THE END IS HERE
The world of superheroes in comics is vast and isn’t likely ending any time soon. That’s why it’s so important to notice the stories that break the conventions of the genre and push it into new territory. Mark Waid’s Irredeemable, published by BOOM! Studios, is one of those books.
When I read the first trade of Irredeemable I was blown away at how far Waid was willing to take a Superman-type figure past the breaking point. The Plutonian wasn’t just the public’s worst nightmare; he was the entire universe’s worst fear – an unstoppable force that no amount of power could hold.
The Plutonian’s unique situation was rooted in the fact that he was a product of both environment and his genetics. It was both nature and nurture, instead of being one or the other. I don’t want to ruin his turn from good to evil, or where he really comes from, but the combination of the two factors breeds a sense of sympathy that makes you feel like you might do the same in his situation.
That’s what this story is really about – the irredeemable things that we could do if we were given ultimate power.
I think what really sells the end of this series is the last page of the final issue. I’m not sure if it was planned from the start, but it made me smile from ear to ear. In a story that showed us nothing but a hopeless world where heroes couldn’t stand (except in Incorruptible), we were given that last glimmer hope that even the biggest mistakes could eventually have the greatest outcomes.
Superhero stories have been around since the dawn of time. From The Epic of Gilgamesh to The Odyssey, remarkable men and women have stood up and heeded the call against incredible odds. What this story did was pit us against that character, and showed just how helpless we could be if they went astray.
This story isn’t just for fans of comic books or people in capes and masks. This story is for people who are interested in stories about the abuse of power and how no one should ever give up hope of a brighter future.
And let’s not forget the fact that it’s just a really fun piece of science fiction.