By: Mark Waid (writer), Paul Azaceta (art, Story A), Matthew Wilson (colors, Story A), Emma Rios (art, Story B), Alfred Rockefeller (colors, Story B), Howard Chaykin (art, Story C), Andrew Dalhouse (colors, Story C), Ed Dukeshire (letters)

This Irredeemable special serves as an anthology, made up of three three short stories from the Irredeemable Universe. All three of the shorts are enjoyable, and for my money, the first story (“Hornet”) is the real winner here.  Anyone who has been reading Irredeemable since the beginning remembers that first scene of the title where Plutonian fries one of his hero buddies along with the hero’s wife and young child.  It was a graphic and memorable scene that set the tone.  “Hornet” adds some extra color to that scene and makes it even more terrible that Plutonian killed the guy and his family.  What I find impressive is that Waid clearly has a lot of story already planned because I doubt this is the sort of short story he could have whipped up on the fly.

The other interesting story was the third, which features Max Damage and Jailbait from Incorruptible (the sister title to Irredeemable).  This story is mostly interesting because it gives an origin (of sorts) for Jailbait.  I had wondered when these titles would start crossing over and this seems to be the beginning of that.

Did you see the list of artists on this issue?  Azaceta and Chaykin in one issue!  That’s good stuff there.  I’m not familiar with Emma Rios, but even though her story was a little blah, she turned in some great art!  I hope we see more of her art soon…

My on gripe: In a recent interview with Mark Waid, he described this special as a kind of recap/jumping on point for new readers as well as giving some new info to existing fans.  I don’t see this as much of a jumping on point.  It was really focused on addressing minor questions from the Irredeemable Universe.  This isn’t really an “annual” issue because it’s normal length.  Not sure why we have to have a separate issue and have to skip a month on the main title. Nevertheless, this is a fun issue for existing readers; but if you want to jump on, just start with the first trade.

Grade: B+

-Dean Stell