Mark Waid is Evil. And Irredeemable. Or Something.
Posted September 5, 2009on:
I finished issue # 6 of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable this week. This is not a review of that issue. This a review of the entire series so far. You need to start reading this book right now.
Waid opens this series with pure terror. We’ve got a basic Superman-esque character – strength, flight, invincibility, laser eyes, super hearing, etc – named the Plutonian and he’s gone totally fucking crazy. Not crazy like Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys. No, Plutonian’s killing everyone he ever cared about and their families (including babies, gasp!). And by everyone I don’t mean his aunties and cousins, I mean all the super-powered good guys and bad guys alike. He’s pretty much unstoppable. I was terrified.
The Plutonian’s senseless, endless massacre continued through several issues, blinding me with shock and awe. But by issue #4 the effect began wearing off and I started to wonder when some actual character development might occur. I found myself thinking, “Yeah, I get it. Homeboy’s powerful and fucking evil. C’mon Waid, when do we get to know what’s up?” As I mused this question Comic Con 2009 rolled around and I managed to meet Mark Waid. [As an aside this brilliant author is ridiculously underrated and I was able to harass him with fandom and nerdery at length. Awesome for me, but seriously people – this guy wrote Kingdom Come, show some love!] So here I am at Comic Con standing in front of the Boom! booth talking to Mark Waid and I ask how many issues Irredeemable will be. To my surprise I was told this is an ongoing series meant to establish a full universe. Hmm. Seriously Waid? You’re staking the Boom!U on this?
Then issue #5 arrives. Conveniently it’s only 99c. (brilliant marketing, Boom!) Aside from a brief introduction where “Tony” the Plutonian talks about super evil shit we don’t see much of our bad guy. This issue is almost entirely devoted to Plutonian’s former team-mates, which is great, because so far they’ve been important, but mysterious. By the end of the issue I was interested in more than the gore and horror of #1-4.
Enter issue #6. Now we’re really getting in to some deep shit for all characters involved. These people had been there from the beginning, but this was the first time I was forced to really think about them. Feeling out of the loop, I decided to re-read #1-5 to remember what they’d been doing so far. Lo and behold! You brilliant mad-man, Mark fucking Waid! All of this time I had been so distracted by the flashy, shocking rage of the Plutonian that I’d missed just how much had been going on. Given what you learn in issues #5 and #6 you realize just how nuanced and interesting Tony’s former team-mates were from the beginning of the series. Bread crumbs of character development had been carefully laid out in the trail that’s lead us to this point in the story. I cannot wait to see every issue of Irredeemable and all of the spin-off series we’re bound to have for the rest of these characters.
Basically, Mark Waid is proving once again that he’s absolutely brilliant and deserving of the accolades typically reserved (and deservedly so) for minds like Morrison, Rucka, Ennis, and Bendis. Maybe people dislike Waid because he comes off formulaic. But what gets neglected is that this is a guy who takes a formula that by all rights should be the most tired thing in all of comics and somehow makes it fresh and exciting to read. Reading Waid is like rediscovering comics again. Irredeemable is no exception and shows Waid at his finest. Seriously people, the first trade is only $9.99. Go read this comic.