as he gets, though it means more to long-time readers, though he’s proved with all the monthly assignments he’s had over the years, (The Flash, Captain America, etc) that he knows how to welcome newbies too. Irredeemable will satisfy both parties.

Issue 1 was a great set up. It’s such a simple premise, that I’m certain it’s been done before, but surely without such panache. Waid knows superheroes. The mindset, philosophies, the grand soap operas, the relationships in constant turmoil. All that stuff, plus fist fights between spandex clad characters is the glue that makes superhero comics great. With Irredeemable Waid respects those conventions, yet shatters them at the same time. His skill lies in not being too flamboyant and in yoir face, like other superhero ‘re-examinations’ such as The Authority or Kick Ass attempt. Waid is a gentleman, and doesn’t resort to nudity, profanity and blood letting to get his point across. However, saying that, as BOOM!’s marketing ploy reminded us weeks ago, “Mark Waid is evil.”

So here’s the story – The Plutonian was a great do-gooder; a costumed inspiration in the vein of Superman. Now he’s turned bad and is swiftly executing his former Paradigm team-mates. As is the trend of story telling these days, it’s told in a non-linear fashion. We are given glimpses of the past (during sunnier times, when the cracks started to show in the heroic visage) and mainly of the present with the world’s most powerful man on a vicious rampage. Kaidan, one of The Plutonian’s former allies,  seeks The Plutonian’s initially surly girlfriend for answers. She tells Kaidan of their romance, and how the only villain he ever feared was Modeus, and gives hints to his background.  I won’t spoil anymore than that. There’s a tremendous sense of urgency in this issue. We are never shown The Plutonian in the present. He exists only in flashbacks, yet Waid builds the menace like a crafty architect.

If you’ve ever enjoyed superhero tales for any length of time, you must grab this series. Sure, the characters are all new, but we recognise them instantly. It seems to me that over all the years Waid has been writing comics, he’s been storing away ideas for this series in the dark corners of his notepad. He unleashes blistering pages with ease. The highlight of this issue is an unpleasant, yet realistic, twist on the classic secret identity concept. It’s obvious Waid has really thought about this whole superhero thing and just what it means as part of a practical, daily existence, with all the desperation, responsibility and horror that accompany it.

Peter Krause’s art is suitably dark and frightening, and grounded in reality. It’s a perfect match for what Waid is up to. There really is a tremendous piece of fiction being unveiled here, with precision and fury. Don’t miss out on this series. It’s one of the very few that have me looking forward to each astonishing instalment.

Punisher and Eminem Team Up

Well if  The New Kids on the Block can have their own comic, I guess Eminem can  too! And he’s taking The Punisher along for the bullet ridden ride. This new venture is a bold one, but hopefully it brings new fans to comics. Press release below.

EMINEM/PUNISHER: KILL YOU 

All-new 16-page story to be featured exclusively in the June issue of XXL magazine and on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited 

eminempunisher_coverMarvel Comics has teamed up with Eminem and XXL magazine to celebrate his anticipated upcoming album Relapse with an all-new story featuring the renowned rapper and Marvel’s notorious vigilante, The Punisher, in Eminem/Punisher: Kill You.

Back from a three-year hiatus, Eminem is set to grace two XXL covers posing as The Punisher for the magazine’s June issue on stands May 5, two weeks before his fifth solo album, Relapse, hits stores May 19.

 A special collector’s edition, the magazine also includes the first part of an exclusive collaboration between XXL, Shady and Marvel Comics — Eminem/Punisher: Kill You — a special edition Punisher comic book starring Eminem and created by Marvel Comics.

This all new story written by Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man) with art by Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron Man) takes place in Detroit after Eminem performs on stage and gets involved in a conflict with The Punisher and his old foe Barracuda.  The first half of the story will be featured as a bonus eight page special edition comic printed in the June issue of XXL magazine, with the eight page conclusion available exclusively on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited  (www.marvel.com/eminem) for free starting May 5th.

 “When we learned that Eminem is a fan and collector of Marvel comics, we could only imagine what would happen if The Punisher and Slim Shady met up in the Marvel Universe,” said Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada.  “This was a unique partnership and the team had a blast working with Eminem and incorporating the rapper into the Marvel fold.” 

 For fans of the Punisher, Eminem and those wanting to own a part of the action, visit your local newsstand to purchase the magazine on May 5, 2009 and then be sure to visit www.marvel.com/eminem to experience the second part of the story. 

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