THE BALLAD OF ST. LUCIFER
Max Damage has built his own prison in Coalville, where he plans to enact his own code of justice in a lawless world created by The Plutonian. But St. Lucifer has other plans. As the world's new military forces declare martial law on the city, Max is caught between siding with corrupt government officials or a supervillain bent on controlling the city's power supply.
Written by Mark Waid and drawn by Marcio Takara, this issue of Incorruptible was a delight to read. It threw out the blatant similarities between the military and supervillains that other readers and I have been ignoring for years -- they're in it for control. Damage's dealings with the government and St. Lucifer show his ability to look at the big picture and decide what's best for the city as a whole. After making The Plutonian turn around and leave with only a whisper, he's definitely become the world's best hope at regaining some sort of civilization.
The art by Takara is stunning. It's comic book cartooning at its best. Even scenes where characters are only talking are brimming with animation and emotion. There's a wonderful shot in the end with Damage carrying a prisoner to his facility, which also teases that the next issue will be Damage's origin story. I can't wait to see what sort of twisted tale Waid and Takara take us on next.
This is one of the best ongoing superhero stories out there. It's strange, most of the best books in the genre aren't from Marvel or DC, and they all seem to rely more on their own characters and backstories that are unique to their universes. It might be because they don't have as many rules as the big two publishers. Characters can die or betray others at any moment because they're not a part of the hardened pop culture of comic books. That gives the creators more freedom to play with story and plot, and less moments where they have to bring characters back from the dead because fans are angry.
This issue gets a 5/5 for proving that sometimes the best superhero fiction comes from a much smaller source. BOOM! Studios is the king of making comics that are relevant, edgy, and creatively diverse.