Irredeemable #2Irredeemable #2
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Peter Krause
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Irredeemable? I'm pleased to report that the series does not live up to its name.
I wasn't a huge fan of the first issue of Mark Waid's proto-Superman-gone-bad series, if only because the premise of the series -- superhumans trying to stop a colleague gone rogue -- seemed predicated on a flimsy foundation. The Plutonian, Waid's Super-stand-in, snapped because of ungrateful fans? Because someone called him out on wearing underwear on the outside?
Well, it seems this is a series that you need to give a chance and keep reading, because Irredeemable #2 takes aim at far better targets than Internet trolls and whiners -- this issue deconstructs the very premise of Lois Lane. Whereas DC Comics led Lois to eventually embrace both Clark Kent and his Kryptonian alter ego, Mark Waid zigs where others have zagged, setting up an obvious -- yet extremely painful -- betrayal on supergirlfriend Alana Patel's part that really sets up the emotional and psychological schism on the Plutonian's part in a truly horrifying manner.
It's this particular centerpiece that truly offsets some of the other parts in the issue, namely the slightly awkward introduction of Kaidan, who serves as our eyes and ears for this story. I completely understand why Waid introduces her in a Silver Age milieu -- it kills two birds with one stone in both giving her exposition as well as showing the Plutonian as a happier man -- but it does kick the issue off to a bit of a slow start. I want to know these characters as characters, rather than through exploits I've seen in Justice League of America or Astro City.
Peter Krauss, meanwhile, seems to be a trickier beast for this book. At first I thought he was simply one of those artists whose quality is that they don't draw attention to themselves, focusing instead on a clear story (not unlike a sketchier version of Astro City's Brent Anderson). Yet Krauss' look of betrayal and seething rage for the Plutonian simply burns off the page, and makes me wonder if this was all the previous pages were just a calculated simmer, designed to knock us out of our seats for the story's climax. Well, if so, it worked.
While I'm still not completely sold on the DC Comics pastiches in this story, Mark Waid has served up a powerful little story of love and betrayal that really serves as a better foundation for Irredeemable than the opening issue. If this story continues to improve as exponentially between books as this book did, Irredeemable may be the last thing you want to call this series.