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‘Irredeemable Premier Volume 1:’ Hardcover Review

Last year, I reviewed a comic called The Mighty which explored the concept of Superman (or rather, a hero like him) as a god on Earth, and wondered what it would be like if that hero didn’t hold to the absolute morality that the Man of Tomorrow does. Irredeemable explores a similar concept, but on a much grander scale—and in a much darker way.

The world is protected by a super team called the Paradigm. They have a wide assortment of heroes in their ranks, with a wide array of powers, from Volt who shoots electricity, to Kaidan who can conjure up monsters from her people’s folklore, simply by telling the stories. First and foremost among these heroes, though, is The Plutonian.

More than a mere superhero, the Plutonian (Tony to his friends) is virtually a god. He possesses the full Superman power package, from super strength and speed to flight and laser heat vision, along with super hearing that allows him to monitor the entire world for danger. He’s always been Earth’s greatest champion, worshiped by the masses, and the one who will face any danger, large or small, to keep people safe.

Then, one day, seemingly out of the blue, he snaps in a big way. Suddenly, he’s using his powers to kill people by the millions. After he razes his hometown to the ground, it’s the job of the rest of the Paradigm to try to figure out what could have caused this sudden change in their former friend, along with who he really is, where they might be able to find him, and, most importantly, how to stop him. Unfortunately, their efforts are continually hindered by the fact that the Plutonian is systematically hunting them down and killing them.

In case my description didn’t quite clue you in, this is a very dark story. Some of the psychological implications explored are pretty terrifying. The story is very well told, though, by creator/writer Mark Waid. When the story begins, the Plutonian has already gone to the dark side, and we get to see the person he was unfold in flashback, alongside the monster he’s become. And, along the way, we get to see just what it’s like to be an all-powerful being in a world full of ordinary mortals—and how it just might drive a person crazy.

Even aside from Plutonian, there are some fascinating characters in this comic. There are Scylla and Charybdis, twin superheroes who seem a bit goofy at first, but are more than they appear. There’s Volt, the black superhero who’s annoyed by people who expect him to conform to some kind of racial stereotype. And, there’s Qubit, whose name is more than likely a reference to Q from the James Bond movies. All of these characters are excellently written, as well as excellently drawn by illustrator Peter Krause.

There are a couple of major questions that this comic addresses. First, how do you stop, fight, or even run from someone who’s effectively a god? And second, how far can a person go before they’re truly irredeemable?

This comic is definitely not for everyone. It’s dark, it’s violent, an, at times, it’s downright disturbing. But, if you like your superhero comics a little deeper, and a little darker (as I certainly do), then Irredeemable is one you definitely must read.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



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