Review – Irredeemable Volume 1

Written by Mark Waid

Art by Peter Krause

Published by Boom Studios

“What if the world’s greatest hero decided to become the world’s greatest villain?”

That is the deceptively simple question posed by writer Mark Waid in the first volume of Irredeemable, but there are no easy answers in this unflinching story of a hero gone bad. Volume 1 collects together issues 01 – 04 of this ongoing series which were originally published in 2009.

The story opens with the Plutonian’s attack on another hero, the Hornets, house. The Plutonian kills the Hornet, his wife and son but leaves the daughter alive. It’s is clear that something is wrong, something is very wrong with the Plutonian. From here on in things don’t really get any better and for some super heroes and villains they get an awful lot worse.

There are no big reveals in these first four comics, answers come in the form of flashbacks as the Plutonian’s old team mates, collectively known as the Paradigm, try and piece together why exactly he’s gone ‘bad’.  And boy is he bad, the numbers soon begin to stack up, the whole sale destruction of Sky City cost millions of lives and the sinking of Singapore with the loss of 4 million plus lives.

A standout part of the story for me was the old Clark Kent secret identity reveal when things don’t go exactly to plan, there’s a marriage proposal that goes badly wrong which has far reaching consequences for  all the employees of Satellite HD Inc, to give out any more details would be spoilerific ,so I’ll leave it a that. Another person who comes off particularly badly is Plutonian’s former sidekick Samsara.  He is the first hero to be neutralised by the rampaging Plutonian who uses his laser vision to terrible effect.

There is also a palpable sense of dread that hangs over the surviving members of the Paradigm, these people are scared for their lives and quite rightly so, it’s a race against time and possible destruction as they try to piece together the life of the former hero the Plutonian.

The writing from Mark Waid is excellent through out this volume and the book’s a real page turner with loads of little details (and nods to other heroes in other universes) that would benefit from a couple of re-reads.

The artwork by Peter Krause is also excellent but I’m not sure about the cover for this volume even though it’s by John Cassaday.  Personally I prefer Barry Kitson’s cover for 1B in the back of the book, which I think is far more dynamic. Another nice touch is the colouring by Andrew Dalhouse who uses lots of bright colours for the hero Plutonian then muted blues, greens and browns for the villain Plutonian.

All in all a great book and I look forward to continuing reading this ongoing series with volume 2.

 GS Rating – 4.5/5  A simple idea brilliantly executed, a great read.

Dry Slaps – None.

GS Reviewer – Nick Roberts

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