Last issue’s 99c issue brought a lot of people on board this superhero title from Boom. It answered questions and set up all sorts of new ones, introduced the implications of a supergod, and ended on a series of cliffhangers. Let’s see if new readers have been given reason to stay.
Well the mystery of exactly what is up with Plutonian deepens, the Superman that has gone badly wrong, as we see his childhood and his own reaction to the peril of other children and the beginnings of a potential plan from humanity against its new deity. It’s also a testament to the idea of language and ideas being the only way to take down something omniscient, an atheist subtext emerging in the actions of humans given a foe, something that once served them but is now a destructive force.
Peter Krause’s art is a pleasing mix of Steve Yeowell and Chris Sprouse, which flows well, with excellent panel-to-panel storytelling and delineation of characters, something so essential when readers are dropped into a world with a great history to take for granted. We need to feel up to speed instantly and this brings a classic superhero innocence to the world gone wrong. But certain scenes that are meant to be horrific however do come over in a slightly bland fashion, and don’t have anything close to the impact that, well, a group of dead skeletal children might normally, and probably was intended to, convey. The juxtaposition between the style and the subject doesn’t so much create a jarring clash, as dull the effect.
Mark Waid deals with the kind of superhero themes more often played with today by like likes of Morrison, Millar and Ellis. His approach is underplayed, less obvious, with a greater emphasis on superhero reality being portrayed, themes less out front, less visually expressed, more of a subtext even in something so focused as Irredeemable or Empire. The book lets the visuals be superheroics, and the words address the themes. It initially strikes me as less powerful, its certainly less shocking and impactful as a result, but maybe it just seeps under the skin…
Irredeemable #6 is on sale from Boom! in the USA today and tomorrow in the UK.